Speaker Bios

[In alphabetical order]

Germain Belzile

Senior Associate Researcher, MEI; Faculty Lecturer,
Department of Applied Economics, HEC Montreal

Germain Belzile has been teaching economics for over 30 years, first at UQAM, then HEC Montréal. He holds a master’s degree in economics from UQAM, where he also studied at the PhD level. He is a co-author of the most used economics textbooks in French-speaking universities in Canada (Principes de microéconomie & Principes de macroéconomie). The author of numerous articles, he is a regular participant in debates, interviews and conferences on globalization, economics, and liberalism.

David Clement

North American Affairs Manager, Consumer Choice Center

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and an MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, on Global News, and in the Toronto Star, as well as various other major Canadian news outlets.

Andrew Coyne

Acclaimed Columnist

Andrew Coyne is national affairs columnist for the National Post. Raised in Winnipeg, Mr. Coyne is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the London School of Economics‎. He has worked previously for Maclean’s magazine and The Globe and Mail, also contributing to a wide range of other publications in Canada and abroad, including The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, National ReviewTimeSaturday Night, and The Walrus. He is also a weekly panelist on the CBC nightly news program “The National.”

Rachel Curran

Former Director of Policy to Stephen Harper

Rachel Curran is a lawyer by training, and has nearly fifteen years of experience in public affairs, including extensive experience providing strategic and policy advice to the Prime Minister of Canada and federal and provincial Cabinet ministers. As Director of Policy to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Rachel was responsible for setting and implementing the government’s policy agenda over the course of a four-year mandate, and oversaw all major governmental initiatives including the preparation of the annual federal budget. Rachel currently works as a senior associate with Harper & Associates Ltd., an international consulting firm led by former Prime Minister Harper, and is an instructor at Carleton University’s Riddell Program in Political Management. She also appears as a regular panelist on CBC’s “Power and Politics”, commenting on issues of policy and politics, and is a recurring contributor to the Institute for Research on Public Policy’s Policy Options magazine.

Pascale Déry

Vice President, Communications and Development, MEI

Pascale Déry holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the Université de Montréal and a master’s degree in Political Science and International Law from the Université du Québec à Montréal. After a brief stint on the TQS television station, she spent over 15 years as a journalist and news anchor with TVA and LCN. Over the years, she put together hundreds of interviews with major actors from the political, economic, sporting, social, and cultural scenes. Her last two years of work in television were devoted to investigative journalism for the J.E. television show. During her career, Pascale hosted several debates and discussion forums in CEGEPs and universities as well as several charity benefit events. She joined the MEI team in February 2016.

The Hon. Darrell Dexter

Former Premier of Nova Scotia; Vice Chair, Global Public Affairs

The Honourable Darrell Dexter, former Premier of Nova Scotia, is an Honourary Distinguished Fellow with the MacEachen Institute at Dalhousie University and Vice Chair with Global Public Affairs. Darrell joined Global Public Affairs in 2015 and is a senior member of the Global team, working with the firm’s public affairs experts across the country. Darrell assumed the leadership of the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party (NDP) in 2001 and led it to form the first-ever provincial NDP government in Atlantic Canada, becoming the 27th Premier of Nova Scotia. As Premier, he earned praise for launching a renewable energy strategy, progressive social policy, controlling spending, and reducing small business taxes. Darrell oversaw ambitious new environmental policies and was presented with a Climate Leadership in Canada award at the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. As Chair of the Council of the Federation from 2012-13, Darrell worked on key initiatives such as leading an economic trade mission to China, establishing the Pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance, and improving the flow of interprovincial trade.

Jim Feehan

Professor, Memorial University Department of Economics

Jim Feehan is a professor of economics at Memorial University (MUN) and has been a visiting professor at the University of Western Ontario, Carleton University’s School of International Affairs, and the National University-Kiev in Ukraine. He is a graduate of MUN and holds advanced degrees in economics from the London School of Economics and Carleton University. Dr. Feehan has an international reputation in the economics of public investment and infrastructure. He has served on the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Economics, Canada’s National Statistics Council and on the executive board of the Canadian Economics Association. Professor Feehan has worked on public policy issues in Canada, especially in areas such as fiscal federalism, electricity policy, and interprovincial trade. He is a former Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at MUN. Currently, he is the editor of the journal, Newfoundland and Labrador Studies.

Martha Hall Findlay

President and CEO, Canada West Foundation; Former MP

Martha is a thought leader whose insight on issues such as pipelines, international trade, foreign investment and foreign affairs, energy and the environment, and supply management have framed the debate for decision-makers and everyday Canadians. Her career has been diverse, spanning law, technology, politics and public policy. She was a Member of Parliament from 2008 to 2011, and served as a member of the House of Commons Standing Committees for Finance; Transport, Infrastructure and Communities; Government Operations; and International Trade. As an Executive Fellow at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, Martha focused on Canadian economic, social, and environmental prosperity in a global context.

