OTTAWA, OCT. 18, 2017 -– The Public Policy Forum is pleased to announce four new members joining its Board of Directors following yesterday’s Annual General Meeting. The new directors are:

·Peter Dinsdale, President & CEO, YMCA Canada and former CEO of the Assembly of First Nations

·Andrew Molson, Chairman, RES PUBLICA Consulting Group and Director, Molson Coors Brewing Company

·Ken Neumann, National Director, United Steelworkers and Co-Chair, Canadian Steel Trades and Employment Congress

·Kim Thomassin, Executive Vice-President, Legal Affairs and Secretariat, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and former Nations Client Leader and Managing Partner for the Québec Region at McCarthy Tétrault


The PPF would like to thank Michèle Boisvert, Ken Delaney, Mark Lievonen and Stephen J. Toope, whose terms on the Board of Directors are ending, for their service and dedication to the organization and to public policy in Canada.


Matthew Coon Come

Former Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees

Nadine St-Louis

Founder and Executive Director of Sacred Fire Productions

Gabriel Bran Lopez

Founding President of Youth Fusion        

The Public Policy Forum will recognize Matthew Coon Come, Nadine St-Louis and Gabriel Bran Lopez with the Marcel Côté Award for their contributions to public policy at a reception in Montreal on Nov. 7.

  • Matthew Coon Come, for his trailblazing advocacy on behalf of the Crees of Eeyou Istchee and First Nations across Canada in the areas of development, human rights and self-determination.
  • Nadine St-Louis, for her remarkable contributions to the social development of Indigenous artists and active role in bringing Indigenous peoples and Quebecers together.
  • Gabriel Bran Lopez, for his Youth Fusion programming which tackles school dropout rates and engages students in learning through hands-on, real world experiences across Québec and particularly in Indigenous communities.

Tickets for the award reception are available through the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal.

The Marcel Côté award is presented to Quebecers who demonstrate extraordinary leadership qualities and help improve public policy and public discourse at the municipal, provincial, national and/or international levels. The honourees are selected through a nomination process organized by the PPF.

For more information:

Jonathan Perron-Clow

Communications Specialist

Public Policy Forum

613-238-7858 ext. 224



On Thursday, June 15, the Public Policy Forum (PPF) returned to Calgary to host the annual Western Dinner and to present the Peter Lougheed Awards for Leadership in Public Policy. The evening featured remarks from the Premier of Alberta, Rachel Notley, and honoured four outstanding Western Canadians who, just as Peter Lougheed did, have contributed to public policy in their region, province and country. In case you couldn't join us, follow the links below for snapshots from the event and to watch all the highlights. We hope we'll see you next year!

PHOTOS: Western Dinner 2017 and Peter Lougheed Awards for Leadership in Public Policy (Calgary)

Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta: Opening remarks

Rachel Notley at PPF's Western Dinner

Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta
Opening remarks
Video: Premier Notley's remarks at Western Dinner 2017

Honouree videos

Chuck Strahl

Former MP of Chilliwack Fraser Canyon, BC and former cabinet minister

VideoChuck Strahl accepts Peter Lougheed Award


Melissa Blake

Mayor, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

VideoMelissa Blake accepts Peter Lougheed Award


Steve Williams

President and CEO, Suncor Energy Inc.

VideoSteve Williams accepts Peter Lougheed Award


Barbara Byers

Secretary-Treasurer, Canadian Labour Congress

VideoBarbara Byers accepts Peter Lougheed Award




The Public Policy Forum’s Consultative Forum on China is a two-year initiative that seeks to convene and facilitate discussions that will provide a valuable injection of fresh ideas and understanding to shape the future of Canada’s relationship with China. The Consultative Forum is co-chaired by Edward Greenspon, President and CEO of the Public Policy Forum, and Kevin Lynch, Vice-Chair of BMO Financial Group and former Clerk of the Privy Council. The forum is drawn from business, academia, NGOs and former government officials who are seeking to find a balanced approach to engagement with China that is economically beneficial and politically acceptable to Canadians.

The group's first meeting takes place on June 21 in Ottawa.

To read background papers and follow the progress of the forum, please see the project website

For more information, please contact:

Carl Neustaedter
Director of Communications
613-238-7858 ext. 286
613-866-7210 (mobile)


On Thursday, April 20, 2017 at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre, the Public Policy Forum held its 30th Annual Testimonial Dinner. The evening, hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, was a celebration of exemplary Canadians who have made significant contributions in policy and social justice and who have helped bring Canada to the world, and the world to Canada. Attended by more than 1,500 guests, the dinner paid tribute to seven honourees who spoke of the inspiring, and oftentimes trying, experiences that empowered them to make a stand in their own communities and to bring about broader sustainable change in a global context. For highlights from the dinner including photos, videos, speeches and more, please follow the links below.

