Geoff Conrad, a DCL candidate at the Faculty of Law, acted as a rapporteur at the je vois mtl symposium.
1. How long have you lived in Montreal?
Except for a couple of years here and there, since I was 10 months old. But I was recently away from Montreal for about 18 months while was doing my LLM in Victoria BC. Coming back to Montreal after that experience really made me look at the city in a new light — for better and for worse.
2. Name your favourite and least favourite thing about living in this city.
Favourite thing: linguistic diversity and the amazing opportunities it offers for enriching cross-cultural exchange.
Least favourite: when linguistic diversity turns into linguistic divide – talk about squandering an incredible asset!
3. For which organizations did you act as a rapporteur?
For (1) La Ruche Montréal; (2) CDEC Rosemont Petite-Patrie; (3) Aéroports de Montréal; (4) the last project on which I served as a rapporteur was a joint initiative of: the Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain (CCMM), Aéroports de Montréal, Tourisme Montréal, and Montréal International
4. What was the most exciting/fun aspect of the experience?
The most exciting part of the experience was, quite simply, facilitating the coming together of so many different people, from so many different backgrounds, with so many different perspectives — entrepreneurs, academics, business leaders, community workers, civil servants, politicians, media — all of whom are united for their common concern for and pride in Montreal. The buzz in the air was almost palpable!
5. What was the most challenging aspect?
The most challenging aspect for me was ensuring a cohesive and mutually productive conversation during the workshops I facilitated, both of which were actually comprised of two distinct projects being proposed by different organizations. Lots of issues, lots of ideas, not a lot of time!
6. What did you learn?
I learned that Denis Coderre could have a second career as a stand-up comic.
7. How did the experience contribute to your legal education?
In the doctoral program at the law faculty, we talk a lot about interdisciplinarity and applied research these days. On a certain level, jevoismtl was interdisciplinary and applied research in action, highlighting both the promise and the potential pitfalls of such an approach.
8. What are your thoughts on the relationship between McGill and Montreal?
As I see it, McGill and Montreal are linked existentially. McGill is as much a defining feature of Montreal as Montreal is a defining feature of McGill!
9. Anything else you want to add?
If there is a next time for jevoismtl, I would hope to see more people from McGill not just serving as rapporteurs, but actually proposing projects. McGill as an institution and the people it encompasses — faculty, students, staff — have so much to offer to our city. Let’s lead the way!