To view photographs of the event please click here. The password is policy.


The past decade has seen dramatic developments in political ideologies, diplomacy wars, redrafted trade agreements, the rise of populism and disruption, and shifts in how technology is being used as a political tool or weapon. As we approach a new decade, what are the challenges we will have to face as a country? How can public affairs professionals be equipped to leverage them?

On October 7, several experts will share their visionary insights and practical guidance for the challenges of the 2020s, and the policies or advocacy approaches for which we should prepare.

See conference brochure for full details.

Keynote Speakers

  • Greg Lyle, Manager Director of Innovative Research Group (@LyleGreg)
  • Bruce Heyman, Former US Ambassador to Canada (@BruceAHeyman)

Award of Distinction Luncheon

Award of Distinction Luncheon with remarks by our 2019 recipient the Hon. Perry Beatty, PC, OC

Canada’s Place in the World


  • The Future of Advocacy Campaigns in Canada
  • A New Era: Lobbying a Populist Government  
  • Approaching Inter-Jurisdictional Dynamics in Public Affairs
  • Public Affairs Evolution: Emerging Practices
  • The Future of Work for Public Affairs Professionals
  • The Political Pivot: How to Manage Rapid Policy Change
  • Democracy under Threat: Risks and Solutions in the Era of Big Data, Privacy and Misinformation

Pundits Panel - A conference tradition!

Date: Monday, October 7

8:30 am to 9:00 am    Breakfast and Registration

9:00 am to 11:45 am  Morning Conference Sessions

11:45 am to 1:00 pm  Award of Distinction Luncheon

1:15 pm to 5:00 pm    Afternoon Conference Sessions

5:00 pm to 6:30 pm    President's Reception


Borden Ladner Gervais, Bay Adelaide Centre, East Tower,

22 Adelaide Street West, Suite 3400

Registration Rates*

Student $120.00 (CAD) + HST

Member Regular $395.00 (CAD) + HST

Non-Member Regular $495.00 (CAD) + HST

CPRS/CSAE/GRIC/CCT Member $395.00 (CAD) + HST

Award of Distinction - Luncheon Only $100.00 (CAD) + HST

*Conference registration fee includes a copy of the book “The Art of Diplomacy: Strengthening the Canada-U.S. Relationship in Times of Uncertainty” by Former U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman and Vicki Heyman.

Thank you to our sponsors:

BLG:Venue Sponsor

OMERSInfrastructure:Supporting Partner

Coca-Cola:Beverage Sponsor


Are you a student or emerging professional? Join PAAC's speed mentoring event! This is a unique opportunity to meet with successful senior professionals working across the public affairs industry. Those currently working in public affairs are also welcome to attend and network amongst peers.

Don't miss dynamic discussions covering a variety of topics, including career path recommendations and job changes, work-life balance, and experiential requirements to name but a few.


Luca Bucci, Luca is the VP of Government Relations

CPA Ontario

Luca is the VP of Government Relations and Public Policy at CPA Ontario. He has close to a decade of progressively responsible government relations experience, acquired through work in multiple levels of government, agency, and industry. Luca served as a Chief of Staff to three Ministries in the Ford Government: Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. At the Federal level, he served as an Advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Luca also has experience working in the private sector. He was a Senior Consultant at Hill and Knowlton Strategies, Canada's largest government relations consulting agency, and spent a year advising the executive leadership team at Hydro One on matters of government relations and corporate affairs. Luca studied Math and History at the University of Waterloo, and has a passionate connection to his hometown, Hamilton, and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Harvey Cooper, Deputy Executive Director

Ontario Region of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada

Working both in Canada and overseas, Harvey Cooper has honed an expertise over the last 3 decades in assisting the non-profit, co-operative and voluntary sectors effectively represent their interests to government at all jurisdictional levels. He currently serves as the Deputy Executive Director of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada.

The Federation represents some 100,000 non-profit housing co-operative residences, home to over a quarter million Canadians. In his current role, Harvey oversees a full range of public affairs and communications responsibilities including government and media relations, strategy development, and directing many grassroots advocacy campaigns.

Clara Chan, Director, Funding Administration Branch

Ontario Ministry of Economic Development Job Creation and Trade

Since starting in the Ontario Public Service in 2000, she has demonstrated considerable expertise and leadership in policy development and program administration, in the Ministries of Community and Social Services, Education, Economic Development and Growth and Treasury Board Secretariat/Ministry of Finance. She is currently responsible for the delivery of MEDJCT business support programs. Clara has a B.A. (Honours) in Economics from McMaster University and a Masters in Public Administration from Queen's University.

Sarina Rehal, Senior Consultant

Crestview Strategy

Sarina Rehal is a Senior Consultant in the Government Relations practice at Crestview Strategy's, a public affairs agency. With specific experience in CSR and stakeholder management, Sarina leads large national coalitions, associations, and multinational consumer brands in navigating public affairs and reputation opportunities and challenges with governments at all levels. Sarina has her BA in Political Science from the University of British Columbia, and her MBA from the Schulich School of Business. She has appeared as a panelist and contributor on television and radio commenting on a wide range of political issues for CTV, CBC and other media outlets.

James Rilett, Vice President, Central Canada

Restaurants Canada

James Rilett is a political veteran with a wide range of experience in various portfolios. He has held a senior position at Restaurants Canada as Vice President, Central Canada for six years. In this role he has led government relations and communications campaigns as well as acting as a spokesperson for the association and the industry.

He spent 17 years working in political Opposition and serving in seven different ministries in Government. He worked in policy and communications roles as well as Chief of Staff for three Ministers. He also spent 2 years in the Premier's Office with responsibility for Stakeholder Relations.

At Restaurants Canada, Rilett is responsible for representing the association's views at to the provincial government and to the public as spokesperson on industry issues.

Additional speakers will be added, so check back.

Date: Thursday, November 7, 2019

Location: Samara Canada - 33 Prince Arthur Avenue, Toronto


5:15pm - 5:45pm Registration and Networking

5:45pm - 6:00pm Opening comments and introductions

6:00pm - 8:00pm Short discussions will be conducted on a rotational basis

8:00pm - 8:15pm: Closing Comments

Registration Fee:

Members $15 + HST

Non-Members $25 + HST

Student Members $15 + HST

Register Now
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