NLC Announces Migration As Its Theme for Spring 2024

In Upcoming Events

By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
A phenomenon as old as mankind and as timely as today’s news, migration will be the subject for the Spring 2024 Northumberland Learning Connection program.
Migration: How Movement Changes the World will be offered April 4 through May 16 in presentations by a number of experts, as well as a panel discussion, a book discussion and an outing to Northumberland Forest.
Who’s Coming to Canada’s Borders (April 4 – 7:30 p.m. – Columbus Community Centre (,232 Spencer St. E,, Cobourg) – Author and Globe & Mail columnist Doug Saunders has followed migration pathways in various countries to understand what forces motivate people to seek a new home. His multi-media presentation will showcase what he has learned among people fleeing conflicts, failed states, economic troubles and climate change. There will also be a discussion of policies that could make immigration safer and more manageable for receiving countries like Canada.

Migration Beyond the Metropolis: Focus on Ontario (April 11 – 7:30 p.m. – Columbus Community Centre) – Presenter Melissa Kelly has researched how smaller communities are becoming increasingly popular for migrants and refugees. This talk explores the shared futures newcomers and more established Canadians are building in the interests of stronger communities.

Return: The Call of the Homeland (April 25, 7:30 p.m., Zoom only) – Author Kamal Al-Solaylee explores a natural but frequently misunderstood human experience, the wish to return to one’s homeland. Drawing on insights from his recent book, he offers a historical analysis that focuses on storytelling and on-the-ground reporting from Jamaica, Spain, Northern Ireland, Ghana, Taiwan, Israel and Palestine.

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands (April 26 book discussion – 10 a.m. – Port Hope Public Library, 31 Queen St.) – Mary Ladky moderates this discussion of the book chronicling cartoonist Kate Beaton’s experiences in the Alberta oilsands and her portrayal of the industry as one that, although burdened with misogyny and corporate interests, is a tight-knit community with unexpected acts of kindness. This session is limited to 45 people.

Migration and Infections Diseases: New Threats and Old Fears (May 2 – 7:30 p.m. – Columbus Community Centre) – Epidemiology professor David Fisman explores periodic disruptions of normal lives by waves of communicable diseases that have happened throughout history. Though these facts of life have been attributed to rivals, enemies and strangers, they have legitimately been fostered by trade, travel, conquest and commerce. His presentation will also offer a look at what borders can and cannot do, and the implications for public health and prevention.

Migration in the Natural World: Birds and Butterflies (May 9 – 7:30 p.m. – Columbus Community Centre) – Ecologist Ryan Norris shares his research on these creatures’ behaviour, population dynamics and conservation with a focus on both theoretical and empirical problems presented by the ecology and conservation of migratory animals and resident animals in highly seasoned environments.

Spring Migration in the Northumberland County Forest (May 10 – 10 a.m. – Northumberland Forest, Beagle Club trails) – Willow Beach Field Naturalists host a morning of spring birding for all birding abilities and physical agilities. In this section of the county forest, participants will look for the latest spring arrivals, both those passing through and those planning a summer residency. Group leaders will assist participants in listening for, spotting and identifying the birds. Rain date is May 13, and this outing is limited to 40 people.

Issues Facing Migrant Agricultural Workers in Ontario and the Importance of Community (May 16 – 7:30 p.m. – Columbus Community Centre) – More than 70,000 migrant agricultural worker were employed in Canada in 2022, almost half of them in Ontario. Members of Cobourg’s Horizons of Friendship will discuss their Migrant Worker Outreach Program and how they support the health, legal and social status of migrant workers in Northumberland County, with moderator Stephanie Mayell.
Recordings will be made available of all sessions except for the outing and the book discussion, and tickets are now on sale at the Northumberland Learning Connection website – $25 for presentations, $25 for the outing and $15 for the book discussion. There is also a $150 ticket for the in-person events on April 4, April 11, May 2, May 9 and May 16, as well as the April 25 Zoom event.

Cecilia Nasmith
Author: Cecilia Nasmith

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