A Civic Leadership Institute for English-Speaking Youth


The 2018 program will be announced soon! Meanwhile, you can look at the 2017 program for reference.

* Denotes that the speaker has confirmed

Sunday, August 13, 2017

7:00 PM
Welcome Dinner – DEWHURST TENT

Introductory remarks

Michael GoldbloomMichael Goldbloom*
Chair, Bishop’s Forum
Principal & Vice-Chancellor, Bishop’s University

Michael Goldbloom holds a B.A. in Modern European History and Literature from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Civil Law and a Bachelor of Common Law from McGill University.

He worked as an editorial writer at The Gazette in Montreal before beginning his professional career in as a labour lawyer at Martineau Walker (now Fasken Martineau).  In 1991 he became President and Chief Executive Officer of the Montreal YMCA. From 1994 to 2001 he served as Publisher of The Gazette. In 2002, he was a Visiting Scholar at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. In 2003 he was named Deputy Publisher of the Toronto Star, and in 2004 became its Publisher. In 2007 he was appointed Vice-Principal (Public Affairs) and Senior Fellow in Media and Public Policy at McGill University. In August of 2008 he became the 18th Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Bishop’s University.

In December 2013, Mr. Goldbloom was appointed to the Order of Canada for helping to establish several transformative civic organizations in Montreal and for his dedication to building bridges between the city’s English-and French-speaking communities.
Mr. Goldbloom has an extensive record of community leadership including service as President of Alliance Quebec and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ville Marie Social Services Centre, Selwyn House School and the YMCA of Quebec Foundation. He was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Batshaw Youth and Family Centres. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Bureau de Coopération interuniversitaire and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Jewish News.

James HughesJames Hughes*

James Hughes is a Senior Fellow at the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. He was formerly the President of the Graham Boeckh Foundation (whose mission is to improve the mental health of Canadians), Deputy Minister of Social Development for the Province of New Brunswick and Director-General of the Old Brewery Mission (Quebec’s largest agency serving homeless people).

He serves on the board of directors of many organizations including Prosper Canada (financial empowerment for low income people), the Queen Elizabeth Health Centre, Raising the Roof (homelessness prevention) and the Quebec Community Groups Network. His book, Early Intervention, on a better way to organize and manage health and social services, was published by Lorimer Press in 2015.

Denise LauzièreDenise Lauzière*
Associate Director

Denise Lauzière joined Bishop’s University in early 2013 and began working in the Principal’s Office in the fall. In 2003, after working for the Canadian Education Association in Toronto for 13 years as Director of Professional Development and Assistant Executive Director, Denise came to Sherbrooke to take on the position of Executive Director of the Eastern Townships Alzheimer Society.

In 2005, she fulfilled a professional objective by attending law school. Denise graduated from l’Université de Sherbrooke in 2008 and has been a member of the Barreau du Québec since 2010. She practiced in immigration law for a couple of years. Denise is a member since 2012 and a vice-president (2014) of the Ethics Committee for Research on Humans of the Research Centre of the CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS. She is currently studying in public administration at the École nationale d’administration public.

Dr. Heather LawfordDr. Heather Lawford*
Associate Director

Heather Lawford joined the Psychology Department of Bishop’s University in 2012. Her research examines the ways in which youth are able to reach their full potential and make meaningful contributions to their community. She is also interested in a narrative life-story approach to psychology. That is, she seeks to understand how the stories we tell about ourselves shape who we are and who we become. Prior to her arrival at Bishop’s, Heather completed her Ph.D. at Concordia University followed by a post-doctoral fellowship through Brock University and the Centre of Excellence in Youth Engagement where she engaged in research projects in collaboration with youth and with community organizations.

Monday, August 14, 2017


8:30 – 9:00  BWH

We are Quebecers

9:00 – 10:00  BWH

Citizenship is a lifelong journey

Dr. Jamie CrooksDr. Jamie Crooks*
Professor of Philosophy, Bishop’s University

Jamie Crooks joined the Bishop’s University Philosophy Department in 1990.  He is currently chair.  Over the years, Dr. Crooks has served in a variety of Union and Administrative roles including Negotiations Officer, Ombudsperson, Dean of Arts & Science, Vice-Principal (interim) and Director of the Bishop’s Learning Commons Project.  From 1999 until 2014, Dr. Crooks was Conductor of the Bishop’s University Singers.  He is the 2015 winner of the William and Nancy Turner Teaching Award and the 2017 winner of the Divisional Teaching Award for the Humanities.  In 2012, Dr. Crooks was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for his work in founding the Phoenix Community Choir – an ensemble composed of at-risk youth, social workers and community volunteers affiliated with Phoenix Youth Programs in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Learning Objective: This opening talk is in preparation for an intensive week of knowledge, ideas, and personal connections. We will spend some time pondering how to approach a lifetime of good citizenship so that we may put those principles into practice here at the Bishop’s Forum.

