Pearson Centre

The Pearson Centre
Type Independent, not-for-profit organization
Active 1994–2013
President Kevin McGarr
Administrative staff
200 facilitators and experts on hand + 17 staff in the Ottawa office
Students Since 1994, over 23,000 individuals from 150 nations in 31 countries.
Address Ottawa, Canada
Colours Green and Blue
Affiliations AU; CFC; Canadian Red Cross; CARE Canada; Cérium; Cornwallis Group; Ecole de Maintien de la Paix (Bamako); ECOWAS; EU; Folke Bernadotte Academy; GoC; DFAIT; DND; CIDA; IADC; International Association of Peacekeeping Training Centres; KAIPTC; Norman Paterson School of International Affairs; NATO; Oxfam Canada; Réseau de recherche sur les opérations de paix; RCMP; RMC; UNAC; UNICEF; UN DPKO; UNHCR; USIP

Established in 1994 by the Government of Canada as the Lester B. Pearson Canadian International Peacekeeping Training Centre (more commonly the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, or simply the Pearson Centre) was an independent, not-for-profit organization with its office based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Its mandate was to support Canada's contribution to international peace and security. Operations ceased and the Centre closed on November 28, 2013.

The Pearson Centre conducted education, training and research on all aspects of peace operations throughout the world, with the majority of its projects under way in Africa and Latin America. Services ranged from the training of police officers in Rwanda and Nigeria to serve as peacekeepers in Darfur; through delivery of pre-deployment training for Latin American peace keepers in Brasília; to the design and delivery of complex training exercises for use in Europe and Africa.

It also raised revenue through its specialized training and management courses, which it ran for individuals, governments and organizations around the world.

While in operation, the Pearson Centre worked with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Ghana. The Centre provideed facilitation support to the International Network to Promote the Rule of Law, which is a project of the USIP. The International Association of Peacekeeping Training Centres was founded on July 2, 1995, at the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre.[1] The Pearson Centre also worked closely with the Canadian extractive sector to implement the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and provide training strategies to ensure that their security providers adhere to these international standards.


Lester B. Pearson committed Canada to peacekeeping on November 2, 1956 - from on the Ottawa Peacekeeping Monument

The Lester B. Pearson Canadian International Peacekeeping Training Centre was created as an offshoot of the now-defunct Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies and became an independent organisation in its own right in 2001. Named in honour of Lester Bowles Pearson, the former Prime Minister of Canada and recipient of the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the inception of peacekeeping, the Centre was established initially to train Canadian and foreign soldiers in the art of peacekeeping and conflict resolution for postings with United Nations Peacekeeping missions.

Alex Morrison was the first president of the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, which was established in 1994 by the Government of Canada. He was followed by Sandra Dunsmore, and later Suzanne Monaghan. In 2012, the presidency of the Centre was assumed by Kevin McGarr, previously head of CATSA.

In 1994, Jean-Jacques Blais was appointed chair of the centre, holding that position until he retired in 2002. Chairs have included several notable Canadians.

The centre was established at Cornwallis Park, in southern Nova Scotia, using facilities made available by the closure of CFB Cornwallis. Offices were later opened in Montréal, Ottawa and Halifax. Headquarters of the Centre were moved to the Ottawa office in 2008 while most of the operations remained in Cornwallis Park. The Montréal office was closed in 2008 and Halifax wound down by 2010.

As financial support to the centre was progressively withdrawn by the Federal government, operations were reduced and transferred to the Ottawa office. The Centre's Cornwallis park facilities formally closed in 2011.[2] On September 26, 2013, the Pearson Centre announced it would be winding down its operations and closing its doors.[3]

The name was formally changed to the "Pearson Centre" in 2012. Operations ceased with the final closure of the office November 28, 2013.[4]

Senior management

William Morrison, founder

William Alexander Morrison, MSC, CD, (1941– ) was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, he is a graduate of Xavier Junior College and a historic author. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1968 from Mount Allison University. He joined the Canadian Forces in 1959 and retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1990. From 1980 to 1982, he was an instructor at the Royal Military College of Canada where he taught an undergraduate course in Canadian Military History. He was awarded his MSC in 1989. He was the 2002 recipient of the Pearson Medal of Peace after serving in the military of Canada for over thirty years.[5]

From 1983 to 1989, Morrison was the military advisor to the Canadian permanent representative to the UN. He was vice-chairman of UN Peacekeeping Committee. From 1989 to 1997, he was the executive director of the Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies; and in 1994, he became the founding president of the Pearson Centre.

At closure

Philip Murray, was the Chair, and Kevin McGarr was president at the time of the centre's closure in 2013.

The Pearson Papers

The Pearson Papers were a Canadian peacekeeping press publications compiled by the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre for over 15 years. They were:

As of 2013 the papers are no longer published.


  1. International Association of Peacekeeping Training Centres
  2. Daily Business Buzz; .
  3. Pugliese, David (26 September 2013). "Pearson Centre President Confirms Citizen Article". Southam News. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  4. Willick, Frances (October 5, 2013). "Pearson Centre closing". Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  5. "Alex Morrison biography". Retrieved 28 June 2006.


Further reading

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