From intolerance to tolerance; from difference to indifference

Venue: Vancouver

Location: Vancouver, Canada

Event Date/Time: Mar 27, 2009 End Date/Time: Mar 28, 2009
Abstract Submission Date: Jan 10, 2009
Paper Submission Date: Oct 01, 2009
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I N / T O L E R A N C E I N / D I F F E R E N C E

From intolerance to tolerance; from difference to indifference
Most Canadians have long regarded themselves as a tolerant and benign people. Fifty years ago, an affirmation of this righteous belief was enshrined in law in the Canadian Bill of Rights. However, in the ensuing years, as claims of inequality and rights violations were raised and as people and institutions wrestled with requirements to change and provide redress, it has been clear that our tolerance was not so much for differences as for the status quo and our so-called tolerance has not been benign. While many structural inequalities have been dismantled in the last 50 years, progress has not been easy, nor is it complete. Moreover, as Canada has espoused the rhetoric of war against terrorism, crime and drugs, our claims to tolerance are seriously challenged, as the fears engendered by these “wars” have been and are used to justify egregious violations of human and civil rights and apathy to those violations.
On March 27 and 28, 2009, Kwantlen Polytechnic University will host a two-day conference to examine the state of tolerance in Canada. In presentations, panels and discussion groups, scholars from across the disciplines are invited to join community experts and activists to explore the meaning and limits of tolerance in Canada, past and present, and identify and examine the nature and role of domestic and international forces that combine to produce intolerance in a variety of contexts. Special attention will be given to the demonization of religious groups, the war on drugs and groups of people living at the edges of tolerance and indifference.
You are invited to submit an abstract for an individual paper or panel presentation to the committee at
Please submit your abstract of 250 words in Microsoft Word format by January 10, 2009. Please include your name, phone number, title and institutional affiliation in your e-mail. Individual presentations may be up to 25 minutes in length and panels 45 minutes.
Some funding to defray travel expenses may be available.
For further information or questions please contact Jessie Horner at or Hisham Ramadan at