Feminist Response
and Recovery Summit

March 8 and 9, 2021

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Speaker biographies below are organized according to the Program.

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Day 1: Elder Opening

Speaker Grand-mère Martina Osawamick

Grand-mère Martina Osawamick

Martina Osawamick an Anishinaabe kwe, Ojibwe/Odawa from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory is known as Oginii Kwe (Rose Woman) and is of the amik/beaver Clan, makwa/bear and ma’iingan/wolf as her helpers and is second level of the Midewiwin lodge. She is a proud “Nokomis” of twelve grandchildren and a great grandmother to three. One of Martina’s priorities has always been her passion for preserving, maintaining and revitalizing the Anishinaabemowin language. She is the (Elder) Nokomis at Cambrian College and Laurentian University in Sudbury, working part time.

Day 1: Opening Remarks

Speaker, The Honourable Maryam Monsef

The Honourable Maryam Monsef

Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

The Honourable Maryam Monsef is Canada’s Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, and the Member of Parliament for Peterborough—Kawartha. She is the first woman to be elected in the federal riding of Peterborough—Kawartha, the first Afghan-Canadian Member of Parliament in Canada’s history, and the first Muslim to serve as a federal Cabinet Minister. 

Recognized by Apolitical as one of the Top 20 Most Influential People in Gender Policy for the past two years, Minister Monsef has helped to shape the conversation about gender equality on the national and global stage. She helped lead Canada’s efforts to mainstream gender equality and Gender-based Analysis Plus into all G7 work, including during its presidency in 2018, as well as oversaw the activities of Canada’s G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council. She has led the Canadian delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women since 2017, represented Canada at the World Bank, and was instrumental in bringing discussions of gender equality to the table at the World Economic Forum. 

She has always been committed to giving back to her community and her country. In her home community of Peterborough, Ontario, she co-founded the Red Pashmina Campaign, which raised money to support education for women and girls in Afghanistan. She is an alumna of Trent University, and speaks English, Farsi and Dari.

Day 1: Opening Plenary: Gendered impacts of COVID-19

Moderator, The Honourable Chrystia Freeland

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Ms. Freeland was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre in July, 2013. She was elected as Member of Parliament for University—Rosedale in October, 2015 and re-elected in October, 2019. 

From 2015 to 2017, Ms. Freeland served as Canada's Minister of International Trade, overseeing the successful negotiation of Canada's free trade agreement with the European Union, CETA. From January, 2017 to November, 2019, she served as Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. During this time, she was a leading advocate for democracy, human rights, and multilateralism around the world. 

As Foreign Minister, she led and successfully concluded the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, Mexico, and the United States. 

In November, 2019, Ms. Freeland was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. In this capacity, she led Canada’s united response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She was appointed Minister of Finance in August, 2020. 

An esteemed journalist and author, the Deputy Prime Minister was born in Peace River, Alberta. She was educated at Harvard University before continuing her studies on a Rhodes Scholarship at the University of Oxford. 

After launching her career in journalism as a Ukraine-based freelance correspondent for the Financial Times, The Washington Post, and The Economist, Ms. Freeland went on to various roles at the Financial Times of London. She then served as deputy editor of the Toronto-based Globe and Mail between 1999 and 2001, before returning to the Financial Times as deputy editor and then as United States managing editor. 

In 2010, she joined Canadian-owned Thomson Reuters. She was a managing director of the company and editor of consumer news when she decided to return home and enter politics in 2013. 

Ms. Freeland has written two books: ---- of the Century: The Inside Story of the Second Russian Revolution (2000); and Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else (2012). Plutocrats has been an international best-seller and won the Lionel Gelber Prize and National Business Book Award. 

In 2018, the Deputy Prime Minister was recognized as Foreign Policy's Diplomat of the Year. She was also awarded the Eric M. Warburg Award by Atlantik-Brücke, for her achievements in strengthening transatlantic ties. In 2020, she was awarded Freedom House’s Mark Palmer Prize, in recognition of her years of work in championing democracy and human rights. 

Ms. Freeland speaks Russian, Ukrainian, Italian, French, and English. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three children.


Speaker, Armine Yalnızdan

Armine Yalnizyan

Armine Yalnizyan is the Atkinson Foundation’s Fellow on the Future of Workers. She served as Senior Economic Policy Advisor for the Deputy Minister at Employment and Social Development Canada from 2018 to 2019. She helped lead the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' Inequality Project from 2008 to 2017, and provided weekly business commentaries on CBC radio and CBC TV from 2011 to 2018. She is past President of the Canadian Association for Business Economics.


Speaker, Monique F. Leroux

Monique F. Leroux

Companion of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame and the Investment Industry Hall of Fame, Monique Leroux is a corporate director. She is Vice-Chairman of Fiera Holdings Inc. and serves as an independent board member of global companies such as Michelin (ML-France), Bell/BCE, S&P Global (SPGI), Couche-Tard (ATD) and Lallemand Inc (privately owned company). She also chairs Michelin’s CSR Committee as well as Bell’s Corporate Governance Committee. As such, she brings to these boards and committees her diverse experience, among others as Partner at Ernst and Young (EY) and Chair of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group from 2008 to 2016. 

In May 2020, Ms. Leroux was appointed Chair of the Industry Strategy Council by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry of Canada. From 2016 to 2020, she was Chair of the Board of Investissement Québec. She is also vice-chairman of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (OSM). 

Ms. Leroux is a Member of the Order of Canada, an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec, a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur (France) and a recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Award (United States). She has been awarded Fellowship by the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec and the Institute of Corporate Directors and holds honorary doctorates from eight Canadian universities in recognition of her contribution to the business sector and to the community.


Speaker, Roberta Jamieson

Roberta Jamieson

Roberta Jamieson is a corporate director and former President and CEO of Indspire. 

She was Canada’s first First Nations woman to earn a law degree, the first female Ombudsman in Ontario, the first woman to be elected Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, and a member of the inaugural Gender Equality Advisory Council of the G7.She has been awarded 27 honourary degrees and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.


Speaker, Sarah Kaplan

Sarah Kaplan

Sarah Kaplan is Distinguished Professor, Director of the Institute for Gender and the Economy, and Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. She is author of the bestselling business book, Creative Destruction. Her latest book is The 360° Corporation: From Stakeholder Trade-offs to Transformation. Her current research focuses on applying an innovation lens to understanding the challenges for achieving gender equality. In 2020, she launched a 5 course Specialization on Coursera: Gender Analytics: Gender Equity Through Inclusive Design which is aimed at building analytical skills to do intersectional gender-based analysis for products, services and policies.


Day 1: Gender Equality and Diversity

Moderator, Narmin Ismail-Teja

Narmin Ismail-Teja

Narmin, Principal of [email protected] inc., focuses her consulting and community work on creating respectful inclusive spaces where the focus is on equity and merit. Narmin’s work includes cultural competence, anti-racism, cultural humility, pluralism, strategic leadership, and trust building. 

Narmin has been an active member of the community serving on several boards including Canadian Museum of History, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, Canadian Forces Liaison Council, and The Calgary Foundation.


Speaker, Félicia Tremblay

Félicia Tremblay

Félicia is a two-spirit, non-binary person, born in Québec and of Cherokee Freedmen (Afro-indigenous) decent. Putting their talents at the service of denouncing injustices through music and poetry, they have been involved in the arts and community work from an early age. Felicia eventually held a position as a worker at native Women's Shelter, until she was hired as "Director Diversity and Inclusion" at Montreal Pride, becoming the first coloured person to occupy a leadership position since the festival’s creation (12 years) and the first Diversity and Inclusion Director in the Canadian Pride Movement. 

In February 2020, Félicia was part of a IBPOC/BIPOC collective that addressed the AGM of Fierté Canada Pride to denounce the colonial and oppressive methods of LGBTQ organizations and was elected " Regional Central Director at FCP. Specialized in creating for and by projects, developing more inclusive strategies, safer spaces and known for her outspokenness, Félicia is also sought after as an independent consultant in various organizations and institutions. During pandemic, they founded HüMSolutions, Human Unceeded Minds, a social vocation consulting form that aims to uplift the voices of communities affected by the lack of understanding towards Diversity and Inclusion and help create awareness. Félicia is the Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Fierté Montréal.


Speaker, Jennifer Wani

Jennifer Wani

Jennifer Wani is a first year student currently enrolled at University of Ottawa studying international development. She dedicates her time to school and working in her community. She serves as youth advocate with Plan International serving on their youth advisory council and participating in their Youth for Gender Equality initiative. She is also a Young Director with Girls20 a program and is currently serving as a member of Results Canada’s Board of Directors. 

