Kent Aitken joined the federal public service in 2009 to work in public policy, but keeps getting pulled towards roles that examine the systems in which policy gets made. He’s spent the last few years working on accountability, transparency, and citizen engagement to redefine the relationship between citizens and their government. Kent contributes to the civil society and public administration communities by organizing events, writing about public service renewal, and working with organizations that bridge the gap between government and citizens. He has just finished his dissertation for a Master of Science in Environmental Economics from the University of London, U.K.

The Prime Ministers of Canada Fellowship was established in 2012 to mark the Public Policy Forum’s 25th anniversary, when all living former Prime Ministers were honoured at the Testimonial Dinner and Awards in Toronto. The Fellowship brings prominent Canadian leaders to the Forum to conduct research and convene dialogues about public policy, democratic institutions and good governance. The Fellowship is supported by funding from our presenting partner, the RBC Foundation.

Click here to view past recipients

Sponsored by:

RBC Foundation supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations and employee volunteer activities. In 2014, it contributed more than $76 million to causes worldwide, including both donations and community investments.


Jodi White, President Emeritus
Jodi White’s career spans the nexus of journalism, politics, government, business and the not-for-profit sector. In addition to working at the most senior levels of government and the private sector, she played strategic roles in six federal election campaigns. Jodi began her career in journalism at the CBC, where she was a television news reporter and an award-winning senior network radio producer. Jodi is currently President of Sydney House Consultants and Board Chair of Tides Canada, a philanthropic foundation focused on issues of environmental sustainability and social justice. She is also the former President and CEO of the Public Policy Forum and a member of the Order of Canada.


David Zussman, President Emeritus
David Zussman is an adjunct professor at the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria and Senior Fellow at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) at the University of Ottawa. Previously, he was Jarislowsky Chair in Public Sector Management, Dean of the Telfer School of Management and Director of the GSPIA at uOttawa. From 1996-2002, David was President of the Public Policy Forum and then became Executive VP of EKOS Research Associates. He also led the transition team for Prime Minister Chrétien after the 1993 election, served as Assistant Secretary for Program Review and Machinery of Government and Commissioner of the Public Service Commission.



Edward Greenspon, President and CEO of the Public Policy Forum, is pleased to announce the appointment of new Fellows who will put their diverse areas of expertise at the disposal of the organization. The Fellows will help shape and participate in PPF's research agenda in pursuit of better policy outcomes for Canadians.

“As the Forum approaches its 30th anniversary, we are looking for new opportunities to make a greater impact across the country,” said Greenspon. “Tapping into the knowledge and networks of the Fellows will raise our capabilities as an applied policy shop focused on improving governance and public policy in Canada.”

Rob Annan
Rob Annan is an accomplished and respected expert on research and innovation policy. As Chief Research Officer, Rob helped establish Mitacs as a major Canadian success in the development and delivery of policy-driven innovation programs. He consults with governments, organizations and institutions across Canada on innovation strategy and policy and speaks regularly with public and private audiences across Canada. Rob has a PhD in Biochemistry from McGill University.

