Hon. Rae’s lecture is entitled: Learning from The Past, Imagining the Future: Reflections from a Political Life. Throughout the video address, Hon. Rae will explore themes around: Canada’s improbable origins as a nation; post-war emergence onto the global stage; active membership within the United Nations (U.N.); and the significance of the ever-evolving Canadian constitution—a “living tree document”.
The Symons Medal Lecture Series is named in honour of Professor Thomas H.B. Symons, a long-time supporter of Confederation Centre and a Board Governor.
“I am delighted to be following so many distinguished Canadians as this year’s Symons Medal recipient,” states Hon. Rae. “I have long admired Tom Symons’ vision and leadership and it is also wonderful to be associated with Confederation Centre of the Arts and my many friends in Charlottetown and Prince Edward Island.”
He continues, “I have been lucky enough to be deeply engaged in the life of my country and the world since childhood, and to have had the ongoing support of family and friends during the ups and downs of this continuing enterprise. I am grateful for the chance to share these thoughts with you on October 30 and look forward to the dialogue that is to come.”
Hon. Rae is the 2020 recipient in part for his many years of work on humanitarian issues, most recently the Rohingya Refugee crisis, as well as his time focusing on indigenous issues with Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP, and his decades of public service and teaching. He has always been deeply involved in the political life of Canada including as MP, former premier of Ontario, and interim leader of the federal Liberal Party. While premier, he was involved in many of the initiatives for constitutional reform.
In July, Hon. Rae was appointed Canada’s ambassador to the U.N. by the Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Prior to this appointment, he served as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Humanitarian and Refugee Issues.