Couchiching Connects: July 2015

In this Issue:

Couch News

The President's Message

Summer Conference



Couch Community News


Alumni in the News

Calling All Readers!

The President's Message
Adam Redish

I had the opportunity to drive from Toronto to Lake Temagami last weekend; that’s a five-hour drive that takes you right past Orillia and Geneva Park.

As we were driving, CBC Radio was broadcasting the opening of the Pan American Games in Toronto. It gave me a moment to reflect on the excellent discussions at last year’s Summer Conference, More Than a Game: The Politics and Potential of Sport ( During the conference, we talked about so many issues that resonate today: the ups and downs of “big sport”, sport as a model for building teams and creating inclusive, and, let’s face it, sometimes non-inclusive, environments and the complex interactions between politics, policy, and national sports.

Needless to say, that got me thinking ahead to August 7th – just a few short weeks away – when we will kick off this year’s Summer Conference with our excellent Friday night keynoters, Helen Angus and Paul Kershaw, who will set the stage for the exciting and engaging discussions that will run throughout the weekend.

This, as you will know, will be followed by panels that engage us on the challenges and opportunities of intergenerational issues surrounding fiscal and financial issues, the environment and climate change, and the institutional and democratic transfers that challenge us to engage in new ways for new leaders.

And as always at a Couchiching Summer Conference, what’s on stage is only half the fun – the discussions and debates will continue at the microphone, at the dinner table, and late into the night around the campfire. Come for the most fun and engaging conference you will attend this year.

See you at the Lake (which will be much warmer than Lake Temagami)!


The 2015 Summer Conference
Are We Failing Our Future? Time for a New Deal between Generations
August 7th to 9th, 2015
Conference Co-Chairs Heather Keachie, and Helen Tewolde

Be there August 7th for the launch of the 84th Summer Conference!

By this time next month, the 84th Summer Conference will be over!

Trust us; you do not want to regret missing it.

Our panellists range in age, diversity, experience, sector, profession, and political leanings, but all have one thing in common: passion for a #fairfuture for all!

We are so excited to be able to host you at the lake and discuss the nuances of fiscal, environmental, and institutional transfer between generations. This Summer Conference promises to get your creative juices flowing with interesting break-out sessions and interactive experiences that will create memories to last a lifetime.

See you at the Lake. #fairfuture

Check our website for updates on the Summer Conference.

Introducing More Remarkable Leaders Who Will Speak at the 2015 Summer Conference

Helen Angus is Deputy Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade and Deputy Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues and Seniors Affairs. Most recently she was Associate Deputy Minister for Policy and Transformation at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC). In 2012, she returned to the Ontario Public Service (OPS) as Associate Deputy Minister at the MOHLTC after 10 years in leadership positions in the health sector. Prior to returning to the OPS, she was vice-president responsible for the Ontario Renal Network at Cancer Care Ontario (CCO). She was also CCO’s vice-president of Planning and Strategic Implementation and vice-president of Research and Analysis at the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Helen was educated at the University of Toronto and holds a Master of Science degree in Planning.

Karen Carter is the Executive Director of the Myseum of Toronto, an innovative approach to the museum experience, and a new way to experience Toronto’s natural spaces, cultures, history, archaeology, and architecture. She has over 20 years experience working and volunteering in a variety of cultural and educational settings in Toronto. She is the co-founder and Chair of Black Artists’ Networks Dialogue (BAND), an organization dedicated to the promotion of Black arts and culture in Canada and abroad. Karen is also the Program Coordinator and a faculty member for the Culture and Heritage Site Management program at Centennial College’s Story Arts Centre.

Mitzie Hunter is the Associate Minister of Finance, responsible for the implementation of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP). She was first elected to the Ontario Legislature in a by-election in August 2013. Following her re-election in June 2014, she was appointed to Cabinet by Premier Kathleen Wynne. She is a skilled collaborator with a passion for building partnerships and tackling tough issues. Prior to entering public life, she held senior executive positions in the corporate, public, and non-profit sectors. She served as the CEO of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, as Chief Administrative Officer at Toronto Community Housing, as Vice President at Goodwill Industries, and as a regional director at Bell Canada. Mitzie graduated from the University of Toronto (Scarborough Campus) and holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Management. She has received numerous awards for her dedication to volunteerism.

