List of Participants and Panelists

Mélanie Joly

The Honourable Mélanie Joly is Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie. Her mandate consists of growing, and increasing the visibility of, the Canadian tourism industry, which accounts for nearly two million jobs across the country; safeguarding our two official languages; and promoting the use of French in Canada and around the world, including in the digital sphere. She is taking on this challenge with enthusiasm. As minister of Canadian Heritage, a position she held from 2015 to 2018, she promoted Canadian culture, announcing an unprecedented reinvestment in culture as well as the largest federal investment in official languages to date in this country.

In addition to her ministerial duties, Mélanie Joly occupies a leadership role within Cabinet as a member of the Treasury Board and Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Environment and Clean Growth.

A lawyer by training, Minister Joly holds an Honours Bachelor of Law from Université de Montréal and a Magister Juris in European and Comparative Law from the University of Oxford. Prior to her entry into federal politics, Minister Joly founded Le vrai changement pour Montréal party, running for mayor of Montréal in 2013 under its banner.

She is the author of Changing the Rules of the Game, in which she shares her vision for public policy and civic engagement. She was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
Minister Joly was elected to the House of Commons for the first time in 2015 and is proud to be the Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic–Cartierville.

Catherine Clark – Master of Ceremonies

Catherine Clark is a nationally respected broadcaster, emcee, writer and the President of Catherine Clark Communications Inc., a consultancy which provides strategic communications advice to individuals, institutions and corporations.

Catherine is co-host of the live public affairs show Before the Bell, is the Giving Back columnist for Ottawa at Home Magazine, serves on the boards of CARE Canada, CARE International in Kenya and The Writers Trust of Canada, is Honourary Chair of Queensway Carleton Hospital’s Women in Philanthropy campaign and co-chair of the organizing committee of the Politics and the Pen Gala.

Daniel Lessard

Daniel Lessard was born in Saint-Benjamin, Beauce in 1947. After three years at a private radio station, he spent 39 years on Radio-Canada, 32 of which as a parliamentary correspondent. He retired in June 2011, and since then he has published seven novels.

Graham Fraser

Graham Fraser is a Senior Fellow  at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. After a long career in journalism, during which he worked in Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Washington and Ottawa and wrote five books on Canadian politics, he served as Canada’s Commissioner of Official Languages from 2006-2016.

Warren Newman

Warren Newman is Senior General Counsel in the Department of Justice of Canada, practising in the field of constitutional law, and a professor at several law faculties. From 1985 until 1988 he was the instructing officer responsible for the development of the legislation that was enacted in 1988 as the new Official Languages Act. Mr. Newman represented the Attorney General of Canada in the Manitoba Language Rights Reference, the Arsenault-Cameron case on minority language instruction, and the Lalonde case on the future of Montfort Hospital, amongst other cases.

Mark Power

Mark worked for more than a decade in the Toronto and Ottawa offices of a national firm, including as a partner. He began his career as a law clerk at the Supreme Court. For four and a half years, Mark was a tenure track assistant professor of law in the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law’s Common Law Section. He is now a sessional professor at this University. Mark has published a large number of articles in peer-reviewed academic journals. Some of his publications have been cited by Canadian courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. His publications address a wide array of public and private law questions, notably regarding constitutional, administrative, and education law, and language rights. Mark represents clients across the country, notably concerning linguistic and aboriginal rights.

Hubert Lussier

A retired public servant, Hubert Lussier was involved with legislative, policy and financial dimensions of Official Languages in his capacity as Director General, Official Languages Support Programs from 2004 to 2011, and as Assistant Deputy Minister, Citizenship, Heritage and Regions, from 2011 to 2018

Valérie Lapointe-Gagnon

Valérie Lapointe-Gagnon is a professor of history at the Faculté Saint-Jean of the University of Alberta. She is interested in the intellectual and political history of contemporary Quebec and Canada, the history of women, commissions of inquiry and constitutional issues. She is the author of Panser le Canada: an intellectual history of the Laurendeau-Dunton Commission (Boréal, 2018), recipient of the Prix de la Présidence de l’Assemblée nationale du Québec and finalist for the Best Scholarly Book Award of the Canadian Historical Association.

