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Ontario Chief Justice Roy McMurtry to Give Symons Lecture

The Honourable Roy McMurtry, Chief Justice of Ontario, will speak about the state of justice in Canada during the 2005 Symons Lecture on the State of Canadian Confederation.

The lecture will be given at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, P.E.I, on November 9, 2005, announced H. Wayne Hambly, Chair of the Fathers of Confederation Buildings Trust, today.

Established in 2004, the Symons Lecture provides a national platform for a distinguished Canadian to discuss the current state and future prospects of Confederation. The lecture, intended for broadcast and publication, is held each year to mark the anniversary of the meetings of the Fathers of Confederation in Charlottetown in 1864. The inaugural speech was given by Premier Jean Charest in November of 2004.

"The objective of the annual Symons Lecture is to encourage Canadians to think and talk about their country, and the issues facing its many-faceted society now and in the future," says Hambly. "Last year Premier Jean Charest focussed on political and economic issues during his presentation. This year we present an equally important subject in a different field - the state of justice in Canada. We are honoured that Chief Justice McMurtry has accepted our invitation to give this year's Symons Lecture."

Throughout his career, McMurtry has had a profound interest in, and influence on law reform, human rights and civil liberties. He played a key role in the negotiations that led to the federal-provincial accord of November 1981 and the proclamation of Canada's constitution in 1982. He is founder and president of the Osgoode Society, established in 1979 for the study and writing of Canadian legal history. He has received many awards for his dedication to public service, most recently the Law Foundation of Ontario's 2005 Guthrie Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the administration of justice and the public good.

The Symons Lecture honours Professor Thomas H.B. Symons, a supporter and board member of the Confederation Centre over many years. Mr. Hambly noted that Professor Symons, the founding President of Trent University in Ontario, is widely recognized nationally and internationally for his work in the field of Canadian Studies, in particular the areas of heritage, education and public policy.

It is the mandate of the Fathers of Confederation Buildings Trust, which operates the Confederation Centre, to inspire Canadians to celebrate, through heritage and the arts, the founding and evolution of Canadian Confederation. The Confederation Centre brings this mandate to life by celebrating Canadian creativity in the performing and visual arts on its stages and in its galleries, by its work in arts education, and by public policy and heritage initiatives such as the Symons Lecture.

The lecture will take place on the Centre's Mainstage at 1 p.m. and will be open to the public.

Posted September 27, 2005

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