Thank You to All Delegates, Sponsors,
Partners & Speakers For a Wonderful Event


The Canadian Institute’s annual Crown Corporate Governance conference took place on January 27-28, 2016 in Ottawa. 

As always, the program brought together high-level management, board, and government representatives to engage in crucially important dialogue and discussion on strategies for navigating relationships, mastering management, and optimizing performance.  This year, delegates came from Crown Corporations in almost all provinces and territories, including Ontario, New Brunswick, Quebec, Newfoundland, British Columbia, Yukon, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories.



Feedback from conference participants was overwhelmingly positive:

  • “Very good conference. Solid speakers, interesting and relevant topics. I hope to make this an annual part of my calendar”
    (Director, Corporate Relations)
  • “Great conference- very thought provoking and well organized”
    (Senior Corporate Advisor)
  • “Excellent event, great speakers” (VP Legal) 


…an engaging keynote address by Dr. Richard Leblanc, Associate Professor, Law, Governance and Ethics (York University) who outlined Lessons Learned from 20 Crown and Regulatory Reviews and discussed corruption, inappropriate expenses, ethical breaches, and other failures by boards.

The keynote was followed by an excellent set of panel discussions on Managing Relationships, Roles, and Responsibilities between a) The Crown Corporation and the Government and b) The Corporation and the Board and Within the Board, and included a stellar line up of expert speakers:

  • Sandra Pupatello (Strategic Advisor, Industry, Global Markets & Public Sector, PwC Canada; Former Chair Hydro One Inc.; Former Minister of Economic Development and Trade (8 years), Former Minister of Education, and, Former Minister of Social Services)
  • Frank Denton (Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, Ontario)
  • Randy Jackiw (Assistant Deputy Minister, Economic Development, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs)
  • Jean Major (CEO, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario), 
  • Carol Hansell (Founder and Partner, Hansell LLP); and
  • Jean-François Legault (Chief Legal & Risk Officer and Corporate Secretary, VIA Rail Canada)

The remainder of Day 1 included phenomenal insights from:

  • Alan Curleigh (Chair of the Board, and Director PyroGenesis Canada Inc.; former Chair of the Canadian Commercial Corporation) who shared his knowledge and expertise on Crown Corporation Accountability and Responsibility and addressed the importance of having a solid corporate plan in place, Duty of Care, and clarity with the Crown Corporation’s policy mandate, among other topics; and
  • John Dinner (President, Board Governance Services) who discussed Breakthrough Strategies for Improving Boardroom Relationships and addressed important elements including interpersonal boardroom dynamics, fostering healthy boardroom relationships, and sharing power and control with the CEO.

Day 1 concluded with another fantastic set of sessions on Enterprise Risk Management. This two- part exploration of ERM began with a discussion on Aligning Risk Management with Your Crown’s Strategic Plans as between Josée Gravel (Vice President, General Counsel, Export Development Canada) and W. John Jussup (Former General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Bank of Canada) who addressed establishing your company’s risk tolerance and appetite, managing conversations about risk management, and best practices for proactive risk oversight, among other important aspects of ERM in a board setting.

The ERM discussion concluded with a thought-provoking analysis of Ethics and Risk Management, masterfully addressed by renowned international Ethicist René Villemure (Ethicist and President, Ethikos) who thoroughly engaged the audience and generated an abundance of questions to cap off the first day.  


A case study from AECL, presented by Grant Gardiner (Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, AECL) and Maude-Émilie Pagé (Director, Communications and Government Reporting) and sparked great discussion and interest as they spoke about a unique model in the Canadian context – how their new GoCo model was working, how it began, and where it can go.

The final sessions of the conference discussed some highly interesting and very relevant content from:

  • Jacques Levesque (President & CEO, Transform Management Consulting Inc.) and Neil Maloney (Vice President, Smith Petrie Carr & Scott, Insurance Brokers Ltd.) who shared their knowledge and expertise on cyber risk mitigation and how to be prepared and to secure your organization from potential threats, whilst satisfying regulatory standards and stakeholder expectations.
  • John Ratchford (Principal & General Counsel, Navigator Ltd.) concluded the day by discussing how to manage media and establish a communications policy around social media. He helped the audience answer questions such as – what is the impact of social media? What should a Crown Corporation be doing in terms of social media? How aggressively should this policy be pursued? How should a board handle the media in the wake of a corporate crisis?


Thank you to each and every member of our Speaker Faculty for sharing their knowledge and expertise.   

Every speaker was excellent and we were delighted to have covered so many important issues over the course of our two day program. We very much look forward to another fantastic program next year.

– Kamila B. Polus, J.D., Conference Producer, The Canadian Institute  
– Helen Cowan, Director of Production, The Canadian Institute