Lorna A. Turnbull

Lorna A. Turnbull is a professor and former Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba. She is also co-Directrice of the Bilingual Law program which was started during her term as Dean with a view to supporting access to justice for Manitoba’s French speaking community. She is the author of Double Jeopardy: Motherwork and the Law (2001) and has two new books in progress. She teaches Méthodes Juridiques, Income Tax Law and Policy, Human Rights, Family Law, and Children, Youth and the Law.

Eric Maldoff

To Be Updated

Pierre Foucher

Pierre Foucher has obtained his licence in law from Université de Montréal in 1977 and his Masters in Law from Queens University at Kingston in 1981. He is a member of the Quebec Bar since 1978. He teaches at the Faculty of law, University of Ottawa, since 2008 andhas also been teaching at the Faculty of Law University of Moncton from 1980 to 2008. His expertise is in language rights, constitutional law, and administrative law. For his services, he received l’Ordre de la Pléiade in 2016 and l’Ordre des francophones d’Amérique in 2017.

Noëlla Arsenault

January 13, 2000, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favor of the Summerside parents in their battle for a French first language school for their community. Two years later, l’École-sur-mer opened its doors at the same time as the other components of the Centre Belle Alliance. The decision also ensured the opening of French schools in Deblois, Rustico and Souris in Prince Edward Island. This decision also confirmed that the French first language school was more than an scholastic tool; it is a pillar of a minority language community. The determination and perseverance of Noella Arsenault, one of the appellants, has granted her a spot in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg. Today her court challenge is a model for similar cases across the country and gives weight to others who are fighting for similar rights.

Madame Arsenault is the recipient of the following awards; Commission nationale des parents francophones in May 2000, L’ordre des francophones d’Amérique – 2001, L’Ordre de la Pléiade – July 2004, L’Ordre des Palmes académique (France) – August 2008.

Éric Dow

Éric Dow is Acadian from Baie Sainte-Marie, Nova Scotia. He now lives in Moncton since 2010. Éric has a Bachelor’s degree in translation from the Université de Moncton and a Master’s degree in Translation Science with a concentration in literary translation from the Ottawa University. In his academic pursuits, he focuses in translation in minority contexts, literature sociology in Acadia and linguistic representations in general. In addition to his literary training, Éric is also songwriter and lead singer of the Acadian indie-folk group Cy. This group has allowed him to perform throughout Acadia, Québec, Ontario, France and the United States where he has earned several awards and distinctions (Prix Éloize, Prix Musique NB, ECMA nominations, Trille Or and Music Nova Scotia Awards). Since September 2017, he is responsible of Communications and Public Relations for the Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick, the official voice of the Acadian people in New Brunswick.

Charles Slowey

Charles was appointed as Assistant Deputy Minister of Citizenship, Heritage and Regions at Canadian Heritage in September 2018. Prior to joining Canadian Heritage, he worked in leadership roles at the Canada Border Services Agency. During his time at the Agency, he led the development and implementation of a data analytics strategy and the commercial programs transformation and modernization agenda.
With over 23 years of public service, Charles has a broad range of experience, including in service delivery, strategic planning, issue and project management and communications. Earlier in his career, he served as Director General of Communications at Industry Canada, Canadian Heritage, Environment Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Charles received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and French Literature from Carleton University.

Denis Racine

Since February 2018, Mr. Denis Racine is holding the position of Director General, Official Languages, at the Department of Canadian Heritage. His responsibilities lead him to play a central role in the implementation of Canada’s official languages policy. The initiatives and programs under his responsibility are designed to support community organizations, various levels of government and the commitment of all federal institutions to contribute to the vitality and harmonious coexistence of Canada’s two major linguistic communities.

Previously, Mr. Racine acted as Director General, Major Events, Commemoration and Capital Experience. His responsibilities included leading national celebrations and commemorations and state ceremonies. Royal Visits, State Funerals, Governor General’s Installation, Canada Day, the Government of Canada’s participation in the Torch Relays, various celebrations for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Vancouver and the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games in Toronto, were all organized under the direction of Mr. Racine.

