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If you agree that we need to support Canadian studies abroad, post your support on twitter and tag @justintrudeau, @cafreeland, @bill_morneau, @advancingcanada
February 1, 2019
Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
The Office of the Prime Minister and Privy Council
Dear Prime Minister,
I am writing on behalf of the Advancing Canada Coalition, a volunteer group of Canadianists committed to advancing multilateralism and a better understanding of Canada around the world. We would like the government to create a program, modeled on the previous Understanding Canada Program, to increase the number of people who know and can advocate for Canada abroad.
The previous Understanding Canada program successfully created a network of 7,000 scholars and thought-leaders in 55 countries and advanced an understanding of the Canadian approach to such issues such as culture, trade, security, prosperity, gender equality and the environment.
The program achieved this by disseminating information about Canada and supporting Canadian studies and related programs in universities around the world. These programs created a cohort of academics and individuals who could speak about Canada and the Canadian Experience to international media and governments, strengthening relationships by nurturing understanding and trust. For a very modest budget, the Understanding Canada program had a significant impact.
We believe that the Government of Canada should play a key role in advancing an understanding of Canada around the world through education, research and cultural diplomacy.
Such a program would be relevant to the current world environment within which Canada finds itself. The new expanded program could seek the following objectives.
This approach would involve building a program which incorporates the previous core Understanding Canada program, but which is enhanced to be more global in scope, which better leverages technology and social dialogue. We expect that this new and exciting initiative could be launched for a modest investment of about $8 to $10M Canadian.
We believe this program would strengthen knowledge of Canada and its values abroad and our important role in an ever-changing world.
As you continue your deliberations on the federal budget, we believe that this is a very worthy initiative to support. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613.234.4666 x237.
Thank you, in advance, for your consideration in this matter.
ADVANCING CANADA COALITION
cc. Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Hon. Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance