This year marks the 150th anniversary of confederation in Canada. It is a time for citizens to show their love and patriotism for Canada and celebrate what has been accomplished over the last 150 years. For public affairs professionals, it provides an opportunity to reflect on how government relations has evolved and what the future looks like for the industry. Join experts to learn how you can assist your client and organization in their lobbying efforts as we prepare to celebrate this major milestone in Canadian history.


8:00 am

Registration and Breakfast

9:00 am

Session 1:
O’Future Canada: Parties, Election and the Future of Canadian Politics.

As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, public affairs professionals reflect upon how politics have evolved over the years and how they will continue to shape our country. The political stage in Canada is being shaped, molded, and influenced every day by various factors. What are the current public affairs trends which may impact our future? What are some of the challenges that will test Canadian politics in the next 5-10 years? This interactive session will look at some of the current political trends and how public affairs professionals can adapt to a constantly changing environment.

Cristina Onosé, Senior Manager, Public Affairs at Canadian Marketing Association

Speaker and Workshop Leader:
Nicole Foster, Senior VP and General Manager, Global Public Affairs

Nicole Foster is the Senior Vice President and General Manager and manages the Global Public Affairs team in Toronto. Nicole has over 12 years of experience working with clients in a variety of sectors including natural resources, health, infrastructure, retail, consumer and gaming. Prior to joining Global in 2004, Nicole worked for a number of years as the Legislative Assistant to the Minister of the Environment. She managed several legislative stakeholder groups and parliamentary activities, including overall strategy and tactics for question period, major pieces of environmental legislation and the activities of parliamentary Standing Committees on behalf of the minister. Having also worked previously as a Special Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of State (Rural Development), Nicole has a strong understanding of rural issues, community development and the importance of grassroots communication and applies this to her work at Global. Nicole has been active in numerous political campaigns and events. She currently serves on the National Board of Directors of Equal Voice and serves on the steering committee for the GTA Chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce. She is a former Director on the Board of both the Design Exchange Museum and the Government Relations Institute of Canada. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art and Culture Studies with an extended minor in Political Science from Simon Fraser University.

10:15 am

Refreshment Break

10:30 am

Session 2:
Government Relations in 2017 and Beyond – The Evolving Lobbying Landscape

Government relations has evolved from attending fundraisers and other social events to placing a significant emphasis on developing/executing strategies and campaigns to advance a public policy issue and/or program. During this panel, you will hear from industry leaders about how government relations has evolved over the last several years and learn how you can be successful in advancing key initiatives in today’s ever-changing government relations landscape. You will also learn the do’s and don’ts of government and stakeholder relations campaigns as well as important tools and tactics that you can leverage for success.

Alex Greco, Public Affairs Manager, GS1 Canada


Joanna Kerr
Executive Director
Greenpeace Canada

Joanna Kerr is the Executive Director of Greenpeace Canada, part of a global network working to stop climate change and protect precious biodiversity. A lifelong feminist and activist, Joanna previously served as the first female Chief Executive of ActionAid International, a global federation based in South Africa working with over 15 million people in 45 countries for a world free from poverty and injustice. There, she led an organization-wide strategy that put climate resilient sustainable agriculture and women’s rights at the core of its work.

Elizabeth Roscoe
Senior Vice-President, National Public Affairs Lead
Hill and Knowlton

Elizabeth leads H+K’s public affairs practice, providing strategic counsel grounded in her years of federal government relations experience in private and public sectors and active involvement in federal politics.

An expert in broadcasting and telecommunications policy, Elizabeth has more than 20 year of experience in regulatory agencies, licensing and complex policy issues in the media sector. She has influenced broadcasting, telecommunications, copyright and digital media policy and has led appearances before the CRTC, preparing the presentations and the panel members for regulatory proceedings.
Before joining H+K, Elizabeth was the executive vice-president for strategic and public affairs planning for the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB). In the federal government, Elizabeth worked in key government departments including Finance Canada, Privatization and Status of Women Canada.
Elizabeth is a board member of the United Way of Ottawa and the Government Relations Institute of Canada and serves on the National Arts Centre Marketing Committee.

