Past Lectures


When: Thursday, November 19, 2015 - 17:00 - 21:00

Where: Ottawa, Château Laurier

Governance matters: How does public sector governance work?

Our 10th-anniversary celebration of the Gordon Osbaldeston Lecture featured a spirited discussion about how governance is working for Canadians.
Our panel of eminent leaders shared expert insights into how good governance in our parliamentary system matters deeply to Canada's democratic health.
Stephen Toope moderated a discussion with panellists Jim Dinning, Monique Leroux and Heather Munroe-Blum on how our system has evolved and how it's working.

This important discussion emanated from the Public Policy Forum's Governance Matters Project, which examines this pressing public issue. The report was published October 28.

Named for one of Canada's most revered public servants, this prestigious lecture honours Gordon Osbaldeston's distinguished career by highlighting how the public service helps preserve a democratic and vibrant Canadian society.

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When: Thursday, November 27, 2014 - 17:00 - 21:00

Where: Ottawa, Château Laurier

An aging population, globalization and interdependence requires an innovative and modern public service. This means an organization that can vigilantly identify and creatively respond to the complex issues that will shape our world. It means considering new approaches, adopting new tools and developing new skills. And it demands a public service that understands emerging public administration and policy trends.

The Annual Gordon F. Osbaldeston Lecture aims to encourage this understanding through dialogue about and within the public service. Every year, a prominent and accomplished Canadian from business, academia or government speaks to the challenges facing the public service and how it might best respond. This annual event honours Gordon Osbaldeston's distinguished 35-year career as a public servant, which included three years as Clerk of the Privy Council (1982-1985). The lecture raises awareness about the challenges, issues and opportunities facing Canada's public service.

"How Canada can Lead on the Economy and the Environment"  


Lorraine Mitchelmore, President and Canada Country Chair, Shell Canada Limited
and Executive Vice President Heavy Oil for Upstream Americas




For further information, please contact:

Dianne Gravel-Normand, Senior Project Administrator
(613) 238-7858 ext. 233

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Annual Gordon Osbaldeston Lecture


When: Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 17:00 - 21:00

Where: Ottawa, Château Laurier


"Towards an Integrated Innovation Strategy: New Models for Public Sector Engagement"     

The eighth annual Osbaldeston Lecture focused on the application of innovation and particularly social innovation, to models of public service.

This annual event honours Gordon Osbaldeston's distinguished 35-year career as a public servant, which included three years as Clerk of the Privy Council (1982-1985). The lecture raises awareness about the challenges, issues and opportunities facing Canada's public service.


About Ilse Treurnicht

Allan GreggIlse Treurnicht is the CEO of MaRS Discovery District, a leading innovation centre located in Toronto.  She oversees both the development and operations of the MaRS Centre and its broad suite of entrepreneurship and innovation programs.

MaRS offers advisory services, market intelligence and entrepreneurship education to emerging companies in health care/life sciences, information technology, communications and entertainment (ICE), cleantech and social purpose businesses across Ontario.

Ilse has worked closely with the leadership of Toronto’s academic institutions and teaching hospitals to create MaRS Innovation, an integrated commercialization platform for 14 Toronto Institutions and served as the interim Managing Director for a year following its formal launch in early 2008.

Ilse joined MaRS in early 2005 from her role as President & CEO of Primaxis Technology Ventures, a start-up stage venture capital fund focused on the advanced technologies sector.  Prior to Primaxis, Ilse was an entrepreneur with senior management roles in a number of emerging technology companies.

She is an active member of Canada’s innovation community, has served on the boards of private companies, industry associations and research organizations, and has been a member of several government advisory panels.

Ilse is the Chair of the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance, a national project seeking to fundamentally alter the way we think about investing and philanthropy in Canada. She also serves on the Board of Directors for The Next 36, an initiative which aims to help launch the careers of Canada’s most promising and innovative undergraduates.

In 2009, she was named one of Women’s Executive Network’s (WXN) Canada’s Most Powerful Women. In 2013, she was inducted into the WXN Hall of Fame.

Ilse holds a DPhil in chemistry from Oxford University, which she attended as a Rhodes scholar.



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Annual Gordon Osbaldeston Lecture

Nov 15 2012

The Audacity of Cooperation: Why We Need More Of It

The Public Policy Forum was very pleased to have Monique F. Leroux, Chair of the Board, President & CEO, Desjardins Group as the 2012 Gordon Osbaldeston guest lecturer. Ms. Leroux delivered a speech entitled "The Audacity Of Cooperation: Why We Need More Of It".

Click here to download the ebook of Mme Leroux's Lecture.

“We were very pleased to continue this tradition with an important lecture by Monique Leroux,” said David Mitchell, President & CEO of the Forum. “It was very fitting, in this International Year of Cooperatives, that Ms. Leroux provided her insights on the relevance of the cooperative model for public services in Canada."

About Monique Leroux

From 197Allan Gregg9 Monique F. Leroux is the Chair of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada. Member of Desjardins Group senior management since 2001, Monique F. Leroux held the position of President of Desjardins Financial Corporation and Chief Executive Officer of its subsidiaries. From 2004 to 2008, she was also Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Desjardins Group. Before joining Desjardins, Ms. Leroux enjoyed a remarkable career as a high-level manager in the world of consultation and finance.