In addition, she served as both a junior and senior ambassador for Regina Multicultural council, representing Africans in diaspora. This year, she is the Chief Executive Officer of Black in Sask, an organization committed to addressing anti-black racism in Saskatchewan. Through her various roles she has led consultations and facilitated dialogues with municipal and provincial governments. Jennifer was chosen as part of the Canadian delegation to the UN Commission on the Status of Women but was unable to attend due to COVID-19.


Speaker Marci Ien

Marci Ien

Marci Ien is a devoted Mother, award-winning Journalist, Ryerson graduate, Author and Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre who has dedicated her life to providing a voice for those who need it most. Born in St. Jamestown and raised in Toronto, where she lives with her children Blaize and Dash, Marci has seen first hand the opportunities and challenges our city faces. Marci is a passionate advocate for vulnerable communities in Canada and around the world. 

Today, she serves as the voice of Toronto Centre constituents as the only Black Woman in the House of Commons and continues to fight for inclusion, equality and ensuring that everyone in Toronto Centre and across Canada have a fair chance at success.


Speaker Rhiannon Bennett

Rhiannon Bennett

Rhiannon Bennett (she/her) is Musqueam Indian Band member, and she has been working with children, youth and families for over 20 years in a variety of roles with overarching themes of her work being decolonization. In 2014, she was the first Indigenous person elected to the Delta Board of Education. Following that, she was inspired to launch a consulting firm with her running-mate to continue her work in the community. Co-Founder, Hummingbirds Rising Consulting.


Speaker Vivienne Poy

The  Honourable Vivienne Poy

Vivienne Poy was the first Canadian of Asian heritage to be appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1998, where she focused on gender issues, multiculturalism, immigration, and human rights, and was instrumental in having May recognized as Asian Heritage Month across Canada. She is Chancellor Emerita of the University of Toronto. After her retirement from the Senate in 2012, she continues to be actively involved with academia and with communities across Canada.


Speaker, Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard

Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard

Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard is the first African Nova Scotian woman to be appointed to the Senate of Canada, representing the province of Nova Scotia and her hometown of East Preston. Senator Bernard champions issues impacting African Canadians and 

people living with disabilities. She is particularly invested in human rights, employment equity, and mental health. Through her involvement in community projects, her social work career, her time with Dalhousie School of Social Work, and now her work in the Senate and as Deputy Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights, Senator Bernard has maintained a deep dedication to social justice and racial justice. Senator Bernard advocates for reparations for the historic and continued anti-Black racism impacting the lives of African Canadians in her work.


Day 1: LGBTQ2 Individuals

Moderator, The Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry

The Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry

The Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry was first elected to Parliament for Vancouver Centre in 1993, becoming the first rookie to defeat a sitting Prime Minister. Re-elected in 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011, and 2015, she is now the longest-serving female MP in Canadian history. 

Inspired by Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s vision for a just society, Dr. Fry immigrated to Canada in 1970, practicing family medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital for decades. She was a leader in the medical community, serving as president of the Vancouver Medical Association (VMA), BC Medical Association (BCMA), and the Federation of Medical Women. She also hosted the popular medical information show Doctor, Doctor on CBC television. 

Following her election in 1993, Dr. Fry was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health. From 1996 to 2002, she was in Jean Chrétien’s Cabinet as Canada’s Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Status of Women, where she focussed on social policy, arts and culture, women’s equality, the environment, homelessness, same---- benefits, and equal marriage. 

From 2006 to 2015, she held a number of leadership roles in the Official Opposition, holding the Harper government to account as Critic for Canadian Heritage, Critic for Sport and the 2010 Games, and Critic for Health—where she was responsible for developing the Liberal Party of Canada’s 2015 Health platform. 

In addition to her duties as a Member of Parliament, Dr. Fry currently serves as head of Canada’s delegation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (OSCEPA), and is the OSCEPA’s Special Representative for Gender Issues. She also Chairs the Canadian Association of Parliamentarians for Population Development. 

She has three adult sons and four young grandchildren.


Speaker, Ariane Marchand-Labelle

Ariane Marchand-Labelle

Ariane Marchand-Labelle (she/her) is the executive director of the Conseil québécois LGBT, the 2SLGBTQ community organizations network of Québec. She participates in several consultations concerning the defense of collective rights, including the working committee on social profiling at the city of Montréal, the sexual violence committee at Juripop, and the consultative committee of the Bureau de lutte à l’homophobie et à la transphobie du Québec. Before working at the Conseil, as a political staffer at the federal and municipal levels for more than seven years, Ariane worked closely with local stakeholders in one of Montreal’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, on 2SLGBTQ2 rights, homelessness, urban planning, food security and social housing issues.


Speaker Debbie Owusu-Akyeeah

Debbie Osusu-Akyeeah

Debbie is a Black feminist with over 8 years of local and international advocacy experience in a variety of roles ranging from programming and counselling to policy analysis and project management. She is the new Executive Director at the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD). 

She has had the pleasure of bridging her passion for social justice with international development at Oxfam Canada and volunteering with feminists organizations like the Ottawa ---- March, Harmony House Women’s Shelter, and Planned Parenthood Ottawa. 

When Debbie isn't yelling into a megaphone at protests or organizing events, she's probably on a field somewhere playing rugby, or baking a cake.


Speaker, Emmett Lamache

Emmett Lamache

Emmett is an assigned female at birth non-binary franco-Albertan queer from Treaty 6 territory, who has been actively working on creating inclusive spaces for sexual and gender diversity within the context of francophone minorities since 2016. They were a founding member of the Comité FrancoQueer de l’Ouest, for which they were the Communications Director for over a year. They are now the Executive Director of The Enchanté Network, which connects and supports 2Spirit and LGBTQ+ community organizations across Canada. 

Emmett enjoys RuPaul’s Drag Race in their spare time, which they avidly watch with their partner, Rae, and their two cats, Diego and Thibeault.


Speaker, Felix Gilliland

Felix Gilliland

Felix Gilliland is a trans, white, working class settler living on the ancestral and unceded homelands of the Lekwungen peoples. They are a project lead at WAVAW Rape Crisis Center, working to create trans-led feminist services. In their work, they prioritize reducing reliance on the carceral system, and developing resistance to trans misogyny in the feminist sector. Felix is also involved in legal challenges to the state certification and coercion of gender, with the Gender-Free ID Coalition. They have a background in addiction services in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, which has deeply impacted their understanding of access and inclusion.


Day 1: Women with Disabilities

Moderator, Senator Chantal Petitclerc

Senator Chantal Petitclerc

Chantal was born in Saint-Marc-des-Carrières, Québec. At the age of 13, she lost the use of her legs following an accident. Convincing her to take up swimming in order to develop her strength and stamina, her high school physical education teacher, Gaston Jacques, would have a decisive impact on her life. For Chantal, that was her first contact with sport and training. Four years later, she would discover wheelchair athletics, paving the way for a long and very successful career which would take her to the Barcelona Games in 1992, and ultimately, to the Beijing Games in 2008. 

Chantal Petitclerc returned from the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games with 5 gold medals, for a total of 21 Paralympic medals, including 4 gold, making her the most celebrated female track athlete in history, the most medaled Canadian Paralympic athlete, as well as the only Canadian athlete to have won gold medals at the Olympics, Paralympics and Commonwealth Games. 

Chantal has received several recognitions for her sporting career, including being appointed Companion of the Order of Canada being named Personality of the Year by La Presse newspaper (2004) and receiving the Laureus international award (2005). 

In 2012, she was recruited as coach and mentor of the UK track and field team at the London Paralympic Games. After her return to Canada, Chantal was named Chef de Mission for the Glascow 2014 Commonwealth Games. For the first time in history, a paralympic athlete will lead a team of combined olympic and paralympic athletes. 

In April 2016, Chantal Petitclerc became a Senator at the Senate of Canada. As a Senator, her goal is to improve the health for all Canadians, especially our youth, as well as the rights of persons with disabilities.


Speaker, Bonnie Brayton

Bonnie Brayton

A recognized leader in both the feminist and disability movements, Bonnie Brayton has been the National Executive Director of the DisAbled Women’s Network (DAWN) Canada since May 2007. In this role, she has proven herself as a formidable advocate for women with disabilities here in Canada and internationally. During her tenure with DAWN Canada, Ms. Brayton has worked diligently to highlight key issues that impact the lives of women and girls with disabilities. 

From 2016 to 2019, Ms. Brayton served as a member of Minister’s Advisory Council on Gender-Based Violence (WAGE) and was reappointed to a two year term. Earlier in 2020, Bonnie was appointed by The Honourable Carla Qualtrough to COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group (CDAG) and will continue to serve as part of the DAG. Her blogs are published through Huff Post Canada and Rabble and Bonnie is considered a leading expert in Canada on Gender and Disability. Bonnie has also contributed to several anthologies including A BOLD VISION and LIVING THE EDGES, a DisAbled Women’s Reader and the newest release from Inana publications STILL LIVING THE EDGES (release Fall 2020). 

