John Ralston Saul is a Companion in the Order of Canada and a Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France. He is the Founder and Honourary Chair of French for the Future, Chair of the LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium, Patron of PLAN (Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network) and Former President and now honorary patron of Canadian PEN. An essayist and novelist, Saul’s writings are aimed at a new humanism through what he calls responsible individualism. His philosophical trilogy and its conclusion – Voltaire’s Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West, The Doubter’s Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense, The Unconscious Civilization and On Equilibrium: Six Qualities of the New Humanism – has impacted political thought in many countries. In 2004, he received the Pablo Neruda International Presidential Medal of Honor.
His most recent national bestseller is A Fair Country: Telling Truths about Canada. His latest book is Extraordinary Canadians: Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine & Robert Baldwin. John is currently the President of PEN International. He is also one of the co-chairs of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC), with the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson. The ICC is a non-profit organization based in Toronto that engages Canadians in citizenship through innovative programs, campaigns and partnerships, designed to ensure new citizens are welcomed and treated as equals, and to create meaningful connections between all Canadian citizens.