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Lakehead lecture series explores systems of power in Canada – OrilliaMatters

Third Age Learning Lakehead series will touch on everything from role of NATO to Canada’s home-grown vaccine




It would be an understatement to say that the past few years have been difficult. From a global pandemic to escalating geopolitical conflicts, it is clear that we are living in challenging times. What are the systems of power that enable Canadians to navigate these challenges? How do these systems, at times, also fail to empower everyone?

Beginning May 11, Third Age Learning Lakehead (TALL) will host “Canadian Systems of Power,” a five-part lecture series that will seek to answer these questions. From the role and relevance of NATO to the controversy surrounding Canada’s home-grown vaccine, five talks will shed light on these issues and the political structures that are tasked with finding solutions to such problems.

The series will open with Dr. Toby Rollo, a Lakehead University professor, who will provide an overview of the history of power and institutions in Canada. On May 18, Dr. Timothy Sayle will discuss what choices the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) faces as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues and how the choices made by NATO and its allies — including Canada — will shape the prospects for peace in Europe far into the future.

Dr. Lydia Miljan, a professor of political science at the University of Windsor, will argue that political leaders were more focused on electoral success than on the public good in their procurement strategy for COVID-19 vaccines on May 25.

The following week, Alain Bartleman, a lawyer specializing in Aboriginal law and a member of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation, will speak to the position of Indigenous self-determination and sovereignty in Canadian politics.

Finally, June 11, the 2016 CBC Massey lecturer Dr. Jennifer Welsh, the former special adviser to the United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, on the Responsibility to Protect, will discuss international humanitarian law in the context of increased geopolitical rivalry. She will seek to answer such questions as, ‘What are Canada’s roles and responsibilities globally?’ and ‘How does Canada work within international systems that seem increasingly less hospitable to our democratic values?’

Join TALL on Wednesday mornings to listen, share, and learn more about the systems of power that shape Canada. More information, including how to register, can be found at