Ryan Greer

Director, Transportation & Infrastructure Policy, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Ryan Greer joined the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in February 2016 as the Director, Transportation and Infrastructure Policy. Prior to joining the Chamber, Ryan held several positions within the federal government, most recently as a Senior Policy Advisor at Public Services and Procurement Canada. He has also held senior policy positions with other federal departments including Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Industry Canada.


Asha Hingorani

Director of Government and Public Affairs, Canadian Vintners Association

Asha joined CVA in November 2016. She has a background in federal politics, journalism, and communications. Asha has worked for a number of parliamentarians and is a former editor of Parliament Now, an online publication that covers the workings of Parliament and regulatory policy. Asha is a certified sommelier and has contributed to The Hill Times as a wine columnist and has judged international wine competitions. Asha holds a Bachelors of Arts (Honours) in Political Science from Carleton University and a Master’s in Public Ethics from Saint Paul’s University. Asha also teaches communications in regulatory affairs at Algonquin College in Ottawa.

The Hon. Dominic LeBlanc

Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc was first elected to the House of Commons in November 2000, and was re-elected in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011, and 2015. Minister LeBlanc served on the Special Committee on Non-Medical Use of Drugs and the Standing Committees on Fisheries and Oceans, Transport and Government Operations, National Defence and Veterans Affairs, Public Accounts, Procedures and House Affairs, International Trade, Justice and Human Rights, and Foreign Affairs. He has also served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence. On July 10, 2004, Minister LeBlanc was sworn in as a Member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Deputy Chief Government Whip. He has served as Opposition Critic for International Trade, Intergovernmental Affairs, Justice, Defence, and Foreign Affairs. Mr. LeBlanc received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Toronto (Trinity College), a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New Brunswick, and a Masters of Law from Harvard Law School. Academic successes include the Dean’s List at the University of New Brunswick’s Faculty of Law, a scholarship from the New Brunswick Branch of the Canadian Bar Association, and the Graduating Average Prize from the University of Toronto (Trinity College). Prior to his election to the House of Commons, Minister LeBlanc was a barrister and solicitor with Clark Drummie in Shediac and Moncton, New Brunswick. From 1993 to 1996, Minister LeBlanc was special advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien. Mr. LeBlanc is married to Jolène Richard, a judge of the Provincial Court of New Brunswick. Minister LeBlanc was the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons from November 2015 until August 2016, when he was appointed Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. He is currently the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade.

Malcolm Lavoie

Assistant Professor, University of Alberta Faculty of Law

Malcolm Lavoie is an assistant professor at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law. He holds a B.A. (Hons.) in Economics from the University of British Columbia; an M.Sc. (Distinction) in Political Theory from the London School of Economics; B.C.L. and LL.B. degrees from the McGill University Faculty of Law; and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School. He previously served as a law clerk for the Hon. Justice Rosalie Abella of the Supreme Court of Canada. Prof. Lavoie is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) degree at Harvard, where he has been a Frank Knox Memorial Fellow, Fulbright Scholar, Weatherhead Center Graduate Research Fellow, and Project on the Foundations of Private Law Fellow. He is a member of the Bar of Alberta and has argued before the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Hon. James Moore

Former Federal Minister of Industry; Senior Business Advisor,
Dentons; Chancellor, University of Northern British Columbia

Hon. James Moore, PC, MA is a Senior Business Advisor at the multinational law firm Dentons and a Public Policy Advisor at the global firm Edelman. He also serves as Chancellor of the University of Northern British Columbia, is the national vice-chair of the Canadian Cancer Society, a member of the NAFTA Council for the Government of Canada, and a corporate director. Over a 15-year career as a Member of Parliament, he served as Canada’s Minister of Industry, Minister of Canadian Heritage & Official Languages, Secretary of State for the Asia Pacific Gateway, and Minister for the 2010 Olympics.

Bruce Pardy

Professor, Queen’s University Faculty of Law

Bruce Pardy is Professor of Law at Queen’s University. He began his legal career as a civil litigator at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP in Toronto, has taught at law schools in Canada, New Zealand, and the United States, served for almost a decade on the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal as adjudicator and mediator, and is an occasional columnist for the National Post. He has written extensively on environmental law and governance, property and tort theory, human rights and freedoms, university governance, administrative law, economic liberty, free markets, and the rule of law.

Corinne Pohlmann

Senior Vice President, National Affairs, Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Corinne Pohlmann is Senior Vice President, National Affairs and Partnerships for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), a not-for-profit organization representing more than 109,000 small and medium-sized business members across Canada. Corinne is based in Ottawa and is responsible for managing CFIB’s strategic direction on national affairs, and sensitizing governments to the needs of Canada’s independent businesses. In addition to her federal legislative responsibilities, Corinne also oversees CFIB’s Economics function, Products and Partnerships division, including Strategic Relationships, CFIB’s Atlantic Canada legislative team, and a number of major marketing initiatives. Corinne has participated in numerous consultations and committees on a wide variety of small business issues, including the SME Advisory Committee to the Minister of International Trade, the Advisory Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, as well as the Deputy Minister Advisory Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.