Mr. Racine also served as Federal Commissioner for the 400th anniversary of Québec City in 2007-2008.

Me Frédéric Bérard

Mr Frédéric Bérard is a political scientist and a doctor of law. He is the co-director and founder of the National Observatory on Language Rights. He has published 4 essays and has spoken at 60 conferences in Canada and across the world.

Ian Shugart

Ian Shugart became Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet on April 19, 2019.

Prior to joining the Privy Council Office, he was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from May 2016 to April 2019.

From July 2010 to May 2016, Mr. Shugart was Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada and chairperson of the Canada Employment Insurance Commission. Before that, he served as Deputy Minister of the Environment and Associate Deputy Minister of the Environment.

Prior to joining Environment Canada, Mr. Shugart held several senior positions in the Health Portfolio, including:
•Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Policy Branch, Health Canada (1999-2006)
•Visiting Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Protection Branch, Health Canada (1997-1999)
•Executive Director, Medical Research Council (1993-1997)

While working at Health Canada, Mr. Shugart also served as chair of the Global Health Security Action Group and the Health Task Force of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and as a director on the World Health Organization’s executive board.

Prior to this, Mr. Shugart served as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet for Social Policy and Programs in the Federal-Provincial Relations Office of the Privy Council Office. He spent several years on Parliament Hill in senior advisory roles to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, the Minister of National Health and Welfare and the Leader of the Opposition.

He is a graduate in political economy from Trinity College at the University of Toronto.

Nancy Chahwan

Nancy Chahwan was appointed as the Chief Human Resources Officer at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) in August 2018. Prior to this, she served as Assistant Secretary of the Government Operations Sector, TBS from May 2015 to March 2017, at which time she was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency.
From 2000 to 2015, Ms. Chahwan held regional and national senior positions in Public Works and Government Services Canada (now known as Public Services and Procurement Canada), where she was responsible for the rehabilitation of Canada’s Parliament buildings, managed multi-billion dollar programs in Acquisitions and Real Property, and contributed to Canada’s space programs. Her contributions include transforming program policies, implementation excellence, and fostering innovation.
Before joining the public service in 1990, Ms. Chahwan graduated from the École des Hautes études commerciales in Montreal (QC), with a B.A. in Business Administration with a double major in Finance and Management. She has also been active on several Boards of Directors of profit and not-for-profit organizations as Secretary, Chair, or Head of Audit Committee.
Ms. Chahwan is passionate about authentic leadership, empathetic service and lasting partnerships, and actively champions youth and executives. She is the recipient of the 2017 Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada (APEX) award for a respectful and healthy workplace.

Geoffrey Chambers

Geoffrey Chambers is interested in and generally knowledgeable about the cultural, geographical, historical, political and institutional character of Quebec’s English-speaking community.

Through his participation in the Council of Quebec Minorities in the eighties and his founding role in Alliance Quebec, Geoffrey worked hard to support and promote the community’s interests through difficult, transitional times. He continued to work and advocate for the community’s interests in the nineties through his involvement in the Montreal Children’s Hospital and as Vice-President, Anglophone, of the Liberal Party of Quebec. More recently he has worked on projects which touched on the educational institutions his children were attending and health and social service policy.

Jean Johnson

Jean Johnson is a native of the Peace River region in North-West Alberta. His parents were pioneers of the region. Mr.Johnson is a father to 3 girls and 2 boys and is passionate about Albertan and Canadian Francophones. In everything he does, his biggest joy and his principal advisor is Renée, his partner for over 40 years.

Jean’s notable work is in the domain of adult education and distance education in both French and English. In his work in adult education, Jean notably developed a provincial resource with the goal of responding to the real needs of Francophones in providing post-secondary education resources in distant regions of Alberta. His role as a community leader brought him, among others to the work of being a municipal councilor, being president of a Provincial association for adult education and being a founding member of a distance education association in Alberta. Because of his ability to listen to others and gather together key players, Jean has instigated changes and incited people to think about others and to see situations from different perspectives.

