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04 Jul

Launch of 2017 Canada-UK Colloquium Report on Dilemmas of Democracy

July 4, 2018 | By |

The Canada-UK Council in London launched the report on June 21, 2018.

The event, to launch the Report of the colloquium, was well attended by representatives of academia, business and civil society, and sparked a lively debate on such questions as the place of referendums in representative democracies, Brexit, the role of social media, and protection of citizens’ rights. Richard Davies, the rapporteur, was warmly thanked for his thorough and thoughtful account of the 2017 Colloquium. The Report made recommendations rooted in a determination to uphold common values including “liberty under the law…government for a fixed period following elections untainted by coercion; an independent judiciary, media and academia; an impartial civil service; an opposition free to oppose without sanction; lawful civilian control over the security, armed and police services; and checks and balances on government that are assiduously protected.”

The Minister Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Sir Alan Duncan KCMG, opened the event by thanking the Canada–UK Council for the role it played in strengthening links between two nations with such strong ties of blood and history, exemplified in common efforts in such contexts as NATO and G7. It was typical, for example, that Canada had been so quick to support the UK in condemning the nerve agent attack in Salisbury. The British Government was determined that Canada and the UK should work even more closely together. The Public Policy Forum created by our two Prime Ministers last autumn was about to hold its first meetings, and he hoped that it would yield practical results. Several other bilateral initiatives were planned over the coming months.

Canada’s Deputy High Commissioner Sarah Fountain Smith also praised the work of the Canada–UK Council. The challenges facing our two societies had intensified in recent times. New technologies and social media created many new opportunities, but did not yet operate within adequate frameworks of control. She too referred to the importance of the new Public Policy Forum. It was encouraging that Canada and the UK Council were determined to work so closely together on new global challenges. She thanked all those who had participated in the colloquium last November, noting in particular the presence of Karina Gould, the Canadian Cabinet Minister responsible for democratic institutions. She also thanked Massey College and the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy for their continuing support for CUKC. Canada looked forward to hosting the 2018 colloquium on Artificial Intelligence in Toronto in a few months’ time.

The report had also been released in Ottawa.

To read more about the panel discussion that was held that day, click here.

Read the entire report, Dilemmas of Democracy: Challenges to the International Order, here.