10:00 – 11:00
Break – Walkway
Working Groups  TEN SPACES
Setting out Q/A for speaker and foundation work

11:10 – 12:10  BWH

Citizenship in Quebec

Jean Charest, Former PremierJean Charest*
Former Premier of Quebec

Partner, McCarthy Tétrault LLP
Premier of Québec (2003-2012)
Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada 1993-1998

As a former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and a former Premier of Québec, Jean Charest is one of Canada’s best known political figures.

The Honorable Jean Charest was notably the initiator of the negotiation for the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA). Furthermore, the Charest government initiated an unprecedented labour mobility agreement between France and Québec and was best known for a major initiative for the sustainable development of Northern Québec called “Plan Nord”.

Learning Objective: Appreciating the kind and quality of citizenship that will be necessary to make the province richer, greener, smarter and more inclusive.

12:15 – 1:15  Lunch –  DEWHURST DINING HALL

1:15 – 1:45  TEN SPACES
Working Group

Perspectives on the English-Speaking Community  BWH

2:00 – 2:25

Stephen ThompsonStephen Thompson*
Director Policy, Research and Public Affairs, Quebec Community Group Network’s

Stephen Thompson is the Quebec Community Group Network’s Director Policy, Research and Public Affairs, a position he has held since 2009.  Stephen helps English-speaking Quebec by scanning public policy issues, and developing evidenced-based positions that support community interests.  He then helps lead efforts to ensure community priorities and concerns are understood by government leaders in the development of policies and programs.  In addition to his policy and government relations expertise, Stephen is an experienced and accomplished adult educator with two decades of experience designing and delivering education and training courses on a wide range of subjects to professionals from over 100 countries. He is a Retired Artillery Officer with 25 years of service with the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, enjoying a broad and challenging career that included service to three United Nations Peacekeeping missions.

Stephen holds a liberal arts degree from the Royal Military College of Canada, and completed post-graduate studies in leadership at the University of Exeter.

2:30 – 2:55

Eric MaldoffEric Maldoff*
Partner Lapointe Rosentein Marchand Melançon

Mr. Maldoff has served as the chief government negotiator in complex fields such as aboriginal affairs and sports. He has represented Canada as Chief Federal Negotiator with: the Mohawks of Kanesatake; the Innu of Labrador and the Northwest Territory Métis Nation and has served as Chief Quebec Negotiator with the Kitigan Zibi Algonquin Community regarding the Eagle Forest.

Mr. Maldoff was the founding president of Alliance Quebec. He was the founding chair of Canada Health Infoway and Vice-Chair of the Interim Governing Council, which created the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). He has served as Chair of the Executive Committee and Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the McGill University Health Centre, and he has served as chair of the Montreal Children’s Hospital. He is currently Chair of the Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation and Chair of the Old Brewery Mission, the largest homeless shelter in the Province of Quebec. He is a member of the Order of Canada.

3:00 – 3:25

Geoff KelleyGeoff Kelley*
Minister of Native Affairs and MNA for Jacques Cartier

Mr. Kelley began his career in public service as a legislative assistant to Mr. Claude Ryan when the latter was Minister of Education, Higher Education and Science and Minister responsible for the Charter of the French Language. He subsequently served as the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Premier and President of the Treasury Board, Ms. Monique Gagnon-Tremblay.

Mr. Kelley was first elected as a Member of the National Assembly in 1994. He was re-elected in 1998, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2014.

As the Chair of the National Assembly’s Social Affairs Committee he presided over public hearings on homelessness. The Committee released its report entitled “Le phénomène de l’itinérance au Québec” in June 2008.  Mr. Kelley also chaired a task force on animal welfare. His report, “Vers un veritable réseau pour le bien-être des animaux de compagnie”  was issued in October 2009. As Chair of the Health and Social Services Committee , Mr. Kelley presided over the public hearings of the Special Committee on the Question of Dying with Dignity, which released its report, “Pour une bonification des soins palliatifs et une option de plus pour des cas de souffrances exceptionnelles” in March 2012.

