Calgary Hosts Talk on Grander Vision for Canada



May 17, 2018

 CALGARY – Think tank Cardus has sparked the beginning of a new, national conversation on renewing Canadian federalism. 

“Sometimes you have to get out of the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal triangle to start a new conversation about building a grander vision for Canada,” said Cardus President and CEO Michael Van Pelt. “And one of the best places to do that is the vibrant city of Calgary, with its frontier spirit and willingness to challenge the status quo.”

Cardus gathered an audience of business, political, and civil society leaders at the Glenbow Museum to hear from three deep-thinking Albertans – UCP Leader Jason Kenney, University of Calgary Faculty of Law Journalist-in-Residence Jen Gerson, and Oxford House Executive Director Patrick Nixon – about a federalism that goes beyond jurisdictional disputes and disagreements over transfer payments. 

Mr. Kenney delivered opening remarks, taking a step back from the politics of the day to examine the foundations of federalism in the face of new social and economic realities. Ms. Gerson and Mr. Nixon served as respondents, offering their own thoughts and participating in a moderated discussion with Mr. Kenney focused on developing a shared sense of the common good within a pluralistic society.

“It was exciting to hear acknowledgement that governments have a role in building the common good, but that they also have their limits,” says discussion moderator and Cardus Executive Vice President Ray Pennings. “That opens up the possibility of renewing the role for all the mediating institutions between governments on the one hand, and the market on the other. One of those institutions is civil society – charities, faith communities, and volunteer organizations – that must play a bigger role in Canada. We’ll have a renewed federalism when we make space for civil society to help our families, workplaces, and communities flourish.”

To arrange for interviews with a Cardus spokesperson, please, contact Daniel Proussalidis.


Daniel Proussalidis
 Cardus - Director of Communications


Cardus is a non-partisan think tank dedicated to clarifying and strengthening, through research and dialogue, the ways in which society's institutions can work together for the common good.