Canada’s New Government welcomes Global Centre for Pluralism
25 October 2006
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today that Canada’s New Government is partnering with the Aga Khan to establish the new Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa.
“We are honoured that His Highness, leader of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, and one of the world’s best known philanthropists, has chosen Canada as the home of this institution,” Prime Minister Harper said. “Pluralism is the principle that binds our diverse people together. It is elemental to our civil society and economic strength.”
The Centre will promote pluralism internationally as a means to advance good governance, peace and human development. It will support academic and professional development, provide advisory services, and support research and learning in developed and developing countries.
At a signing ceremony in the historic Reading Room of Centre Block on Parliament Hill, the partnership agreement was signed by the Aga Khan and the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, Beverly J. Oda. The agreement provides for the Centre to be funded through an endowment seeded with $30 million from the federal government and $10 million from the Aga Khan Development Network. It will be governed by a Board of Directors that will report annually to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The Government intends to conclude a lease agreement that will see the Centre located in the Sussex Drive landmark that was the former home of the Canadian War Museum. The Aga Khan has committed to renovating the building to include fully-wired classrooms, an innovative research library, and a professional theatre that will support and showcase the Centre’s research and learning programs.