Learning Objective: Quebec’s English-Speaking Community: An understanding of its profile, history, contributions, organizations, challenges and opportunities.

3:30 – 4:30  FIVE SPACES

Perspectives on the English-Speaking Community in small groups

Groups 1 and 2:  David Birnbaum
Groups 3 and 4:  Rachel Hunting
Groups 5 and 6:  Geoff Kelley (see biography above)
Groups 7 and 8:  Eric Maldoff (see biography above)
Groups 9 and 10:  Anne Usher

David BirnbaumDavid Birnbaum*
MNA for D’Arcy McGee

Elected on April 7th, 2014, David Birnbaum serves as the member of the National Assembly for the riding of D’Arcy-McGee and as Parliamentary Assistant to the Ministers of Education and Higher Education.

Previously, Mr. Birnbaum held the position of Executive Director of the Quebec English School Boards Association from 2004-2014, Executive Director of Canadian Jewish Congress, Quebec Region from 1998-2004, and Executive Director of Alliance Quebec from 1990-1998. In those capacities, he strived to promote and defend minority concerns while strengthening relationships with Québec’s francophone majority community. He is a former journalist at The Gazette and Communications Officer at the old Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal, Centraide-Montreal Board member and long-time Big Brother.

Rachel HuntingRachel Hunting*
Executive Director, Townshippers’ Association

Rachel is a native of the Eastern Townships. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Honours Sociology from Bishop’s University and completed minors in the fields of Women’s Studies, Gerontology and Criminology.

In 2008, she began working as the Coordinator of the Lennoxville Youth Center. She has been an active fundraiser for several community-based initiatives as well as national campaigns supporting research into women’s health and well-being including the Run for a Cure and the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation. She became the Executive Director of the Townshippers’ Association in 2012.

Anne UsherAnne Usher*
Community Development Activist

Anne Conrod Usher is a longtime activist and leader in community development with the NDG Community Council, the Canadian Council for Social Development and the Canadian Association for Adult Education. A nurse by profession, Anne has a deep interest in the well-being of seniors beginning with the founding of the NDG Senior Citizens Council in 1974, the development of Home Care within the CLSC mandate, Manoir Westmount and the Regional Council for Health and Social services for Metropolitan Montreal.

Since 2004 Anne has been a member of the Networking and Partnership Initiative (NPI) Volunteer Committee which now monitors, for the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN) nineteen (19) community based NPI organizations serving English-speaking people around the Province of Quebec.

Learning Objective: Having a better understanding of the definition, history, contributions and promise of the English-speaking community of Quebec.

4:30 – 5:30 BWH

Royal OrrSummary session chaired by Royal Orr*

Royal is a strategic communications advisor and trainer with a deep and practical understanding of what is needed to lead and innovate in large organizations. His high profile, front-line experience in radio and television has made him a sought after advisor and media trainer by a wide range of Canadian corporate, NGO and public sector clients.

Starting his communications career as the Executive Director of the Townshippers’ Association, Royal became a radio personality in Montreal with CJAD and was the host of the CBC radio morning show. He was also the voice of Canada’s only national open line radio show, Cross Country Check-up. Royal has held the positions of Vice-President in the public relations division of Cossette Communications and president of the multi-media production unit at Columbia Communications. Royal was the host and director of a number of award winning documentaries on VisionTV reporting on development and justice issues in Colombia, Trinidad, Tanzania and the Philippines.

5:40 – 6:20  TEN SPACES
Working Groups
Discussion on what we just heard.
Selection of topic “The Change We Want”.
Groups will make a presentation to a Parliamentary Commission on Friday (18th) about the legislative change they are seeking.

6:30  Dinner

Free evening

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


8:30 – 9:15  BWH
Forum Today (all delegates)
Setting the Agenda
Questions, comments, discussion from the floor on the day’s objectives

9:15 – 10:00  BWH

The Quebec Non Profit Sector: Promise and Potential

Kira PageKira Page*
Communications and Membership Coordinator for the Centre for Community Organizations

Kira Page has been involved in the community sector for the last decade. Getting her start in sustainable energy policy, she then moved to doing youth advocacy and education work with QPIRG-McGill, became an organizer with the Immigrant Worker’s Centre, and for the last two years has been the Communications and Membership Coordinator for the Centre for Community Organizations (COCo). In that role, she supports community groups in Quebec in having a bigger impact on their communities and creating lasting social change, as well as advocating for changes in the non-profit sector overall.

