Brain Food: What’s on the menu for September and October at the McLaughlin lunch talks

September and October will feature several guest speakers during the popular McLaughlin College Lunch Talks series, which runs in 140 McLaughlin College (Senior Common Room).

Sept. 20 – UN International Day of Peace

Every year, since 1981, the International Day of peace is celebrated around the world. Sheldon Clark, lifelong Quaker and recently appointed Anglican lay reader, is a retired English teacher, high school administrator, prison chaplain and a recorded ministory as a Quaker pastor will deliver a talk entitled “A glass of water.” Sorpong Peou, president of Science for Peace based at the University of Toronto, and professor of global peace and security at Ryerson University, will deliver a talk entitled “Is world peace possible?” The event will be moderated by James Simeon, head of the McLaughlin College and York University professor. This presentation runs noon to 2 p.m.

Sept. 26 – Conflict of Interest: A Reflection

Greg Levine, an Ontario lawyer and former integrity commissioner, will deliver the talk “Conflict of Interest: A Reflection.” The presentation is a brief exploration of the concept of conflict of interest, how it has been defined in law and beyond, and how it has been regulated. The presentation will discuss federal, provincial and municipal examples and will argue for the importance of conceptual clarity in this aspect of government ethics law. This presentation runs noon to 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 3 – Collaborative Governance: Path Forward or Pipe Dream?

This presentation will explore what is meant by “collaborative governance” and discuss the challenges and opportunities it raises. Delivered by Claude M. Rocan, director general of the Centre for Health Promotion at the Public health Agency of Canada, this talk highlights problems confronting modern society that do not lend themselves to simple solutions. At minimum, these problems require the involvement, commitment and ingenuity of multiple stakeholders. Increasingly, this is brought about by networks which bring together key players searching for solutions to public policy issues – but this too brings its own unique challenges. This presentation runs noon to 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 17 – Nationality-related acts and ‘persecution’ under the 1951 Refugee Convention

Delivered by Eric Fripp, barrister at Lamb Building, London, this talk explores the question “When does deprivation of nationality, or another act or omission concerning nationality, give rise to refugee status?” Despite wholesale deprivation of nationality in the first half of the 20th century providing a major stimulus to the development of international refugee law, the relationship of nationality-related acts to refugee status was neglected until relatively recently. Fripp suggests that arbitrary deprivation of nationality for relevant reason is increasingly identify by courts internationally as persecution creating entitlement to refugee status, but that ‘hard cases’ on the edge of the developing paradigm have yet to be fully addressed. This presentation takes place from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 24 – Battered but Unbowed: The Canadian Welfare State

This talk will explore a number of questions, such as ‘What is a welfare state?’, ‘Is there a Canadian style?’, ‘What are the alternatives to the welfare state?’ and ‘Why are there so many misconceptions about the welfare state?’. George Fallis, York University professor emeritus, will address these questions and more. He will examine other topics, including whether neo-liberalism rolled back the welfare state, and why progressives don’t acknowledge the resilience and success of the Canadian welfare state, and finally ask ‘Why can’t Canada fill the gaps in its welfare state?’. This presentation takes place noon to 1:30 p.m.

Light refreshments are provided at the events, and all are welcome. For more information, contact Vicky Carnevale at