Leadership, Citizenship and Nation Building for our times.

In October 2009, Breakout organized a symposium in the West Block on Parliament Hill which settled the question. With sponsorship from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, Scotia McLeod, and others, the symposium was co-chaired by Senators Pamela Wallin and William Rompkey. No Country for Young Men was screened, and commentary was provided from such distinguished Canadians as the former Speaker of the House of Commons John Fraser, historian emeritus Dr. Jack Granatstein, Donald Wallace of the Ontario Centre for Engineering and Public Policy, the former principal of The Royal Military College Dr. John Scott Cowan, George Roter of Engineers Without Borders, Dr. Douglas Bland from Queen’s, Dr. Neville Poy, and philanthropist Blake Goldring.

The majority of those attending reacted enthusiastically and offered their assistance to Breakout, and we subsequently embarked on the long, sometimes frustrating and eventually successful quest to make the Canadian National Leadership Program a reality. It was a daunting task for an organization comprising just a handful of people. The work of diligent staff, communications, and support to universities and military units served to remove the obstacles which typically obstruct cultural change. In due course, Breakout was able to secure CNLP endorsements from a broad cross-section of Canadians including university presidents and deans, military commanders, Cabinet ministers and parliamentarians of every political persuasion. In 2011, Breakout met with the Governor General. We obtained his personal endorsement for the program, including his agreement to be its patron once the CNLP was officially launched. In 2011, Breakout testified before the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence which later that year issued its report Answering the Call which recommended the CNLP as a “model for the training of Canada’s future leaders.”

The University of Alberta was the first to take the lead among universities. In June 2011, the Provost of the University, Dr. Carl Amrhein, wrote to the Prime Minister commending Breakout’s initiative as “leadership, citizenship and nation building for our times” and volunteered to host a CNLP “proof of concept pilot programme.”

In January 2015, University of Alberta academic authorities granted accreditation for the pilot project to begin in the fall of 2015 and approved the granting of a Certificate in Military Leadership to students who successfully complete the program.

cnlp-brochure-frenchBreakout has put particular effort into securing a pilot project at a francophone university. Without the active involvement of Quebec-based institutions, the CNLP could never become a truly national program.

Breakout has also sought to tap into the vast potential represented by community colleges. Canada has 98 universities with over 800,000 full-time students; but it has another 130 community colleges on 900 campuses with 900,000 full-time students. Fortunately, a major inroad into this group was provided by LGen Devlin who, after retiring from the Army, took up the position of President of Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. Fanshawe has six campuses across the province with a student enrollment larger than that of the University of Alberta. In April 2014, Peter Devlin wrote to Breakout expressing his intention to introduce a pilot program at Fanshawe “to demonstrate the successful application of the CNLP concept to community colleges in Canada.”

With Breakout spreading the word, today 26 university and college presidents and deans across Canada have expressed an interest in participating in the CNLP, with some inquiring about the possibility of hosting pilot projects. Breakout has also met with military commanders across the country, several of whom have declared an interest in establishing pilot projects similar to the one in Alberta. Among the interested parties are the two other universities in Alberta, the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University, as well as Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. The government has approved pilots in five regions across Canada.

Canadian National Leadership Project Video

Breakout Educational Network is bringing “Leadership, Citizenship and Nation-Building” skills and resources to university and college campuses with the CNLP – Canadian National Leadership Program. Our goal is to make this a national project, available to students across the country in time for the Sesquicentennial (150th) Anniversary of Canada’s Confederation.

For further reading : Leadership, Citizenship and Nation Building for Our Times – A University-Based, Officer Training Pilot Program at the University of Alberta



For further reading on the Canadian National Leadership Project, please click on the cover shown here.







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