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Research Prominence

Easing the pain

Dr. Ian Gilron

The combination of two well-known drugs will have unprecedented effects on pain management, says new research from Queen’s.

Combining morphine, a narcotic pain reliever, and nortriptyline, an antidepressant, has been found to successfully relieve chronic neuropathic pain – or a localized sensation of pain due to abnormal function of the nervous system – in 87 per cent of patients, and significantly better than with either drug alone.

“Chronic pain is an increasingly common problem and can exert disastrous personal, societal, and socio-economic impacts on patients, their families, and their communities,” says Ian Gilron, lead author of the study. “Current neuropathic pain treatments are ineffective or intolerable for many sufferers so this new evidence supporting the morphine-nortriptyline combination is important news for patients.”

During the study, average daily pain was measured using a patient’s numerical rating of pain on a validated scale from 0 – 10. It was found that average daily pain before treatment was 5.6, which dropped to 2.6 when the patient was receiving the drug combination. On average, patients taking nortriptyline and morphine alone rated their pain at 3.1 and 3.4, respectively.

“Morphine and nortriptyline are excellent candidates for pain management because of the extensive research conducted on them, their low cost, and widespread availability all over the world.”

It was also found that common side effects for both drugs, which can include constipation and dry mouth, did not worsen during the combination treatment.

“It’s important to remember that we don’t want to completely eliminate patients’ ability to sense pain as it’s a warning system for us, but we do want to find the right balance of pain relief and drug side effects,” says Dr. Gilron, a professor in Queen’s School of Medicine and anesthesiologist at Kingston General Hospital. “Morphine and nortriptyline are excellent candidates for pain management because of the extensive research conducted on them, their low cost, and widespread availability all over the world.”

In the double-blind, randomized crossover study, every patient had the opportunity to try every one of the three treatments: the combination, morphine alone and nortriptyline alone in each of the three six-week treatment periods. Throughout each treatment period, patients attended follow-up assessments to record their pain levels and side effects.

This research was published in PAIN, the highest impact pain journal globally. To read the study's abstract, please follow this link.

Queen's hosts Lieutenant Governor

  • Lieutenant Governor Visit 2015
    Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell visited Queen’s University on April 1 and gave a lecture as part of the Principal’s Forum.
  • Lieutenant Governor Visit 2015
    Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell visited Queen’s University on April 1 and gave a lecture as part of the Principal’s Forum.
  • Lieutenant Governor Visit 2015
    Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell visited Queen’s University on April 1 and gave a lecture as part of the Principal’s Forum.
  • Lieutenant Governor Visit 2015
    Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell visited Queen’s University on April 1 and gave a lecture as part of the Principal’s Forum.
  • Lieutenant Governor Visit 2015
    Principal Daniel Woolf introduces Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell to Queen’s University.

Campus played host to Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, on April 1 when she visited the university to deliver a public lecture and take part in a roundtable discussion.  

Her Honour’s lecture, titled “Ideas that Matter: Conversations with Ontarians,” reflected her desire to meet and speak with the province’s citizens about what goals and themes she should prioritize for her tenure.

“I want to learn about what issues concern Ontarians, what they’re interested in, what they’re doing and what stories they want me to tell,” she says. “If we’re going to promote Ontario in the world, I need to know what people are already doing and a university setting is a great place to have that conversation.”

At her lecture she recounted the responsibilities of the Lieutenant Governor and spoke about some of the experiences she’s had with the Queen’s community. After telling of her meeting with the Queen’s Model Parliament in Ottawa, she praised the work that Dr. John Smol (Biology) has done to articulate the effects of climate change and shared the story of her investing Professor Emeritus Dr. James Low (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) to the Order of Canada. When Dr. Low was too sick to attend the Order’s official ceremony in Ottawa, Her Honour visited his house in Kingston to present him with his medal, skyping in friends and family for the impromptu event. 

Though she spoke about many of the accomplishments that Ontarians have to be proud of, she also devoted attention to the challenges that are facing the province. She says that among the hurdles facing the province are the task of managing the fragility of the environment, ensuring economic prosperity and fostering a fair, inclusive and cohesive civil society.

