• Kinsella Auditorium, McCain Hall (map)

The Hon. Margaret McCain will speak on the vital role of education and public policy in supporting democratic institutions during periods of change and dislocation in a public lecture at St. Thomas University. 

Her talk, “Educating for Democracy,” is part of the McKenna Centre for Communications and Public Policy Distinguished Speaker Series. It will be held on Wednesday, September 27 at 7 pm in the Kinsella Auditorium in McCain Hall. 

“Societies require caring and responsible citizens genuinely concerned with and capable of contributing to democracy, peace and sustainability. Educating for these goals should begin very early in life because it is during this period that children develop their basic values, attitudes, skills, behaviours and habits,” said McCain.  

“We live in a period of rapid technological change resulting in economic dislocation which has consequences for how people view democracy and its institutions. Public policy must respond by cushioning the impact and supporting citizens to adjust. At the same time, it must prepare the next generation to lead and flourish in the new environment.”

Past speakers in the McKenna Centre Speaker Series have been: Blair Feltmate, ecologist and climate change adaption expert; Elizabeth May, leader of the federal Green Party; former senator Michael Kirby; and former Prime Minister Paul Martin.

McCain has long been a champion of Canada’s youngest citizens and active with public policy issues. Together with her husband, Wallace and her four children, she founded the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation to promote the best possible early childhood for all of Canada’s children. Her knowledge and understanding about the impact of early experiences on lifelong learning, behaviour and health are evident in the three Early Years Studies (1999, 2007 and 2011) which recommended early child development and parenting centres linked to the school system and sensitive to local communities.

McCain’s concern about family violence, long before it was recognized in mainstream thinking, was evident in her term as the 27th Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick from 1994 to 1997. She was a founding member of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation whose mission is to eliminate family violence through public education and research.

To learn more, visit the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation at http://mwmccain.ca/.