PHOTOS30th Annual Testimonial Dinner Flickr gallery

VIDEOCheri Maracle sings O Canada in Mohawk 

Honouree videos

Dr. Alika Lafontaine
Emerging Indigenous Leader Award
VideoIntroduction from Prime Minister Trudeau and speech

Prof. Margaret MacMillan
VideoFull introduction and remarks


Johann Koss
VideoFull introduction and remarks



Yaprak Baltacioglu
VideoFull introduction and remarks


Naheed Nenshi
VideoFull introduction and remarks


Dominic Barton
VideoFull introduction and remarks

Louise Arbour
VideoFull introduction and remarks




Federal science panel calls for enhanced oversight and strategic re-investments to strengthen the foundations of independent Canadian research

News Release
April 10, 2017 – Ottawa

Today, the Government of Canada published the final report of the expert panel on Canada’s Fundamental Science Review. Commissioned by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, the report by the blue-ribbon panel offers a comprehensive review of the mechanisms for federal funding that supports research undertaken at academic institutions and research institutes across Canada, as well as the levels of that funding. It provides a multi-year blueprint for improving the oversight and governance of what the panelists call the “research ecosystem.” The report also recommends making major new investments to restore support for front-line research and strengthen the foundations of Canadian science and research at this pivotal point in global history.     

The review is the first of its type in more than 40 years. While it focused most closely on the four major federal agencies that support science and scholarly inquiry across all disciplines, the report also takes a wide-angle view of governance mechanisms ranging from smaller agencies to big science facilities. Another issue closely examined by the panel was the effect of the current configuration of funding on the prospects of early career researchers—a group that includes a higher proportion of women and is more diverse than previous generations of scientists and scholars. 

The panel’s deliberations were informed by a broad consultative process. The panel received 1,275 written submissions from individuals, associations and organizations. It also held a dozen round tables in five cities, engaging some 230 researchers at different career stages.

Among the findings:

  • Basic research worldwide has led to most of the technological, medical and social advances that make our quality of life today so much better than a century ago. Canadian scientists and scholars have contributed meaningfully to these advances through the decades; however, by various measures, Canada’s research competitiveness has eroded in recent years.
  • This trend emerged during a period when there was a drop of more than 30 percent in real per capita funding for independent or investigator-led research by front-line scientists and scholars in universities, colleges, institutes and research hospitals. This drop occurred as a result of caps on federal funding to the granting councils and a dramatic change in the balance of funding toward priority-driven and partnership-oriented research.
  • Canada is an international outlier in that funding from federal government sources accounts for less than 25 percent of total spending on research and development in the higher education sector. While governments sometimes highlight that, relative to GDP, Canada leads the G7 in total spending by this sector, institutions themselves now underwrite 50 percent of these costs—with adverse effects on both research and education.
  • Coordination and collaboration among the four key federal research agencies is suboptimal, with poor alignment of supports for different aspects of research such as infrastructure, operating costs and personnel awards. Governance and administrative practices vary inexplicably, and support for areas such as international partnerships or multidisciplinary research is uneven.
  • Early career researchers are struggling in some disciplines, and Canada lacks a career-spanning strategy for supporting both research operations and staff.
  • Flagship personnel programs such as the Canada Research Chairs have had the same value since 2000. Levels of funding and numbers of awards for students and post-doctoral fellows have not kept pace with inflation, peer nations or the size of applicant pools.

The report also outlines a comprehensive agenda to strengthen the foundations of Canadian extramural research. Recommended improvements in oversight include:

  • legislation to create an independent National Advisory Council on Research and Innovation (NACRI) that would work closely with Canada’s new Chief Science Advisor (CSA) to raise the bar in terms of ongoing evaluations of all research programming;
  • wide-ranging improvements to oversight and governance of the four agencies, including the appointment of a coordinating board chaired by the CSA; and
  • lifecycle governance of national-scale research facilities as well as improved methods for overseeing and containing the growth in ad-hoc funding of smaller non-profit research entities.

With regard to funding, the panel recommends a major multi-year reinvestment in front-line research, targeting several areas of identified need. Each recommendation is benchmarked and is focused on making long-term improvements in Canada’s research capacity. The panel’s recommendations, to be phased in over four years, would raise annual spending across the four major federal agencies and other key entities from approximately $3.5 billion today to $4.8 billion in 2022. The goal is to ensure that Canada benefits from an outsized concentration of world-leading scientists and scholars who can make exciting discoveries and generate novel insights while educating and inspiring the next generation of researchers, innovators and leaders.