Ms. Brayton served as the Chair of Coup de Balai, an innovative social enterprise which provides home care services to people with disabilities and seniors in her Montreal community. Ms. Brayton is also a founding member of the Ending Violence Association of Canada and served on the Steering Committee of La Maison Parent-Roback, a Quebec feminist collective in Montreal from 2008-15. Ms. Brayton was recently appointed to the Advisory Committee for the Jarislowsky Chair in Families and Work at Live Work Well Research Centre at the University of Guelph. She is also the Partner Liaison for a seven-year initiative based at the University of Guelph called “Engendering Disability-Inclusive Development” (EDID) funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). 

Ms. Brayton lives in Montreal with her partner Delmar Medford. She has two adult daughters, Leah and Virginia.


Speaker, The Honourable Carla Qualtrough

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough

Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Carla Qualtrough is the Member of Parliament for Delta, British Columbia. She has been a Cabinet Minister since she was first elected in 2015, having previously served as Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, and as Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility. She currently serves in the senior role of Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion. She is active on a number of Cabinet committees, and has been at the center of the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She is responsible for many emergency measures, including the CERB, the CESB, Employment Insurance and the Disability Payment. As Canada works to recover from the effects of this pandemic, Minister Qualtrough is leading the charge on creating jobs, upskilling workers and implementing a historic Disability Inclusion Action Plan. 

Prior to entering politics, Minister Qualtrough practiced human rights law at the provincial and federal levels, and was a Vice-Chair with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal. She also has an impressive background in sport, having competed for Team Canada in the sport of swimming, winning a number of world championship and Paralympic medals. She volunteered extensively at the local, national and international levels, focusing on inclusion and equal access for all. She has been inducted into the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame, and has been recognized as one of Canada’s most influential women in sport on a number of occasions. 

Minister Qualtrough has been legally blind since birth and is a passionate advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities. She led the creation of the Accessible Canada Act 

and is internationally recognized for her work in disability inclusion. She has received a number of awards for her advocacy, including from the Disabled Women’s Network of Canada, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, the BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society, the Abilities Centre and the International Paralympic Committee. She is also the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award. 

Minister Qualtrough lives in Ladner with her husband Eron, her 2 youngest children and her mother.


Speaker Maayan Ziv

Maayan Ziv

Maayan Ziv is an activist, photographer and entrepreneur. In 2015, she launched AccessNow, a mobile app and website that collects and shares information about the accessibility status of places worldwide. What began as a response to her frustration when trying to navigate inaccessible places, AccessNow soon grew to become a mission-oriented social start-up. Within just a couple years AccessNow has vocalized a movement for inclusion, inviting people of all abilities to contribute to the platform. As CEO of AccessNow, Maayan has created a powerful shift in thinking about the importance of accessibility in our world, from accessible technologies to infrastructure, public policy, media and communications. To date AccessNow has shared accessibility information in over 35 countries. 

An influential public speaker who is often in the media, Maayan collaborates with private 

sector companies as well as government and not-for-profit organizations. She inspires leaders dedicated to raising the profile of accessibility for all. On August 1, 2019 the Government of Canada announced a $2.7M investment in AccessNow to focus on technical development, growth and scale.


Speaker, Tayler Glaspey

Tayler Glaspey

Tayler Glaspey is an undergraduate student in her Fourth year of Sociology and Political Science at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She has been volunteering within the community and internationally for many years. More recently, she has served the National Education Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) as the B.C. director and first vice chair. She is currently working with the Surrey Mobile Assault Response Team (SMART program) at the Surrey Women’s Centre. In addition she was on the West Coast LEAF’s student advisory committee for their consent education campaign: Only Yes means Yes. 

Tayler is very passionate towards about making sure that all post-secondary students feel safe from discrimination and gender based violence. She hopes to continue working and bringing awareness to disability and gender based violence issues by pursuing graduate school.


Speaker, Yazmine Laroche

Yazmine Laroche

Yazmine Laroche is Canada’s first Deputy Minister of Public Service Accessibility. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing the efforts of the Canadian public service to meet the requirements of the Accessible Canada Act. A career public servant with extensive experience, she has served in a variety of leadership roles in many different federal departments and agencies. She most recently served as the Associate Deputy Minister, Transport and Infrastructure. Yazmine is proud to be the Deputy Minister Champion for Federal Employees with Disabilities and the Deputy Minister Champion for her alma mater, Carleton University, from whom she received an honorary doctorate in 2019. She is a board member and the past chair of Muscular Dystrophy Canada. She was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of her charitable work and her efforts on behalf of people with disabilities.


Day 1: Indigenous Women

Moderator, The Honourable Carolyn Bennett

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett 

Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett was first elected to the House of Commons in 1997 and was re-elected in 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2015, and 2019, representing Toronto—St. Paul’s. 

She has served as Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and was previously the Minister of State for Public Health. She has also served as the critic for Public Health, Seniors, Persons with Disabilities, the Social Economy, and Aboriginal Affairs. 

Prior to her election in 1997, Minister Bennett was a family physician and a founding partner of Bedford Medical Associates in downtown Toronto. She was also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Her fight to save the Women’s College Hospital of Toronto inspired her to enter politics. 

Minister Bennett is an active representative of Toronto—St. Paul’s. She has organized over 75 town halls, quarterly meetings, information sessions, and special activities for her constituents since 2000. She and her office have assisted hundreds of constituents with their immigration, tax, pension, or employment insurance concerns. 

Minister Bennett speaks passionately about Canada and Canadians’ participation in the democratic process. She advocates for health, the environment, women’s involvement in politics, and persons with disabilities. She is also known for her strong support of Israel. 

In 1986, she received the Royal Life Saving Society’s Service Cross – a Commonwealth Honour Award recognizing her more than 20 years of distinguished service. In 2002, she was the recipient of the coveted EVE Award for contributing to the advancement of women in politics, and in 2003, she received the first-ever Champion of Mental Health Award from the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health. She was also the first recipient of the National Award of Excellence for Outstanding Leadership and Dedication to Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion in Canada, and was the co-author of Kill or Cure? How Canadians Can Remake Their Health Care System.


Speaker, Michèle Audette

Michèle Audette 

Michèle Taïna Audette is an Innu and a Quebecker. She was born in Wabush, in Labrador and grew up in Schefferville, Mani-Utenam and Montreal. She studied visual arts at the Université du Québec (UQAM) then arts education at Concordia University before receiving, several years later, in August 2018, an honorary doctorate from the Université de Montréal for her political and social involvement in defending the rights of Indigenous women. She has been the president of Femmes autochtones du Québec (FAQ) and the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) as well as a commissioner for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (NIMMIWG). Since the fall of 2019, she has held the position of senior advisor on Indigenous reconciliation and education at Université Laval.


Speaker, Odelle Pike

Odelle Pike 

Odelle grew up in a strong traditional Mi’kmaq family in St. George’s NL. She owned and operated a successful business in a neighboring community for over 25 years. During this time, she also focused her efforts on community, earning her several national awards and recognition. Such as the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Governor General Sovereign Award for Indigenous Leadership. The Unlooneg Lifetime Achievement Award. NLOWE Visionary Award, Western Newfoundland Volunteer of the year Award and Skate Canada national Volunteer of the Year Award 

Upon retiring from her business, her work has primarily concentrated on cultural revitalization and helping Indigenous men, women, and youth. She is the President of the Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network, President and Founder of the Bay St. George Cultural Circle presently known as the People of the Dawn Indigenous Friendship Centre, Director with Unlooneg on their Board, several steering committees, and Is Stephenville Ward Counsellor with the Qalipu Band. 

A generous philanthropist and fundraiser, she has contributed immensely to cancer research and cultural preservation. She is a seasoned communicator and is highly accomplished in cross sector conflict resolution, and facilitation. Her attention of late has been in supporting the families affected by cases of missing and murdered indigenous women and residential school survivors. She is committed to rebuilding Mi’kmaq communities through the combined efforts of Band Members, government agencies and industry through their collective wisdom and cultural ways. She is a respected Elder in her community and is an active traditional teacher, mentor, and educator.


Speaker Rebecca Kudloo

Rebecca Kudloo 

Rebecca Kudloo is the President of Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada. She was born on the land outside Iglulik, Nunavut, and now lives in Baker Lake, Nunavut. Rebecca fluently speaks Inuktitut and English and enjoys working with people of all ages. She was first elected as President in 2014 and previously served on the Pauktuutit Board as the Vice President and Regional Director for the Kivalliq region of Nunavut. 

