Queen's University

Throne Speech

2010-03-19

Defence Policy Doug Bland
Douglas Bland, Chair of Queen's University's Defence Management Studies, can speak to government's policy regarding Afghanistan and the defence budget. "The House of Commons has neither the competence nor the resources to debate wisely, or oversee effectively, matters of national defence," wrote Dr. Bland in a Toronto Star opinion piece on March 20. "Sadly, debates on national defence, war and peace, and the welfare of members of the Canadian Forces are usually late-night shows played before tiny assemblies of bored politicians compelled to their duty by whips, not by conscience."
He wrote the introduction for the recently released Dreamland: How Canada's Pretend Foreign Policy Has Undermined Sovereignty, by Roy Rempel (Queen's University/Breakout Educational Network) - a work based on research conducted by Queen's Defence Management Studies.
613-533-6483 db26@post.queensu.ca
National Daycare Policy 
Roberta Hamilton
Queen's sociology professor, Roberta Hamilton researches and writes about social theory and Canadian society. She can discuss the need for a national daycare policy as promised by the Liberals and the implications for Canadian society if Harper replaces the promised policy with lump sum payments to parents.
Dr. Hamilton says, "It would take a decent federal childcare policy with national standards to close the wage gap between men and women in Canadian society. Canada appeared on the brink of having such a policy in 1986 when the Liberal governments Task Force on Child Care recommended a fully funded childcare system, but successive governments, first Conservative, then Liberal, retreated from this. In the debates about daycare, mothers in the work force are pitted against mothers at home. Many Canadians argue that infants and small children should be the (sole) responsibility of their parents. This ideology manages to obscure some fundamental realities about contemporary society. Bureaucratic organizations whether for profit and/or efficiency leave considerations of pregnancy, babies, children, and families in the hands of individuals, and this mostly turns out to mean mothers. Capitalism honours profits. All other considerations about human life are left out."
Dr. Hamilton is currently writing a second edition of her book, "Gendering the Vertical Mosaic: Feminist Perspectives on Canadian Society".
613 533-2170 hamiltnr@post.queensu.ca

Religion and the Same-sex Marriage Debate
Pamela Dickey Young
Pamela Dickey Young, head of Religious Studies at Queen's can discuss how religion influences the same-sex marriage debate. She can comment on how the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada is using its conservative Christian agenda to influence public opinion on same-sex marriage as their lobby campaign against same-sex marriage unfolds following the Throne Speech on April 4. Her current research examines the social construction of sex and sexuality in relation to the Christian religious tradition.
613 533 6000 x 74324 youngpd@post.queensu.ca
GST and Tax Reform Policy Robin Boadway
Robin Boadway, Sir Edward Peacock Professor of Economic Theory can discuss the implications of GST and tax policy reform promised as part of the Conservative election platform. Dr. Boadway researches in the areas of public sector and welfare economics, with special emphasis on tax theory and policy, redistribution, fiscal federalism and cost-benefit analysis. His publications include Public Sector Economics, Welfare Economics, Canadian Tax Policy, Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in Canada and Economics and the Canadian Economy.
(613) 533-2266 boadwayr@qed.econ.queensu.ca
Liberal Party
Tom Axworthy Queen's Centre for Democracy Chair Tom Axworthy is co-chairing the Liberal Party's renewal commission - a group that will consider the input of numerous issue-centred task forces and offer a report to the party's executive this September.
From 1981 to 1984, Dr. Axworthy was Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Pierre Trudeau and is also the author and editor of several books and numerous articles, including Searching for the New Liberalism: Perspectives, Policies, Prospects (Oakville: Mosaic Press, 2003).
613-533-6273 axworthy@post.queensu.ca
The Politics of Priorities
Kathy Brock "The key to the throne speech this time around will be how the priorities are expressed and what that indicates about the support the government is counting on in Parliament," says Kathy Brock of Queen's School of Policy Studies. In addition to addressing the Conservative government's expectations regarding BQ and NDP support, Dr. Brock can speak to the implications of the speech on the Liberal leadership race.
Dr. Brock leads the development of the School's new teaching and research activities in "Public Policy and the Third Sector." She is interested in creative private/public/voluntary sector collaborations and social democracy. She is the author of Executive Federalism: Beggar Thy Neighbour?" New Trends in Canadian Federalism (Broadview Press, 2003).
613-533-6486 brockk@post.queensu.ca
For more information or to arrange an interview call Sarah Withrow 613-533-3280, Lorinda Peterson 613-533-3234, or Therese Greenwood 613-533-6907.
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