Thursday, August 4, 2011

"From the Ground Up: Civic Engagement in Our Times" Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs celebrates 80th Annual Conference

Stephane Dion awarded this year's Public Policy Award for Leadership

Addresses the role of the individual and organizations in shaping civic life and public policy.

ORILLIA, Ontario, August 3, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - China is shutting down online and media debate on its high speed train crash, Syrians demand change, US partisanship threatens to derail economic recovery and the citizens in Canada's largest city are finding their voice in the face of service cuts. The ways individuals and organizations influence and shape civic life and public policy dominate the agenda at the 80th annual conference of the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs (CIPA), August 4-7, 2011.

This year's line-up includes such Canadian and international luminaries as Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Nathalie Des Rosiers, General Counsel, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the Hon. Jim Prentice, P.C., Q.C., Senior Executive Vice President and Vice Chairman, CIBC, Ovide Mercredi, Former National Chief Assembly of First Nations, Jay Naidoo, former South African Minister of State in Nelson Mandela's government, and Mona Eltahawy, award winning Egyptian columnist.

"The diverse ways in which individuals and organizations engage in community issues and social change at the local, national and international levels and the ways in which these forms of engagement are changing are at the core of this year's Couchiching Conference." said Gwen Burrows, President, Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs.

CIPA is pleased to announce this year's recipient of The Couchiching Award for Public Policy Leadership to Stephane Dion, P.C., M.P. The award was established to honour the accomplishments of a Canadian who has demonstrated leadership in public policy and recognizes the actions taken by an individual to create policy that has had a proven positive impact on Canada or a community within Canada, often in the face of public opposition.

The Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs is Canada's oldest public affairs forum and is a crucible of provocative questions, creative ideas and divergent discussions that are the product of the collective contributions of all who attend. For more information, please visit

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