Krista Scaldwell
Vice-President, Communications
Great-West Life

Krista is currently the Vice President of Communications at Great-West Life. Her previous role was in Public Affairs and Communications for
Coca-Cola Canada. Previously, she has held the same role at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Group of Companies in Canada and at Bristol Myers Squibb Canada.
She has more than a decade of public affairs and communications experience in Canada and worked in Latin America and Asia Pacific as well as the US. Prior to industry, she was a senior political staff in the Ontario Government.
Krista has more than 20 years of non-profit experience both in management and at the board level. Non-profit board and fundraising experience includes the Canadian Cancer Society, the Ontario Lung Association, Durham Abilities Centre, Durham Mental Health Services and various political campaigns and fundraising events. As well, corporate board experience with the Toronto Port Authority. Currently, she is a member of the Selection Advisory Board of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada and the Markham-Stouffville Hospital Board of Directors. She is the past chair of the Board of Action Against Hunger Canada and was a member of the Blue Ribbon Committee of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority.
Krista has an undergraduate degree from Trent University and an Executive MBA from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.

Joe Belfontaine,
Executive Director (Ontario Mission),
Heart and Stroke Foundation

In his current role, Joe manages a portfolio which encompasses advocacy, government relations, health promotion and research teams as well as community and health partnerships.

Before joining HSF, Joe spent 6 years at Canadian Tire as its Director of Government Relations helping to manage hundreds of government-related files and campaigns, as well as relationships with key external partners and governments of all stripes and levels. Joe was instrumental in building the profile of Canadian Tire Jumpstart, leading coalition-based injury prevention campaigns, and launching the ACTIVE AT SCHOOL campaign which earned him a Going for Gold Award (the highest honour the company presents to employees for their achievements and dedication). In 2015, he was also identified by the Hill Times as one of Canada’s Top 100 Lobbyists.

Prior to his years at Canadian Tire, Joe was the Director of Public Affairs and Public Relations for Edelman Canada’s Health Practice. He also spent close to ten years working with in government, including roles in the Offices of the Governor General of Canada, the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, the Premier of Ontario and as Chief of Staff to Ontario’s first Minister of Health Promotion.

11:45 am

Award of Distinction Luncheon – Barbara Fox – CEO – Enterprise Canada

Barbara Fox brings unique leadership qualities to her role as CEO of Enterprise, combining experience, sound judgment and a proven ability to inspire excellence.

Barbara has overseen the growth of Enterprise into the firm it is today, guiding a team of public affairs, strategic communications and public relations professionals in their work for some of Canada’s largest organizations. She is widely respected for her strategic thinking and her ability to advise senior leaders on complex public affairs and communications issues. Above all, her skill at building strong relationships with clients, employees and decision-makers has been the hallmark of a career defined by loyalty and respect.

She has successfully led the Enterprise team through massive changes in technology and traditional approaches to our business. As a result, Enterprise has emerged as a firm with a unique combination of experience, expertise and capabilities to help clients achieve their goals in a constantly changing world.

1:30 pm

Session 3:
Let Them Howl – Women in Public Affairs: Where we have come from, and where to go from here.

From the historic work by the Famous Five, and the election of Agnes Macphail in 1921, to the fulfilled commitment of a gender-parity federal Cabinet in 2015, Canada has seen the evolution of the role of women in government and politics. Concurrent to this, women in public affairs have also worked for significant progress over the past 150 years, with all eyes on how this will continue to evolve in the years to come. We will sit down with an impressive panel of public affairs practitioners who have been doing their part to affect change for women in public affairs, and to hear their thoughts on what’s to come.


Isabel Metcalfe, Public Affairs Counsel and Chair of Famous 5 Ottawa

Isabel Metcalfe has over four decades of experience at the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government. She has worked with and for NGOs, public and private institutions and on partnership development. She started her career on Parliament Hill as a Tour Guide and then spent a decade working for Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau, John Turner and Jean Chrétien.
In 1992 she returned to Carleton University to complete her degree, graduating as a mother of three children. Working as a program co-ordinator for the Year of the Family, Canada 125 and the Spicer Commission, she developed an expertise in partnership development and an affinity for the voluntary sector. In 1995, Isabel became the Vice President of Government Relations for the Canadian Film & Television Production Association and in 2000 she established her own consulting business developing expertise in the cultural sector, on Indigenous issues and with the labour movement.
A long time champion for more women in public life, Isabel has twice sough public office (House of Commons, City of Ottawa) and plays an active role in her community. She can work effectively with large and small organizations, having been a Trustee of two public hospitals, a member of the Board of Directors to two provincial agencies and Secretary of a business organization. Consistently committed to her community, in 2012 she was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work supporting more women in public life and in 2002 she received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for work with Famous 5 Ottawa and a host of voluntary activities.
She’s currently a member of the City of Ottawa 2017 Committee and Chair of Famous 5 Ottawa and was recently highlighted in Ottawa Life Magazine as a top influencer in the Capital .

