‘Understanding Canada’ abolished

It is my sad duty to inform you of the message that I received from the Canadian Ambassador to the Netherlands, James Lambert, that the Canadian government has decided to abolish the 'Understanding Canada' program.

This decision brings to an end a program that has provided well‐targeted funds to scholarly associations in countries around the world to encourage the study of Canada. This efficient programme has fostered greater international understanding and strategic scholarly, economic, social and cultural interest in Canada.

International scholarship on Canada is a tremendous benefit to scholars, researchers and policy makers. It has created a network of specialists able to comment on Canada and Canadian issues in a non‐partisan, informed, and insightful manner.

Eliminating the programme that supports international Canadian Studies is a false economy. Canadian resources invested are matched more than ten times by investments from participating countries. Much of these monies are spent in Canada, as international scholars travelled to Canada for research, collaborative initiatives, or conferences. These resources fostered international partnerships which afforded important opportunities for scholars and in particular students.

All leading countries support cultural and scholarly diplomacy. The Canadian model has been extremely productive at delivering results in an extremely cost‐effective fashion.

For the above reasons, the Executive Committee of the ACSN, in collaboration with international colleagues, has taken action to strongly urge the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to reconsider this decision and re‐invest in this important program.

The Executive Committee will keep you informed of further developments.

Dr. Cornelius Remie M.S.M., President ACSN