Given global competition, the current conditions in the ecosystem, the role of research in underpinning innovation and educating innovators, and the need for research to inform evidence-based policy-making, the panel concludes that this is among the highest-yield investments in Canada’s future that any government could make.

The full report is posted on  


“In response to the request from Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Duncan, the Science Review panel has put together a comprehensive roadmap for Canadian pre-eminence in science and innovation far into the future. The report provides creative pathways for optimizing Canada’s investments in fundamental research in the physical, life and social sciences as well as the humanities in a cost effective way. Implementation of the panel’s recommendations will make Canada the destination of choice for the world’s best talent. It will also guarantee that young Canadian researchers can fulfill their dreams in their own country, bringing both Nobel Prizes and a thriving economy to Canada. American scientists will look north with envy.”

– Robert J. Birgeneau, Silverman Professor of Physics and Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley

“We have paid close attention not only to hard data on performance and funding but also to the many issues raised by the science community in our consultations. I sincerely hope the report will serve as a useful guide to policy-makers for years to come.”

– Martha Crago, Vice-President, Research and Professor of Human Communication Disorders, Dalhousie University

“Science is the bedrock of modern civilization. Our report’s recommendations to increase and optimize government investments in fundamental scientific research will help ensure that Canada’s world-class researchers can continue to make their critically important contributions to science, industry and society in Canada while educating and inspiring future generations. At the same time, such investments will enable Canada to attract top researchers from around the world. Canada must strategically build critical density in our researcher communities to elevate its global competitiveness. This is the path to new technologies, new businesses, new jobs and new value creation for Canada.”

– Mike Lazaridis, Founder and Managing Partner, Quantum Valley Investments 

“This was a very comprehensive review. We heard from a wide range of researchers—from the newest to those with ambitious, established and far-reaching research careers. At all these levels, researchers spoke of their gratitude for federal funding, but they also described enormous barriers to their success. These ranged from personal career issues like gaps in parental leave to a failure to take gender, age, geographic location and ethnicity into account. They also included mechanical and economic issues like gaps between provincial and federal granting timelines and priorities, as well as a lack of money for operating and maintaining critical equipment.”

– Claudia Malacrida, Associate Vice-President, Research and Professor of Sociology, University of Lethbridge

“We would like to thank the community for its extensive participation in this review. We reflect that community perspective in recommending improvements to funding and governance for fundamental science programs to restore the balance with recent industry-oriented programs and improve both science and innovation in Canada.”

– Arthur B. McDonald, Professor Emeritus, Queen’s University

“This report sets out a multi-year agenda that, if implemented, could transform Canadian research capacity and have enormous long-term impacts across the nation. It proffers a legacy-building opportunity for a new government that has boldly nailed its colours to the mast of science and evidence-informed policy-making. I urge the Prime Minister to act decisively on our recommendations.”

– C. David Naylor, Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto (Chair)

“This report outlines all the necessary ingredients to advance basic research, thereby positioning Canada as a leading ‘knowledge’ nation. Rarely does a country have such a unique opportunity to transform the research landscape and lay the foundation for a future of innovation, prosperity and well-being.” 

– Martha C. Piper, President Emeritus, University of British Columbia

“Our report shows a clear path forward. Now it is up to the government to make sure that Canada truly becomes a world leader in how it both organizes and financially supports fundamental research.”

– Rémi Quirion, Le scientifique en chef du Québec

“The government’s decision to initiate this review reflected a welcome commitment to fundamental research. I am hopeful that the release of our report will energize the government and research community to take the next steps needed to strengthen Canada’s capacity for discovery and research excellence. A research ecosystem that supports a diversity of scholars at every career stage conducting research in every discipline will best serve Canada and the next generation of students and citizens as we move forward to meet social, technological, economic and ecological challenges.”

– Anne Wilson, Professor of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University

Quick facts

  • The Fundamental Science Review Advisory Panel is an independent and non-partisan body whose mandate was to provide advice and recommendations to the Minister of Science on how to improve federal science programs and initiatives.
  • The panel was asked to consider whether there are gaps in the federal system of support for fundamental research and recommend how to address them.
  • The scope of the review included the federal granting councils along with some federally funded organizations such as the Canada Foundation for Innovation.


Sabrina Ahmad
Communications Specialist
Public Policy Forum
613-238-7858, ext. 225


PPF Fellow Taylor Owen publishes new report on big tech and the transformation of journalism

Thursday, March 30, 2017

PPF Fellow Taylor Owen, Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia, and Emily Bell, Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia University, have released a new report: The Platform Press: How Silicon Valley reengineered journalism.