As President, she represents Pauktuutit on the Board of Directors of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada. Rebecca is also active on the international stage. She advised at the Preparatory Meeting in Norway before the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was adopted, travelled to Greenland to discuss education, and is often summoned to the United Nations in New York to discuss Canada’s relationship with Inuit women. 

Outside of her work with Pauktuutit, Rebecca has dedicated her life to education and community-based counselling for over 30 years. This included her work in the Department of Education of the Nunavut Government, from which she is now retired. Rebecca is also the co-founder and current Chair of Mianiqsijit, a community-based child sexual abuse and family violence counselling service in Baker Lake. She also has served on many boards and councils, including the National Crime Prevention Council; the Sexual Abuse Coalition of the NWT the NWT Status of Women Council, where she held the position of Vice President; and the Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council, where she served as the first Interim President. 

When not representing Pauktuutit on the national stage, Rebecca is often spending time with her grandson and preparing country food.


Speaker, Valerie Gideon

Valerie Gideon 

Dr. Valérie Gideon is a member of the Mi’kmaq Nation of Gesgapegiag, Québec and a proud mother of two young girls. 

She currently holds the position of Associate Deputy Minister of Indigenous Services Canada. From 2018-2020, she was the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB), Indigenous Services Canada. From 2012-17, Valerie held the position of Assistant Deputy Minister, Regional Operations, Health Canada. In 2011-2012, she was Director General, Strategic Policy, Planning and Analysis at FNIHB. From 2007-2010, she held the position of Regional Director for First Nations and Inuit Health, Ontario Region, Health Canada. 

Prior to working at Health Canada, her experience consisted mainly of working in First Nations health advocacy as Senior Director of Health and Social Development at the Assembly of First Nations and Director of the First Nations Centre at the National Aboriginal Health Organization. She was named Chair of the Aboriginal Peoples’ Health Research Peer Review Committee of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in 2004. 

She graduated from McGill University (Montreal) in 2000 with a Doctorate degree (Dean’s List) in Communications (dissertation pertaining to telehealth and citizen empowerment). She previously completed a Masters of Arts in 1996 at McGill. She is a founding member of the Canadian Society of Telehealth and former Board member of the National Capital Region YMCA/YWCA.


Day 1: Immigrant Women

Moderator, Senator Ratna Omidvar

The Honourable Senator Ratna Omidvar

Ratna Omidvar is an internationally recognized voice on migration, diversity and inclusion. In 2016, she was appointed to the Senate of Canada as an independent senator for Ontario. Previously at Ryerson University, Senator Omidvar was a Distinguished Visiting Professor and founded the Global Diversity Exchange. She is co-author of Flight and Freedom: Stories of Escape to Canada (2015). Senator Omidvar was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2005 and became a Member of the Order of Canada in 2011.


Speaker, Beba Svigir

Beba Svigir 

Beba Svigir has worked as the CEO of the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association since 2006. Her background is in education, curriculum and program development, international development and settlement and integration. Over the years, CIWA expanded its programs and services exponentially to the level of expertise, innovation and skills necessary to support thousands of immigrant women every year. Guided by the passion for gender equality and equity, CIWA advocates for the appreciation of skills and assets immigrants bring to Canada, and the overall benefit of immigration towards nation building and labour market needs.


Speaker Debbie Douglas

Debbie Douglas 

Debbie Douglas is the Executive Director of OCASI -the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants. Through her work in the NGO sector and particularly at OCASI, Ms. Douglas has highlighted issues of equity and inclusion including race, gender and sexual orientation within the immigration system and promoted the creation of safe, welcoming spaces within the settlement and integration sector. 

A well-known face in Ontario and across the country, Ms. Douglas is often called upon by governments to share her expertise. She was a member of the province of Ontario’s Expert Panel on Immigration which published the report Routes to Success and led to the province’s first immigration legislation (2015); she was also a member of the provincial government’s Income Security Reform Working Group, which in October of 2017 published Income Security: A Roadmap for Change. Ms.Douglas is a member of the Immigration and Refugee Advisory Committee of Legal Aid Ontario and the federal government’s National Settlement & Integration Council, co-chairs the City of Toronto’s Newcomer Leadership Table and was appointed as a member of the provinces roundtable on Violence Against Women, and co-chaired the provincial Anti-Black Racism subcommittee. She is also currently on the Toronto Community Housing Corporation Board of Directors, and most recently was appointed to the Stephen Lewis Foundation Board of Directors. 

She is the recipient of several awards including the Women of Distinction from YWCA Toronto (2004); the Amino Malko award from the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (2008) and the Urban Alliance on Race Relations Anti-Racism Award (2014).


Speaker Naomi Alboim

Naomi Alboim 

Naomi Alboim is a Distinguished Fellow at the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University, and the Senior Policy Fellow at the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration (CERC) at Ryerson University. 

Previously, she worked at senior levels in the Canadian federal and Ontario provincial governments for twenty-five years, including eight years as Deputy Minister in three different portfolios. Her areas of responsibility included immigration, human rights, labour market training, workplace standards, culture, as well as women’s, seniors’, disability and indigenous issues. 

Naomi is a recipient of Queen Elizabeth II’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medals and is a member of the Order of Ontario.


Speaker, Naomi Lightman

Naomi Lightman 

Naomi Lightman is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Calgary. Her areas of research expertise include immigration, gender, inequality, care work, and critical social policy. Her work has been in published in numerous academic journals and Dr. Lightman collaborates on community-based research with various social agencies and government bodies including the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association, Social Planning Toronto, the Wellesley Institute, and the Calgary Local Immigration Partnership.


Day 2: Opening Plenary: Role of feminist leaders and movements

Moderator; Lorna Marsden

Lorna Marsden 

Lorna Marsden, CM, O.Ont, PhD was the third president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women; an active feminist; a Senator (1984-92); and president of Wilfrid Laurier University (1992-97) and York University (1997-2007). 

Her most recent book (with Beth Atcheson) is White Gloves Off! The Work of the Ontario Committee on the Status of Women, 2018.


Speaker, The Honourable Jean Augustine

The Honourable Jean Augustine 

Jean Augustine made history as the first Black Woman elected to Canada’s Parliament and served from 1993-2006. 

Her tenure included distinguished service as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister; Minister of State for Multiculturalism and the Status of Women; Chair of the International Trade Committee; and Deputy Speaker of Parliament. 

Her legislative successes include the historic Black History Month Motion; and the ground-breaking Famous Five Motion, which authorized the first and still the only statues on Parliament Hill depicting women - other than Queen Elizabeth. 

From 2007 to 2015, she served as Ontario’s first-ever Fairness Commissioner. 

In 2008, the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora was launched at York University to help advance education, equity and inclusiveness. 

Also in her name are a Girls' Leadership Academy in Scarborough; a Centre for Young Women's Empowerment and a municipal park in Etobicoke; a Secondary School in Brampton, and a multi-purpose complex and district park in Vaughan. 

A member of the Order of Canada and Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Jean Augustine holds honourary doctorates from the universities of McGill, Toronto, York, Windsor, Waterloo, Guelph, and Trent; and supports scholarships at Centennial College, George Brown, and Humber College.


Speaker, The Honourable Monique Bégin

The Honourable Monique Bégin 

As a social scientist, an elected politician (1972-1984), then an academic, the Honourable Monique Bégin is recognized for the strong voice she has given to the voiceless, fighting for health for all and for the social determinants of health, and for her contributions to the advancement of women in Canada. 

At 31, the Honourable Monique Bégin was the Executive Secretary of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women. She was appointed to Cabinet in 1976 as Minister of National Revenue then served as Minister of Health and Welfare from 1977 to 1979 and from 1980 to 1984. She has also served on/or chaired provincial, national and international Commissions of Inquiry.


Speaker, Maureen O'Neil

Maureen O’Neil 

In June 2011, Maureen O’Neil was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for public service, recognizing her contributions to international development, gender equality and human rights. 

She has lead ministries and Crown agencies in both the federal and two provincial governments; a think tank and a healthcare improvement not-for-profit. She is and has been a board member and Chair of international and national organizations, including Carleton University. 

Maureen O’Neil was Coordinator of Status of Women Canada (1978-1986).


