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Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

January 13, 2006

Developmental Activist, Author to Give First Winegard Lecture

A new annual lecture focused on international development has been created through an endowment provided by former University of Guelph president Bill Winegard and his family. The aim of the lectureship is to stimulate interaction among faculty, students and international leaders on the need for official development assistance and Canada's role in this important issue.

The inaugural Winegard Visiting Lectureship for International Development will be delivered by Ian Smillie, a developmental activist and author, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. in Room 1714 of the Ontario Veterinary College’s Lifetime Learning Centre. The talk is free and open to the public.

“We are pleased that the inaugural lecture is being given by someone as devoted to the development of the developing world as Ian Smillie,” said Winegard. “It’s important that the University be a leader in informing Canadians about the issues concerning international development.”

Smillie’s lecture, titled “For Whose Benefit? Humanitarianism and Development in a Calculating World,” will include accounts of his work over four decades in international development and in the war zones of Africa and Asia. He will discuss the world’s increasingly chaotic humanitarian response system and its relationship to the false promises of long-term development assistance.

Smillie is co-founder of Inter Pares, a Canadian non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting international social justice, and is former executive director of CUSO, a Canadian international development organization. The Ottawa resident is an associate of the Humanitarianism and War Project at Tufts University and was an adjunct professor at Tulane University in New Orleans from 1998 to 2001.

He has also worked as a development consultant in Canada, the United States and Europe and written a number of books, including Managing for Change: Leadership, Strategy and Management in Asian NGOs, The Charity of Nations: Humanitarian Action in a Calculating World and The Alms Bazaar: Altruism Under Fire.

Working with Partnership Africa Canada, Smillie has been a leader over the past five years in the global campaign against “blood diamonds,” diamonds used by rebel armies — mainly in Sierra Leone, Angola and the Congo— to buy weapons for war. In 2003, he was appointed to the Order of Canada.

“Bill Winegard has been instrumental in making U of G what it is today,” said U of G president Alastair Summerlee. “His dedication to this institution is inspiring, and on behalf of the University, I thank him and his family for their vision in creating this program. We are absolutely honoured.”

Winegard served as U of G’s president and vice-chancellor from 1967 to 1975 and was a member of Parliament for Guelph from 1984 to 1993. In addition to being named Canada’s first minister of science, he chaired the House of Commons standing committees on external affairs and national defence and external affairs and international trade. He also served as parliamentary secretary to the minister of international trade.

Winegard remains active in public service, most recently chairing a provincial committee to allocate the Premier’s Research Excellence Awards. He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1998.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, Ext. 56982.

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