Jean is presently the Director general of Quartier francophone d’Edmonton where he brings experience as a lobbyist to complete project’s around the promotion of commercial improvement zones (ZAC). Jean’s approach permitted the assembly and encouraged 193 anglophone enterprises to transform their neighbourhoods to give it a Francophone flavor. Jean has also been co-president of du réseau des directions générales des ZAC à Edmonton for over a year. Mr.Johnson is the president of AFCA, a spokesperson organization for Francophone Albertans. Mr Johnson has been president from 2004-2009 and was reelected in October 2013 and then in 2015.

Jean Johnson was elected president of the FCFA in June 2017. His priority is to ensure the modernization of the Official Languages Act on Official Languages in Canada.

Graham Fox

Graham Fox is President and CEO of the Institute for Research on Public Policy. A policy entrepreneur, Graham’s research interests include parliamentary reform, democratic renewal, citizen engagement and federalism. Prior to joining the IRPP in 2011, he spent over a decade working in Canadian federal politics, as a senior advisor to political leaders and a government relations practitioner.

Linda Cardinal

Linda Cardinal is a professor in the school of political studies and head of the research chair on francophone studies and public politics at the University of Ottawa. She is known for her work on comparative linguistic plans, constitutionalism, citizenship and minority groups. She is a laureate of the Order of Canada and also a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

Malcolm Lewis-Richmond

Malcolm Lewis-Richmond majored in linguistics at the Université du Québec à Montréal and is the founding president of Youth 4 Youth Québec, a non-profit association that represents Quebec’s English-speaking youth community as a linguistic minority group. A runner-up for the Young Quebecers Leading the Way award in 2017, he is interested in building bridges between English and French-speaking communities. After graduating from bilingual programs in high school and in Cegep, Malcolm acknowledged the need to adequately represent linguistic minority communities. With Y4Y Quebec, he works with a team that strengthens the vitality of Quebec’s English-speaking youth community. Malcolm brings to his team experience in leadership and in advocacy work. He currently works in communications in the labour movement.

Don Boudria

The Honorable Don Boudria P.C. Provincial deputy between 1981-1984 and a federal deputy from 1984-2006. Former minister to many cabinets, including the Minister responsible for la Francophonie, Minister of Public Works, Reciever General, Minister for International cooperation and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Michelle O’Bonsawin

Madam Justice Michelle O’Bonsawin is fluently bilingual. She is an Abenaki of the Odanak band and the first Indigenous judge named to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Ottawa. Prior to joining the Superior Court of Justice, she was General Counsel at the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group and previously Counsel at the Canada Post Corporation. Madam Justice O’Bonsawin practiced in the areas of mental health, labour, employment, human rights and privacy law. She has also taught part-time at the University of Ottawa’s French Common Law program.
Madam Justice O’Bonsawin is a frequent guest speaker on issues of mental health law, Gladue principles, labour and privacy law. She received her LL.M. (Health) at Osgoode Hall in 2014 and is currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Ottawa where she received her LL.B. from the French Common Law program. Madam Justice O’Bonsawin was awarded the Rising Star Award by Lexpert Magazine, recognizing her as one of Canada’s leading lawyers under 40. In May 2019, she was inducted into the University of Ottawa’s Common Law Honour Society.

Laura Lussier

Born and raised in Winnipeg, a city she still calls home, Laura Lussier is a Franco-Manitoban actor, producer, director, TV personality, writer and success coach. She proudly works, lives and creates in both official languages.

Shaunpal Jandu

A first-generation Canadian, Shaunpal Jandu is a trilingual consultant and graphic designer. He has had a profound love of language and communication since he was young. He has worked extensively with the federal government, in the private sector, and with the pan-Canadian organization Canadian Parents for French.