Day 2: Women's Movement

Moderator, Senator Marilou McPhedran

Senator Marilou McPhedran

Marilou McPhedran is a human rights lawyer, professor and activist, appointed as an independent senator in the Parliament of Canada by Governor General David Johnston on the recommendation of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in November 2016. Marilou was one of the most influential leaders of the 1981 Ad Hoc Committee of Canadian Women on the Constitution conference- the grass roots social movement of women across Canada resulting in stronger equality rights in the constitution. She co- founded several internationally recognized non-profit Canadian organizations such as the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF); the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children (METRAC); and the Gerstein Crisis Centre for homeless discharged psychiatric patients. She was the founding Principal of the University of Winnipeg Global College and has facilitated student access to UN sessions for more than 20 years to provide practical skill building by providing rapporteur services to NGO presentations. She is a founding board member of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (Young Women Leaders for Peace) and has given extensive voluntary support to civil society organizations that focus on peacebuilding and women's rights, including the Afghan Women's Organization, Canadian Council of Muslim Women, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, and Manitoba Women for Women of South Sudan.


Speaker, Angela Marie MacDougall

Angela Marie MacDougall 

Through her community-based organizing, frontline work and activism over three decades, Angela Marie MacDougall has been deeply involved in movements for social justice. Since the nineties, Angela has developed training curricula from an intersectional and anti-oppression framework while her work as a trainer with community-based organizations, systems players, universities and in the larger public sphere has always emphasized the influence of a community-based response toward gender, racial, economic justice. Angela’s impact includes development of empowerment and advocacy-based program and service delivery models that address gender-based violence and violence against women that are grounded in strong theoretical frameworks that include feminist trauma-informed analysis that integrate the role substance use and mental wellness. An ever present theme and focus of her work has been the range of social inequities and environmental problems associated with colonialization and the generalized criminalization of communities of colour that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. 

Angela Marie MacDougall is a founding member of Feminists Deliver a provincial organization dedicated to shedding a light on the urgent issues facing marginalized communities in British Columbia and the grassroots struggles leading the way for transformative change while build transnational connections between grassroots intersectional feminist movements; and re-envisioning the global women’s agenda as one that centers a diversity of grassroots intersectional feminist voices. She is a long standing member of Vancouver’s February 14th Women’s Memorial March and is founding member of Intersectional Feminist Justice Research and Organizing Collaborative that brings together researchers, academics, data and policy analysts, students and community organizers to provide critical research, data, policy and strategic support for the ending violence, gender equity and social justice movements. Ms. MacDougall was named a Remarkable Woman by the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Magazine named her one of Vancouver’s most powerful people.

Ms. MacDougall is the Executive Director at Battered Women’s Support Services.


Speaker, Katie Davey

Katie Davey

Feeling like the conversation around inclusive and diverse decision making was lacking in Atlantic Canada, Katie Davey created Femme Wonk – a podcast with over 10,000 downloads about policy, politics, and current affairs through an inclusive lens. Through Femme Wonk, she also speaks, consults, and hosts a book club. Once called ‘the feminist money girl,’ Katie advocates for the integration of economic and social policy. Katie has served as Senior Advisor for Policy and Stakeholder Engagement in the New Brunswick Premier’s Office, and President of the University of New Brunswick Student Union. She currently holds the role of Policy Lead at the Public Policy Forum. She is a member of the Youth Working Group on Gender Equality for the Government of Canada, a 2019/20 Action Canada Fellow, a Coach for Girls on Boards. Katie holds a BA in Political Science from the University of New Brunswick and a Master of Applied Politics from Wilfrid Laurier University. 

Katie’s work has appeared in Toronto Star, Policy Options, Telegraph- Journal, and Hazlitt. She is also a regular political commentator on CBC New Brunswick, and has also appeared on CBC’s Power & Politics.


Speaker, Paulette Senior

Paulette Senior

Paulette Senior is President & CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation. She has devoted her career to empowering women and girls to overcome barriers and reach their full potential. 

Paulette started her career on the front lines of social service organizations in some of Toronto’s most underserved neighbourhoods. She saw how social resources and systemic change could transform women’s lives. Through her work and advocacy with shelters, as well as employment and housing programs, she has earned numerous awards and become one of the most respected women leaders in Canada. 

Paulette joined the Foundation in 2016, after 10 years as CEO of YWCA Canada. Her work with the Foundation is guided by the vision of an inclusive, national movement toward gender equity that will strengthen all Canadians.


Speaker, Rosemary Ganley

Rosemary Ganley 

Rosemary Ganley of Peterborough is a lifelong feminist activist and writer, who attended the Fourth UN Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. Subsequently she published 25 articles about this experience in various journals and newspapers. 

She lived for six years in Jamaica and Tanzania, and with her husband John founded the development agency, “Jamaican Self Help” in 1980. In 2016, she published a book on this experience: “Jamaica Journal: The Story of a Grassroots Canadian Aid Organization”. 

Rosemary gave the Margaret Laurence Lecture at Trent on feminist theologies in 2011, and now writes a weekly column for the Peterborough Examiner. One hundred of these columns are collected in the book “Positive Community” (2018). She was assistant editor of the independent newspaper Catholic New Times in Toronto from 2001-2006. Her writing has appeared in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto STAR, the Peterborough Examiner, The Green Teacher and Conscience magazine. 

Rosemary has three sons and eight grandchildren. She was inducted into the Peterborough Pathway of Fame in 2011 and received the YMCA Peace Medal in 2018. She recently co-moderated two webinars on women and Covid 19 entitled “Feminist Forums”. 

In 2018, Rosemary served on Prime Minister Trudeau’s 19- person Gender Equality Advisory Council for the G7 meetings in Quebec.


Day 2: Women in the care economy

Moderator, The Honourable Patty Hajdu

The Honourable Patty Hajdu

Minister of Health

The Honourable Patty Hajdu was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North in 2015. 

Minister Hajdu is a strong advocate for women’s rights, youth employment, and affordable housing. 

Before entering politics, Minister Hajdu was the Executive Director of Shelter House Thunder Bay and a co-author of the Thunder Bay Drug Strategy. She also previously worked in public health and focused on drug policy, youth development, and homelessness. 

She is a compassionate advocate for Thunder Bay—Superior North and all of Canada, believing that a more inclusive country benefits everyone. As Member of Parliament, she remains firmly focused on ensuring every Canadian has a fair shot at success. 

Minister Hajdu is a graduate of Lakehead University and earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Victoria.


Speaker, Cheryl Davies

Cheryl Davies 

Cheryl Davies is the Chief Operating Officer at BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre, an academic health centre within the Provincial Health Services Authority dedicated to advancing population health outcomes, innovation and equity across the system of care in BC. As one of the largest maternity hospitals in Canada, providing tertiary and quaternary levels of care, BC Women’s also provides a broad range of specialized services. 

Cheryl has over 30 years of experience in women’s health as a nurse, educator and senior leader, in both community and hospital settings, and is a passionate advocate for women’s health, reproductive rights and social justice.


Speaker Julia Anderson

Julia Anderson 

Julia is the Chief Executive Officer for the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH). She has over 15 years of senior and executive level experience in international development, not-for-profits, civil society, human rights and gender equality. 

Julia works closely with multiple stakeholders on international development policy-related issues, from Canadian and global decision-makers to young leaders. In 2019, Julia spearheaded the shaping of a renewed collective vision by Canada’s global health sector that resulted in a $14-billion, 10-year investment by the Government of Canada. 

As CanWaCH CEO, she continues to champion bold, innovative - and even disruptive - approaches to advancing the health and rights of women and girls around the world. 

Julia holds a Master of Arts degree in Canadian and Indigenous Studies from Trent University and an Executive Certificate in Conflict Management from University of Windsor Law School.


Speaker, Marie Clarke Walker

Marie Clarke Walker 

From an early age, Marie Clarke Walker has fought for equality and social justice. She is proud to follow in the footsteps of her mother, a retired trade union activist and feminist and her father, a lawyer who has represented workers all his life. This exposure informed her working life and has resulted in a career spanning four decades of breaking boundaries and fighting injustice. 

Marie is a published author, Vice-President (Labour) of a national political party, and is the first racialized woman to hold the position of Secretary-Treasurer for the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). 

As both the first racialized woman to be elected Executive Vice-President and the youngest officer in CLC history, Marie served as Executive Vice-President for five terms before being elected Secretary-Treasurer in 2017. 

Alongside her work in Canada, Marie has served as a Deputy Member of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and is currently a Titular Member on the ILO Governing Body. In 2017, she served as Vice-President (Workers) of their annual conference and most recently as the Worker Vice-Chair, she helped to negotiate the historic Convention and Recommendation on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work. 

Family and community are central to Marie’s life. As the proud mother of two sons, she is a dedicated “femtor” and a staunch believer that social justice is essential to universal and lasting peace.


Speaker Nora Spinks

Nora Spinks 

As Chief Executive Officer at the Vanier Institute, Nora works with individuals and organizations that study, serve and support families to mobilize knowledge and enhance the national understanding of families in Canada. A well-known keynote speaker and author, Nora is a sought-after guest on television and radio, where she regularly provides the “family lens” to issues of importance to Canadians. 