“We’re living in an interconnected and interdependent world now and if we don’t know how to live in, work in and trade in that world, we’re going to get left behind,” she says.

To better hear what’s on the minds of Ontario citizens, Her Honour also took part in a roundtable discussion with a group of administrators, academics, students and alumni. The group shared with her the work being done on campus to foster innovation and interdisciplinary problem-solving.

Though Her Honour has only been in her position for six months, she said she’s seeing clear lines between the matter that the people of Ontario care most about and that she wants to use her position to affect positive change.

“As Lieutenant Governor, I have a platform that allows me to shine a light on the big issues that our society has, things that require bringing people together for conversations on issues that transcend politics,” she says. “My position is a totally apolitical one, so I make sure to ask every group I meet with, ‘what do you think I should be working on?’“ 

Her Honour’s lecture was the most recent installment of the Principal’s Forum, a public lecture series sponsored by Principal Daniel Woolf. Previous speakers in the Principal’s Forum have included the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, the Rt. Hon. Tricia Marwick and His Excellency the Governor General, the Rt. Hon. David Johnston.

“We were honoured to host Lieutenant Governor Dowdeswell and to hear her address,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “I look forward to working with her during her time in office.” 

A legacy of game-changers

  • John Smol pioneered many of the approaches used to study the long-term impact of stressors on lake ecosystems, including core sampling and sediment analysis techniques.
  • Elizabeth Eisenhauer discovered how to administer a commonly used chemotherapy drug in a way that reduces its toxicity.
  • Susan Cole has shown that a multidrug resistant protein (MRP) prevents chemotherapy from working by pumping the drugs out of cancer cells.
  • Roger Deeley has shown that a multidrug resistant protein (MRP) prevents chemotherapy from working by pumping the drugs out of cancer cells.
  • In 1982, engineer Henk Wevers designed a secure wheelchair restraint system for use in buses and vans.
  • John McGarry’s work has helped shape political institutions and policing in societies experiencing ethnic and national conflict.
  • Jacalyn Duffin's expert medical testimony helped make the case for the first Canadian-born saint.
  • SNOLAB is an underground science laboratory specializing in neutrino and dark matter physics.
  • Herbert Kalmus patented the colour motion picture process Technicolor in 1916.

The Council of Ontario Universities’ Research Matters program is celebrating the top 50 game-changing historical moments in research over the past 100 years. Queen’s University has cemented its research legacy with eight of those 50 moments – including one that revolutionized the movie industry.

The colour motion picture process Technicolor was patented in 1916 by Herbert Kalmus, an MIT graduate who came to Queen's University in 1913 as a physics professor in the then-School of Mining. Though told by colleagues he was wasting his time, Dr. Kalmus continued to work on refining the technology while teaching at Queen’s.

Technicolor was incorporated in 1915 by a company founded by Dr. Kalmus and his business partners Daniel F. Comstock and W. Burton Wescott.

“Changing films from black and white to colour was a major shift in the way movies were made,” says Blaine Allan, an associate professor in Queen’s Film and Media Department. “This was an important discovery at a very important time. It was similar to sound in movies – it was a key technological change.”

Becky Sharp was the first Hollywood feature entirely shot in three-strip Technicolor using Dr. Kalmus’ technology in 1935.

“Technicolor was still quite rare among major studio films and only used for Hollywood spectaculars or big budget movies like The Wizard of Oz. It changed the industry,” Mr. Allan says.

Dr. Kalmus earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the film industry.

"The 50 game-changing research discoveries represent some of the most defining moments in our nation's history over the last century, and Ontarians should be proud," says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research).  "The prominence of Queen's on this list is a true testament to the sustained innovation and creativity demonstrated by our scholars in tackling some of the world's biggest questions, and contributing to a wide variety of advances and achievements."

The other Queen’s research highlighted in the Top 50 historical moments include:

Vote Now!
To vote for your top game-changer, visit the Research Matters website. The top five vote-getters will be announced at a later date. 

