John Ralston Saul 10 August 2 pm
Author John Ralston Saul will appear at the Charles W. Stockey Centre at 2 pm on Monday 10 August, to share his thoughts and insight with the audience.
You never know who you are going to see wandering the streets of Parry Sound in the summer. Residents have learned that many of the worlds “rich and famous” make this area their summer home. Several years ago a couple came into Parry Sound Books to look for gardening books – they had just purchased an island on Georgian Bay. I thought I recognized the woman as Adrienne Clarkson, this several years before her appointment as Governor General of Canada, and was introduced to her husband, John Ralston Saul. We chatted and somehow over time we discovered that we had mutual friends and interests, and our lives have intersected on a few occasions since then.
Back in the days when our reading series took place in the high school gymnasium John Ralston Saul gave a reading – a talk really – to a packed house. Since then he has published several more books, and become well known, not only as the spouse of The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, but also as Canada’s leading public intellectual.
As an award-winning essayist and novelist, John Ralston Saul has had a growing impact on political and economic thought in many countries. Declared a “prophet” by TIME magazine, he is included in the prestigious Utne Reader’s list of the world’s 100 leading thinkers and visionaries. His works have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
In his latest book, A Fair Country: Telling Truths about Canada, Saul unveils 3 founding myths. He argues that the famous “peace, order, and good government” that supposedly defines Canada is a distortion of the country’s true nature. Every single document before the BNA Act, he points out, used the phrase “peace, welfare, and good government,” demonstrating that the well-being of its citizenry was paramount. He also argues that Canada is a Métis nation, heavily influenced and shaped by aboriginal ideas: egalitarianism, a proper balance between individual and group, and a penchant for negotiation over violence are all aboriginal values that Canada absorbed. Another obstacle to progress, Saul argues, is that Canada has an increasingly ineffective elite, a colonial non-intellectual business elite that doesn’t believe in Canada. It is critical that we recognize these aspects of the country in order to rethink its future.
Join the audience at the Charles W. Stockey Centre on Monday 10 August at 2 pm for an opportinity to listen to one of our most important Canadians.