Nora has dedicated her career to creating innovative policies and programs focusing on health and well-being, caregiving, workplace flexibility and work–life harmony, having served as an advisor and consultant to leaders in business, law, labour, government and community. A strategic leader, Nora has contributed to the success of a variety of federal, provincial, community and workplace programs across diverse sectors, industries and professions. 

Recognized internationally as a leader in families and work, Nora is a recipient of many awards celebrating her contribution to workplaces and communities across Canada. Nora has been appointed to the National Seniors Council (2018) and the Expert Panel on Early Learning and Child Care Data and Research (2019), and serves on the Ministerial Advisory group on families for Veterans Affairs Canada.


Speaker, Pat Armstrong

Pat Armstrong 

Pat Armstrong is Distinguished Research Professor in Sociology at York University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She held a CHSRF/CIHR Chair in Health Services and Nursing Research and chaired Women and Health Care Reform, a group funded for over a decade by Health Canada. She has served as Chair of the Department of Sociology at York, Director of the School of Canadian Studies at Carleton University. As a board member of the Canadian Health Coalition and of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. She was Principal Investigator of the 10-year study “Reimagining Long-term Residential Care: An International Study of Promising Practices” as well as of numerous other research projects’, including a current one on families and COVID. 

Focusing on the fields of social policy, of women, work and the health and social services, she has published such books on health care as The Privatization of Care: The Case of Nursing Homes; Wash, Wear and Care. Clothes and Laundry in Long-term Care: Troubling Care: Critical to Care: The Invisible Women in Health Services Wasting Away; The Undermining of Canadian Health Care. Much of this work makes the relationship between women’s paid and unpaid work central to the analysis and is carried out in partnership with unions and community organizations.


Day 2: Women in the Economy

Moderator, The Honourable Mary Ng

The Honourable Mary Ng

Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

The Honourable Mary Ng was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Markham—Thornhill in April 2017 and was appointed Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion in July 2018. She was then re-elected in October 2019, and was appointed Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade in November 2019.

Mary is a devoted community leader who has always believed in the power of public service, with 20 years of experience in the areas of education, women’s leadership, job creation, and entrepreneurship.

Mary immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong with her family when she was very young, and grew up in her family’s small business – she knows first-hand the challenges and opportunities that many new Canadians face. Mary is committed to working with Justin Trudeau to grow and strengthen our middle class, and she understands what it takes to ensure well-paying jobs for the hard-working people in Markham—Thornhill.

Her years working for the Ontario Public Service, Ryerson University, and the Ontario Minister of Education led her to be recognized as one of Canada’s top-performing public sector leaders, before being recruited to serve as Director of Appointments for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Markham—Thornhill needs a trusted champion for middle-class families, and Mary Ng will continue working hard for our diverse and dynamic community to ensure everyone has a real and fair chance at success.


Speaker, Hilda Broomfield Letemplier

Hilda Broomfield Letemplier

Hilda Broomfield Letemplier is the President and Chief Financial Officer of Pressure Pipe Steel Fabrication Limited and Northern Oxygen Ltd. both 100% Inuit/Indigenous and woman-owned mining suppliers servicing some of the largest resource development projects in Labrador. 

Hilda holds a seat on the Indigenous Women’s Circle an currently serves on the National Indigenous Economic Development Board.

Hilda lives and works in Happy Valley – Goose Bay, Newfoundland with her husband Lionel.


Speaker, Rhonda Barnet

Rhonda Barnet 

Rhonda Barnet is the President & COO of AVIT Manufacturing (formerly Steelworks Design), an engineering and custom automation firm in Peterborough, Ontario. 

An ardent supporter of Canadian Manufacturing and Exporting, Rhonda was appointed the first female Chair in history of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (2016-2018). Rhonda currently serves CME in the role of immediate Past Chair and the Chair of The Workforce of the Future. She maintains an active schedule of government and industry engagements, including functions in Germany, Holland, Italy, China, Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Further national appointments include being one of 9 members of the Canada Economic Strategy Council, set to lead a comprehensive strategy for Canada’s recovery from the 2020 Economic Crisis, Chair of the Federal Advanced Manufacturing Strategy Table (AMEST), and Director of Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen Canada), one of 5 Canadian Super Clusters to deliver $950M of Federal innovation funds. Recently Rhonda was also appointed a Director of Palette Inc, a federally funded pilot program around reskilling and upskilling disrupted workers for the technology jobs of the future. Rhonda was recently appointed as Chair of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion of Palette Inc. 

Quick to recognize the potential of a strong entrepreneurial community focused on skills and education, Rhonda volunteers and champions numerous initiatives to this end. This includes work with regional manufacturers’ associations and start-up organizations, community college and economic development strategy councils. 

In 2016 Rhonda launched CME’s Women in Manufacturing Working Group, convened to elevate the participation and roles of women in Canadian Manufacturing. In 2018 Rhonda launched CME’s “We Can Do It” Campaign, an initiative funded in part by the federal government to add 100,000 women to the manufacturing workforce over the next five years. Rhonda is an international spokeswoman on diversity, women in manufacturing, skills and the future workforce. Rhonda believes in the value of mentorship and upholds the philosophy “If you can see me, you can be me”.


Speaker, Roopa Davé

Roopa Davé 

Roopa is a partner in KPMG’s Sustainability Services practice. Having trained as an accountant, Roopa focused her career on sustainability because she believes there is a role for business in addressing societal issues like climate change and human rights. She sees an opportunity for organizations and individuals to look beyond the traditional way of doing business and to recognize a wider group of diverse stakeholders and ever-changing business issues, whether environmental, social or economic, in their activities. 

As a sustainability professional, Roopa works in a global setting helping clients to understand and respond to their shifting environments effectively and profitably by helping to reduce risks, find opportunities and ultimately build more resilient and sustainable businesses. She has over 15 years of experience delivering a range of services including sustainability measurement and reporting, strategy, assurance, ESG and climate risk identification, materiality and greenhouse gas emissions estimates and verifications.


Speaker, Victoria LaBillois

Victoria LaBillois 

A Mi’gmaq entrepreneur from Listuguj, in the traditional district of Gespe’gewa’gi, Victoria owns Wejipeg Excavation Inc. participating in wind park construction. In 2016, Victoria added Wejuseg Construction Inc. which she co-owns. In addition, she owns rental properties, launched an online T-shirt company, and is building an export company. 

Victoria serves many roles for the surrounding First Nations and the federal public service, at the community, regional and national levels. Her passion and commitment to serve Indigenous people is extensive.


Wendy Cukier 

Dr. Wendy Cukier is a professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at the Ted Rogers School of Management and Academic Director of the Diversity Institute. She co-authored the bestseller “Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Java to Jurassic Park" and is a leader in disruptive technologies and innovation and former VP of Research and Innovation and more than 200 articles on aspects of diversity, inclusion and innovation. 

She is the Founder of Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute which has 100 research staff, 100 research associates from around the world and 200 industry partners focused on dimensions of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, future skills, and entrepreneurship. It leads a number of large partnership-based projects aimed at promoting the participation and advancement of underrepresented groups including women, racialized minorities, Indigenous, LGBTQ and persons with disabilities. Including projects such as the Advanced Digital and Professional Training program (ADaPT) and the Newcomer Entrepreneurship Hub. 

She also leads the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub and a program of research for the Future Skills Centre as well as the new Inclusive Innovation and Entrepreneurship Network(IIE-Net). Wendy is also a well-regarded champion of social justice, she has pioneered the adaptation of ecological models of complex systems change. She was responsible for the gender plus analysis of more than 1000 social innovation projects as part of the European Union’s SI DRIVE initiative. She spearheaded Ryerson’s social innovation strategy and the University to become Canada’s first Ashoka Changemaker Campus. She also created the Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge which mobilized 1000 volunteers and raised $5m to privately sponsor more than 400 Syrian refugees.


Day 2: Gender-Based Violence

Moderator, Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne

Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne

Since her appointment to the Senate in 2018, Senator Miville-Dechêne has introduced two Senate public bills: Bill S-203 that would require the implementation of age verification methods online to protect minors from exposure to online -----------; and Bill S-216 on modern slavery, a bill that would require more transparency from businesses on the use of forced labour and child labour in their supply chain. She is also vice-chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications, and have spoken on several societal issues, such as the journalism crisis, -----------, prostitution, and Senate reform and the related ethical issues. Before being appointed to the Senate, Julie Miville-Dechêne had a long career in the public service sector where her talent as a skilled communicator shone through. Mrs. Miville-Dechêne was a longtime journalist and correspondent for the public network Radio-Canada (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/CBC) domestically and in the United States before becoming its ombudsman in 2007. In 2011, she was named chair of the Québec Council of the Status of Women, and in 2016 she became a diplomat for Québec; first as Québec representative in the Permanent Delegation of Canada to UNESCO, and then as an envoy for human rights and freedoms.


