The Walter Gordon Symposium is named after the Honourable Walter Gordon, who was Minister of Finance and President of the Privy Council under the government of Lester B. Pearson. The series, which began in 1990 under the leadership of then head of the College, Ann Saddlemyer, was designed to present annually a topic of immediate Canadian significance to an interested audience drawn from academic, corporate and government worlds.

The series has discussed important issues such as the future of public broadcasting, the possibility of a North American culture, the state of feminism, the possibility of replacing welfare with guaranteed basic income, the looming shape of Canadian economic planning set against global integration and the changing nature of eco-politics. 

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