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2010 Conference Sessions


A list of suggested readings (pdf) has been posted.

Summary Report of 2010 Conference Proceedings (pdf)

Thursday Evening Opening Keynote
Margaret MacMillan

Gwen Burrows (left) and Margaret MacMillan during questions

Acclaimed Canadian writer and historian MARGARET MacMILLAN, now Warden of St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, is the author of bestselling books including Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World and Nixon in China: The Week that Changed the World. As a scholar who has studied great turning points in history and their consequences, Dr. MacMillan will provide the historical context to help us understand where we have been and where we are going. (Bio)

Moderator: GWENYTH BURROWS, President, CIPA

Session Summary 


Highlights of Margaret MacMillan’s Opening Keynote Address 

Friday Morning Keynote Address


The HON. JIM FLAHERTY, Minister of Finance (bio)

Speech by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance 
Canada: “Punching above our weight” (pdf) from the September 2010 issue of Policy Options, published by the Institute for Research on Public Policy and posted with permission
Session Summary 


Video highlights of Jim Flaherty at the 2010 Couchiching Conference 

Friday Morning
Watershed Moment: How did we get here?

Nicholas Le Pan at the podium

If the combination of lax regulation and opportunism in the financial sector led to the crisis, how should consumers, governments, and business respond? What went wrong in the markets and why? Given the apparent recovery of the economy, are we on track to correct the market and regulate its participants?ˆ

Speakers: NICHOLAS LE PAN, Chair of the Canadian Public Accountability Board, member of the board of the Toronto Centre for Leadership in Financial Sector Supervision, and past Superintendent of Financial Institutions for Canada (2001–2006) (bio); ANGELA REDISH, Professor of Economics, UBC University of British Columbia and former Special Advisor to the Bank of Canada (bio)

Moderator: JOHN IVISON, Political Columist, National Post

Session Summary 

Friday Afternoon
Now What? Innovation and Global Competitiveness

Anne Golden, Roger Martin and Tom Jenkins

Canada’s sound fiscal position and conservative banking system seems to have helped us weather the downturn. What steps need to be taken at this point to strengthen our economy and boost productivity as the effects of stimulus funding fade? How can Canada leverage the changed economic landscape to our advantage? What are our strengths and weaknesses? How do we build a productivity and innovation framework integral to Canada’s long-term growth and success?

Speakers: ANNE GOLDEN, President and CEO, Conference Board of Canada (bio); ROGER MARTIN, Dean of the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto (bio); TOM JENKINS, Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer for Open Text™ Corporation of Waterloo (bio)

Moderator; BOB RAMSAY, President, Ramsay Inc.

Anne Golden’s Presentation 
Session Summary 

Friday Evening
The Role of the State

Left to right: Toby Fyfe, Alex Himelfarb, Armine Yalnizyan, Tom Flanagan

The economic crisis has led to a renewal of “state capitalism” – indeed, many who say they do not support “big government” have turned to the state for help to avoid ruin. While government bailouts seem to have brought the Canadian economy out of a nosedive, they may have severely limited our ability to invest in larger social policy in the coming decade. This is also a problem for the United States. Would a stronger state be effective in preventing future financial meltdowns? What would it look like? How would it work?

Speakers: TOM FLANAGAN, Professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary and former Senior Communications Advisor, Conservative Party of Canada (bio); ALEX HIMELFARB, former Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet (bio); ARMINE YALNIZYAN, Senior Economist, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (bio)

Moderator: TOBY FYFE, Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Government Executive

Session Summary 
Armine Yalnizyan’s Presentation 

Saturday Morning Keynote Address

The RT. HON. PAUL MARTIN has been invited to speak on his vision of the role that the G20 can play in an increasingly complex world and how the G20 can set new standards for global co-ordination. (Bio)

Moderator: GWENYTH BURROWS, President, CIPA

Session Summary 

Saturday Morning
Shifts in Global Power

Left to right: Mohamed Awad, Paul Martin, Wenran Jiang, Andy Knight, Neil Shenai

The way in which countries emerge from the economic crisis may lead to shifts in global power, with countries such as China, which holds much of the US debt, continuing to gain influence. What are the consequences for nations that are still struggling with recession, especially those that were already vulnerable? Who are the new global players and what role should international bodies such as the G20 play?

Speakers: WENRAN JIANG, Associate Professor and Mactaggart Research Chair of the China Institute, University of Alberta; ANDY KNIGHT, Professor of International Relations, in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta and editor of Global Governance Journal (bio); NEIL K. SHENAI, PhD Candidate, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (bio)

Moderator: MOHAMED AWAD, Chair, Youth Affairs, CIPA

Session Summary 

Saturday at Lunch
Presentation of the Annual Couchiching Award
for Excellence in Public Policy Leadership


Each year, we present the Couchiching Award for Public Policy Leadership to a nationally recognized Canadian who has demonstrated a particular kind of leadership: someone who has made an impact in public policy for Canada or for a community, often in the face of public opposition. We are very pleased to present the 2010 Couchiching Public Policy Award to DR. SYLVIA OSTRY, distinguished academic, civil servant, multi-lateral trade specialist and author. The first woman to hold a number of deputy minister positions in government and lead international economic and trade organizations, Dr. Ostry is the recipient of many national and international awards for her contributions.

Acceptance Speech 

Saturday Afternoon
Discussion Groups

Saturday Night
Bonfire of the Vanities

Left to right: Brenda Paul, Jennifer Corriero, Peter Wintonick, Joseph Heath

Vitriol was heaped upon the bankers whose greed was felt to have caused the meltdown and whose hefty bonuses seemed to insulate them from its consequences. But how much was their greed driven by the simple desire of Everyman to have Everything? Is this the empty pot at the end of the American Dream’s rainbow? Has the zeitgeist shifted in response to foreclosed homes and evaporating jobs? We explore the line between complacent, self-interested consumers and engaged, socially active citizens. We will consider how policy is made in our name and what we can do about it.

Speakers: JOSEPH HEATH, Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto and author of Filthy Lucre (bio); JENNIFER CORRIERO, Co-founder and Executive Director, TakingITGlobal (bio); PETER WINTONICK, independent documentary filmmaker, winner of the 2006 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, former Thinker in Residence for the Premier of South Australia (bio)

Moderator: BRENDA PAUL, VP, Marketing, CIPA

Session Summary 

Sunday Morning
Wasted Opportunity? Investing in the Long Term

Left to right: Wendy Feldman, Thomas Homer-Dixon, Velma McColl, Jeff Rubin

Developing green economies that lead to an environmental sustainability is a major challenge facing Canada and the world. With billions of new dollars invested in infrastructure in Canada and elsewhere, did we miss the chance to invest in infrastructure to support the environment? What are the challenges and opportunities for Canada to become an innovator in creating a greener economy?

Speakers: THOMAS HOMER-DIXON, CIGI Chair of Global Systems at the Balsillie School of International Affairs (bio); JEFF RUBIN, former CIBC Chief Economist and author of Why Your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller (bio); VELMA McCOLL, Principal, Earnscliffe Strategy Group (bio)

Moderator: WENDY FELDMAN, VP, Program, CIPA

Session Summary 

Closing Keynote Address

DOUG SAUNDERS, Chief, European Bureau, The Globe and Mail (bio)

Award winning Globe and Mail columnist DOUG SAUNDERS will give the closing keynote address. Mr. Saunders is the Globe’s European Bureau Chief, and has, over the past several years, written extensively on many of the themes explored during the 2010 Couchiching conference, always bringing his trademark intelligence and insight to bear on the issues.

Moderator: DAVID McGOWN, Conference Chair, CIPA

Session Summary