The study tracks the dominance of social media platforms and their disruptive influence on models of traditional journalism. The report also describes how the two have come to converge in the past 20 years and investigates the ways in which fake news, algorithmic bias and the question of editorial responsibility have come to be contested in the contemporary news and media ecosystem.

PPF Fellow Taylor Owen is Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia and a Senior Fellow at the Columbia Journalism School. He was previously the Research Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University where he designed and led a program studying the impact of digital technology on the practice of journalism.

Emily Bell is founding director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, and a leading thinker, commentator and strategist on digital journalism.

Follow Taylor and Emily on Twitter.


Remarks to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, Jan. 31, 2017

By Edward Greenspon, President and CEO, Public Policy Forum

Thank you Madame Chair. I am pleased to be with you today to speak about The Shattered Mirror: News, Democracy and Trust in the Digital Age. Le Forum des politiques publiques est fier de notre processus consultatif et du rapport que nous avons produit.

But we are not the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. And so I think all people who care about the state of news in Canada have high hopes for your deliberations.

I am struck how increasingly important the questions of news and democracy look with each passing day. Last week, we saw more layoffs at Postmedia. Over the weekend, we were reminded of the importance in the United States of a free AND strong press. The coverage of the terrible shootings in Quebec City speak to the need for reliable news and the role of news in communities seeing themselves reflected.

Je sais que nous n'avons pas beaucoup de temps et que vous avez eu l'occasion de lire le rapport ou la couverture médiatique de ce rapport. Je vais prendre cinq minutes ou moins pour vous guider dans quelques-unes de nos douze recommandations.

One minute on analysis. We’ve documented convincingly, I believe, not just the sharp decline of revenues in the traditional media, especially newspapers and increasingly local television, but the fact there is an unsustainable acceleration of this downward trajectory. Perhaps more disturbing to me is the absence of indicators that new digital-only news operations have the capacity to fill this democratic gap.

Several of our recommendations are, I believe, simple enough:

1.     Rectify the perversity that Canadian companies are charged sales tax on digital advertising and subscription sales but foreign news companies are not;

2.     Address the lack of clarity that inhibits philanthropic organizations from investing in journalism in Canada;

3.     Bolster the “Informs” part of the CBC/Radio Canada mandate in a world with not enough genuine news and increasing volumes of fake news

4.     Remove digital advertising from and

At the heart of this report is a modernization of Section 19 of the Income Tax Act that would rebalance the playing field in favour of news organizations providing original civic news for Canadians. Cela comporte plusieurs éléments:

1. Extend Section 19 to Internet, a matter which often tends to be treated as more simple than we believe it is. The original Section 19 and 19.1 were intended to change advertising behaviour. It is less likely that behaviour would be changed in digital advertising and therefore a different approach is required.

2. Address the new realities of international trade agreements, which don’t allow public policy to be ased on corporate nationality. We have chosen two new criteria: that a news organization is subject to taxation in Canada and that it meets a minimum threshold of journalistic investment in Canada.

3. Instead of either being able to deduct or not deduct advertising costs under Section 19, we have recommended moving to a 10 percent levy, or withholding tax, on distributors of news that fall outside the Section 19 criteria. This borrows from the approach of the long-standing cable levy.

4. We estimate the 10 percent levy would produce revenue of $300-$400 million a year. This money would go to an arm’s length Future of Journalism and Democracy Fund.

5. We find this approach superior in many ways to tax credits. It generates money to support journalism and digital news innovation from the $5.5 billion (and growing) digital advertising pie rather than from the government. The governance structure we have suggested for the Fund would keep the government out of decision-making about where the money goes. These are critical points. I am a journalist like some of you and I want to keep the government as distant as possible from both supplying money to the fund and disbursing money to news organizations.

Why is this better than tax credits?

  • Tax credits are more prone to politics than our proposal. You can see this right now in Ontario, where the newspaper is lobbying to be reinstated in the Ontario Digital Media Tax Credit scheme.
  • Tax credits also tend to reward equally those organizations that spend their money wisely and those with less-than-stellar records of managing their enterprises.

6. I have been asked in recent days who would qualify. My answer is that any bona fide news organization can apply. We were very conscious not to be excluding early-stage news companies that need help to grow.

7. Finally, beyond applications for funds, we hope news organizations will be more creative than we can anticipate, we have suggested the fund finance four initiatives:

  • A badly needed local news initiative under the auspices of The Canadian Press, an under-appreciated national asset with high standards and a sturdy technological infrastructure.
  • An Indigenous news initiative to cover the institutions and debates of Indigenous democracy, particularly on a local level.
  • A legal advisory service to bolster smaller news organizations in pursuing investigative journalism.
  • A research institute that can tell us the many things we don’t know: how much fake news is in Canada and from where; what happens when a community loses a local news organization; where news originates; public attitudes to news and democracy and trust; and other essential information.