10:00 – 11:00  BWH

Change through Advocacy

Pearl EliadisPearl Eliadis*

Pearl conducts an international human rights law practice from her office in Montreal. A  McGill and Oxford graduate, she is designated by the UN as an expert in human rights and in post-conflict countries, and has worked in-country with human rights institutions, governments, and civil society organizations in China, Ethiopia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Timor Leste, and Rwanda under UN, OSCE and European mandates.

Pearl also teaches law at McGill and is affiliated with its Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. She is a member of several volunteers boards, and has been President of the Quebec Bar Association’s Human Rights Committee since 2013. Pearl has published numerous reports, article and books on human rights, national institutions, public policy and civil society, and has been active in the debates about Quebec identity and values for a decade. Her most recent book, Speaking Out on Human Rights: Debating Canada’s Human Rights System (McGill-Queen’s University Press) was named one of the best books of 2014 and in 2015 won the Huguenot Society of Canada Award.

Learning Objective: Acquainting participants with the role and science of advocacy in the defense of human rights in Quebec.

11:00 – 2:00
Outside session in the Quad and Lunch

2:00 – 3:00  BWH

Residential Schools and Reconciliation

Romeo SaganashRomeo Saganash*
Member of Parliament for Abitibi-Baie James-Nunavik-Eeyou

Romeo Diom Saganash’s story is not a typical story — values from the Eeyou Cree, a childhood spent in the forests of Northern Quebec, a survivor of Residential School, hard work and education to become the first Indigenous Lawyer from the Université du Québec à Montréal law school, and a lifetime working to uphold human rights.

After he finished residential school, Romeo was asked by his Chief to attend a conference on the 10th anniversary of the signing of the first modern treaty in Canada: the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. It was there that his love for the law began. His accomplishments are many: he was one of the principal authors of La Paix des Braves – a landmark agreement between the James Bay Cree and the Government of Quebec – and he has been a key negotiator for many national and international initiatives, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Romeo founded the Cree Nation Youth Council in 1985, served as Deputy Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Cree for a number of years.

A passionate environmentalist, Romeo served as vice-chair of the Cree Regional Authority and Chair of the James Bay Advisory Committee on the Environment. His work in the economic sector with Creeco Inc. and the Eeyou Co. showed his understanding of how to balance our duty as stewards of the land with sustainable economic growth.

Learning Objective: Awakening young people to the realities of residential school and the promise of reconciliation in Quebec.

3:00 – 3:15
BREAK – Walkway

3:15 – 4:00
Working Groups  TEN SPACES

4:10 – 5:10  BWH

Being a Young Leader of a Linguistic Minority Community in Canada

Alain DupuisAlain Dupuis*
Directeur général, Fédération des communautés francophones et acadiennes

Originally from Sudbury, Ontario, Alain Dupuis became Executive Director of the FCFA in May 2017. Previously, he was Executive Director of the Regroupement étudiante franco-ontarien (RÉFO), a non-profit organization working to defend the rights of francophone post-secondary students in Ontario.

Alain earned a B.A. in Political Science at the University of Ottawa and a Master’s in Public and International Affairs from the Université de Montréal. While studying, his interests focused on Canadian-African relations, Francophones outside of Quebec and governance of Canada’s indigenous peoples. He also volunteered in organizations in Senegal and South Africa promoting the political participation of women in local decision-making bodies.

In 2013 and 2014, Alain coordinated General Assemblies on French post-secondary education in Ontario. He also was vice-president of the l’Assemblée des communautés francophones d’Ottawa (ACFO).

Learning Objective: Understanding the history, challenges and priorities of the French-speaking Minority Communities in Canada.

Sylvia Martin-LaforgeSylvia Martin-Laforge
Director General of the QCGN will moderate the session

Sylvia has been at the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) for almost a decade. She has experience dealing with linguistic minority communities as well as women’s and indigenous peoples issues at the federal level and with the government of Ontario. Prior to joining the QCGN, Sylvia was involved in policy and program development in employment equity and linguistic duality. At the intergovernmental affairs directorate of the federal Privy Council Office, she was responsible for policy, program management frameworks and led evaluation and risk management strategies for the federal government’s investments in official language minority communities. Between 2008 and 2013 she sat on the Board of the Conseil supérieur de la langue française where she advocated for Quebec’s English-speaking minority community.

