Open Minds forum debates the merits of multiculturalism
Regina lawyer Khurrum Awan will help debate the benefits of multiculturalism at the Open Minds public forum on November 28. -Photo: Khurrum Awan

The University of Regina Faculty of Arts brings another installment of its Open Minds public discussion series to downtown Regina on November 28 with Does Multiculturalism Work for Canada? A Debate on the Usefulness of Multicultural Values. The series, which brings academics and members of the community together to debate hot button issues, aims to foster a public exchange of ideas.

Sharing what many would consider a controversial position will be guest panelist Dr. Salim Mansur, associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Western Ontario. In his latest book Delectable Lie: a Liberal Repudiation of Multiculturalism he argues that the dominance of multicultural values in Canadian society has made meaningful critique of the concept taboo and politically incorrect. "Official multiculturalism - supported by tax dollars and enforced by the thought police - is at best dubious, and at worst, completely opposed to Western liberal democracy," says Mansur.

Also weighing in will be Regina-based lawyer Khurrum Awan, whose practice areas and interests include constitutional law and human rights. Drawing on this experience, Awan will bring a legal rights perspective on this issue. "Canadian multiculturalism has resulted in a prosperous and harmonious society which respects the rich diversity of Canadian society and enforces the shared values of democracy, human rights and equality. In an era of ethnic and religious conflict, Canadian multiculturalism is a shining example for the rest of the world," says Awan.

According to Open Minds series moderator and Associate Dean of Arts Thomas Bredohl, the issue of multiculturalism is one that clearly warrants discussion in this type of public forum. "This is an issue that has come under scrutiny in the political realm and in the mainstream media as of late," says Bredohl. "It is a national and even a global issue with great relevance to Saskatchewan right now as the province becomes increasingly populous and culturally diverse."

Bringing these types of debates outside of the university campus and facilitating public dialogue is crucial, according to Bredohl. "We want to encourage all members of the public to come out and share their views on the issues that impact us all. The goal of the Open Minds series is to highlight a diverse range of viewpoints - academic and non-academic, those of local stakeholders and people outside of local community. The more voices that are included the richer the exchange becomes."

The Open Minds series talk will take place on Monday, November 28, 6:30 p.m. at the Regina Central Library RPL Theater, 2311 12th Avenue, Regina. For more information visit: