November 19, 2020 | From Lectures to Lawmaking: A Conversation with The Honourable David Lametti (2020 Mallory Lecture)

Watch the event recording here.


Minister David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

The Honourable David Lametti was first elected in 2015 as the Member of Parliament for LaSalle—Émard—Verdun. A proud resident of Montréal for over 30 years, Minister Lametti was born and raised in Port Colborne, Ontario. Before entering politics, Minister Lametti was a Professor of Law at McGill University for nearly 20 years, and established himself as an accomplished legal academic and expert in property and intellectual property law.

Minister Lametti holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Civil Law and Bachelor of Laws from McGill University, a Master of Laws from the Yale Law School, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Law from Oxford University. He has taught or lectured in many of the world’s most well-known universities in French, English, and Italian.



November 18, 2020 | The State of the System: A Reality Check on Canada’s Schools (Book Launch)

Watch the event recording here.


Paul W. Bennett, founding director of Schoolhouse Consulting and lead researcher at Schoolhouse Institute.

In conversation with Daniel Béland, James McGill Professor of Political Science and Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, McGill University

Over the last fifty years, Canada's public schools have been absorbed into a modern education system that functions much like Max Weber's infamous iron cage. Crying out for democratic school-level reform, the system is now a centralized, bureaucratic fortress that, every year, becomes softer on standards for students, less accessible to parents, further out of touch with communities, and surprisingly unresponsive to classroom teachers.

Exploring the nature of the Canadian education order in all its dimensions, The State of the System explains how public schools came to be so bureaucratic, confronts the critical issues facing kindergarten to grade 12 public schools in all ten provinces, and addresses the need for systemic reform. Author Paul Bennett proposes a bold plan to re-engineer schools on a more human scale, advocating for a new set of priorities: decentralize school governance, deprogram education ministries and school districts, listen to parents and teachers, and revitalize local education democracy.


October 29, 2020 | The Quebec Referendum, 25 years later / Le référendum québécois, 25 ans plus tard (Webinar)

Watch the event recording here.


Louise Beaudoin

Éric Bédard

Eddie Goldenberg

John Parisella

Moderated by Graham Fraser


Few political events in the recent history of Quebec and Canada have aroused as much passion as the referendum on Quebec's accession to sovereignty, held on October 30, 1995. A quarter of a century after this referendum, with its close results and an exceptional participation rate of 93.5%, it is clear that the political and social landscape of Quebec and Canada is not the same in 2020.

Four actors from the 1995 referendum campaign, two from the "yes" camp and two from the "no" camp, joined this panel to discuss what lessons can be learned today from this historic public consultation.


October 14, 2020 | Marshall McLuhan: the man behind Québec’s October Crisis? (Webinar)


Jonathan Slater, director of the Institute for Ethics in Public Life at SUNY Plattsburgh

In conversation with Daniel Béland, James McGill Professor of Political Science and Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, McGill University

Marshall McLuhan is renowned for his contributions to communication theory and his precepts about the effects of technology upon culture and society. In the 1960s and 1970s—the height of McLuhan’s career as Canada’s preeminent media guru—he worked largely within the confines of the University of Toronto, far away from the social and political unrest fermenting in Québec during those years.


Yet, from McLuhan’s writings and public pronouncements at that time and toward the end of his life, it’s clear that he was not insensitive to the plight of Québec francophones. Two of McLuhan’s contemporaries, his Toronto colleague Northrop Frye and Montreal author Hugh MacLennan, accused McLuhan of stirring up trouble in Québec. McLuhan’s open friendship with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau ostensibly was behind Frye’s assertion that McLuhan was interfering in Québec’s affairs. MacLennan believed McLuhan’s contentions about mediated environments were abetting French nationalist sentiment in the province.


Jonathan Slater’s lecture was part of the BMP Rotating Lecture Program in Canadian Studies, established in 2013 as a formal partnership among the Canadian Studies programs of McGill University, Bridgewater State University and SUNY College at Plattsburgh. The Lectureship is designed to strengthen connections between the programs, share expertise in the area of Canadian Studies, and to expand audiences and interests in the field.




September 22, 2020 | Labor and the Class Idea in the United States and Canada (Webinar)

Watch the event recording here.


Barry Eidlin (McGill)

Étienne Cantin (ULaval)

Shannon Dinan (Bishop's)

Xavier Lafrance (UQÀM)

Axel van den Berg (McGill)

Why are unions weaker in the US than in Canada, two otherwise similar countries? This difference has shaped politics, policy, and levels of inequality. Conventional wisdom points to differences in political cultures, party systems, and labor laws. But in Barry Eidlin's book, Labor and the Class Idea in the United States and Canada, he argues that systematic analysis of archival and statistical data shows the limits of conventional wisdom, and presents a novel explanation for the cross-border difference.


June 16 and 17, 2020 | Long-Term Care Policy Under the Microscope (Webinar)

Watch the event recording here (English) and here (French)


Patrik Marier, Professor of Political Science at Concordia University and Scientific Director of the Centre for Research and Expertise in Social Gerontology (CREGÉS)
In conversation with Daniel Béland, McGill Institute for the Study of Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in extensive media coverage of the many ongoing issues facing long term care, most notably nursing homes (e.g. CHSLD in Quebec). While a lot of attention focused on Quebec, other provinces faced similar challenges, such as staff shortages and waiting lists for years.

