Be Involved

"When you know better, you do better."

Join us in making a difference

The Canadian Human Rights Commission’s 2017 symposium will challenge our thinking, our behaviour and the labels we use for each other and ourselves, setting the foundation for discussions about human rights over the next 40 years.

Join human rights advocates, academics, employers, lawyers, and engaged citizens from across the country as we explore the future of human rights beyond labels as it relates to technology, our institutions, our workplaces, and our public spaces.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017, Morning

7:45 a.mRegistration opens / Refreshments and networking

8:15 a.m. Greeting

Daniel Normandeau

8:20 a.m. Traditional Greeting

Claudette Commanda, Algonquin Elder

8:30 a.m. Overview of the Symposium

Daniel Normandeau

8:40 a.m. Opening Remarks

Marie-Claude Landry, Ad.E. Chief Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission

8:55 a.m. Remarks

The Honourable Kent Hehr MP, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

9:10 a.m. Remarks  

Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre and the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 Issues 

9:25 a.m. Keynote Speakers – Living Beyond Labels

Tiq Milan and Kim Katrin Milan

10:15 a.m. Health Break and Networking

10:45 a.m. Panel Discussion – Moving Beyond Labels

Moderator: Peggy Warolin, Justice of the Court of Quebec


Bernie Farber, Executive Director, Mosaic Institute
Donna Jodhan, Founder and Chair, Barrier Free Canada
Caitlin Tolley, Royal Bank of Canada
John Dick, Hallway Group

11:45 p.m. Buffet Lunch and Networking

Wednesday, September 27, 2017, Afternoon

1:00 pm. Concurrent Workshops

Workshop A* Blanket Exercise (KAIROS)

Moderator: Ed Bianchi, Program Manager, KAIROS

Workshop B Social Condition and Remote Communities

Moderator: Valérie Courtois, Indigenous Leadership Initiative


Adam Akpik, The Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts (CYCC) Network
Chelsea Thacker, Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife
John Millar, Water First
Harriett McLachlan, Canada Without Poverty

Workshop C Beyond Accommodation

Moderator: Bonnie Brayton, National Executive Director, DisAbled Women’s Network Canada


Fran Odette, Part Time Faculty, George Brown College
Neil Belanger, Executive Director, BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society
Alexandre Baril, Dalhousie University
Dr. Susan Hardie, Executive Director, Canadian Centre on Disability Studies

Workshop D* Engaging and Empowering Youth – Tools and Resources

Moderator: Ian Hamilton, Executive Director, Equitas


Max FineDay, Canadian Roots Exchange
Jennifer Reddy, Engaged Immigrant Youth Program Vancouver School Board
Myriam Zaidi, Education Specialist, Equitas
Hon. Landon Pearson, Founder and Chair, Landon Pearson Resource Centre for the Study of Childhood and Children's Rights

2:30 p.m. Health Break and Networking

3:00 p.m. Mental Health Commission of Canada

Louise Bradley, President and CEO Mental Health Commission of Canada

3:10 p.m. Panel Discussion – Mental Health

Moderator: Nitika Rewari, Manager, Research, Evaluation & Knowledge Translation, Workplace Mental Health, Mental Health Commission of Canada


Heather Stuart, Professor, University of Guelph
Dr. Rebecca Gewurtz, Assistant Professor, School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University
Lyne Wilson, Talent Acquisition and Organizational Health, NAV Canada
Misty Giroux, Manager, Legislated Programs, NAV Canada
Derek J. Jones, director, Mental Health, Privacy & Equality in the Workplace Project, McGill University

4:30 p.m. End of Day 1

5:00 p.m. Networking Reception

5:30 p.m. Remarks

Marie-Claude Landry, Ad.E. Chief Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission

5:40 p.m. Remarks

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

5:50 p.m. Remarks

Matt DeCourcey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Thursday, September 28, 2017 Morning

8:15 a.m. Refreshments and Networking

8:45 a.m. Overview of Day 2

Daniel Normandeau

9:00 a.m. Welcoming Remarks

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph

9:30 a.m. Entertainment

Dandelion Dance Performance

10:00 a.m. Health Break and Networking

10:30 a.m. Panel Discussion – Conflicting Rights

Moderator: John Packer, Professor, Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa


Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada
Farida Deif, Director, Canada, Human Rights Watch
Shahina Siddiqui, President, Islamic Social Services Association
Shaheen Azmi, Director of Policy, Education, Monitoring & Outreach, Ontario Human Rights Commission

11:45 p.m. Buffet Lunch and Networking

12:00 p.m. Luncheon Presentation – LGBT Realities: Pan-Canadian Survey


Jasmin Roy, President, Fondation Jasmin Roy


Thursday, September 28, 2017 Afternoon

1:00 p.m. Concurrent Workshops

Workshop E Gender Identity and Gender Expression

Moderator: Marni Panas, Senior Advisor, Diversity and Inclusion - Alberta Health Services


Françoise Susset, Institute for Sexual Minority Health
Nicole Nussbaum, Lawyer, Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health
Samuel Singer, Assistant Professor, Thompson Rivers University

Workshop F Families in Canada

Moderator: Nora Spinks, Chief Executive Officer, Vanier Institute of the Family


Sheila Osborne-Brown, Senior Counsel, Canadian Human Rights Commission
Natasha Bakht, Co-Mama
Farhat Rehman, Mother and advocate
Kelly J. Lendsay, President and CEO, Indigenous Works

Workshop G Human Rights – The Next Generation

Moderator: Renée Vaugeois, Executive Director, John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights


Odélie Joly, Administrator, Amnistie internationale
Tammy Robinson, Oxford House First Nation

Workshop H The State of the Rule of Law in Canada’s 150th Anniversary Year

Moderator: Errol Mendes, President, International Commission of Jurists (Canadian Section)


Hon. Michele Rivet, Board Member of ICJ Canada and Commissioner of ICJ Geneva
Janine Lespérance, Legal Advisor, Lawyers Without Borders (former Executive Director, ICJ Canada)

2:30 p.m. Refreshments and Networking

3:00 p.m. Panel Discussion – Beyond 2017

Moderator: Carlos A. Godoy L., Regional Manager, LGBTA Business Development, TD Bank Group


Kim Samuel, Professor of Practice, McGill University's Institute for the Study of International Development
Ihsaan Gardee, Executive Director, National Council for Canadian Muslims
Haroon Siddiqui, Editorial Page Editor Emeritus, The Toronto Star
Jeremiah Ellis, The World Mosaic Project

Claudette Commanda, Algonquin Elder

4:45 p.m. Closing Remarks

Marie-Claude Landry, Ad.E., Chief Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission

4:55 p.m. Traditional farewell

Claudette Commanda, Algonquin Elder

5:00 p.m.End of Symposium


Please note that simultaneous interpretation will be available during most plenary panel and workshop discussions, in English and French. *Workshops identified by an asterisk are less conducive to simultaneous interpretation due to their interactive nature.


Accreditation for profesionalism hours

Up to 6 hours of substantive continuing education content eligible for approval with the following law societies:

Law Society of Upper Canada
Law Society of Saskatchewan
Law Society of Manitoba
Law Society of Yukon
Law Society of Northwest Territories
Law Society of Nunavut
Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia Barrister’s Society
Law Society of Prince Edward Island
Barreau du Québec
Law Society of Alberta


Law Society of New Brunswick


Law Society of New Brunswick
Pre-approved for 6 hours of substantive content


Law Society of British Colombia


Law Society of British Columbia
Pre-approved for 5.5 hours of substantive content




Mental Health Commission of Canada logo
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization  - Canadian Commission for UNESCO logo
Date modified: