Annual event brings together members of the Ottawa political scene to celebrate Canada's traditions and support the work of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute

Ottawa, February 3, 2014 - The annual Macdonald-Laurier Institute Soirée will be held this year on Feb. 12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Rideau Club, 99 Bank St., 15th Floor. Our honorary host will the Hon. Peter Milliken, former Speaker of the House of Commons, and our guest speakers will be Industry Minister James Moore and former Justice Minister Irwin Cotler.

First held in 2011, MLI's Soirée brings together parliamentarians, political watchers, public servants and other Ottawa luminaries to celebrate great Canadian Prime Ministers in the tradition of Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir Wilfrid Laurier, while supporting the work of MLI – the premier voice in Canadian federal public policy. Previous speakers have included the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark, and the Rt. Hon. Jean Chrétien.

About the participants:

Irwin Cotler, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, is a law professor, constitutional and comparative law scholar, international human rights lawyer, and counsel to prisoners of conscience. Cotler is Member of Parliament for Mount Royal and Liberal Critic for Rights and Freedoms; International Justice, Vice-Chair of  the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Human Rights, Co-Chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Group for Human Rights in Iran, International Chair of the Responsibility to Prevent Coalition, and Chair of the All-Party Save Darfur Coalition.

Industry Minister James Moore is a former broadcaster who was elected Member of Parliament in 2000 at the age of 24. In 2006, Moore became Secretary of State for the 2010 Olympics, the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Official Languages. He was the youngest minister in BC history, and the fourth youngest minister in Canadian history. Moore has also served as Minister of Canadian Heritage and he was the federal cabinet minister responsible for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Hon. Peter Milliken is former MP for Kingston and the Islands, who for 10 years held the esteemed position of Speaker of the House of Commons, becoming Canada's longest-serving Speaker. In 2012 he was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council. He is currently a Special Adviser to Cunningham Swan in Kingston, and a Fellow in the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University in Kingston. Milliken has also taken on the role of moderator for the 2013-2014 season of MLI's Great Canadian Debates series.

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The Macdonald-Laurier Institute is the only non-partisan, independent national public policy think tank in Ottawa focusing on the full range of issues that fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

For more information, please contact David Watson, managing editor and communications director, at 613-482-8327 x. 103 or email at david.watson@macdonaldlaurier.ca. On Twitter @MLInstitute