Unlikely Insider: A West Coast Advocate in Ottawa

Monday, April 24, 2023 16:00to18:00
Faculty Club 3450 rue McTavish, Montreal, QC, H3A 0E5, CA

This event is free, but registration is required. Register here.

Join us for a talk from former senator Jack Austin and Edie Austin.

At a time when too many of the world’s political leaders are consolidating power by playing on divisions and stoking fear, Unlikely Insider, a memoir by former federal cabinet minister and senator Jack Austin, comes as a welcome reminder of the value of public service as a force for economic progress, social justice, and nation‐building.

With both historical perspective and an eye to the future, Austin reflects on events and people whose impacts are still felt, and on the enduring challenges of Canadian life. Moving away from colonial domination of Indigenous Peoples, navigating our pivotal relationship with the United States and engagement with China, the nature and purpose of the Senate: these remain timely concerns, to which Austin has made significant contributions. Sharing insights into policy as well as into the personalities of colleagues and friends, Unlikely Insider paints vignettes of figures from Premier Zhou Enlai to Queen Elizabeth and recounts the author’s travels with Pierre Trudeau after the prime minister’s retirement.

As a British Columbian, Austin worked to ensure that his province’s perspectives and interests mattered in Ottawa; as someone who came from a disadvantaged background, he is sensitive to the need to make the country a place of fairness and opportunity for all. Unlikely Insider reminds Canadians that inclusion – regional, social, and demographic – makes our nation both stronger and more just.

The lecture will be followed by a Q&A and reception. This event is in partnership with McGill-Queen's University Press. To learn more about the book, visit www.mqup.ca/unlikely-insider-products-9780228016243.php

JACK AUSTIN has been involved in politics and public policy at the highest levels for more than fifty years, including as a minister in the Pierre Trudeau and Paul Martin governments, senior civil servant, and chief of staff to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. He is currently honorary professor and senior fellow at the Institute of Asian Research of the University of British Columbia.

EDIE AUSTIN has more than forty years of experience in journalism as a writer and editor and is the former editorial page editor of the Montreal Gazette.  She is Jack’s daughter.

Back to top