Sanjay Khanna is a futurist, speaker, and thought leader who helps businesses, governments, and not-for-profits to Adapt to the Future. He is for a six-month term Futurist-in-Residence at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. For 2014-2015, he was a Visiting Scholar in Strategic Foresight at Massey College and was the College’s inaugural Resident Futurist for 2013-2014. He was one of 21 global experts interviewed for KPMG International’s major 2014 report Future State 2030: The global megatrends shaping governments. Sanjay is an expert on how key megatrends may affect mental health, productivity, and decision-making among leaders and citizen-consumers. In 2008, he reported on the emerging scientific basis for linking climate change with mental health. In 2009, he launched the world’s first conference on how climate change may affect human psychology, society, and culture. In 2010, he was nominated as a “Transformational Canadian” in The Globe and Mail. and in 2009 as a TED Fellow. His articles and op-eds have featured in Nature, The Huffington Post, Corporate Knights, Yes! Magazine, Reuters, Worldchanging, Grist, and more.

Christopher Ragan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at McGill University, the Chair of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, and a Research Fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute. His published research focuses mostly on the conduct of macroeconomic policy. His 2004 book, co-edited with William Watson, is called Is the Debt War Over? In 2007 he published A Canadian Priorities Agenda, co-edited with Jeremy Leonard and France St-Hilaire from the Institute for Research on Public Policy. He is the author of Economics and has a regular column in The Globe and Mail. For over 15 years, Chris has been teaching microeconomics for McKinsey & Company, a leading international consulting firm. He also teaches in EDHEC’s Global MBA program in France and in the McGill-HEC Executive MBA program. He received his B.A. (Honours) in economics from the University of Victoria and his M.A. in economics from Queen’s University, and completed his Ph.D. in economics at M.I.T. See his personal McGill website for downloads of his published research as well as his newspaper columns:

For bios of speakers Léo Bureau-Blouin, Adwoa K. Buahene, Dr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Jane Hilderman, Paul Kershaw, Jim Leech, Mike Moffat, Armine Yalnizyan, and Deborah Yedlin go to

Recommended Reading

Recent publications by Generation Squeeze are relevant to the 2015 Summer Conference theme:

“Population Aging, Generational Equity and the Middle Class”,

“Measuring the Age Gap in Canadian Social Spending”,


Fund-Raising! Are We Failing Our Future? Time for a New Deal between Generations
Co-chairs Karen Hamilton and Ross Anderson

“The Couchiching Challenge Continues! Down to the Count....

The Summer Conference approaches, and the opening can be measured now by days instead of weeks.

As you can see by this edition of Couchiching Connects, the conference topic, the speakers, and the potential for deep, engaged conversation that will truly impact how we see ourselves and our society are all challenging and exciting.

Less exciting, it must be said, has been the financial response. The corporate sector has contributed both with dollars and with enthusiasm. Foundation proposals are also in the works. Government and individual contributions are the parts of our financial picture, but could be more concrete in their enthusiasm.

Speaking from great experience, it is certainly true that financing challenges exist broadly in the NGO world. It is hard to convince ourselves and others that important conversations are important to fund.

But if not us, then who?! Democracy is worth talking about.

Please register for the Summer Conference, promote the Summer Conference and donate, donate, donate to the Couchiching Institute for Public Affairs.

Democracy is worth talking about now.

Couchiching Conversations
Chair Ahmer Khan

Couchiching Conversations are free public events that aim to provide a safe space for challenging discussions.

Recent Conversations

May 7th: The Future of Energy in a Carbon Constrained World

Jim Hughes and Brian Livingston, who were experts at Imperial Oil, each with over 20 years' experience, discussed a wide range of topics including energy regulation, the EcoFiscal Commission, carbon taxing, Canadian oil sands, the recent increase in the price of oil, greenhouse gas emissions, and international regulation on energy caps and trades and how it affects us, the consumers, in the end. Hosted at Osler Hoskin, the vibrant Conversation attracted over 60 people who posed a wide variety of questions.

June 25th: Carding: Accountability and Transparency of Policing in Ontario

Policing in Ontario is under the microscope and Mayor John Tory’s comments on the changes needed around the practice of carding could not have come at a more critical time. Pressure culminating from both community activists and prominent politicians has resulted in both the Toronto Police Services Board and, most recently, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional services to review and standardize policing practices. Anthony Morgan, the African Canadian Legal Clinic's policy and research lawyer, and Idil Burale, an associate with the MaRS Solution lab (, led a timely and sensitive discussion of what this may mean for the future of community engagement in policing and police oversight. The Conversation was moderated by Couchiching Conversations host Filsun Mahamed and delved into how "carding" is defined, where transparency problems can arrive, personal accounts from those who have experienced carding first hand, possible alternatives, community engagement strategies, and solutions to reducing crime rates in communities and across the province.