Je pense que je devrais probablement laisser cela pour le moment. Je suis heureux de répondre à vos questions.



The Public Policy Forum is pleased to announce the appointment of two new fellows, Brian Topp and Jane Hooker. Jane's perspective from beyond Canada's borders and Brian's deep experience in Canadian politics and policy will help build the PPF's capacity to explore and find solutions to Canada’s most pressing public policy challenges.

Brian Topp
A political strategist, writer and former union leader, Brian most recently served as chief of staff to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. He also directed her transition team when she took office in 2015.

Brian has long been involved in both the provincial and national political arenas. He was Director of Research for Saskatchewan's executive council before becoming former premier Roy Romanow's deputy chief of staff. He was also the federal New Democratic Party's national campaign director in 2006 and 2008 and, following the death of Jack Layton in 2012, he ran for the party leadership.

An avid writer, Brian has published extensively on Canadian policy issues. He was director of the Broadbent Institute until 2015 and was a partner in Kool, Topp and Guy, a strategic consulting firm.

Brian worked as the executive director of ACTRA Toronto for more than 11 years and has served on numerous boards, including the ROI Fund, FilmOntario and Pinewood Toronto Studios. He graduated with honours from McGill University with a degree in Arts, History and Political Science.


Jane Hooker
Currently on leave from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Jane is a career diplomat and international lawyer. She has developed a deep understanding of diplomacy, negotiation and global affairs through her wide-ranging career in policy and legal issues.

As a senior legal adviser Jane has experience as counsel for bilateral and regional trade negotiations, including the Hong Kong-New Zealand and Korea-New Zealand free trade agreements and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). At the management level, she led a high-performing team of lawyers covering environmental and Law of the Sea issues, including negotiating on international fisheries management. She has also worked on international criminal law and human rights issues, including the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Jane has worked at senior levels on international defence and security issues, as well as represented New Zealand at negotiations on the definition of terrorism at the UN and at international meetings to counter terrorist financing. Jane has also undertaken a diplomatic posting to The Hague.

Jane holds a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), where she was awarded the Gold Medal as the top law graduate.




Ottawa, Nov. 7, 2016 - The Public Policy Forum is pleased to announce that Linsay Martens will join the Forum on December 1 as Director of Policy.

Linsay holds a PhD in Public Policy from the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan. His dissertation focused on Indigenous involvement in sustainability transitions in the energy sector. He was awarded a Vanier Scholarship, one of Canada's top doctoral scholarships. He also holds a Master's of Public Policy from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina.

Linsay's previous experience includes serving in senior roles in the Government of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan's Official Opposition. He has also worked with the Government of Canada, Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Simon Fraser University's Adaptation to Climate Change Team and the University of Saskatchewan. His volunteer experience includes working with children and youth in the Philippines, Grenada and Northern Ireland and having served on the board of the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

"Linsay joins the Public Policy Forum as a leader with extensive experience and policy expertise, with a Western Canadian lens. We are delighted that he will be joining our management team at this transformational time for the Forum,” said Julie Cafley, Senior Vice-President, Policy and Partnerships.

About Public Policy Forum

The Public Policy Forum works with all levels of government and the public service, the private sector, labour, post-secondary institutions, NGOs and Indigenous groups to improve policy outcomes for Canadians. As a non-partisan, member-based organization, we work from "inclusion to conclusion," by convening discussions on fundamental policy issues and by identifying new options and paths forward. For 30 years, the Public Policy Forum has broken down barriers among sectors, contributing to meaningful change that builds a better Canada.

Le Forum des politiques publiques travaille avec les gouvernements, les services publics, le secteur privé, les syndicats, les institutions postsecondaires, les ONG et les groupes autochtones dans le but d'obtenir de meilleurs résultats en matière de politiques pour les Canadiennes et les Canadiens. En tant qu'organisation non partisane, fondée sur ses membres, nous travaillons selon l’inclusion à conclusion, depuis l'organisation de discussions autour de thèmes politiques spécifiques jusqu’à l'identification d’approches aptes à jeter de la lumière sur les obstacles, les opportunités et les différentes options politiques. Depuis 30 ans, le Forum des politiques publiques a brisé les barrières entre les secteurs, contribuant à un changement judicieux et durable propice à bâtir un Canada plus fort.

For more information

Carl Neustaedter
Director of Communications
613-238-7858 ext 286


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