SACKVILLE, N.B. — Former federal minister of intergovernmental affairs, the environment, and official languages, and past leader of the Liberal Party of Canada Stéphane Dion will speak at Mount Allison University on Thursday, March 14, as part of the President’s Speaker Series celebrating the Year of Public Service and Citizenship. His talk is entitled “Improving Canadian Democracy Through Electoral Reform: A Proposal” and will take place in Brunton Auditorium (Marjorie Young Bell Music Conservatory) at 7 p.m.
Mount Allison economics professor and chair of the President’s Speakers Series organizing committee Craig Brett says, “We are pleased to welcome Stéphane Dion to Mount Allison to speak on a very engaging subject — electoral reform. Dion’s past and present experiences in the House of Commons give a unique perspective and provide a wonderful learning opportunity for both Mount Allison students and community members during the Year of Public Service and Citizenship on campus.”
On his talk, Dion says, “Our current voting system is weakening Canada’s cohesion. In order for politicians to truly change their behaviour, changesneed to be made to the voting rules. My proposal would change them for the better.”
A current Member of Parliament for the Quebec riding of Saint-Laurent-Cartierville, Dion has held many significant portfolios both in the government and in opposition during his time on Parliament Hill. From 1996 to 2003 he served as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs —longer than any other Canadian since Confederation. He was also Minister of the Environment from 2004-05 and, in this role, chaired the 2005 UN Conference on Climate Changeheld in Montreal.
Dion was elected as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and leader of the official opposition in the House of Commons from 2006-08. He currently chairs the Liberal Caucus Legislative Committee and acts as Liberal Critic for Intergovernmental Affairs and the Queen’s Privy Council of Canada, Democratic Reform, Official Languages and La Francophonie. Additionally, he is the Liberal Representative on the Sub-Committee on Private Members Business.
Before entering politics, Dion taught political science at Université de Moncton and Université de Montréal. He has authored many publications. Born in Quebec City, he studied at Université Laval and the Institut d’étudespolitiques in Paris, France. Dion was also awarded an honorary doctorate by the Carlos III University of Madrid. He was the recipient of the 2011 Couchiching Award for Public Policy Leadership and sits on the external advisory board of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute.
About the President’s Speakers Series and the Year of Public Service and Citizenship
The annual President’s Speakers Series welcomes leading scholars to campus to engage with the University and surrounding community.Each year’s theme is linked to one of the pillars of Mount Allison’s Strategic Statement. This year Mount Allison celebrates the Year of Public Service and Citizenship, a chance to focus on the achievements of those who have done much to better their communities, their countries, and the world, and an opportunity to explore what contributions we can, and should, make as citizens. For more on the Year of Public Service and Citizenship, visit www.mta.ca/ypsc