Stay in touch with twitter: @couchiching, by email: and by website: or

Feel free to tweet me your Conversation suggestions at @ahmercankhan. I look forward to seeing you at our next Conversation and at our highly anticipated Summer Conference: Are We Failing Our Future: Time for a New Deal between Generations


Couchiching Community News


Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi will be the featured speaker at the 2015 LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium, September 19th, 2015, in Stratford Festival’s Avon Theatre. He was a keynote speaker at the 2011 Summer Conference, From the Ground Up: Civic Engagement in Our Time (

Read more

The Globe and Mail, June 30th: Education reporter Simona Chiose wrote: “Dalhousie University could have avoided months of public scrutiny if it had responded promptly to a complaint about misogynistic Facebook posts, an independent task force report released Monday suggests. Instead, the university made a series of mistakes – especially in its treatment of the female dentistry student who reported the posts.” Constance Backhouse, a University of Ottawa law professor, chaired the task force. She is a long-time delegate to the Summer Conference.

Read more

Sheldon Levy, the president of Ryerson University and a table host at the 2014 Couchiching Gala, was an Honorary Dinner Co-Chair for the 2015 Peace Patron Dinner of The Mosaic Institute.

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The Summer Conference’s own bookseller, Manoticore Books, has been listed on BuzzFeeds as one of 35 Canadian Bookstores You Need to Visit Before You Die.

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Alumni in the News

The Globe and Mail, July 10th: Reporter Gloria Galloway wrote: “As the Conservative government’s attempt to reform on-reserve education waits to die on the order paper, First Nations leaders are being urged to persuade Canadians they need more control over their schools than the proposed law allowed – and much more money to go along with it ... With the country preparing to go to the polls, former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin says it is time for the First Nations to make a public case for more education funding.” He was a speaker at the 2013 Summer Conference, “Coming Together as One: Navigating the Relationship Between Indigenous People and Canada” (

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The Ottawa Citizen, July 9th: Thomas Hall wrote: “Judging by the lack of tickets sold for the Pan Am Games, it seems Canadians are immune to Pan Am fever.” The Olympic bronze medallist was a speaker at the 2014 Summer Conference, “More than a Game: The Politics and Potential of Sport” (

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The Globe and Mail, July 1st: Preston Manning wrote: “Her name was Ernestine Gibot, the daughter of a Métis trapper and a Chipewyan mother, and she became the best aboriginal friend I ever had. Her experience is highly relevant to implementing the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.” He is the founder of the Manning Centre for Building Democracy and was the 2007 Couchiching Award for Public Policy Leadership (

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TVO, June 22nd: “There have been an increasing number of high-profile breaches of journalistic ethics on both sides of the border in recent months. Brian Williams, George Stephanopoulos, Evan Solomon, Leslie Roberts, Peter Mansbridge, Amanda Lang. Media critic Jesse Brown put media ethics under the microscope.” Brown, the host of the popular podcast Canadaland, was a table host at the 2015 Couchiching Gala (

All episodes of The Agenda with Steve Paikin are available on-demand in streaming video and audio and video podcasts at

June 26th: Aaron Paquette posted: "Make sure your voice is heard. This is important. The Nomination Meeting for Edmonton-Manning is tentatively scheduled for July 23. If you want to help choose me as the NDP candidate, you MUST have an NDP membership by June 23.” He was a speaker at the 2013 Summer Conference.

Read more: You Can’t Vote… #elxn42 #yeg #NDP2k15

The Globe and Mail, June 18th: Dr. Angela Redish, UBC’s Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Enrolment and Academic Facilities, wrote: “It might once have seemed ostentatious to declare yourself ‘a citizen of the world’ — but no longer.” She was a speaker at the 2010 Summer Conference, “Watershed Moment or Wasted Opportunity” (

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The Hill Times, June 8th: Phil Fontaine, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations and a residential school survivor on the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: “This day will help us put that pain behind us. This day, Canada has come of age.” He was a speaker at the 2013 Summer Conference, “Coming Together as One: Navigating the Relationship Between Indigenous People and Canada”.

Football 365: “Former International Olympic Committee vice president Dick Pound has called on FIFA to get its own house in order after US and Swiss authorities launched two separate investigations into football's world governing body.” He was a speaker at the 2014 Summer Conference, “More than a Game: The Politics and Potential of Sport” (

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Maclean’s, June 2nd: Ottawa Bureau Chief John Geddes wrote: “At the start of the school day one morning last month, Dayna Thunder, 11, sat polishing an application letter for a job at Tim Hortons.” The article focused on the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative, founded by former prime minister Paul Martin.” He was a speaker at the 2013 Summer Conference, “Coming Together as One: Navigating the Relationship Between Indigenous People and Canada”.

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Calling all readers of Couchiching Connects!

Please send information on Newsmakers, Members on the Move, Alumni in the News, and Opinions: Our Members Write ... to Sheila Robertson, Editor, Couchiching Connects.

2016 Summer Conference

The Canada Project

Identity, Citizenship, and Nationhood in a Changing World

August 5-7, 2016
The YMCA Geneva Park Conference Centre, Orillia, ON

Read More


Couchiching Connects
April 2017
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