February 15, 2015, Ottawa, International, Political, and Policy Studies Student Association


The International, Political and Policy Studies Student Association will hold its first student-led national Public Policy Conference at the University of Ottawa from February 28th to March 1st 2015. The conference theme is ‘Moving Canada Forward’ and will bring together some of Canada’s leading thinkers and practitioners to rethink Canada’s domestic and foreign policies. Keynote speakers will include political columnist Paul Wells, Senator Daniel Lang, and Deputy Clerk Michael Wernick.

The Conference is primarily organized by a subgroup of the student association: the Public Administration Committee, which is comprised of 11 active members.

With a federal election tentatively scheduled for October 2015, the International, Political, and Policy Studies Association wanted to provide students with an informative and exciting event on Canada’s public policy. They wanted to challenge students to think beyond the conventional.

Darren Touch, Vice President of Academic Affairs says the Conference, a first at the University of Ottawa, will touch upon a variety of topics affecting Canada: “The Public Administration Committee is extremely excited to provide our students with an opportunity to hear from the experts themselves”.

Touch says that “With youth voter engagement at an all-time low, the committee wanted to organize an event at which students could not only inform themselves for the upcoming election, but also network with public policy experts and professionals”. The Conference will also include a networking wine and cheese event, as well as keynote speeches from Senator Lang, Paul Wells, and Michael Wernick.

The conference will be based on the following themes:

  • National Defence and Security

Panels: Procurement, Supporting our Veterans, Cyber Security, Canada’s Future Engagement

  • Canadian Foreign Policy

Panels: Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Contemporary Challenges

Panels: Energy and Environment, Youth Policies, Aboriginal Peoples, Federalism and Interprovincial Cooperation.

  • Governance of Canada

Panels: Canada’s Social Policies, Fiscal Policies, Renewal of the Federal Public Service

Notable panelists include:

  • Veteran Ombudsman, Guy Parent
  •  Former Director of CSEC and ADM of DND, John Adams (Major General)
  • Former Ambassador to Egypt and Pakistan, Ferry de Kerckhove
  • Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, Paul Dewar
  • Former Parliamentary Budget Officer, Kevin Page
  • City Counsellor from Cochrane, Alberta, Morgan Nagel

The Public Policy Conference, ‘Moving Canada Forward’ will be held at the University of Ottawa on Saturday February 28th and Sunday March 1st. Members of the public are invited to attend, but numbers are strictly limited. Register at


Media Contact
Kevin Den Heijer, Public Administration Committee
Ph: (613)805-4374


Darren Touch

Vice-President, International, Political and Policy Studies Student Association

Ph: (403) 402-9020