Nick Loenen to deliver TWU's fourth annual Mel Smith lecture

Event: Trinity Western University will welcome Nick Loenen, former MLA and spokesperson for electoral reform, to deliver TWU’s fourth annual Mel Smith lecture on March 15. Honouring the late Mel Smith, a political advisor best-known for developing B.C.’s constitutional position for federal-provincial negotiations leading up to the Constitution in 1981, the lecture is intended to address significant national issues from a British Columbian perspective. Past speakers have been Preston Manning, Gordon Gibson and Rafe Mair. The public is invited to attend the event, which will take place in the Northwest Auditorium on TWU’s campus at 7 p.m. Admission is free of charge, and a reception will follow.

Loenen’s address, “Should Canada Change its Voting System?” will explore the potential benefits of a more proportional voting system. The address will be given within the context of current political problems, such as the lack of an alternative to the governing party, the inability of parliament to check the powers of the prime minister, and growing political disengagement. In his lecture, Loenen will suggest how an answer to those issues relates to the late Mel Smith’s many creative proposals for implementing a more meaningful role for the West within confederation.

The Smith family will be in attendance, and the Mel Smith scholarship will be awarded to a TWU student of exceptional academic ability who is majoring in Canadian history or political science.

The Mel Smith collection is housed in TWU’s archives and includes a comprehensive set of professional and personal constitutional papers chronicling the events of a crucial period of federal-provincial relations from 1967 to 1992. The collection provides a unique British Columbian perspective on Canadian constitutional issues, and is available to students and researchers from all institutions.

Date: Friday, March 15

Time: 7 p.m.

Place: Northwest Auditorium, Trinity Western University, 7600 Glover Road, Langley

Admission: Free

For more information call Inga Warnock at 604-513-2033

Last Updated: 2007-09-26