5:30 – 6:30  TEN SPACES
Working Groups
Work on The Change We Want presentation

6:30 – 10:00
Dinner and Evening activity

7:45 p.m. Buses depart for Foresta Lumina

Foresta Lumina

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


8:30 – 9:00   NINE SPACES
Working Groups

9:00 – 9:45   BWH
Forum Today (all delegates)
Setting the Agenda
Questions, comments, discussion from the floor on the day’s objectives

9:45 – 10:45  BWH

Being Engaged in the Quebec Political System

Panel moderated by James Hughes*

Karine VallieresKarine Vallieres*
MNA for Richmond

Karine Vallières is the Member of the National Assembly for Richmond.  She is the Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier (Youth).

Karine Vallières has been Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier (Youth) since February 2016. First elected in 2012, she was re-elected in 2014. As a communications specialist for multiple internationally-based companies, Karine contributed to the development strategies for Cascades and Metallurie Magnola.  She worked as coordinator for Minçavi until 2007. She also acted as a consultant and provided support and training to the managers of the Caisse Desjardins des Métaux blancs Board.

Jackie BelleauJackie Belleau*
Office Director and Political Attaché, Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau
Compton-Stanstead, Minister of International Relations and of la Francophonie

As the Director of the Compton-Stanstead Constituency Office and Political Attaché for Member of Parliament Marie-Claude Bibeau, Jacqueline Belleau works closely with organizations and residents at the grassroots level. In addition to responding to citizens’ concerns with respect to federal policies and informing stakeholders about programs to support community, municipal and corporate initiatives, Jackie keeps a close eye on issues affecting life in the region.

After completing her studies in Political Science and International Development in Geneva, Switzerland, she began her career at the United Nations and went on to work in the public, private and non-profit sectors in several different countries.

Anthony HousefatherAnthony Housefather
MP for Mount Royal

Anthony Housefather is the Member of Parliament for Mount Royal. He is the Chairman of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

He was first elected to office in 1994 as a municipal councillor in the Town of Hampstead. Anthony Housefather was elected as Mayor of the City of Côte-Saint-Luc in 20015 and served until 2015.

Anthony Housefather holds two Law Degrees (B.C.L. and LL.B.) from McGill University and an MBA from Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business. Before his election to federal office, he served as Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel, at Dialogic Corporation, a multinational technology company.

Learning Objective: Appreciating the complex processes and numerous players involved in policy development and political change.

10:45 – 11:20
Break – Walkway

Working Groups  TEN SPACES

11:30 – 12:30  BWH

Changemaker 1: How Quebec became the Green Province

MP Tom MulcairTom Mulcair*
Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada and MP for Outremont

Thomas Mulcair is a lawyer, university professor and politician. First elected as a Federal Member of Parliament for the New Democratic Party in a 2007 by-election (Outremont), the next year he became the first New Democrat ever to be elected in a general election in the province of Quebec. Appointed as the Quebec lieutenant of his party, he was one of the architects of the “Orange Wave” which saw the New Democrats take three quarters of the seats in Quebec and become, for the first time in the party’s history, the Official Opposition in the House of Commons. In 2012, he became the leader of the party.

With a political career spanning more than twenty years, Mr. Mulcair entered Federal politics after serving four mandates as a provincial member of the Quebec National Assembly (Chomedey, Laval) (1994-2007). From 2003 to 2006, he served as Environment Minister in the Liberal government of Premier Jean Charest and was responsible for implementing Sustainable Development legislation, described as the most avant-garde in North America and still considered cutting-edge to this day.

Having devoted his entire career to public service, Mr. Mulcair was also president of the Office des professions du Québec (1987-1993), the body governing Quebec’s professional orders, and a board member of Quebec’s Conseil de la langue française.

Learning Objective: Understanding the role of politicians, opposition, media and advocacy groups intermingled to produce cutting edge green legislation in Quebec.

12:30 – 1:30  LUNCH

1:30 – 2:30  BWH

Changemaker 2: The Maple Spring and Beyond


Gabriel Nadeau DuboisGabriel Nadeau Dubois*
MNA for Gouin

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is the MNA for the Montreal riding of Gouin and one of two spokespersons for Québec Solidaire.

Introduction by Ethan Cox, Ricochet Media*

Public interview by Royal Orr*

Learning Objective: Understanding Mr. Dubois’ experience as a leader of the youth-led movement to challenge proposed tuition fee increases in Quebec and his decision to run for political office.

