Monday, May 07, 2012

Petition for Understanding Canada

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 Canada.

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 cost-effective fashion. 

Sign petition here.

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