These webinars explored the obstacles faced by governments to transform this “focusing event” into comprehensive policy reforms, and focused on the policy legacies circumscribing long-term care, which feature a heavy emphasis on nursing homes, despite provincial priorities emphasizing home care.

This webinar complements the article “COVID-19 and Long-Term Care Policy for Older People,” published in the Journal of Aging and Social Policy and co-written by Daniel Béland and Patrik Marier.


May 6, 2020 | COVID-19 and Fiscal Federalism: Canada’s Response (Webinar)

Watch the event recording here.


Daniel Béland, James McGill Professor of Political Science and Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, McGill University
André Lecours, Professor of Political Science, University of Ottawa
Mireille Paquet, Associate Professor of Political Science, Concordia University
Trevor Tombe, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Calgary

In the early months of the COVID-19 crisis, economics, policy, and fiscal federalism in Canada faced a critical juncture. Given the magnitude of the pandemic, it was unclear if provincial governments were unable to absorb the fiscal costs on their own, but vast differences in fiscal and economic circumstances across provinces make federal arrangements difficult to design.

The four speakers presented their Canadian Journal of Political Science research note, combining insights from historical institutionalism with recent economic and fiscal projections to explore avenues for reform in response to the COVID-19 crisis.


February 20, 2020 | CanLit Across Media and Home Feelings (Book Launch)


Jason Camlot and Katherine McLeod, editors of CanLit Across Media: Unarchiving the Literary Event

Exploring the production of culture through and outside of the archives that preserve and produce CanLit as an entity, CanLit Across Media asserts that CanLit arises from acts of archival, critical, and creative analysis. Each chapter investigates, challenges, and provokes this premise by examining methods of "unarchiving" Canadian and Indigenous literary texts and events from the 1950s to the present. Engaging with a remediated archive, or "unarchiving," allows the authors and editors to uncover how the materials that document past acts of literary production are transformed into new forms and experiences in the present. The chapters consider literature and literary events that occurred before live audiences or were broadcast, and that are now recorded in print publications and documents, drawings, photographs, flat disc records, magnetic tape, film, videotape, and digitized files.

Jody Mason, author of Home Feelings: Liberal Citizenship and the Canadian Reading Camp Movement

Employing an interdisciplinary approach, Home Feelings investigates how the reading camp movement used fiction, poetry, songs, newspapers, magazines, school readers, and English-as-a-second-language and citizenship manuals to encourage ideas of selfhood that were individual and intimate rather than collective. Mason shows that British-Canadian settlers' desire to define themselves in relation to an expanding non-British immigrant population, as well as a need for immigrant labour, put new pressure on the concept of citizenship in the first decades of the twentieth century. Through the Frontier College, one of the nation's earliest citizenship education programs emerged, drawing on literature's potential to nourish "home feelings" as a means of engaging socialist and communist print cultures and the non-British immigrant communities with which these were associated.


Documentary Film Series

MISC is partnering with SSMU's Peel St Cinema to present the Documentary Film Series. This series consists of two film screenings per semester, pertaining to important issues that affect Canadians. The topics of the movies will include Indigenous Rights, Quebec Culture, Black History and Culture, and finally Climate Change.

Each Screening will be followed by a talk featuring an expert on the topic presented in the film. Audiences will be encouraged to share their points of view during these discussions.

The third screening took place on February 4, at 7:30PM at 3475 Peel Street. The movie, presented by the National Film Board, was Mina Shum's Ninth Floor and our speaker will be David Austin, along with special guests Nantali Indongo and Philippe Fils-Aimé.


MISC Brown Bag Lecture Series - Session 4 featuring Professor Benjamin Forest

The MISC Brown Bag Lecture series is a new project that will feature McGill and other Montreal-area scholars in the humanities and the social sciences working on research projects about Canada.

MISC will be hosting six of these lectures over the course of the 2019-2020 academic year (three per semester). The lectures will take place once a month, around the lunch hour in MISC’s conference room (Ferrier 105), and will be open to McGill faculty and students as well as any interested members of the general public. Each speaker will be speaking about a new or completed research project by emphasizing key ideas or findings to their audience. The MISC Brown Bag series will allow speakers to put forward novel research ideas that will improve our understanding of the past, present and/or future of Canada.

Our fourth session featured Professor Benjamin Forest of McGill's Department of Geography:

"Minority Participation in the 2015 Canadian Federal Election"

What leads visible minorities to stand for Parliament? How do national and local party organizations attract visible minorities (or not)? While both visible minorities and women are under-represented, factors related to their candidacies are quite different.


January 27, 2020 | Justin Trudeau and the Politics of Federalism (Panel)

Watch the event recording here.


Chantal Hébert, the Toronto Star
Daniel Béland, McGill Institute for the Study of Canada
Christopher Ragan, Max Bell School of Public Policy
Moderated by Charles Breton, Institute for Research on Public Policy

This panel met to discuss the implication of the results of the 2019 federal elections.

On December 2, 2019, the premiers met in Toronto and formulated a number of demands for the new Trudeau minority government to address. How would the Prime Minister and his government address these demands and other pressures stemming from provincial mobilization and the politics of federalism more generally? How would Trudeau and his team find a way to address regional grievances while advancing a unifying policy agenda on issues such as fiscal federalism, health care, trade, Indigenous rights, climate change, and natural resources? Finally, and more generally, what are the issues that are particularly crucial for intergovernmental relations in the context of a federal minority government?



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