Elizabeth Eisenhauer - While leading a clinical trial conducted in Canada and Europe, Dr. Eisenhauer discovered how to administer a commonly used chemotherapy drug in a way that reduces its toxicity. Her 1990 discovery also shortened the delivery time of the drug Taxol from 24 to three hours. Today, her method is the global standard for administering Taxol to patients with breast cancer, ovarian cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and AIDS-related Kaposi's Sarcoma.

John Smol – Dr. Smol pioneered many of the approaches used to study the long-term impact of stressors on lake ecosystems, including core sampling and sediment analysis techniques.  His research has allowed scientists to identify changes resulting from human and natural causes. Dr. Smol has informed environmental policy by establishing a baseline for work on water quality, acidification, contaminant transport, climate change and changing wildlife stocks in critically important ecosystems. 

Susan Cole and Roger Deeley - Dr. Cole and Dr. Deeley have shown that a multidrug resistant protein (MRP) prevents chemotherapy from working by pumping the drugs out of cancer cells. They discovered the gene that codes for MRP, giving drug researchers a target for solving the problem. Their paradigm-shifting discovery led to a subsequent explosion in research on multidrug resistance in humans and other animals.

Q-Straint Systems Inc. - In 1982, engineer Henk Wevers designed a secure wheelchair restraint system for use in buses and vans. It formed the basis of Q'Straint Systems Inc., the world's leading wheelchair securement company. His pioneering work in addressing the problem of keeping wheelchair-bound passengers  safe while in transit has saved countless lives.

John McGarry - Dr. McGarry’s work has helped shape political institutions and policing in societies experiencing ethnic and national conflict. His expertise in constitutional design and power-sharing has had a significant influence on the United Nations and public policy in a number of countries. His publications have created new possibilities for peace and democracy around the world. Dr. McGarry's work on policing in Northern Ireland, for example, had a crucial impact on the Report of the Independent Commission on Policing Reform, representing a major step in Northern Ireland’s peace process.

Jacalyn Duffin - In 1987 Dr. Duffin, a hematologist and medical historian, was asked to read, under the microscope, a stack of bone marrow samples without being told why. She saw acute leukemia cells and concluded the patient must be dead. Unbeknownst to Duffin, the patient was still alive claiming to have been cured through the intercession of a long-dead Montrealer, Marie-Marguerite d'Youville. Only afterwards did Dr. Duffin learn that her findings had been sent to the Vatican and applied to the cause for canonization of d'Youville. Dr. Duffin's expert medical testimony helped make the case for the first Canadian-born saint.

SNOLAB - SNOLAB is an underground science laboratory specializing in neutrino and dark matter physics. Located two kilometres below the surface in the Vale Creighton Mine located near Sudbury, Ont., SNOLAB is an expansion of the existing facilities constructed for the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) solar neutrino experiment. The project was jointly proposed by Queen’s, Carleton University, Laurentian University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Guelph and the Université de Montreal.

To vote for your top game-changer, visit the Research Matters website. The top five vote-getters will be highlighted on the website.

International search for expertise leads to Queen’s

[Mushtaq Ahmad]
Mushtaq Ahmad, right, a PhD student in education at Northern University Nowshera, has come to the Faculty of Education at Queen’s to study transformational leadership with Dr. Benjamin Kutsyuruba, left. (Supplied Photo)

As he continues to work toward his doctoral degree, Mushtaq Ahmad found that he needed some expert support in his area of study – transformational leadership.

Tri-Colour Globe
Queen's in the World

That search has brought him from Pakistan to Queen’s University.

Mr. Ahmad, a PhD student in education at Northern University Nowshera, has come to the Faculty of Education at Queen’s to study transformational leadership with Dr. Benjamin Kutsyuruba.

The Higher Education Commission in Pakistan offers scholarships to PhD students working with supervisors abroad, so Mr. Ahmad decided to widen his search away from home, and, with a bit of help from Google, he discovered that Dr. Kutsyuruba’s expertise was exactly what he was searching for in a supervisor.