Christopher Deacon

Christopher Deacon was born on October 22, 1958, in Montreal. He grew up in Gatineau, Quebec.
Passionate about music, Mr. Deacon trained as a composer. He studied piano, harmony and solfège at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec in Hull. He later received a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from the University of Toronto. Before coming to the NAC, he was Director of Operations for the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, and Coordinator of Grants and Artists at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. He began his arts administration career in 1982 as the administrator of the Toronto new music concert series Arraymusic.
Christopher Deacon joined the National Arts Centre Orchestra as Tour Manager in 1987. He became Orchestra Manager in 1989 and Managing Director in 1996. Under Mr. Deacon’s leadership, the NAC Orchestra has developed a well-earned reputation as one of the most ambitious and innovative touring music ensembles in North America. He planned and executed dozens of complex tours featuring hundreds of concerts and music education events to countries such as China, the U.S., Mexico, Israel, Italy, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom – as well as to numerous communities throughout Canada.
Vitally interested in contemporary music and the creation of new work, Christopher Deacon has helped usher in a variety of initiatives in support of Canadian creators such as the National Arts Centre Award for Canadian Composers, the NAC Composer Program, and commissions for the creation of more than 25 new compositions.
Christopher Deacon’s passion for new music was evident in his relentless support for the creation of a bold multimedia orchestral work called Life Reflected, the NAC Orchestra’s largest production ever, produced and directed by Donna Feore. In 2016, with Music Director Alexander Shelley, he commissioned three outstanding female composers and one male composer – Zosha Di Castri, Jocelyn Morlock, Nicole Lizée, and John Estacio – to create works about four exceptional Canadian women: Roberta Bondar, Rita Joe, Alice Munro, and Amanda Todd. The NAC Orchestra presented the work during its recent Canada 150 tour and is set to take it to Europe as part of its next major tour in 2019. Vancouver composer Jocelyn Morlock’s work “My Name is Amanda Todd” won the JUNO Award for the 2018 Classical Composition of the Year.
Christopher Deacon has also championed digital outreach at the NAC Orchestra through the development of various initiatives such as podcasts, online streaming and distance learning, as well as traditional media such as television and CDs.
Christopher Deacon was chair of the steering committee overseeing the NAC’s Architectural and Production Renewal Project. Despite tight timelines for planning and construction, the first phase of the NAC’s expanded and rejuvenated building was opened on time on July 1, 2017 – 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation – by HRH Prince Charles, former Governor General David Johnston and Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly, and has garnered widespread praise.
Christopher Deacon led the recruitment search for the Orchestra’s former Music Director Pinchas Zukerman in 1998, and the search for the current Music Director Alexander Shelley. Both music directors have transformed the NAC Orchestra into a top-tier international orchestra.
Deacon worked closely with Pinchas Zukerman to expand the Orchestra (from 46 to 62 musicians) and introduce a varied repertoire that had broader appeal for audiences at the NAC and on tour.
He introduced several initiatives to attract younger, more diverse audiences to the Orchestra, notably Casual Fridays, WolfGANG Sessions, and collaborative creations such as Life Reflected and – with the NAC’s Executive Producer of Dance Cathy Levy – ENCOUNT3RS.
He worked with Pinchas Zukerman and successive directors of education to greatly expand the reach and impact of the NAC Orchestra’s education and outreach programming including the creation of the Young Artist Program, the Summer Music Institute, the Website, and partnerships across Canada and internationally.
Education and community engagement programming has expanded during his tenure. The NAC Orchestra created the Summer Music Institute in 1999 which has since provided training for over 1,000 exceptionally gifted young artists from across Canada and around the world, and the Music Alive Program which provides in-classroom music experiences for children in mostly rural schools in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nunavut.
Christopher Deacon lives in Ottawa with his wife Gwen Goodier. Together they have a daughter, Charlotte, born in 1997. He is step-father to Ms. Goodier’s children, Katherine and Peter.

Christopher Curtis

To be Updated

Glenn O’Farrell

GLENN O’FARRELL, ICD.D, is a digital-innovation-driving CEO in the Canadian media industry. Glenn doesn’t think outside – he thinks without a box. Glenn embraces the power and value of diversity. He uses new technology, creative partnerships and international reach to transform traditional media into relevant, influential, high-traffic global platforms. Glenn consistently challenges the status quo to improve and grow outcomes for stakeholders. In his current role as CEO of Groupe Média TFO, a public educational media enterprise located in Toronto, Glenn has led TFO’s transformation from a declining, small-scale minority-language community broadcaster to become a leading international digital provider of French language educational content

Marco Dubé

Marco Dubé is originally from Fauquier in the north of Ontario. He studied French Literature at Laurentian University and in Communication at the Universities of Ottawa and Saint-Paul. He started his career with Radio-Canada in 1996 as a news reporter and has held many functions in news and programming in Sudbury, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. He managed Radio-Canada’s Regional Services before joining the President and CEO’s cabinet of the Public Broadcaster last September. His appointment to the position of Vice-President, People and Culture for CBC/Radio-Canada is effective as of July 1, 2019. He is married and has two sons aged 20 and 17.

