Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Speaking to the Hansard Association of Canada

by Rob - August 13th, 2009.
Filed under: Keynotes.

My keynote address today for the Hansard Association of Canada, given on the floor of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly in Regina (pictured above), was very well received.

Indeed, I freely confess to being mightily inspired by getting to speak in the same place that giants like Tommy Douglas had spoken in (for my non-Canadian readers, and apropos of the current debate in the US, Douglas was the man named “the Greatest Canadian” of all time by a cross-country poll conducted by the CBC; he was the architect of our health-care system).

I was introduced in the coolest possible way: by the Executive Director of the Hansard Association of Canada reading to the assembly from Canada’s Hansard record of the House of Commons in Ottawa, on the occasion of me winning the Hugo Award for Best Novel of the Year in 2003; Ottawa Member of Parliament Mauril Bélanger had risen in the House back then to make note of that fact.

My talk was wide-ranging, and everyone seemed to love it; I’m feeling very pumped as I wait here at the Regina airport for my flight home.

I had a lot of fun when some tourists were brought into the observation gallery, looking down on the chamber floor; of course, they had no idea who I was but I could conceivably have been an important government official, and so I interrupted my speech to say, “… and so I announce that Canada has gone to war with the United States.” Brought the House down (so to speak). ;)

On a more serious note, I observed:

“The respective legislatures that you each work in are engines of change, the places where Canada has always embarked on new directions. You’ve been witnesses to that — the official witnesses, in fact. It’s what makes the House of Commons or the Senate or a provincial chamber such as this one so fascinating a place: the heady combination of history and tradition with incisive debate, bold policy-making, and the taking of giant leaps forward.” — Robert J. Sawyer, 13 August 2009

Information on me as a speaker is here.

Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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