Emerson Csorba
Emerson Csorba serves as President of Csorba & Company Ltd., where he works with organizations in the education sector across Canada, the US, the UK and Israel. In his work, Emerson blends the practical and theoretical through access to a global network of change makers and an academic grounding in educational philosophy. A contributor to Harvard Business Review, The Globe and Mail, Daily Telegraph and World Economic Forum Agenda, he actively convenes thinkers and practitioners to examine workplace trends and issues. Emerson is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London, a Member of the International Crisis Group Ambassadors Council and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.
Elizabeth Dubois
Critic, advocate, and academic, Elizabeth Dubois can be found researching the triad of digital media, influence and politics as an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa. A graduate of the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute, Elizabeth’s work is designed to understand how technology may be leveraged to increase democratic accountability and engagement. Collaborating with non-profit organizations, technology companies, journalists and academics internationally, Elizabeth’s work is action oriented. From running an online “Vote Savvy” survey that doubled as a voter information tool in the 2015 federal election to writing op-eds, she aims to make her work accessible. She also consults for technology companies and non-profit organizations.
Drew Fagan
Drew Fagan recently left the public service after many years working in senior executive positions at the federal and provincial level. Drew was Deputy Minister for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games; Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport; and Deputy Minister of Infrastructure with the Government of Ontario. Prior to joining the Ontario Public Service, he was Assistant Deputy Minister for strategic policy and planning at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, serving as the Prime Minister’s representative at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. Before his public service career, Drew worked at The Globe and Mail, where he held numerous senior positions including parliamentary bureau chief, associate editor of Report on Business and Washington correspondent.
David Fransen
David Fransen is the Chair of the Waterloo Innovation Summit, an advisory board member of the Institute for Quantum Computing, and an advisor to companies in Los Angeles, Toronto and Waterloo. David has served as a senior executive in government, academia, and the diplomatic corps, leading large interdisciplinary teams in path-breaking R&D, policy and program areas. He led the creation and then served as a member of the founding Board of Governors of the Council of Canadian Academies. David was also a board member of the Canadian Commercial Corporation and the Standards Council of Canada, as well as the Secretary of Industry Canada’s Expert Panel on Commercialization.
Aaron Good
Aaron Good is Vice President at The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, where he leads the Innoweave Social Innovation Platform and related programs focused on improving outcomes for youth, seniors, and Indigenous Canadians. Aaron has extensive experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Prior to joining the McConnell Foundation, he was Vice President of the Public Policy Forum and Policy Director of the Office for Disability Issues at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. He also spent eight years as a strategy consultant at Bain & Company and the Bridgespan Group in Bogotá, San Francisco, Sydney, and Toronto.
Sylvain Lafrance
Sylvain Lafrance is the former Executive Vice-President of French-language services at the CBC, where he led the integration of radio, television and web platforms at Radio-Canada to create one of the largest French-language public broadcasting services in the world. Following a long career as a journalist and executive at the CBC, Sylvain became Associate Professor at HEC Montreal, a position he has held since 2012. He is a member of the Order of Canada and has been appointed Knight of the French National Legion of Honour, Knight of the Order of the Pleiades from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie, and Knight of the French National Order of Arts and Letters.
Alison Loat
Alison Loat is an executive, management consultant and entrepreneur with experience in senior leadership positions in the private, non-profit and university sectors. She is currently a strategic advisor to Focusing Capital on the Long Term (FCLT), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing practical tools and approaches that encourage long-term behaviors in business and investment decision-making. Alison is also the co-founder and former executive director of Samara Canada, a non-partisan charity that works to build better politics and improve democratic participation. In addition, she is the author of the best-selling book Tragedy in the Commons, a board member of the Banff Forum and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader who is co-leading a disability rights project.
Lorraine Mitchelmore
Lorraine Mitchelmore is co-founder and co-chair of Smart Prosperity, a think-tank aimed at promoting the reduction of carbon emissions in Canada. She has 30 years of oil and gas experience and spent more than a third of her career working internationally. Lorraine was Executive Vice President Heavy Oil for Royal Dutch Shell, in addition to her role as President and Canada Country Chair. She worked at Petro Canada, Chevron, and BHP Petroleum before joining Shell in 2002. A current board director with the Bank of Montreal, Lorraine was also the Chair of the 2015 Governor General’s Leadership Conference and the Co-chair of the 2015 United Way Calgary & Area campaign.
Taylor Owen
Taylor Owen is Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia, a Senior Fellow at the Columbia Journalism School and the founder and Editor of He was previously Research Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University and has held research positions at Yale University, London School of Economics and the Peace Research Institute Oslo. His work explores the intersection between digital technology, media and international affairs. Taylor is the author of Disruptive Power: The Crisis of the State in the Digital Age and the forthcoming Journalism after Snowden: The Future of the Free Press in the Surveillance State.
Karen Restoule
Karen Restoule is a member of the Dokis First Nation (Anishinabek Nation) and a beneficiary of the Robinson-Huron Treaty 1850. Karen currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario and oversees their strategy on Indigenous and French language services. Previously, she was Director of the Justice Sector for the Chiefs of Ontario, where she coordinated efforts to address justice and capacity issues facing First Nations communities. A promoter of reconciliation, Karen created Bold Realities, a panel series bringing together Indigenous and industry leaders to explore their respective roles in building partnerships. She was also involved in developing Dare to Dream, a justice education and mentoring program for Indigenous youth.




As an island of reason in a sea of raging anxiety, Canada has an opportunity this week to put its money where its mouth is on free trade.

Despite a spasm of doubt in the late 1980s, Canada, which was founded on the fur trade and today exports everything from water bombers to opera house acoustics, possesses a rare appreciation of the enrich-thy-neighbour values embedded in the free movement of goods, services, capital and people.

Except, it seems, in our own backyard. Within Canada, provinces have too often misdirected their energies towards erecting barriers — from the inane to the insidious — against those from away, even when “away” is right next door in an extraordinarily successful 149-year-old neighbourhood

On Friday, Canada’s 14 federal, provincial and territorial governments get a chance to remedy this annoying anomaly when Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains sits down with his counterparts to, as a recent Senate committee declared, “tear down these walls.”

For the full article, please click here.


The Canadian government is investigating the state of the country’s struggling news industry following a rash of newspaper closures and editorial job cuts, reports the Canadian Press.

To help in the task of coming up with possible policy options, the government has enlisted help from a think tank, the Public Policy Forum. As its president, Ed Greenspon, noted: “It’s a sensitive area of policy making,”

You bet it is. In any country, the decision about whether government should fund “old” mainstream media outlets in the face of them being supplanted by new digital media raises any number of questions.

For the full article, please click here.


OTTAWA – The federal Liberal government has enlisted the independent Public Policy Forum to assess the state of Canada’s struggling news industry as it mulls over potential policy options.

