Composed by Colin Coates:
As Canadian scholars who specialise in the study of our country, we
would like to express our deep concern and opposition to the termination
of the ‘Understanding Canada’ programme. For the last thirty years, the
Canadian government has provided well-targeted funds to scholarly
associations in countries around the world to encourage the study of
This efficient programme through its support for the expansion of
Canadian Studies programmes has fostered greater international
understanding and strategic scholarly, economic, social and cultural
interest in our nation. There are now Canadian Studies Associations
active in countries from Argentina to Poland, and from Israel to India.
International scholarship on Canada is a tremendous benefit to scholars,
researchers and policy makers in this country. It has created a
network of specialists able to comment on Canada and Canadian issues in a
non-partisan, informed, and insightful manner. Our own scholarship and
understanding of our country is enriched by our opportunity to exchange
views with international scholars.
Eliminating the programme which supports international Canadian Studies
is a false economy. Canadian resources invested are more than matched
by investments from participating countries. Much of these monies are
spent in Canada, as international scholars travelled to our country for
research, collaborative initiatives, or conferences. These resources
fostered a international partnerships which afforded important
opportunities for Canadian scholars and in particular our students.
Graduate and undergraduate students in Canadian Studies have benefited
from the perspectives our international colleagues have provided. These
cuts will have a negative impact on their education.
All leading countries support cultural and scholarly diplomacy. The
Canadian model has been extremely productive at delivering results in a
Sign petition here.