September 11th, 2001: The Impact and Aftermath for Canada and Canadians
A conference to be held at the Ottawa Congress Centre, Ottawa, Ontario
September 13-15, 2002
The Association for Canadian Studies invites submissions on the full range of topics that have been raised by the events of September 11th, 2002.
In the immediate wake of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, there was a significant shift in government priorities and public perceptions relating to Canadian domestic policies and international affairs. Within Canada, the dramatic and tragic events gave rise to significant challenges to a broad range of existing policies and provoked hard questions about the resources allocated to their implementation. In particular, many programmes and commitments were reconsidered on the basis of their relevance or not to the threat of future violence. At the same time, in the realm of international affairs, Canada and other allies of the United States had to reassess their mutual obligations and respond to demands for support in a “war” against terrorism. For Canadian-American relations especially, the implications were profound, as the “longest undefended border in the world” was now seen as a source of insecurity rather than comfort in a dangerous world. For policy-makers and commentators alike, it became important to strike a balance between effective co-operation and respect for national sovereignty.
In addition to these broad concerns, the tragedy focused attention on the important long-term implications of a number of specific issues. For example, many Canadians expressed fears about the ramifications of the event for values that they consider vital to their civic identity, including tolerance and diversity. These concerns also prompted reappraisals of the role of the media in shaping public responses to crises. In this context some specific issues that have raised concerns linked to the tragedy include:
treatment of religious and other minorities in Canada
immigration and refugee policy
intelligence gathering and assessment
airport security / border regulations
public order and national security (Bill C-36 and other measures)
Beyond the realm of public policy, there were implications for a wide range of economic, social and cultural activities, as well as diverse forms of expression and attitudes (including how artists and performers responded to these events).
Last though certainly not least, there were the individual and group involvements and responses to the tragedy, from those who took stranded airline passengers into their homes and communities, to those who assisted – directly and indirectly – with the practical and emotional needs of victims, to the teachers and others who had to try to explain these events to children.
One year after the September 11 tragedy, this multidisciplinary Conference will provide a unique opportunity to reflect upon and debate the critical issues that have arisen since.
Please send submissions by May 30th, 2002 to Hector Mackenzie, c/o the ACS office, at the address below.
Hector Mackenzie, c/o the ACS office
Association for Canadian Studies
209 Ste-Catherine St. E, V-5140
c/o UQAM, P.O. Box 8888
Montreal Qc H3C 3P8
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