Mr. Ahmad’s research focuses on the impact of transformational leadership styles of principals on the job satisfaction of secondary school teachers. His interest in doctoral research on transformational leadership was piqued by his own experience.

“Transformational leaders eliminate communication barriers existing in an organization and enable effective functioning of the organization. Change is unavoidable in any enterprise and the biggest challenge encountered by any organization is to manage the change effectively,” he explains. “Change, when managed poorly, can deteriorate an organization’s performance and lead to its decline. People who are driven by inspiration perform well when compared with people driven by control. That is exactly what the transformational leaders do.”

He says this leads employees to put in their fullest effort with personal commitment and a sense of ownership, thereby improving the overall productivity, performance and profit of an organization.

In addition to being a PhD student, Mr. Ahmad is a secondary math and science teacher and the president of the Secondary School Teachers Association in the Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa province of Pakistan.

His goal for his visit to Queen’s is to explore avenues for future international collaboration as well as to develop his own academic skills and complete his doctoral research.

The six-month scholarship at the Faculty of Education will allow him to analyze the data he has collected for his dissertation with Dr. Kutsyuruba. Already Mr. Ahmad has found that he made the right choice, for now and for the future.

“My first two months went as smoothly as I wanted it,” he says. “I believe that choosing Queen’s is one of the best decisions I have made in my life and I hope that this campus is up to my expectation. My short-term goal is to be part of a reputed team like Queen’s and long-term goal is to be a good scholar in the future.”

He says that Queen’s offers an international community and services, friendly, cooperative and respectful professors and staff, as well asample opportunity to get involved in academic and extra-curricular activities.

Tracking the elusive eel

Queen’s University researcher Colleen Burliuk is diving deep into the world of the endangered American eel, in hopes of unravelling the mystery of its life.

Working with Queen’s researcher and supervisor John Casselman (Biology), Ms. Burliuk has been tracking the eels living in the St. Lawrence River to learn more about their little-known winter habitat requirements as part of the research that will be used in her graduate program.

Colleen Burliuk holds the elusive and mysterious American eel that is now listed as endangered.

“The American eel population has been in decline for a while,” explains Ms. Burliuk, who is conducting winter fieldwork for her graduate studies. “They are mysterious creatures and nothing is really known about their winter habitat. This research can help us learn more about eels and improve their habitat to increase the population.”

Last fall, Ms. Burliuk implanted small radio-acoustic transmitters into six American eels. She used that technology to track their movements in the river over the winter months. Though the data is preliminary at this point, she will continue to gather data this spring and add another dozen eels to her current tracking project.

Stabilizing and increasing the American eel population is important for a number of reasons. “These eels are a very ancient fish with large cultural significance. If abundant, they would control such invasive populations as gobies and keep the river ecosystem balanced.”

Along with gaining new knowledge into the local eel population, Ms. Burliuk hopes to spawn new interest in the American eel in the younger generation. She herself didn’t become interested in the eel until she joined Dr. Casselman’s lab. Now she is giving presentations to early grade school classes and asking them to pass their new knowledge along to others.

PechaKucha to highlight research successes

[PechaKucha]
Leela Viswanathan, a professor in the School of Urban and Regional Planning, will be the first preseneter at the first Queen’s PechaKucha and will be talking about the work she’s done at the intersection of de-colonization and land planning. (Supplied photo)

The clock will be ticking for presenters at a research showcase on April 7.

Ten scholars in the social sciences, humanities and creative arts will present their research at an event hosted by the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research) using the PechaKucha format. PechaKucha has each presenter deliver 20 slides for 20 seconds each, making for information-dense but fast-moving presentations.

Each researcher will be discussing the work they’ve done with grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

“We want to celebrate the diversity of research represented in the social sciences, humanities and creative arts community at Queen’s. We also wish to celebrate the successes and impact of the work and the value that SSHRC funding can have in advancing research, collaborations and partnerships, and training opportunities for our students”, says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). “This is about building a community and bringing together individuals from across the university in a way that they may think differently about their own research and to explore opportunities for collaboration.”

