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Canada-United Kingdom Colloquium

Dear Members and friends of the BCCTC,


With the recent announcement of the UK Election on July 4, I thought it was worth highlighting this report from the Canada-United Kingdom Colloquium, focusing on strategic risks for our two countries.


The objectives of the Canada-UK Colloquium are to:

  • Build networks of contact and friendship between Britain and Canada.

  • Contribute to the development of public policy in both countries.

  • Identify ways in which Britain and Canada can work together in an international context to meet their objectives in specific policy areas.

  • Encourage implementation of recommendations from its meetings.

  • Involve promising young people to ensure that the benefits of the exchanges are carried forward into the future.


In late 2023, the BCCTC was invited to contribute to the Canada-United Kingdom Colloquium, held at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto. I encourage you to read and share the Rapporteur's Report from the Colloquium, written by Douglas S. Proudfoot, link here: https://www.cukc.net/2023


One of the themes highlighted by the rapporteur, and one which struck me over the three days of the colloquium, is the “deficit of leadership” in response to the “polycrisis” of technological, environmental, and military challenges facing us. We have lost trust in the institutions that should help navigate us through these crises and lack the confidence to act with clear, collective vision.


Under the theme of "The Global Order Beyond Ukraine: Strategic Priorities for Canada and the United Kingdom," the colloquium brought together about fifty experts and practitioners from both countries to engage in constructive dialogues in November 2023. Excellently chaired by the Honourable Jean Charest PC, the group comprised political, industrial, and academic experts from a broad spectrum of society.


After a briefing day in Kitchener-Waterloo, where we visited the Communitech Hub and the Open Quantum Design Lab, M. Charest led the group through two days of intense discussions. You can read the details of the sessions in the report but if you have limited time, I hope you will at least read the key policy recommendations on page 10.  


The sessions covered:

Session 1: Setting the Scene – Ukraine &Fragmentation of the Global Order: NATO, the UN, and the Future of Multilateralism 

Session 2: The Geopolitics of Energy and Sustainability in an Era of Insecurity: The Role of

Private Sector Financing, Public-Private Partnerships and Strengthening our Energy Infrastructures 

Session 2: “Fireside chat: Israel, Hamas and what comes next?” 

Session 3: The Invisible Domain & Pinch points of vulnerability: Innovative Technology, Cybersecurity, Space and National Resilience – Sharing Best Practices from Canada and the United Kingdom

Session 4: China vs the rest of the world: How worried are we by its international influence – not least in Africa – and in our own countries? A special focus on Chinese influence operations in Canada and the UK

Breakout Group 1: Critical Minerals: Opportunities & Challenges

Breakout Group 2: Generative AI & Cyberspace

Breakout Group 3: Nuclear Energy & Public Opinion

Breakout Group 4: COP28 & Public-Private Partnerships in Clean Energy for a Greener Future


We are grateful to the Hon. Jean Charest for chairing this colloquium, and to Dr Mel Cappe OC and Prof. Peter J. Loewen, Canadian Co-Chairs for inviting the BCCTC. As always, we are truly grateful to event co-sponsors (Natural Resources Canada, Public Safety Canada, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, Massey College, Communitech, Open Quantum Design, and the Munk School) for making the event possible.


Sincerely,

Martin Buckle

VP and Treasurer, BCCTC




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