Speaker, Dawn Lavell-Harvard

Dawn Lavell-Harvard 

Dr. Dawn Lavell Harvard, Ph.D., is a proud member of the Wiikwemkoong First Nation, the first Aboriginal Trudeau Scholar, Director for First Peoples House of Learning at Trent University, and has worked to advance the rights of Indigenous women as the President of the Ontario Native Women's Association since 2003. Dawn was elected President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada at the 41st Annual General Assembly, July 11, 2015 in Montreal, Quebec and was Vice-President for almost 3 years. 

Dawn feels her most important role is being the mother of three girls. Following in the footsteps of her own mother Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, a noted advocate for Indigenous women’s rights, since joining the Board of the Ontario Native Women Association as a youth director back in 1994, Dr. Harvard has been working toward the empowerment of Aboriginal women and their families. She was co-editor of the original volume on Indigenous Mothering entitled “Until Our Hearts Are on the Ground: Aboriginal Mothering, Oppression, Resistance and Rebirth”, she has also released a book along with Kim Anderson, entitled “Mothers of the Nations”, and she has recently co-edited a book with Jennifer Brant entitled “Forever Loved: Exposing the Hidden Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada”.


Speaker, Farrah Khan

Farrah Khan 

Farrah Khan has spent two decades raising awareness about the intersections of gender-based violence and equity through education, policy, art and advocacy. She is the founder of Possibility Seeds, member of the Government of Canada's Advisory Council on the Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence, board member of Girl Guides of Canada and former co-chair of the Ontario Government Provincial Roundtable on Violence Against Women. Currently, Farrah works at Ryerson University as the Manager of Consent Comes First, Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education where she supports community members affected by gender-based violence, leads campus-wide educational programming and aids in shaping campus policy and procedures. In addition, Farrah is the co-founder of innovative community projects including femifesto’s Use The Right Words: Media Reporting on Sexual Violence and co-director of Courage to Act, the first national project of its kind to address and prevent gender-based violence on post-secondary campuses in Canada. She regularly contributes to national media with her expertise in addressing gender-based violence and is the recipient of numerous awards including the Toronto Community Foundation’s Vital People Award. In 2018 Farrah was appointed to the Gender Equality Advisory Council for the G7 Summit. At the Summit, Farrah addressed an audience of world leaders insisting that any discussion about a thriving, sustainable and peaceful world is not possible without taking concrete action on gender justice.


Speaker, Lesley Lindberg

Lesley Lindberg 

Lesley is the principal in Lindberg Consulting and Project Manager for the Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters (MAWS) Transforming Together system transformation project. She is the past Executive Director of a family violence shelter in Winnipeg, past Co-chair of MAWS and Past President and founding member of the Project Management Institute (PMI), Manitoba Chapter. She is a current board member of End Homelessness Winnipeg, and sitting member on numerous sector councils, steering committees and advisory groups. Lesley is a proud Metis woman and even prouder Gramma to Hannah and Nicholas.


Speaker, Manon Monastesse

Manon Monastesse 

In the 1990s, Manon Monastesse worked to defend the rights of women, more specifically in disputes involving the legal custody of children, including international parental abductions in Europe and the Middle East. 

Upon her return to Québec, she continued her work at the national and international level and completed a master’s degree in social intervention (UQAM) on socio-legal interventions regarding child custody in situations of domestic violence (2003). She went on to become the coordinator for the Roundtable on domestic violence and sexual assault in Laval, Quebec (2003-2006). 

In 2006, she became the provincial director of the Quebec Federation of Women’s Shelters. In this capacity, she has sat on several governmental committees including the working committee for joint action with children exposed to domestic violence and their families (2012-2014) as well as the expert committee on domestic homicide (2011-2012) and is currently a member of the review committee on domestic violence deaths chaired by the Quebec Chief Coroner. She has also been a part of various committees involved in the development of government action plans on domestic violence and partnership research groups. She has participated in innumerable conferences and events as an expert. 

She has been co-president of Shelter Safe for several years and contributed to the creation of the Global Network of Women's Shelters in 2009.


Speaker, Tod Augusta-Scott

Tod Augusta-Scott 

Tod Augusta-Scott is known internationally for his work in gendered-based violence, restorative approaches, trauma and narrative therapy. He has been the Executive Director and lead therapist in a community-based organization for over twenty-five years. For the past fifteen years, he has also worked as a family therapist for the Canadian Armed Forces. 

Tod co-edited and contributed chapters to the critically acclaimed books Narrative Therapy: Making Meaning, Making Lives (Sage Publications, 2007) and Innovations in Interventions to Address Intimate Partner Violence: Research and Practice (Routledge Press, 2017). Tod serves on the Advisory Council for the Status of Women, Canada. 

Tod received an Award of Excellence from the Deputy Minister of National Defence for his work addressing sexual misconduct in the CAF (2019). He was also awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Canadian Association of Social Workers. 

Tod has been the Executive Director and Clinical Leader at the Bridges Centre since 1994. Bridges is a counselling centre for those who want to move toward repair, when they have been harmed and when they harm others. The staff have published and presented their work nationally and internationally. 

Tod co-founded the Canadian Domestic Violence Conference in 2009. He has coordinated 6 conferences, each including hundreds of presenters from across the country and internationally. The primary focus of the conference is to network the grassroots movement from across the country.


Speaker, Tracey Porteous

Tracy Porteous 

Tracy is a leader in the Canadian anti-violence sector having worked for the last 39 years addressing gender-based violence, creating services for survivors and their families, developing policy and best practices for service providers, contributing to legislative advancement, and cross-sectoral training and collaboration. In 2020, Tracy was inducted into the Order of British Columbia and was also bestowed an Honorary Doctorate from the University of British Columbia. Tracy is a three-time Governor General of Canada medal recipient, was a member of BC’s Domestic Violence Death Review Panels, has testified to federal Parliamentary committees, spoken as a Canadian delegate at the United Nations, is a member of the National Domestic Homicide Prevention Committee as well as the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability. Tracy co-launched the ground-breaking, award winning Be More Than a Bystander: Break the Silence on Gender-Based Violence campaign with the BC Lions Football Club. Tracy is currently the Executive Director of the Ending Violence Association of BC, a provincial association supporting over 300 anti-violence programs and initiatives across BC that respond to sexual and domestic violence, child abuse, and criminal and sexual harassment. Tracy is also Co-Chair of the Ending Violence Association of Canada.


Day 2: Women in Rural and Remote Canada

Moderator, Gudie Hutchings

Gudie Hutchings 

Gudie Hutchings was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Long Range Mountains in 2015. 

Born and raised in Corner Brook, Ms. Hutchings is proud to call the Humber Valley home. Her focus on consultation, the development of local employees, and sustainable environmental practices make her a strong advocate for the business owners, workers, and families of Long Range Mountains. 

Ms. Hutchings has strong community ties and over 30 years of experience in the tourism industry. 

She spent a decade as a board member for the Newfoundland and Labrador Outfitters Association, where she also served as president. She was also Chair and Managing Director of the Battle Harbour Historic Trust, an organization committed to protecting and promoting the history, integrity, and natural environment of Battle Harbour. 

Ms. Hutchings was president of the Greater Corner Brook Chamber of Commerce and a founding board member of the Canadian Federation of Outfitting Associations. She was also Co-Chair of Forget-Me-Not, a community group dedicated to raising money to honour past and present soldiers at Remembrance Square in Corner Brook.


Speaker, Corinne Pohlmann

Corinne Pohlmann  

Corinne Pohlmann is Senior Vice President, National Affairs and Partnerships for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), a not-for-profit organization representing 110,000 small and medium-sized business members across Canada. Corinne is based in Ottawa and is a member of CFIB’s senior management team and responsible for developing CFIB’s strategy on federal legislative issues, as well as overseeing CFIB’s Partnerships division, and Atlantic Canada legislative team. 

Since joining the Federation in 1998, Corinne first worked in research, where she authored several research reports on a variety of public policy and economic issues. In 2000, Corinne became CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs based in Edmonton where she represented the interests of Alberta and NWT members to all levels of government and in 2006 she relocated to Ottawa to take on the responsibility of National Affairs. 

Throughout her career, Corinne participated in numerous national consultations and committees on a wide variety of small business issues, including the Ministerial Advisory Committee on the Underground Economy, the Advisory Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, as well as the Deputy Minister Advisory Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. 