Ms. Leroux is currently a member of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Founders' Council of the Québec Global 100 network. She is also a member of the United Nations IYC Advisory Group (International Year of Cooperatives, UN), member of the Board and the Executive Committee of the European Association of Co-operative Banks, Vice-President and member of the Board of Directors of the International Confederation of Popular Banks (CIBP), President of Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité (CQCM) and member of the Catalyst Canada Advisory Board. She is also a member of the Conference Board of Canada, the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum, HEC Montréal’s Council of Governors, the Desautels Faculty Advisory Board, McGill University and the Governing Board of Montréal International.

Monique F. Leroux is a Member of the Order of Canada and has received the titles of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur and Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Pleiade, the Woodrow Wilson Award and the Centre Jacques Cartier medal. She holds honorary doctorates from a number of universities. Fellow of the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec (FCPA, FCA), she was also President of the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec and has served on the Board of Governors of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Ms. Leroux is very involved in community works and also generously lends her time to a host of not-for-profit organizations. She is currently the President of Fondation Desjardins and the Sherbrooke 2013 Canada Summer Games.

Monique F. Leroux lives in Montreal with her husband and their daughter.

Annual Gordon Osbaldeston Lecture from Public Policy Forum on Vimeo.


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6th Annual Gordon Osbaldeston Lecture

On Authenticity – How the Truth Can Restore Faith in Politics and Government

The Public Policy Forum was honoured to have Allan Gregg, one of Canada's most respected senior research professionals and social commentators, deliver the 6th annual Gordon Obsaldeston Lecture.

His lecture "On Authenticity: How the Truth can Restore Faith in Politics and Government" was an inspiring perspective on the relationship between authenticity and trust. Gregg posited that if our political leaders were to act authentically and speak truthfully, Canadians would be more inclined to trust them regardless of whether or not they agreed with their politics.

Play Watch the lecture on CPAC

In the media

Ottawa Citizen - Authenticity is in the eye of the beholder

Globe and Mail - Telling the naked truth is good politics

Globe and Mail - Fibs destined to fail

iPolitics - Authenticity key to restoring faith in politics

About Allan Gregg

From 197Allan Gregg9 through 1993 Gregg was known as the official pollster of the Progressive Conservative Party and participated in over 50 central election campaigns on three continents. In 1995, he co-founded The Strategic Counsel, a research partnership he left in 2007. That year, he set out on his own to form Allan Gregg Strategies, offering high-end, value added, research-based consulting and communications advice to private and public sector clients. At the same time, he returned to roots and assumed the position of Chairman of Harris/Decima, a company he founded almost 30 years earlier that has recently merged with the fastest growing research firm in the world. Allan is a pioneer in the integration of consulting, public-opinion research, public affairs and communications. He not only has an intimate knowledge of the dynamics of policy-making but also a deep understanding of cultural change and the communications processes necessary to forge a public consensus around government and business initiatives. Much sought after for his analysis and as a public speaker, he is widely published and quoted. He is the host of the popular and respected TVO talk show - Allan Gregg In Conversation With - as well as a frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines. He has also served as a regular participant on CBC's "At Issue" panel on Thursday nights.

Allan is also an entrepreneur with diverse interests. He was one of the founding shareholders of Canada's children's network, YTV, the Chairman of Toronto Film Festival, the current Chair of the Walrus Foundation (publisher of 2007 Magazine of the Year, "The Walrus") and has executive produced documentary television as well as recordings by Canadian artists such as The Tragically Hip, The Watchmen and Big Wreck. Corporately, he serves on General Motors of Canada's Advisory Board and the Bank of Montreal's Advisory Council on Retirement.


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5th Annual Gordon Osbaldeston Lecture

A Vision Too Far? - Lessons from the Games that Changed Canada

This prestigious lecture honours Mr. Osbaldeston's distinguished 35-year career as a public servant by raising awareness about the challenges, issues and opportunities facing Canada's public service.

In a passionate speech that had the audience on their feet at the end, John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games delivered the 2010 Gordon Osbaldeston Lecture, "A Vision Too Far? Lessons From the Games That Changed Canada," in Ottawa on November 18, 2010.

Furlong is the leader behind the team that the successfully organized the entire 2010 Games. From the very beginning of the project, Furlong stressed that he envisioned that the Games could be a true nation builder, helping to improve the fabric of Canadian society.

Watch video

In the media

Ottawa Citizen -  Have a vision, 'go for broke' PS urged

About John Furlong

John Furlong is the leader behind the team that organized and staged the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. From the very beginning of the project, Furlong envisioned that the Games could be a true nation builder, helping to improve the fabric of Canadian society. IOC President Jacques Rogge remarked in a Canadian Press interview at how  Vancouver had taken on the Games in a way that was "unheard of in the Olympic movement,'' and considered them as belonging to all of Canada, not surprised that the Games had become a catalyst for national unity. 