Natalie Poole Moffatt, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Hydro One

Natalie Poole-Moffatt is the Vice-President of Corporate Affairs for Hydro One Inc, Ontario's largest electric utility. Natalie is responsible for leading Hydro One's government affairs, public and external relations as well as all media relations and external communications teams.
With over 20 years' experience in media, public affairs, public policy and government relations; Natalie Poole-Moffatt brings a wealth of expertise in building and leading strong initiatives in the energy sector.
Prior to joining the Hydro One team in 2017, Natalie held progressively senior leadership roles in the oil and gas industry. She was the head of Corporate Affairs for Canada at Woodside Energy, an Australian oil and gas company. In 2010, she left the role of Chief of Staff to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources in British Columbia to join Apache Canada, where she led the development of a new corporate affairs department. She grew the team into an influential arm of the company, managing to affect significant energy policy change across Canada, while simultaneously engaging with stakeholders and First Nations. Natalie's team of communications and government relation professionals were tasked with internal communications, community relations, public affairs, corporate giving and working with government of all levels within the region.

Brandy Giannetta, Regional Director for Ontario at the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA)

Brandy Giannetta is the Regional Director for Ontario at the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). A national non-profit industry association, CanWEA serves as Canada's leading source of credible information about wind energy and its social, economic and environmental benefits. Brandy has served as CanWEA’s Regional Director for Ontario since 2012 and is a well- respected leader of the Ontario based membership. On behalf of those members, Brandy undertakes policy development and advocacy with various levels of government, implements a broad range of communications and outreach activities, and supports educational and networking opportunities for CanWEA members and many other affiliated stakeholders.

Brandy also holds a position on the Advisory Committee of Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE). The WiRE Advisory Committee consists of women drawn from sectors across the spectrum of renewable energy in Ontario. Committee members are tasked with building awareness of the group’s educational and networking programming, and forging partnerships with supportive stakeholders.

Prior to joining CanWEA, Brandy was Government Relations Manager at the largest provincial hospitality industry association in Canada. She also worked as a political staffer at Queen’s Park for eight years before leaving to join the ecoENERGY sector in Ontario, administering NRCan’s Retrofit for Homes Program and the Ontario Home Energy Savings Program.

Brandy studied at the University of Ottawa and the University of Windsor and has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Arts in Political Science and Public Policy.

2:45 pm

Refreshment Break

3:00 pm

Session 4: Keynote Speaker: Steve Paikin – Author, Journalist, Anchor

Steve Paikin is the anchor of The Agenda with Steve Paikin, TVO's flagship current affairs program. Steve is also an accomplished author who has previously written four books on politics, including Paikin and the Premiers, and Public Triumph, Private Tragedy, about former Premier John Robarts. His passion and knowledge for Ontario’s rich political history and those who have shaped it make him a most fitting author for his newest book.

Released in October 2016, ‘Bill Davis: Nation Builder and Not So Bland After All’ is the first authorized biography of Bill Davis, the enigmatic Ontario premier who carried on a Tory dynasty, but was also a crucial Trudeau supporter. In his keynote address, Steve will reflect on the role Bill Davis played in the first 150 years of Canada, focusing on his indispensable role in repatriating the Canadian Constitution with an accompanying Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

4:00 pm

Closing Session – Pundits Panel – A PAAC tradition.

Our pundit panel will look at how media and covering public affairs has changed in recent history

Ryan Eickmeier,
Vice President, Government Relations & Public Policy,
Canadian Franchise Association


Geoff Zochodne
Senior Reporter
QP briefing

Geoff Zochodne is the senior reporter at QP Briefing, an Ontario politics newsletter owned by The Toronto Star. He reports on energy, environment and the general craziness of Queen's Park. He is a former reporter and editorial writer for The Oshawa Express newspaper and a graduate of Saint Mary's University. He has a beagle named Jake, who is generally crazy.

Allison Jones
Queen’s Park Correspondent
Canadian Press

Allison Jones is a legislative correspondent with The Canadian Press, reporting on Ontario politics for the national wire service. Allison is also president of the Queen's Park press gallery. She has worked for The Canadian Press since 2006 and prior to covering politics she focused on the courts.

Jennifer Pagliaro
City Hall Report
Toronto Star

Jennifer Pagliaro is a city hall reporter for the Toronto Star. She was part of the team that covered the police investigation into former mayor Rob Ford and followed John Tory's 2014 mayoral campaign. She has investigated controversial plans to build a subway extension in Scarborough, spent a year documenting life inside Toronto Community Housing and written about contested development in an increasingly vertical city. She was awarded the Goff Penny award as Canada's best young journalist in 2013.

5:30 pm

PAAC Summer Social – Shore Club - 155 Wellington Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 3H1

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