The event will be held at the University Club and is open to all of the Queen’s community.

Among those presenting is Dr. Leela Viswanathan, a professor in the School of Urban and Regional Planning. She’ll be kicking the night off by talking about the work she’s done at the intersection of de-colonization and land planning.

“I’m asking how we can get planners to rethink their entire process and to ask the community what was in this space before,” she says.

Her research brings First Nations people into the planning process and has had interesting results when put into practice. In one of the townships she’s worked with, it led to them incorporating archaeological knowledge and indigenous land use practices into the town’s development plan.

“We all plan constantly, even if we have different words and credentials for it. This type of work is about creating a feeling of belonging in new ways, because the public learns and translates history into their everyday life.”

Later in the night, Liying Cheng (Faculty of Education) will be presenting her research examining the effects of test preparation on language proficiency and test performance. Because many high stakes decisions are informed by language test scores, understanding what affects the testing is essential.

“We’re trying to communicate with stakeholders to be careful in their use of test scores, as tests are a one-time indicator of performance,” says Dr. Cheng. “It has serious ramifications for students and professionals coming into Canada, such as students, teachers, doctors and engineers,” — groups that all have English language test requirements before being approved to study and/or work.

The event’s other presenters come from a wide array of disciplines, but everyone will be racing to share their research, 20 seconds at a time. The research showcase will be held in the George Teves Dining Room of the University Club from 4:30-6:30 pm on April 7. Those planning to attend should reserve a space by contacting research@queensu.ca by April 1.

Sharing ideas worth spreading

With nothing but a few slides to back them up, 15 members of the Queen’s community will take to the stage this Sunday to share some ideas worth spreading. These presenters are taking part in the fifth annual TEDxQueensU conference, an event dedicated to talks about technology, entertainment and design.

Last year's TEDx conference featured a talk by Rachel Wayne, a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology. (Photo Supplied)

“This is a community event that builds a platform for people to share ideas, create and innovate together,” says Tom Edgerton (Artsci’15), Director of TEDxQueensU. “It’s a great chance to highlight Queen’s and Kingston’s talent, and there’s a lot of real-time collaboration that happens here.”

Mr. Edgerton, who’s been involved with TEDx since his first year of study, says this year’s conference is set to be the biggest and best one yet. While there have been TEDx conferences happening at Queen’s for five years now, the event has undergone massive growth this year, nearly quadrupling in size. Held for the first time in the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, the event is still dedicated to encouraging curiosity, inspiring the exchange of ideas and celebrating dynamic thinking.

The event is comprised of brief talks, usually between 15 and 20 minutes, delivered by students, faculty, staff, alumni and other members of the Queen’s community. The talks are followed by opportunities for the audience to meet and speak with one another as well as the presenters.

To better reach those who aren’t able to make it to campus, the conference will also be live-streamed through the TEDxQueensU website.

“This is a student event, but this is also one of the greatest vehicles we have to show campus, our school and the research and innovation happening here to people around the world,” says Mr. Edgerton.

The speakers at this year’s event come from a diverse array of backgrounds that includes people like Afraj Gill (Comm’15) and Beverly Thomson. Mr. Gill is a technology entrepreneur who’s co-founded two tech companies and written for the Globe and Mail and Business Insider, while Ms. Thomson is a broadcast journalist, philanthropist, and co-host of Canada AM, CTV’s national morning news show.

“It doesn’t matter who you are,” says Mr. Edgerton. “If you have an idea worth spreading, we want you on the stage to share it with us, why we should care and how it will work.”

TEDxQueensU will be held on SundayMarch 29 at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

More information and a schedule of the day’s events can be found on their website.