Marie-Philippe Bouchard

Marie-Philippe Bouchard has been President and CEO of TV5 Québec Canada since February 8, 2016. She is responsible for all aspects of the management of TV5 and Unis TV and the subsidiary Epilogue Technical Services Inc. From 1987 to 2016, she held various management and senior management positions at Radio-Canada in legal services, strategic planning and regulatory affairs, information, digital services and music. A member of the Quebec Bar since 1985, she holds a Master’s degree in public law from the Université de Montréal.

Solange Drouin

Solange Drouin holds a law degree and is a member of the Bar. She has been working at ADISQ since 1992, where she is Vice-President of Public Affairs and General Manager. Currently, she also sits on the boards of directors of Musicaction and Fonds RadioStar, acts at the Observatoire de la culture et des communications as chair of the Comité du disque et des arts de la scène and chair of the Comité de concertation, and co-chairs the Canadian Coalition for Cultural Diversity.

Lionel Bénard

Born and raised in Belgium, world traveller.
I have always had a passion for business, innovation and constant learning.

Victor Mikolajczyk
Samuel Croteau
Eric Kavalek

To Be Updated

Jacques Thibodeau

Jacques received a master’s degree in physics, has several scientific publications, worked as a researcher in artificial intelligence, and co-founded a startup in the cleantech sector. He’s currently working as an innovation strategist and facilitator for the Government of New Brunswick. Jacques sees his technical skills as a tool and he is focused on taking a holistic and pragmatic approach to do the most good he can with his career.

Sue Duguay

Sue is a native of Tracadie, New Brunwick but she moved early on in her life to Miramichi, a community with a strong minority Francophone community. She’s had a seat for 5 years on the Conseil de direction de la Fédération des jeunes francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick. She then got involved with the Fédération de la jeunesse canadienne-française, firstly as a representative of New Brunswick but after as the Vice President. Since September 2018, she has been the federation’s president.
Sue currently studies political science, economy, and management sciences in a multidisciplinary bachelors and envisions a career in law. She also has political ambitions.

Michèle Vatz-Laaroussi

Michèle Vatz Laaroussi is a doctor in intercultural psychology and a retired professor associated with the school of Social Work from the University of Sherbrooke. Her work focused on immigration and social work with immigrants. In particular, for 25 years she researched immigrant family dynamics and their integration in Quebec and Canada. Her final research looked at geographic mobility and the sociality of immigrant families and refugees in Quebec and Canada, immigration in linguistic minority groups in Quebec and Canada, intergenerational transmission of refugee families, seperation during migration and intercultural intermediaries between women and their diverse origins and religions. She received the Hector Fabre prize from the Ministry of International Relations for Francophones in 2017 for her work on regional immigration and their international influence. She is currently the president of the ARIC (2015-2019).

Fayza Abdallaoui

Has been in Canada since 2008, after 15 years in France and having spent her childhood in Algeria, Fayza Abdallaoui is an active member of the diversified Francophone community of Ontario. Founder of Next Level-Impact Consulting, coach, speaker, teacher, and investor. She is also the outgoing president of the administrative council of MOFIF (le Mouvement ontarien des femmes immigrantes francophones) and is also a founding member of l’Association Algérienne du Grand Toronto. She has been dedicated these past 7 years and through different roles and functions has focused on economic development, financial and social development, notably on females and immigrants. Her initiatives included entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship and with the cooperation of Bon Appétit, helped develop employability, financial education and development of leadership. She is a fellow of the 2017 cohort of Diversity CivicAction.