2:30 – 3:00  Break – Walkway

3:00 – 4:30  BWH

Role of the media in Quebec

Panel discussion on the role of the English-language media in Quebec.

Patricia PleszczynskaPatricia Pleszczynska*
Executive Director, Radio, Audio and Greater Montreal, Radio-Canada*

Patricia Pleszczynska joined CBC Quebec City in 1984 as a researcher. She went on to produce current affairs programming there and in Montreal, before being promoted to oversee radio services for the entire Quebec City region. After a stint in Toronto as Assistant Programming Director, she was appointed Managing Director of Quebec’s English Services in 2003.

Six years later, she was named Director of Regional Programming for Radio-Canada. During her tenure, she was responsible for implementing a multiplatform strategy to provide regional audiences with programming seven days a week. In cooperation with the current affairs series Tout le monde en parlait, she also underwrote the production of some forty regional editions of the show. In partnership with ICI Radio-Canada Télé, she spearheaded the creation of TV’s Les chefs! and Dans l’œil du dragon, the Quebec version of Dragons’ Den.
In 2013, in addition to her Regional Services responsibilities, she took the helm of ICI Radio-Canada Première, where she created the distinct listening area of Greater Montreal, developed a digital strategy for the entire radio network, and reshaped the national program schedule.

In 2016, she became Executive Director of Radio, Audio and Greater Montreal, and has since implemented a refreshed radio schedule as well as an original digital content strategy for mobile audio.

Ethan CoxEthan Cox*
Editor, Ricochet Media

Ethan Cox is a Montreal-based journalist, editor and digital strategist. He is a co-founder and editor of Ricochet Media, a bilingual, crowdfunded national media outlet, and co-owner of CauseComms, an award-winning social enterprise which provides digital content and strategy to good causes.

He appears on CJAD Radio’s Gang of Four with Tommy Schnurmacher twice a week, and is a regular panelist on MAtv’s City Life. He has also worked as a freelance writer and journalist, with bylines everywhere from the National Post and Toronto Star to Al-Jazeera America and The Tyee, and recurring broadcast roles on a number of TV and radio stations. In 2014 he delivered the Canada Program special seminar on Quebec politics at Harvard University.

Senator Joan FraserSenator Joan Fraser*
Former editor of The Gazette, will lead the panel

Senator Joan Fraser was appointed to the Senate in 1998. She is the Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament. She is also a member of the Standing Committee on Official Languages and the Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources.

Senator Fraser began her career in print journalism, joining The Gazette as a cub reporter in 1965. In 1967, she joined the Financial Times of Canada, where over the following eleven years she served as news editor, editorial page editor and Montreal bureau chief. In 1978, she returned to The Gazette as editorial page editor. In 1993, she was appointed Editor-in-Chief, a post she held until 1996. From 1997 to 1998, she was Director-General of the Centre for Research and Information on Canada, a division of the Council for Canadian Unity.  In addition to her long experience in print journalism, Senator Fraser has extensive broadcast experience on radio and television, in both English and French.

She has won two National Newspaper Awards for editorial writing (1982 and 1991), and four National Newspaper Award Citations of Merit for editorial writing (1986, 1987, 1990, 1994).  She has also won other awards for journalism, communications, and her work on women’s issues.

Senator Fraser holds a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages from McGill University (1965).

4:45 – 6:30   TEN SPACES
Working Groups

7:00  Dinner – Dewhurst Dining Hall

8:00 Film night – Bandeen Hall

Kevin TierneyKevin Tierney*
Writer, Director and Producer

Kevin Tierney will present his film “French Immersion” and lead a discussion about culture and Quebec’s English-speaking community.

After graduating from South Shore Catholic High (now called MacDonald Cartier) in St. Hubert, Kevin Tierney attended Sir George Williams University and received a BA in 1971. In 1972, he took Master of Arts courses in theatre at University College in Dublin, Ireland. In 1974 he received a Bachelor of Education from McGill and in 1978 he received a diploma from Concordia University.

He is the producer and co-writer with Patrick Huard of Bon Cop, Bad Cop, Canada’s highest grossing film and winner of the 2006 Genie Award for best picture. A sequel, Bon Cop, Bad Cop 2 was released in May 2017. “French Immersion,” released in 2011 was his directorial debut.

Mr. Tierney has worked on television mini-series, feature films and documentaries throughout his career.

