Michael Valpy

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Room TBA
Sat: 2-4 pm


Michael Valpy has been awarded the 2012-2013 Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy to examine the state of social cohesion in Canada: How Canadians imagine their community to be, what they accept as their public life in common, what values they share — and don’t share, but tolerate (or increasingly don’t tolerate) as each others’ differences — and who they accept as “us” and excommunicate as “them”.

His thesis is that Canadians are becoming a society of insular collectivities who neither comprehend nor wish to include in their respective visions of Canada each other’s world views and are increasingly unable to recognize common purpose and values in each others thoughts and behaviour. Evidence from polling and other sources suggests the country is increasingly fractured by demographics — particularly age — and geography. The purpose of his research is to understand what the national glue is as the country approaches its 150th anniversary.


MICHAEL VALPY is a teacher and journalist. He began his journalistic career on The Vancouver Sun and became that newspaper’s associate editor and national political columnist. For The Globe and Mail, he has been a member of the editorial board, Ottawa political columnist, Africa correspondent, deputy managing editor and columnist on social and political issues.

He has produced public affairs documentaries for CBC Radio, written for Maclean’s, Elm Street, Shambhala Sun, Policy Options and Time (Canada) magazines, contributed chapters to several books on public policy issues, won three national newspaper awards (two for international reporting and one for the impact of children from dysfunctional families on the public education system) and been nominated for a fourth (for a profile of Michael Ignatieff), co-authored two books on Canada’s Constitution — The National Deal (1982) and To Match A Dream (1998) — and one on Canada’s emerging generation of adults — New Canada: Report on the Next Generation (2003).

He was awarded an honorary doctorate in literature in 1997 by Trent University and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for his journalism in 2002. He is a senior fellow at Massey College at the University of Toronto,  a fellow at U of T’s School of Public Policy and Governance,  the 2011-2012 Canwest Global Fellow in Media at University of Western Ontario and the 2012-2013 Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy.

He can be contacted at michael.valpy@utoronto.ca