Lori-Ann Cyr

Lori-Ann Cyr is co-founder and CEO of Diversis inc. Instructor and project manager, she’s given university courses in the United States in the field of multicultural education, trained groups of young international interns and assisted several governments and private and public organizations in cross-cultural and immigration management. She travelled for business in over 25 countries. Lori-Ann has worked on immigration related issue for more than 15 years. Over the years, she specialized in economic immigration, rural immigration, Francophone immigration in minority language communities and in the delivery of cross-cultural workshops.

Pier-Maude Lanteigne

Pier-Maude comes from a rural region in New Brunsiwck. Proudly Francophone and proud of her Acadian origins, Pier-Maude identifies as gender-fluid and is a member of the LGBTAB+ community. Pier-Maude finished their studies in medicine and has continued their research post-doctorate in family medicine at Gaspé. They sat on the provincial young Francophone council of Nova Scotia as Vice-President and is currently a part of the Prime Ministers Youth Council. Their passion? Giving people living in marginalized communities a chance to be heard in the decision making process.

Chad Bean

A recent graduate in Law (Honours) from Carleton University and a federal public servant, Chad Bean is excited to speak for young and upcoming leaders as part of an organization that enables an environment of support and development for English-speaking Quebec. A native of North Hatley in the Eastern Townships, Chad got to know the QCGN while taking part in the 2017 Bishop’s Forum civic leadership institute at Bishop’s University. Prior to that, he garnered invaluable experience from leadership roles within his community. A former school president, school prefect and cadet sergeant at Bishop’s College School, Chad was awarded the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (Gold Level), presented by Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne in 2015.

Justin Johnson

Proud Métis of the Red River of Manitoba, Justin is the great-great-great grandson of André Beauchemin, leader of the Saint-Vital Métis and member of the Provisional Government of Louis Riel in 1869-1870. Justin has engaged for over a decade in the Conseil jeunesse provincial du Manitoba (CJP), most notably as president of the organization between 2013-2016 and earned the office of vice-president of the Fédération de la jeunesse canadienne-française (FJCF) between 2014-2015 and then the office of the president of the FJCF from 2016-2018.
Currently, Justin is the director general of the Directorate of sports activity of Manitoba INC. (DAS). Justin obtained a bachelor in arts and philosophy from the University of Winnipeg, and in 2015 was admitted into the master’s program in aboriginal governance at the University of Winnipeg where he studied the complete works of Louis Riel with the goal of discovering and developing a Métis political philosophy of the founding father of Manitoba.
Justin hopes by his actions and his words to apply, practice and encourage the principles of reconciliation at the national level, notably for Francophone minority communities.

Nicole Thibault

Nicole Thibault is the Executive Director of Canadian Parents for French, National. She has taught Core French and French Immersion, served as a Vice Principal and taught at the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa and is a former Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers (CASLT). She has authored several teacher resources, delivered keynote addresses and presented workshops to teachers across Canada and in the U.S.A. She has represented Canada on two occasions at the European Centre of Modern Languages (ECML) in Graz, Austria. Both her personal and professional passion is centered on the promotion of a bilingual Canada for all Canadians.


Artist and founder of the company Intello-Productions Inc, Yaovi Hovi – better known as the artist YAO is an entrepreneur and an engaged and active artist on the Canadian and International music scene. His involvement in communities via his art and his work to promote cultural diversity travelled the country and earned him the recipient of the commemorative medal of the Senate under the 150th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada. For his work in education he was awarded the Ontario Arts Foundation Artist Educator Award last year. Notably, he was also a member of the administrative council of the APCM (l’Association des Professionnels de la Chanson et de la Musique). He also has a seat on the provincial consultative committee on Francophone affairs by the Minister of Francophone affairs Ontario.

Lisa Berthier

A proud Acadian of Nova Scotia, Lisa Berthier is a graduate of the high school Isle Madame District High and holds a Bachelor of Social Science degree from the Université de Moncton. She has been working in the Acadian community since the age of 12 and has been working in French at the local, provincial, territorial and national levels for 30 years in the fields of politics, education, community development, coordination of health services in French, and the management of cultural associations. She has been the Executive Director of l’Association franco-culturelle de Yellowknife since July 2018.

