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#MyCanada2067: ‘A country of hope, love, tolerance and prosperity’

21 Concordians share their vision for the nation’s future
June 22, 2017
By Tom Peacock

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation. What will Canada look like in another 50 years?

Concordia's academics started pondering the question in the Thinking Out Loud (TOL) "2067" podcast series this spring.

Meanwhile, in a parallel initiative, Universities Canada launched the #MyCanada2067 social media campaign to take the national pulse.

In anticipation of Canada Day on July 1, and in the spirit of #MyCanada2067, we asked Concordians from across the university to share their vision of the future.

Steve Shih

Assistant professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

My hope is that by 2067 we will be able to produce any valuable products — such as fuels for our cars, drugs for our health and the food we eat — through synthetic biology and genome engineering. We have been relying on Mother Nature for these products and she is getting tired! Synthetic biology provides sustainability for our planet so that our future generations will be able to live a life like we have.

Leanne Keddie

PhD candidate, Accountancy,
Concordia Public Scholar

The one thing I hope Canada accomplishes by 2067 is a complete transition to a sustainable economy. I envision a country where products and services are provided that do not sacrifice our children’s ability to live in a clean and sustainable world. I see businesses that meet our needs without harming our planet or our health.

Smog days will be gone, the air and water will be clean and people will have good jobs to support themselves and their families. Canada in 2067 is the world leader in demonstrating that sustainability can be successful for all.

Arpi Hamalian

Associate professor,
Department of Education

The single most important thing I hope Canada will accomplish by 2067 is the elimination of disparities between the rich and the poor. This means imagining, creating and consolidating sustainable mechanisms to ensure equal access to education, health care, socio-economic and socio-cultural opportunities and all other human rights.

And why? Such an achievement will bring about a just, inclusive, peaceful and therefore sustainable society. We will be able to set a positive example for the world as we did in the development, adoption and entrenchment of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its applied versions in Quebec and Canada. We can do it if we decide to make this our individual and collective goal.

Shiann Wahéhshon Whitebean

Wolf Clan, Kanien’kehá:ka of Kahnawà:ke,
Citizen of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy,
Concordia valedictorian (BA 17)

Thousands of years ago my ancestors planted seeds here with their hopes for the future. Those seeds sprouted roots and became Indigenous peoples — our peoples grew out of this land. My hope is that in 50 years, Canadians will collectively acknowledge and respect the Indigenous foundation that the success and future of this land is built on, rather than celebrating and upholding its history of colonialism.

“Canada” is a word from our language meaning “village.” My “Kanata” is Kahnawà:ke; Turtle Island is my country. In 2067 “our country” would mean Canadians reconciled with the truth of this land. #MyKanata2067, #MyCanada2067 

Damon Matthews

Professor, Department of Geography, Planning and Environment,
Concordia Research Chair in Climate Science and Sustainability

By 2067, I would like to see us living in a country powered by a 100 per cent renewable energy, providing universal access to energy that is more affordable, healthy and equitable for all Canadians.

Govind Gopakumar

Associate professor,
Centre for Engineering in Society

I would like to see Canada acknowledge its history and society by making a determined push toward redefining technological innovation away from the predominantly market-driven, industry-oriented approach. Instead, I would like us to pursue far more inclusive innovation. This would mean deploying technologies and systems that are developed with, for and by the most disadvantaged communities in the country, namely Indigenous communities.

Some developing countries have made important strides in this direction, and having Canada learn from them would actually be an interesting reversal of conventional geo-political relations. But more importantly, it would allow for greater solidarity among Indigenous knowledges and ways of life.  

Anna Michetti

Executive director, Employment and Organizational Effectiveness,
Human Resources Department

More than 50 years ago, Canada provided an environment for my parents to start a new life. They had to learn a new language and navigate an unfamiliar place. What a beautiful life they created here for us!

In the next 50 years, I want to witness my children feeling at home in “our” Canada and in Quebec. I want all Canadians to feel that. I want Canada to be seen the world over as a place where people from everywhere can feel that same sense of belonging — a Canada full of hope, love, tolerance and prosperity.

Zeynep Arsel

Associate professor of marketing,
Concordia University Research Chair
in Consumption and Markets

By 2067 I hope researchers and policy-makers can find a solution to the impending ecological collapse and build more resilient social systems to combat inequalities. 

Gonzalo Quintana Zunino

PhD candidate, Psychology (Pfaus Lab),
Concordia Public Scholar

The most important thing I hope Canada will accomplish by 2067 is that we finally look at each other and treat each other equally. I hope Canadians are able to look beyond labels like sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity and skin colour. This would allow us to foster and embrace a culture of respect, diversity, tolerance and equality at any human level.

We don’t choose most of those categories, and although we can embrace them freely without imposing harm to others, the only right and true measure of a person is what they do and don't do.

Mélissa-Anne Ménard

Student outreach assistant,
Student Success Centre,
Concordia grad (BA 16)

Reorganizing our education system to incorporate outdoor, experience-based learning and de-compartmentalized subjects is the bedrock of a sustainable future.  Compartmentalization creates imagined boundaries that surreptitiously extend beyond subjects we excel or do poorly in. Imagine the positive ramifications of kids and teens working together to design and build structures limited only by their creativity and understanding of engineering.

