“My Vision for Canada 2067: Our Strength of Diversity and Common Purpose” was the topic for discussion by Franco Vaccarino, PhD, FCAHS, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Guelph, at the latest gathering of the Canadian Club of Halton at the Oakville Conference Centre.

Dr. Vaccarino discussed lessons learned about resilience and opportunity, how he applies those lessons in leading Canada’s food university, and how those ideas may help us shape our shared future in this country and beyond.

“Canada is a land of many peoples, including its numerous immigrants who have found and made new lives here. Our diversity – and our willingness to seek common ground – is what lends our country resilience and strength” says Dr. Vaccarino. “Diversity requires us to look for the common humanity that we share and that makes Canada what it is – this land of opportunity that attracts people from all over the world, including my own family from Italy in 1958 and all the families that have arrived here before and since”.

A builder and a visionary with an entrepreneurial spirit and a powerful commitment to community and societal engagement, Dr. Vaccarino acknowledged the future population growth and the challenges we as a common community face.  He outlined his plan to help us feed the nine billion people that will populate the planet by 2052 and the need for a precision agriculture environmental footprint to accomplish this.

Dr. Vaccarino acknowledged that Canada is not perfect. However, we are a country willing to work at it and willing to look at both the good and the not so good and decide which patterns need to be either changed or replaced.  “How do you see the challenge?” was his question to the audience present that evening.

Article and photos courtesy of Janet Bedford.

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