Corinne was born and raised in Montreal where she attended McGill University - graduating with both a Bachelor and a Master’s Degree in Geography.


Speaker, Chief Kluane Adamek

Chief Kluane Adamek 

Kluane Adamek (traditional name is "Aagé") has served as the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Yukon Regional Chief since January 2018. Regional Chief Adamek is committed to working with Yukon First Nation Leadership and communities in bringing forward their priorities and interests at their direction regionally, nationally and beyond. 

A proud citizen of Kluane First Nation, Regional Chief Adamek belongs to the Dakl’aweidi (Killerwhale) Clan. She comes from a diverse background with Tlingit, Southern Tutchone, German and Irish origins. Regional Chief Adamek is fluent in English and French and continues to learn Southern Tutchone and Tlingit. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Canadian Studies from Carleton University in 2009 (Ottawa, Ontario), she returned home to work with Yukon First Nations and local communities in the areas of education, economic development and governance. 

In 2019, she completed her Master of Business Administration at Simon Fraser University. Throughout her career she has served on a number of boards and committees including the Yukon College Board of Governors, Kluane Dana Shaw Development Corporation, Actua, the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, and the Aboriginal Sport Circle. She has proven experience in both the private and public sectors, holding various roles in the corporate and private sectors and in Government. Her professional experience also includes serving as an Advisor to former AFN National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo. While pursuing her Jane Glassco Northern Fellowship with the Walter and Duncan Gordon Charitable Foundation, she led and founded "Our Voices," a collective of northern Indigenous emerging leaders. 

Regional Chief Adamek currently holds the AFN National Portfolios for Climate Change and the Environment, Health and the Modern Treaties. Kluane was recently featured on TED and was also celebrated as one of 2021 Top 25 Women of Influence. She is incredibly passionate about supporting youth and emerging leaders in the North and beyond. Regional Chief Adamek continues to press for changes in the ways young people and the next generation are included in decision making forums, and she is committed to advancing solutions and approaching leadership from a place of values.


Speaker, Michelene Gray

Michelene Gray 

Michelene Gray is an advocate, a lobbyist and well versed in the challenges and barriers women in rural Canada face. She is presently the Executive Director for the Labrador West Status of Women where she has fought to make improvements to accessibility of safe non-judgmental health care for women, to bring awareness to missing and murdered indigenous women, and to implement safety programs that reduce barriers for women facing violence. 

Michelene is an active member of her community, Labrador West, and has held prominent seats on various boards such as the Labrador West Mental Health Coalition, Hope Haven transition house, the Labrador West Housing and Homelessness coalition, the Provincial Action Network on the Status of Women and many more. 

Michelene is a Memorial University graduate holding a degree in Social Sciences with a focus in ethics and morality. She was driven to pursue this field of study due to her personal passion for women’s issues, and strong advocacy for social justice. 

Born and raised in Labrador and being raised in a mining town, Michelene has seen the evolution of Labrador over the years, the ever changing economic structure and how the effects resonate through generations of women environmentally, fiscally and culturally. These impacts paired with a global pandemic, have made the barriers women face in rural Canada more evident to the nation, and highlights the necessity to move diligently towards equity for all women in Canada, regardless of their postal code.


Speaker, Mylene Riva

Mylène Riva 

Dr. Mylene Riva is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and the Institute for Health and Social Policy. She is a health geographer and population health researcher. Her research projects are focused on socio-environmental determinants of health in rural, remote and Indigenous communities. Prior to joining McGill, Dr. Riva was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at Université Laval and a researcher at CHU de Quebec Research Center. She currently holds a career award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé.


Day 2: Closing Plenary: Actions for advancing gender equality

Moderator, The Honourable Maryam Monsef

The Honourable Maryam Monsef

Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

The Honourable Maryam Monsef is Canada’s Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, and the Member of Parliament for Peterborough—Kawartha. She is the first woman to be elected in the federal riding of Peterborough—Kawartha, the first Afghan-Canadian Member of Parliament in Canada’s history, and the first Muslim to serve as a federal Cabinet Minister. 

Recognized by Apolitical as one of the Top 20 Most Influential People in Gender Policy for the past two years, Minister Monsef has helped to shape the conversation about gender equality on the national and global stage. She helped lead Canada’s efforts to mainstream gender equality and Gender-based Analysis Plus into all G7 work, including during its presidency in 2018, as well as oversaw the activities of Canada’s G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council. She has led the Canadian delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women since 2017, represented Canada at the World Bank, and was instrumental in bringing discussions of gender equality to the table at the World Economic Forum. 

She has always been committed to giving back to her community and her country. In her home community of Peterborough, Ontario, she co-founded the Red Pashmina Campaign, which raised money to support education for women and girls in Afghanistan. She is an alumna of Trent University, and speaks English, Farsi and Dari.


Speaker, Alana Robert

Alana Robert 

Alana Robert is a lawyer at McCarthy Tetrault in Toronto. Alana has prepared strategic reports focused on equality rights for the National Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) and Equal Voice. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto and on the Advisory Council for the Indigenous Human Rights Program. Alana founded Justice For Women Manitoba to combat violence on campus through education, policy, and supports for students.


Speaker, Charlotte Thibault

Charlotte Thibault 

Ms. Charlotte Thibault currently specializes in gender-based analysis. Her expertise is recognized both in Canada and internationally. 

She has more than 30 years of experience working with women's and community groups. 

In 2006, she was the recipient of the Governor General's Award in honour of the Persons Case. She lives in a housing cooperative in Milton-Parc in Montreal.


Speaker, Lauren Ravon

Lauren Ravon 

Lauren Ravon is the Executive Director of Oxfam Canada. She is a committed feminist and social justice advocate with over 15 years of international development experience. Lauren has been with Oxfam Canada since 2011, holding a number of roles – including Director Policy and Campaigns – and working tirelessly to put women’s rights at the heart of the global Oxfam confederation. Before joining Oxfam, Lauren worked at the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development where she was program manager for the Americas and oversaw the Centre’s office and human rights programming in Haiti. She has also worked on programs to tackle gender-based violence and promote sexual and reproductive rights with Planned Parenthood Global and the International Rescue Committee. Lauren has conducted extensive policy research and campaigned on issues of food justice, women’s economic equality, sexual and reproductive health and rights and the role of women’s movements. She holds Masters Degrees in international affairs and development studies from Columbia University and the Paris Institute of Political Studies. Lauren sits on the Executive Board of Oxfam International and on the Board of Directors of the Humanitarian Coalition.


Speaker, Maya Roy

Maya Roy 

Maya is a senior non-profit leader with 24 years of experience in a variety of sectors in public policy development, the social determinants of health, and organizational development. Her work has taken her to Thailand, Brazil, India and the UK where she worked with NGOs to support human rights and violence prevention. Her essays have been published in Going Beyond the Journey (2013) by Insomniac Press, and she is the winner of the 2013 CASSA Gender Advocate Award and the Toronto Community Foundation’s Vital People. From 2018-2019, she was named to the Global Cultural Relations Programme by the EU. 

She has a degree in Social Work from the Ryerson School of Social Work, and has a Masters in Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics. 

Maya was a member of the Gender Equality Advisory Council for Canada’s G7 Presidency and presented on YWCA Canada promising practices at Davos, Switzerland. She is currently part of Young Global Leaders with the World Economic Forum, a Canada Top 40 Under 40 award winner and sits on the board of Women’s College Hospital.


Speaker, Nikki Fraser

Nikki Fraser 

Nikki Fraser is an Indigenous advocate from Kamloops, B.C. Canada. She started Uniting Our Voices, a platform working for and towards inclusion and equality by creating a space for more Indigenous voices to be heard, to build connections, and inspire more change makers through stories and her engagements. She is involved in Indigenous research and advocacy through a gender-sensitive lens. Nikki is a part of the United Nations Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals for the United Nations Youth Envoy, a student at Thompson Rivers University and was one of Flare Magazines 50+ women #HowIMadeit 2019/2020 list.


Speaker, Paulette Senior

Paulette Senior 

Paulette Senior is President & CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation. She has devoted her career to empowering women and girls to overcome barriers and reach their full potential. 

Paulette started her career on the front lines of social service organizations in some of Toronto’s most underserved neighbourhoods. She saw how social resources and systemic change could transform women’s lives. Through her work and advocacy with shelters, as well as employment and housing programs, she has earned numerous awards and become one of the most respected women leaders in Canada. 

Paulette joined the Foundation in 2016, after 10 years as CEO of YWCA Canada. Her work with the Foundation is guided by the vision of an inclusive, national movement toward gender equity that will strengthen all Canadians