Tickets can be purchased through an online vendor

International student wins Three Minute Thesis

  • Three Minute Thesis
    Chenman Yin is the winner of the Three Minute Thesis competition for Queen's University. She will now represent Queen's at the provincial final at Western on April 23.
  • Three Minute Thesis
    Nicolle Domnik's presentation on her cardiopulminary system research earned her the Runner-Up Award in the Three Minute Thesis.
  • Three Minute Thesis
    Changhai Zhu's research on bass populations in Lake Ontario earned him the People's Choie Award at the Three Minute Thesis.
  • Three Minute Thesis
    Kevser Aktas makes her presentation on "The Impact of Powerful Numbers" during Tuesday's Three Minute Thesis final at Quen's University.
  • Three Minute Thesis
    Amy Rentz's presentation at the Three Minute Thesis final focussed on her research on improving the durability of geosynthetics used in landfills.
  • Three Minute Thesis
    The judges panel was comprised of, from left, Principal Daniel Woolf, journalist Ann Lukits, Toby Abramsky of Keystone Property Managment and Ken Stevens of DuPont.

Distilling years of research into a three-minute presentation is challenging enough, but doing it in your second language is a monumental task.

That’s what Chenman Yin did as she claimed the Queen’s University title for the Three Minute Thesis on Tuesday.

Ms. Yin, who is pursuing a Master’s degree in Engineering and Applied Physics, is an international student from China who also completed her undergraduate studies at Queen’s.

Her presentation – a three-minute talk and a single static slide – on using lasers to cut bone during brain surgery, earned her the top prize of $1,000 and the chance to compete at the provincials. She competed against nine other finalists who spoke on a wide array of topics, from powerful numbers in mathematics and using geosynthetics in landfills to protecting traditional knowledge and whether or not allergies develop before birth.

The event is a mix of in-depth research, engagement and humour, with the goal of helping the audience understand the findings.

The win was a bit of a surprise for Ms. Yin who entered the contest at the last minute and, being an international student, wasn’t confident in her presentation skills. She credits her friends for pushing her to enter the contest in the first place.

“As an international student, where English is not my first language, there is always pressure when speaking in front of a big crowd. I think I needed that push to do something like this. I wouldn’t voluntarily do it,” she says.

She also points out that taking part in the event will help her as she works on her thesis, providing focus as well as giving her confidence in her presentation abilities. She also just loves what she is doing and wants others to know about it.

“I think this is a great opportunity to think about what you did over the past two years, in three minutes. I personally think that my project is cool so I really want to tell people about it,” she says. “A lot of people get scared when they hear the word physics but for me it isn’t (scary), so I guess I try to use everyday language to show people why physics is neat and they actually can do something to help people live a better life.”

Nicolle Domnik, who is pursuing a PhD in physiology, claimed the runner-up prize and $500 for her presentation on her research on the cardiopulmonary system, while Changhai Zhu, a Master’s student in biology, picked up the People’s Choice Award for his work in using fishing competitions to monitor bass populations in Lake Ontario.

Ms. Yin will represent Queen’s at the Ontario University Three Minute Thesis Competition set for April 23 at Western University.

For further information on the Three Minute Thesis, go to queensu.ca/3mt/.

Policy series celebrates inaugural director's legacy

As the inaugural director of Queen’s School of Policy Studies (SPS), Tom Courchene strived to bring together the academic and professional policy communities through the school’s programs, conferences and lectures.

Queen's School of Policy Studies has developed a speakers series to honour Tom Courchene, the school's inaugural director and a distinguished member of the Canadian public policy community.

SPS has recognized the former director’s enduring legacy by establishing the Tom Courchene Distinguished Speakers Series. The Hon. Justice Murray Sinclair, commissioner and chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), will give the first lecture in the series this Friday at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

The speaker series is supported by the Margie and Tom Courchene Endowment Fund. It was established in 1999 with an initial gift by the Courchenes. Since that time, generous donations from Dr. Courchene’s colleagues at Queen’s and across the country have supplemented the fund.

“This speaker series will provide our students, and the Queen’s community more broadly, with a bridge between academics and policy-makers,” says Kim Nossal, Director, Queen’s School of Policy Studies. “This series will encourage an on-going discussion on critical issues, in particular Indigenous policy and governance, a policy field Tom has been increasingly engaged with in recent years.”