Prior to his appointment at VANOC in 2004, Furlong was the President and Chief Operating Officer for the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation. In his role, he became the Bid’s international face and key spokesperson, tirelessly clocking more than 1.2 million miles in his travels to promote the Bid.

Around the Rings Magazine has listed Furlong as one of the worlds top five most influential Olympic Officials in both 2009 and 2010.  Most recently, he was named Sport BC’s Sportsman of the Decade.

Furlong has been involved with athletics all his life, having competed at the international level in Basketball, European handball and Squash. He became Canadian Squash Champion in 1986. Furlong has been a long time member of the Canadian Olympic Committee and has led many high profile sport organizations in Canada.  

In 2009, Furlong was named Canada’s Most Influential Sport Figure by both the Globe and Mail and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and listed #1 on Vancouver Magazine’s Vancouver Power 50 2009 list.


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4th Annual Gordon Osbaldeston Lecture

Adapting Public Policy to a Changing World:  A Contact Sport

As this year’s Gordon Osbaldeston lecturer, Dr. Martha Piper provided her insights on how the public service can adapt to our changing world. At the heart of her lecture was a single question: Will our public policies and institutions, many created in the previous century, allow us to address complex 21st century challenges? If not, how must the role of the public service change and how must public servants engage – or make contact with – stakeholders, communities and the public?

About Dr. Martha Piper

With a background in epidemiology and biostatistics, as well as a decade of experience as UBC’s president, Dr. Martha Piper offers a unique perspective on public policy and public service in the 21st century. Born in Ohio and a longtime Canadian citizen, she received the Order of Canada in 2002. Her commitment to public life remains strong. 

In 2007, Dr. Piper assumed Board memberships with CARE Canada, the Institute for Research on Public Policy, the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education. In 2008,Dr. Piper joined the Canadian Institutes of Advanced Research and assumed the Chair of the Board of the National Institute of Nanotechnology. Dr.Piper currently is a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Montreal, TransAlta Corporation, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Grosvenor Americas Ltd and is a member of the Trilateral Commission, an organization of leading thinkers and former leaders from North America, Europe and Japan.


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3rd Annual Gordon Osbaldeston Lecture

Public Engagement in an Era of Deep Change

The Public Policy Forum was honoured to have Dr. John McLaughlin, President of the University of New Brunswick, deliver the 6th annual Gordon Obsaldeston Lecture. His intriguing speech provided an enlightened perspective on the challenges the country faces in engaging community in meaningful conversation within the political arena we have today. Dr. McLaughlin proposes that the country is facing an era of deep change that is driven in part by technology, as well as quickly evolving global, economic, social, and environmental challenges.

About Dr. John McLaughlin

With a distinguished career spanning the worlds of science, business and public administration, Dr. John McLaughlin brings a unique perspective to the big issues that challenge the public sector. The 200-plus articles and publications to his name on a wide range of topics are a testimony to the depth and breadth of his thinking. An engineer by training, he was a key architect of the global geomatics industry and founded two successful businesses  – an American-based technology consultancy and a Peruvian international development company. Working with numerous major international agencies, including the World Bank and UNDP, McLaughlin worked extensively to build property systems in over thirty developing countries. While serving as President of the University of New Brunswick, a position he has held since 2002, Business Magazine named him one of Atlantic Canada’s top CEOs and in 2007, he received the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration.


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2nd Annual Gordon Osbaldeston Lecture

We're All in This Together - Why Canada's Business Needs a Strong Public Service

Hal Kvisle, with his private sector and Western Canadian perspective, discussed his take on the  public service at the 2nd annual Gordon Obsaldeston Lecture. As someone who has experienced complexity on a global scale and understands the importance of leadership, Mr. Kvisle was well-placed to share some of his views, including how the private and public sectors can work together and the importance of a strong public service for the well-being of this country.

The lecture was preceded by a panel discussion between the authors of a collection of essays on the future of government in Canada:

  • Ian Green, PPF Chair in Public Service Governance
  • Moya Greene, President and CEO, Canada Post Corporation
  • Tony Dean, Secretary of the Cabinet and Clerk, Ontario
  • Louise Fréchette, Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Hon. Hugh Segal, Senator, The Senate of Canada

About Hal Kvisle

Hal Kvisle was President and CEO of TransCanada Corporation and its predecessor, TCPL, from May 2001 to June 30, 2010. TransCanada is a leading North American energy company focused on natural gas and crude oil pipelines, natural gas storage, and power generation. Mr. Kvisle joined TransCanada in 1999, following 24 years in the upstream oil and gas industry with Dome Petroleum and Fletcher Challenge Energy.

Mr. Kvisle serves as a corporate board member for the Bank of Montreal, ARC Resources, Talisman Energy, and Northern Blizzard Resources. He chairs the National Board of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and previously chaired the Board of Governors of Mount Royal University and the Board of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America.

Mr. Kvisle was recognized as Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year in 2008. In 2009 he received the Canadian Business Leader Award, in 2010 he received the Distinguished Business Leader Award, and in 2011 he was given the Fraser Institute's T. Patrick Boyle Founder's Award. He holds a B.Sc. in Engineering from the University of Alberta and an MBA from the University of Calgary. He is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta.


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