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October 20, 2005
Metropolis conference addresses religion and diversity
  
Religious pluralism and diversity as a competitive advantage are the topics for
delegates this morning at the 10th International Metropolis Conference being
held in Toronto from Monday, October 17 to Friday, October 21, at the Metro
Toronto Convention Centre, South Building.

Religious Pluralism: Searching for Responses 9 a.m. to 10:30 am
In many countries, religion has become a focal point defining contemporary
social relations. This panel will discuss special issues that religious
diversity gives rise to, why religious differences are complex and reconciling
religious beliefs with other societal values.

Speakers:
Marion Boyd Former Attorney General of Ontario, Canada
Mohammed Aziz Faithwise and Commission for Racial Equality, Great Britain
Blandine Kriegel Haut Conseil à l'Intégration, France
Yvonne Haddad Georgetown University, United States

Moderator: Karin Wells, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio
Canada

Diversity as a Competitive Advantage 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The panel will look at diversity's advantages and challenges. What are cities
doing, and what could be done to ensure diversity is an advantage? Can
diversity and innovation nurture creativity and create a positive impact on a
city’s competitiveness?

Speakers:
Phil Wood COMEDIA, Great Britain
Michael Wheeler OEStrategy, United States
David Smallbone Kingston University, Great Britain

Moderator: Christina Boswell, Hamburg Institute of International
Economics, Germany

Lunch, from 1:30 to 2 p.m., will feature the Toronto Choral Society's Community
Choir with voices from across Toronto exploring the music of the many cultures
that make up our community. In addition, delegates will hear from guest speaker
Gordon Nixon, President and CEO of RBC Financial Group, Canada.

The afternoon will include various workshops focusing on issues such as
workplace equity, immigrant students and their teachers, combating human
smuggling, displaced people of Chinese origin, and immigrants in small town
settings.

Tonight at 7 p.m. is the closing dinner before the final day of the Metropolis
Conference tomorrow, Friday, October 21. The evening will feature some of
Toronto's unique multi-cultural musical talent and will be held at the historic
Liberty Grand, located at Toronto's Exhibition Place. Waterfalls, gardens and
interior courtyards surround this elegantly restored 1920s Ontario Government
Building.

Guest speakers will include the Honourable Joseph Volpe, Canadian Minister of
Citizenship and Immigration, Toronto Mayor David Miller, and remarks by the
City of Toronto's Poet Laureate Pier Giorgio Di Cicco.

The dinner will feature a reception in the Artifacts Room and Latin Jazz
sensation Eliana Cueves and her band. Following dinner in the Governor's Room,
delegates will hear the wonderful Indian/Jazz sounds of Autorickshaw, followed
by the cool African Blues Malagasy sounds of Madagascar Slim and his band.

This is the fourth day of the five-day conference with approximately 1,000
delegates from more than 45 countries. The City of Toronto, together with the
Government of Canada, Citizenship and Immigration, is hosting the conference.

For more information on the International Metropolis Conference visit,
http://www.toronto.ca/metropolis.

Media Accreditation available: Press Room (704), Metro Toronto Convention
Centre, South Building, 255 Front St. W.

Media contact:
Cindy Bromley, Communications Manager, City of Toronto,
416-392-4993, (cell) 416-791-3167



 

 

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