ASAP Canada was launched at an international and interdisciplinary conference held at Ryerson University from October 25-27, 2012. The conference featured more than 45 speakers and 300 hundred participants from over 30 institutions, including: Balsillie School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Centennial College, City University of New York, Dalhousie University, Diamond Development Initiative, George Brown College, Harvard University, International Development Research Centre of Canada (IDRC), KAIROS, McGill University, McMaster University, Ontario Nurses’ Association, The New School New York, Ryerson University, Sheridan College, Trent University, Tyndale University, University of Montreal, University of Cape Town, University of Connecticut, University of Delhi, University of Guelph, University of London, University of Ottawa, University of Manitoba, University of Toronto, University of Toronto at Scarborough, Waterloo, Western, Wilfred Laurier, the World Bank, Yale University, and York University. Videos and photos from the conference, as well as a conference program, are available here.
ASAP Canada is now focused on broadening its network and developing new projects that will engage Canadian themes and audiences.
Canada Poverty Policy Audit Election 2015
What can be done about poverty and inequality in Canada? The federal election is October 19th. The Canada chapter of ASAP has an audit by academic experts of nine different policy areas. They examine the platforms of the four main parties – Liberals, Conservatives, New Democrats, and Greens – and evaluate their potential to lessen poverty. The Conservative government of the last eleven years provides by far the least confidence, rating about a third of that for the Liberals and New Democrats, with Greens only slightly less than these two. The New Democrats had the highest score. The nine audits explain why. The full report is available here.
Rethinking Sustainability Beyond 2015: An Agenda for Citizen Action
A Workshop on
October 2nd, 2014
Alumni Lounge, Mattamy Centre
Ryerson University, Toronto
Sustainability – defined by social, economic as well as environmental dimensions – is emerging as the centrepiece of the new global agreement that will replace the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when they expire in 2015. In contrast to the MDGs, which focused on poverty reduction in developing countries, the post-2015 framework, with a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at its core, will be applicable to all countries. The success of the new agenda will hinge on the sharing of responsibility by governments (at all levels), multilateral institutions, businesses, civil society organizations, and citizens in the “North” and “South.”
Does the emerging post-2015 global framework accurately identify the multiple challenges of sustainability? How do the deepening inequalities at every level – local, national, global – affect our quest for ‘sustainability’? What forms of limits to corporate power are necessary to ensure sustainable production and consumption? How do we counter the false choice between sustainability and job creation that is presented by businesses and governments alike? Most importantly, how can citizens own these processes of transformative change?
Our workshop seeks to inform and engage Canadians, particularly university students, with this rapidly intensifying post-2015 debate. We hope to do so by thinking critically about what attaining sustainability means to us – from the global to the local; from the social to the environmental; from the promise of innovation to concerns about limiting consumption. Issues particular to Canada, such as the oil sands, the arctic, and the role of Canadian citizens as global consumers, will be a focus of the discussions.
The workshop will feature short presentations by academic experts and civil society leaders, and an intensive discussion period. Stephen Lewis, Distinguished Visiting Professor Ryerson University and former UN Special Envoy for HIV-AIDS in Africa, will deliver the keynote address for the workshop at 5:00pm. The proceedings of the workshop will be published on the ASAP website for further comment and online deliberation.
The workshop is free and open to all. To help us determine numbers for refreshments, however, we ask that you register for the event here.
We look forward to seeing you at the workshop!
Phil Rafalko, President of the Politics and Governance Student Association (POGSA), Ryerson University
Mitu Sengupta, Associate Professor of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University.