Annual Lecture 2015


The Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin

On May 28, the Chief Justice of Canada Beverley McLachlin delivered the Global Centre for Pluralism’s annual lecture, entitled “Reconciling Unity and Diversity in the Modern Era: Tolerance and Intolerance” at the new Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, calling for diverse, multicultural societies to choose tolerance over intolerance, while also pointing out that tolerance must have limits.

“…the way forward is not to use intolerance to try in a vain attempt to eliminate difference, but to embrace tolerance in the spirit of reconciliation,” said the Chief Justice. “Respect for difference is the essential glue that binds such [a] society together and allows it to function and move forward in constructive harmony.”

In his introduction, His Highness the Aga Khan, Chairman of the Board of the Global Centre for Pluralism, commended the Chief Justice for being a great champion of pluralism and spoke of the importance of sharing Canada’s pluralistic model with the rest of the world.

“Certainly, Canadians will insist that there is still work to be done.  But on the world stage, there is a great need for experiences of pluralism that work – and Canada is providing a powerful example,” said His Highness.

A dialogue followed the lecture, moderated by David Walmsley, Editor-in-Chief of the Globe and Mail, with audience questions submitted by a global audience watching the live webcast of the event online.


The Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin