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John Monahan introduces the work of the Mosaic Institute to members of the Norwegian parliament’s Standing Committee on Local Government and Public Administration.

On September 19th, the Mosaic Institute was pleased to host the Norwegian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Local Government and Public Administration. The distinguished visitors were on a week-long visit to different Canadian and American cities to learn about North American “best practices” relating to integration and pluralism. They were accompanied by senior staff from the Norwegian Embassy in Ottawa.

John Monahan, Executive Director of the Mosaic Institute, welcomed the Committee members and provided them with an overview of the Institute’s work. His presentation began with a review of Mosaic’s Guiding Values, and of the Institute’s conviction that ethno-cultural diversity is an asset to be harnessed rather than a challenge to be overcome. He then introduced the delegation to the Institute’s keynote programs  – UofMosaic, Next Generation, and New Beginnings – and its various research and outreach initiatives.

Delegation members had many questions about Mosaic’s experience working with diaspora communities to promote social cohesion in Canada and to inform Canadian responses to conflicts around the world. They were particularly interested in the Institute’s latest research report, “The Perception and Reality of ‘Imported Conflict’ in Canada”, and its potential relevance to the Norwegian context.

This was not the Mosaic Institute’s first presentation to a Norwegian audience. In 2013, John travelled to Norway at the invitation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO) to give a presentation entitled “Peace through Pluralism”. As this latest interaction with Norwegian parliamentarians confirms, there is significant interest shown towards Canada generally, and the Mosaic Institute in particular, on the part of other immigrant-receiving countries. Canada’s foundational embrace of multiculturalism and Canadians’ ongoing efforts to foster more inclusive public institutions and processes is viewed with fascination by other countries that are trying to figure out how best to respond to the new realities of a transnational world.

It is thanks to the efforts of the many volunteers, supporters, and staff of the Mosaic Institute that our work to build a stronger Canada and a more peaceful world is considered among the “best practices” that Canada has to share with the world.