Allister Surette

Allister Surette was the President/CEO of Collège de l’Acadie from September 1998 to January 2003.

Mr. Surette was elected Member of the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly for the constituency of Argyle in May 1993. For the period covering 1993 to 1998, he assumed the following responsibilities: Deputy House Leader, special advisor for the establishment of the Acadian and Francophone public school system in the Province of Nova Scotia, Human Resource Minister, Minister responsible for the Youth Secretariat, Minister responsible for Acadian Affairs, president of a committee for economic and tourism development in the South West Nova region, and Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs.

Mr. Surette has also been actively involved with numerous committees and organisations, notably Chairman and founding member of the committee responsible for the organization of the third World Acadian Congress (CMA 2004) in Nova Scotia in 2004 and Chairman and founding member of the Francophone Economic Development Council of Nova Scotia (CDÉNÉ).

Mr. Surette will became in July President and Vice-Chancellor of Université Sainte-Anne.

Sylvia Martin-Laforge

Sylvia Martin-Laforge, who has been Director General of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) for almost a decade, has vast experience at the federal government and government of Ontario dealing with linguistic minority communities as well as women’s and indigenous peoples issues. Prior to her taking the helm at QCGN, Martin-Laforge was involved in policy and program development in employment equity and linguistic duality. At the intergovernmental affairs directorate of the federal Privy Council Office, Martin-Laforge was responsible for policy, program management frameworks and led evaluation and risk management strategies for the federal government’s investments in official language minority communities. Earlier, at the Ontario Ministry of Education, she developed and led key programs for French-language education at primary, secondary, and post-secondary levels. Between 2008 and 2013 she sat on the Board of the Conseil supérieur de la langue française where she advocated for Quebec’s English-speaking minority community. In 2012, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal which honours significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.

Isabelle Salesse

Isabelle Salesse is the General Director for the AFY (Association Franco-Yukonnaise) and has been since September 2012. Mrs. Salesse contributed in the community development of the minority Francophone community in the Yukon for more than 20 years. She also worked in the field of early childhood education and of French youth growing up in the Yukon. The Franco-Yukon community is strong, vibrant, unique and will continue.

Derrek Bentley

Derrek Bentley is an activist and engaged member of the francophonie who lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Currently a Masters’ student in Peace and Conflict Studies while working at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Derrek is involved in his community and is actively on the boards of Canadian Parents for French, the Conseil jeunesse provincial (Manitoba, la Fédération de la jeunesse canadienne française, et la Société de la francophonie manitobaine, among others. Derrek is the youngest recipient of the Prix Riel in Manitoba in the area of community development and he was recently named a member of CBC Manitoba’s ‘Future 40’ (40 people under 40 people to watch). He strongly believes that all Canadians, especially young Canadians, must be given the opportunity to learn and live in both of Canada’s official languages.

David Lametti

The Honourable David Lametti was a Full Professor in the Faculty of Law at McGill University specializing in property, intellectual property as well as private and comparative law. He was also a member of McGill University’s Quebec Research Centre of Private and Comparative Law and a co-founder and member of the McGill Centre for Intellectual Property Policy. He served as the Associate Dean (Academic) of the Faculty of Law, McGill University, from 2008 to 2011. Multilingual, Minister Lametti has taught at the university level in French, English, and Italian.
In addition to his responsibilities as a professor, Minister Lametti was a member of McGill University’s Senate and a Governor of the Fondation du Barreau du Québec. He was also a competitive soccer coach in two Montréal leagues for six years, and a member and president of the governing board for his children’s school.
Minister Lametti holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Civil Law and Bachelor of Laws from McGill University, a Master of Laws from the Yale Law School, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Law from Oxford University. Prior to starting his doctoral studies in law, he served as a Law Clerk to Justice Peter deCarteret Cory of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Minister Lametti and his wife Geneviève Saumier have three children: André, Gabrielle, and Dominique.
Minister Lametti served as a parliamentary secretary from 2015 until 2019, when he was appointed Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

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