The Canadian Film and Television Production Association presented him with the 2009 Producer’s Award, recognizing his work as a Canadian independent film producer.

Thursday, August 17, 2017


8:30 – 9:00  BWH
Forum Today (all delegates)
Setting the Agenda
Questions, comments, discussion from the floor on the day’s objectives

9:00 – 9:45

21st Century Careers

Annalise ItenAnnalise Iten*
Job Search Program Director, YES Montreal

Annalise Iten has been working in the field of Employment for over 17 years. She holds a Certification in Professional and Personal Coaching from the Centre for Human Relations and Community Studies from Concordia University and has been working at YES (Youth Employment Services) for the last 13 years. Ms Iten provides group and individual counselling on both the job search and career development fronts, and coaches her clients on how to work through their career barriers, helping them move forward in their professional and personal growth.

Learning Objective: Understanding how the changing economy is creating new challenges but also new employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for young people.

9:50 – 10:50
Break – Walkway

Working Groups  TEN SPACES

10:45 – 12:00  BWH

Eco-Enterprise in Quebec: my business, my values

David BerlinerDavid Berliner*
Co-founder and CEO, CoPower

David is co-founder and CEO of CoPower, Canada’s leading clean energy investment platform. He previously worked at Inerjys, a clean energy investment firm. He has consulted for the New York City Mayor’s Office on renewable energy, was Sustainability Coordinator for the University of Toronto, and worked at the Carbon Disclosure Project.

David has been named “Emerging Solar Leader” by the Canadian Solar Industries Association, “Top 30 Under 30” by Corporate Knights, and a member of Canada’s Clean50 2017. David holds an M.P.A. from Columbia University and a B.Sc from the University of Toronto.

Tereska GesingTereska Gesing*
Co-Founder, Urban Seedling

Tereska Gesing is a co-founder of Urban Seedling, a business with the mission of encouraging Montrealers to grow their own food, backyard-to-table. She created this family-run business with her husband Shawn Manning in 2010.

Urban Seedling plants vegetable gardens in yards, schools and at the workplace. They also have an Edible Garden Centre in Verdun, dedicated to organic vegetable gardening and edible landscaping.

In addition to offering a content rich website and a weekly how-to newsletter Ms Gesing is a regular contributor as a vegetable gardening expert on CBC Radio and CJAD 800. She also offers an edible gardening workshop series and teaches at the Concordia City Farm School.Tereska is also a co-founder of Grand Potager, a not for profit organisation with the mission of creating an Urban Agriculture and Food Security Resource Centre at the Verdun Municipal Greenhouses. This project includes active community-kitchen and urban agriculture networks, aquaponics and composting projects as well as community events and workshops.

Laura RathmellLaura Rathmell*
Co-founder, Lufa

Lauren Rathmell, a Vermont native and biochemistry graduate of McGill University, is co-founder of Lufa Farms. Early on, she took on the challenge of developing Lufa Farms’ sustainable farming practices, growing food commercially in a polyculture setting, using no synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, employing a closed loop irrigation system, all the while minimizing waste and reducing energy consumption. In early 2016, Ms Rathmell developed Lufa Farms’ Marketing and Communications department. She currently oversees all greenhouse operations, research and development, growth efforts, as well as the safekeeping of Lufa Farms’ vision, mission, and voice.

Learning Objective: Appreciating the dimensions of the social economy and the opportunities to both make a living and make a difference at the same time.

12:00 – 1:00 LUNCH

1:15 – 2:15  BWH

The New Quebec Economy Part 3: Electrification

Blair McIntoshBlair McIntosh*
President, Motrec International

Blair McIntosh, a native Eastern Townshipper, long-time Sherbrooke businessman and one of Quebec’s most successful and best known entrepreneurs having bought, built and sold many companies in the province (and in the USA). He is President and CEO of Motrec International, a leading clean technology enterprise that manufactures Electric Industrial Vehicles for the manufacturing and warehousing sectors. His company has won award after award for its technological and innovative successes. His hobby is investing in and mentoring young Quebec entrepreneurs. Blair was born and raised in Quebec and has chosen to raise his children and to live his journey in la belle province.

Learning Objective: Equipping young people with a sense of the sweeping changes ahead in the Electric Economy and the skills, knowledge and networks necessary for young people to take advantage of the transformation.

