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York University
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Examining Public Institutions and Canada’s Future at the First Major Conference of Glendon’s New School of Public Affairs


Glendon’s brand new, bilingual, graduate-level School of Public Affairs has just opened its doors last fall and is holding its first major conference on April 3rd and 4th on the Glendon campus.

Under the title “Public Institutions and Canada’s Future”, this conference undertakes to assess the role and current state of public institutions, examining both those within Canada, as well as international institutions in which Canada is a member.

“The topics of this conference reflect the broad scope of the new School”, says acting director and Glendon principal Kenneth McRoberts, the host of this landmark conference. “On April 3rd and 4th, we plan to hone in on the settings and activities of public institutions, rather than on the analysis of public administration.”

The conference presents five panel discussions over two days on topics of great currency and relevance. These include examining the competence, capacity and trust of public institutions; public service renewal - with a view to what we will need in the future; Canada’s role in promoting human rights and multilateralism at home and on the international scene; and a look at what a new Canadian federation might be.

Four publicly recognized speakers will make short presentations for each panel topic, followed by an open discussion which will welcome participation from the floor. The list of panelists includes official language commissioner Graham Fraser, Toronto Star columnist and political commentator Chantal Hébert, former federal minister of transport David Collenette, president and CEO, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Chaviva Hosek, Ontario deputy minister of citizenship and immigration Joan Andrew, and many more.

A highlight of the conference is the keynote presentation at Friday’s ‘Luncheon Talk’ by former deputy prime minister and former finance minister John Manley (left). Mr. Manley is currently senior counsel at McCarthy Tétrault LLP, where he provides strategic advice in matters relating to public affairs, including trade, telecommunications, security and finance.

“It is of paramount importance at this juncture in Canada to review the role of public institutions and to assess how they can be sources of innovation and leadership in the coming decades”, says acting director and Glendon principal McRoberts. “A major focus of the new School of Public Affairs is to promote exchange and knowledge transfer between scholars and public sector leaders. Our first conference is designed to be that kind of forum, with each panel combining members of both groups.”

It is important to note that the conference will be fully bilingual, corresponding to one of the fundamental mandates of the School of Public Affairs. Speakers are free to use either French or English; simultaneous translation will be provided.

For the complete list of participants, the full program, and all other details of the Glendon conference on “Public Institutions and Canada’s Future”, as well as information on how to register, please visit the website of the Glendon School of Public Affairs at

Submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny

Published on March 24, 2008