Nevermind that developing an early rapport with the natural world makes us more mindful about our environmental responsibility. Experiencing teamwork as a daily reality rather than something taught could change the basis on which we operate together as a society. Now imagine what else we could achieve together.

William Robinson

PhD candidate, Humanities,
Concordia Public Scholar

We might not curb climate change. As major emitters, we'll find ourselves with new moral duties. Vulnerable nations will see famine, mass migration and war. Canada should prepare for the largest refugee program in its history.

Meanwhile, I want us to incorporate the future cost of greenhouse gases with taxes. Canada must work tirelessly to be carbon neutral by 2067. Failing that, we'll at least have the resources required to face the consequences.

Mathieu D'Amours

BA 17, Journalism, Multiplatform Specialization, Valedictorian

When speaking about the future we'd like to see, the focus often falls on material conditions. However, intellectual conditions are a key factor in how the world takes shape. In that regard, I hope future generations of Canadians will have a highly developed ability to interpret — and react to — digital information.

As we're seeing now, there are forces engaging in widespread campaigns of disinformation. My sincere wish is that Canadians in 2067 will have the tools — as well as the will — to think critically about information disseminated through digital channels.

Elizabeth Fast

Special advisor to the provost on Indigenous Directions,
Co-chair of the Indigenous Directions Leadership Group,
Assistant professor, Department of Applied Human Sciences

In the next 50 years, I hope that Canadians will understand the value of Indigenous knowledges and our contributions to “Canadian” society. I hope, for the sake of the next seven generations, that we can care for the land, the water, the animals and our fellow humans with compassion and dignity.

Erin O’Loughlin

PhD candidate, Individualized Program,
Concordia Public Scholar

I hope in 50 years that this great country continues to work on the inequalities between socio-economic statuses in all ways, but specifically in health-care access and education. In addition, I hope that Canadians can become healthier, eat better, move more, feel better and have fewer mental health issues. We need to start working on preventing the diseases and not just treating them.

Even though nothing is perfect, as far as countries go, Canada is the best.

Image courtesy of Vernon City Urban Design Image courtesy of Vernon City Urban Design

Paul Holmquist

Project manager,
The Institute for Urban Futures at Concordia

By 2067 I hope Canadian cities will be global models for a radically inclusive, pluralist urban society that is socially and economically sustainable, resilient, creative and just. Over two-thirds of the world’s population will then be living in urban areas, increasingly dense, diverse and challenged by climate change.

As Canada’s own population nearly doubles over the next 50 years, further integrating our distinctly multicultural society, we will demonstrate the vital role cities must play in collectively realizing the promise of our globalized future.

Desirée de Jesus

PhD candidate, Film and Moving Image Studies, Concordia Public Scholar

I would like to see Canada established as a global leader for its protection of women and girls from marginalized communities. This accomplishment requires the development of national strategies that identify and address challenges that are unique to different groups. 

Barbara Henchey

Director, Office of the Dean,
John Molson School of Business

Concordia in 2067 fills me with pride. I look forward to an even more diverse and dynamic community at the university, in many different ways. I look forward to innovative and groundbreaking teaching techniques, our being at the forefront of research and solidifying our presence as an integral part of Montreal, Canada and the global community.

Anjali Awasthi

Associate professor, Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering

In my opinion, by 2067, Canada would have made great steps in the area of sustainable mobility. This would be made possible particularly through the deployment and use of environmentally friendly vehicles, shared vehicles and the integration of disruptive technologies for intelligent transport of goods and people.

Several successful initiatives are already in place in various Canadian cities including Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, and the trend is expected to grow in coming years.

Fenwick McKelvey

Assistant professor, Department of Communication Studies

I hope to be celebrating the year 3067 in 2067, a date that recognizes the Indigenous peoples who have lived here generations before the founding of Canada. Others will better express my desire for a Canada that continues the work of truth and reconciliation well beyond today.

I hope that this journey toward reconciliation changes the idea of Canada, and that in the year 3067, Canada is a place where many peoples translate their journeys into a common dignity with care, compassion and justice for all. 

Joanna Berzowska

Associate dean of Research,
Faculty of Fine Arts

A crucial issue to tackle in the next 50 years is mental health. I see my children, my students and my peers increasingly struggling to find balance and to achieve mental wellness. We can develop wearable technology and smart garments with biometric sensors that can give us greater insights through continuous physiological monitoring.

I’d like to see a Canada in 2067 where our children and grandchildren are able to better manage their fear, anger and anxiety, and experience fewer mental health issues.

Mark Underwood

Undergraduate student,
Coordinator, Sustainable Concordia

Throughout the next 50 years, I am hopeful that Canada will embark on a just transition to an economy free from fossil fuels. This would give immediate support to Indigenous communities and other people experiencing the impacts of polluting industrial activity. I envision job-transition training and support for tar sands workers who will build our renewable energy grid, develop light rail infrastructure, improve building performance and contribute to collectively owned community energy systems.

There is a lot of work to do and there is space for every Canadian. We must band together to build a bright, sustainable future that respects the land and the generations coming after us.

Do you have an opinion about what Canada should accomplish by 2067? Post it to Twitter, Facebook or your own favourite social media platform with the hashtag #MyCanada2067 and tag @concordia.

Listen to Concordia's Thinking Out Loud "2067" podcast series!

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