The Tom Courchene Distinguished Speakers Series
“What do we do about the legacy of Indian Residential Schools?”
The Hon. Justice Murray Sinclair, Commissioner and Chair, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Friday, March 27, 11:45-1:15 pm, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts (390 King St. West) Transportation available More information

Dr. Courchene came to Queen’s in 1988 as the Stauffer-Dunning Chair in Public Policy and the first director of the new School of Policy Studies. From 1991 until his retirement in 2012, he held the Jarislowsky-Deutsch Professorship in Economics and Financial Policy at Queen’s, where he was a member of the Department of Economics, the School of Policy Studies and the Faculty of Law.

Dr. Courchene has written more than 300 articles and authored or edited 60 books. The recipient of many awards and accolades, Dr. Courchene is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and an Officer of the Order of Canada. 

Justice Sinclair was Manitoba’s first Aboriginal judge and the second Aboriginal judge in Canada. He has received numerous honours for his work in the field of Aboriginal justice. Justice Sinclair chairs the TRC, which was established in 2007 with a mandate to inform all Canadians about the 150-year history residential schools, and guide and inspire a process of reconciliation and renewed relationships based on mutual understanding and respect.

Testimony on the Hill

Dr. Christian Leuprecht

Queen’s professor Christian Leuprecht testified yesterday on two different bills before Parliament.

Dr. Leuprecht spoke to the Senate of Canada’s Standing Committee on National Security and Defence about Bill-C44 and later that day to the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on National Security about Bill C-51. He is one of just 48 witnesses who have been called to testify on Bill C-51.

“As an academic, I was honoured to be called to testify at both a Senate and a House Committee on the same day, and on bills as controversial as these,” says Dr. Leuprecht, an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Political Studies and School of Policy Studies.

Bill C-44 is an act to amend the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) Act to give greater protection to CSIS human sources and to more effectively investigate threats to the security of Canada. Bill C-51, an anti-terrorism bill, would authorize government institutions to share information that could undermine the security of Canada and amend the Criminal Code with respect to terrorist activity or a terrorism offence.

As an academic, I was honoured to be called to testify at both a Senate and a House Committee on the same day, and on bills as controversial as these.
- Dr. Christian Leuprecht

“In general, I’m sympathetic to the strategy and the ends of both bills and so I expressed support for the broad rationale and the gaps they fill,” says Dr. Leuprecht. “I stressed the way Bill C-51 actually makes good on Canada’s obligations under United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1373, 1624, and 2195 on preventing radicalization leading to politically motivated violent extremism, prohibiting incitement of terrorist violence and recruitment for such purposes, disrupting financial support for terrorism and foreign terrorist fighters, interdicting travel by foreign terrorist fighters.  I also made concrete proposals to make the review process of intelligence activities more robust and effective.”

First, in regards to both Bill C-44 and Bill C-51, Dr. Leuprecht proposed that the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) be able to follow CSIS intelligence throughout federal agencies to ensure that intelligence is handled in accordance with the law and the Constitution. Second, he pointed out that CSIS is already the most reviewed security intelligence service in the world but suggested enhancing SIRC’s effectiveness by adopting the UK model of a separate parliamentary committee composed of select Members of Parliament, including the opposition, who have been security-cleared to be briefed by SIRC as well as the Commissioner of the Communications Security Establishment (CSE).  

Dr. Leuprecht recently laid out his position in two editorials published in the Globe and Mail: “Will Bill C-51 protect or imperil Canadians?” And “Done right, C-51 can balance freedom and security.”

Follow these links to hear Dr. Leuprecht’s testimony on Bill C-44 and Bill C-51.

As well as being a professor at Queen’s, Dr. Leuprecht is a Fellow at the Centre for International and Defence Policy and the Institute for Intergovernmental Relations. Dr. Leuprecht is also the associate dean at the Faculty of Arts at the Royal Military College of Canada and a professor in the Department of Political Science.

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