2:15 – 5:00  TEN SPACES

Work on presentation to the Parliamentary Commission


Friday, August 18, 2017

8:30 – 9:00  BWH
Forum Today (all delegates)
Setting the Agenda
Questions, comments, discussion from the floor on the day’s objectives

9:00 – 9:30
Introduction of Parliamentary Commissioners

9:30 – 11:30

Working groups will present in front of one of the two panels.

Panel I

Russell CopemanRussell Copeman*
Borough Mayor, Côtes des Neiges-Notre Dame de Grâce

Mr. Copeman is a Montreal City Councillor and the borough mayor for Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grace. He also sits on the Montreal Executive Committee.

From 1986 to 1988, he was the Assistant Director of the Education Program, Director of Social Affairs and Director of the Education Program at Alliance Quebec.

In 1989, he was a political aide to the Minister of Energy and Resources. From 1989 to 1991, he was the Quebec Liberal Party coordinator and from 1991 to 1994 he was the constituency assistant to former Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa.

He was the Liberal Member of the National Assembly of Quebec for the riding of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce from 1994 to 2008.

Marlene JenningsHonourable Marlene Jennings, P.C., LLB*

The Honourable Marlene Jennings, former Member of Parliament, was the first Black Quebecer to be elected (1997 – 2011) to Parliament in Canadian history. A member of the Barreau du Quebec since 1988, she is widely recognized as having been a highly effective MP with strong leadership and mentorship skills.  During the Liberal tenure as Government, she served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, to the Solicitor General of Canada and to the Minister for International Cooperation.  While a member of the Official Opposition from 2006 to 2011, she served as Deputy House Leader and Official Critic for Justice and the Attorney General of Canada.

Prior to elected office, she was Deputy Commissioner for Police Ethics for the Province of Quebec and as such, led the successful implementation of a conciliation process of public complaints regarding alleged police misconduct.

For close to two years (2012 & 2013), she was the Executive Director of the YM-YWHA, Montreal Jewish Community Centre.  She is also an active volunteer, a former member of the Board of Directors of the Institut universitaire de geriatrie de Montreal (now part of the CIUSSS Centre-Sud). She is Vice-President of the Centre integre universitaire de santé et des services sociaux Centre-Sud de l’Ile de Montreal (CIUSSS Centre-sud).

Jim SheaJim Shea*
President, Quebec Community Groups Network

James Shea, a lifelong resident of Quebec from the Aylmer sector of Gatineau, has had a long career in education on both sides of the Quebec/Ontario border.

Throughout his personal life and professional career, James has demonstrated a significant commitment to the continuation of English language schools in Quebec. He continues this advocacy as Chair of the Western Quebec School Board and on the Board of CEGEP Heritage College. A past president of the Regional Association of West Quebecers and former National Executive Director of Canadian Parents for French, Jim is passionate about Canada’s linguistic duality and is committed to advancing the presence and participation of the English-speaking community in Quebec and in Canada.

Group 1    Group 3
Group 2    Group 4

Panel II

Marie-Claude BibeauHonourable Marie-Claude Bibeau*
MP for Compton-Stanstead
Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau was elected as the Member of Parliament for Compton–Stanstead in October 2015, and she was appointed Minister of International Development and La Francophonie.

Before entering politics, Minister Bibeau began her career at the former Canadian International Development Agency. She went on postings to Morocco and Benin. After settling down with her family in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, she became a successful businesswoman and was actively involved in her community.

Rita DiSantisRita de Santis*
Minister responsible for Access to Information and the Reform of Democratic Institutions and MNA for Bourassa-Sauvé

Rita de Santis was first elected to the National Assembly in 2012. From April 23, 2014 to January 28, 2016 she was the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister responsible for Government Administration and Ongoing Program Review (open and transparent government). On January 28, 2016 she was appointed to the cabinet as Minister Responsible for Access to Information and Reform of Democratic Institutions.


Group 5    Group 7
Group 6    Group 8
Group 9


12:15 – 2:00  BWH
Feedback and Next steps.
Closing remarks by Michael Goldbloom and James Hughes.


The week will culminate with a presentation to a Parliamentary Commission by each of the groups of the brief they have prepared during the week. You will be given time each afternoon to prepare your brief and your media strategy in support of your presentation.

Evenings will include films or presentations of case studies about individual or group activism.

See Evening Activities

Plenary sessions will take place in Bishop Williams Hall:

Small groups will meet in regular classrooms:

Bishop Williams Hall
Classroom at Bishop's

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