A rash of newspaper closures and newsroom layoffs this past winter, combined with a looming debt bomb for Postmedia Network Canada Corp., Canada’s largest newspaper chain, has added a sense of urgency to a decade-long disruption of the journalism that Heritage Minister Melanie Joly’s office says “plays a central role in a healthy democracy.”

The Commons heritage committee has already begun hearings on how Canadians, and particularly local communities, are being served “through news, broadcasting, digital and print media,” according to a February committee motion.

For the full article, please click here.

The Huffington Post Canada  |  By Jesse Ferreras
Add the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to the growing list of parties who want foreign investment in Canadian telecommunications.
In its 2016 Economic Survey of Canada, released Monday, the OECD makes a case for foreign entry into the Great White North's telecom market, saying it brings the potential for cheaper Internet and more subscriptions.
"Greater competition in telecoms and broadcasting could lower prices and increase access to fast, high-quality networks," it said.
The OECD ranked Canada as the toughest country to crack when it comes to telecommunications.
It noted that "foreign interests have been generally allowed to hold no more than 46.7 per cent of voting equity in any facilities-based telecommunications carrier or a broadcast distribution undertaking."
The federal government did away with such restrictions for any telecoms that had less than 10 per cent market share back in 2012, but that did nothing to attract foreign investment, it said.The OECD quoted a trade policy paper which noted that trimming foreign ownership restrictions could "reduce price-cost margins by two percentage points from Canada's average of 26 per cent" for public companies.
This would create "tangible gains for consumers and downstream firms," it said.
Foreign investment would most likely come from the United States — which, it noted, had lower-quality services available at lower prices.
The OECD isn't alone in calling for changes to Canada's broadcast and communications laws.
The C.D. Howe Institute issued a report last month calling on the federal government to do away with Canadian content quotas for broadcasters.
Local and specialty TV stations currently must fill half their prime-time programming with Canadian content, and the institute wants the rule abolished altogether.
It, too, argued for more foreign ownership of telecommunications.



The Globe and Mail

Is the funny gang at This Hour Has 22 Minutes a good use of tax dollars? What benefits accrue to Canadians from Tatiana Maslany’s acclaimed performance in Orphan Black?

Artists are often inept at explaining the value of what they do – their art would seem to be its own explanation – and many tire of seeing culture judged for its social utility. Think tanks, on the other hand, are great at declaring what is useful and what is efficient. So no surprise that as Ottawa belatedly awakens to the reality that it needs to revise federal broadcast regulations, the policy wonks are all over the issue. This week, both the Fraser Institute and the C.D. Howe Institute released reports recommending that Canada dispense with Canadian-content rules forthwith.

Even the most ardent cultural nationalists know there’s a problem. On television, regulations requiring that about half the programming day be devoted to Canadian shows were created for linear schedules; they make little sense in an on-demand environment. Also, unregulated foreign services – that would be Netflix – face no such requirements. Nor does Netflix contribute to the Canadian programming funds underwritten by the cable and satellite companies. So you have an uneven playing field: The old television players face Canadian-content obligations that the new Internet players don’t.

See full article on



OTTAWA March 1, 2016—One of Canada’s most accomplished journalists is the new President & CEO of the Public Policy Forum. The independent policy group announced that Edward Greenspon will succeed acting president Larry Murray, effective today.

“Ed’s a highly credible policy leader and exceptional communicator,” says Anne-Marie Hubert, Board Chair of the Forum. “I know he’ll excel at combining the best possible thinking with building trust across sectors to contribute to the best policy outcomes for our country.”

“As someone who believes deeply in having thoughtful, far-ranging discussions on the policy problems of our times, I’m thrilled to join the Forum community,” says Greenspon. “I’m excited and proud to advance its collaborative solutions that lead to better outcomes for Canadians.”

Greenspon has worked at the intersection of journalism, business and public policy for more than 30 years. He comes to the Forum from one of the world’s largest news organizations, where he led global coverage of energy and the environment, and oversaw major journalistic undertakings. He joined Bloomberg in 2014 as Editor-at-Large for Canada and has worked for Torstar Corp., publisher of the Toronto Star, as Vice President of Strategic Investments. At the Globe and Mail, Greenspon was a business reporter and editor, Ottawa bureau chief, European correspondent, founding editor of and Editor-in-Chief. He is an award-winning author and a recipient of the Hyman Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism.


Sara Caverley
Communications Coordinator
Public Policy Forum
Tel.: 613 238-7858, ext. 228


Dear friends,

I wish to inform you about a recent change in our leadership at the Public Policy Forum. Effective August 20, David Mitchell has left the Forum, and as Board Chair, I will be acting as President and CEO in the interim. We are undergoing a formal search for a new president. In the meantime, I’m available by e-mail at and by phone at 613-238-7858 x226.

We look forward to continuing the important work of the Forum and delivering on our goal of improving governance for Canadians.



Larry Murray
Acting President and CEO
Public Policy Forum | Forum des politiques publiques
1405-130 rue Albert Street, Ottawa, ON K1P 5G4
613-238-7858 x226

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