478 episodes

The Canadian Club of Toronto is Canada’s preeminent public affairs podium. Since 1897, we have served an ambitious and important mission: to connect Canadians with world-class leaders and newsmakers and be a leading platform for influencers to engage Canadians on what matters most.

Over our 115 year history as a not-for-profit organization, we continue to be a forum for Governors General and Prime Ministers, CEOs and Nobel laureates, scientists, artists and innovators. We have a proud tradition of hosting national and international leaders in politics, business, social innovation and the media, and our members and audiences are drawn from an equally diverse and distinguished group of leaders.

Canadian Club of Toronto Canadian Club of Toronto

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The Canadian Club of Toronto is Canada’s preeminent public affairs podium. Since 1897, we have served an ambitious and important mission: to connect Canadians with world-class leaders and newsmakers and be a leading platform for influencers to engage Canadians on what matters most.

Over our 115 year history as a not-for-profit organization, we continue to be a forum for Governors General and Prime Ministers, CEOs and Nobel laureates, scientists, artists and innovators. We have a proud tradition of hosting national and international leaders in politics, business, social innovation and the media, and our members and audiences are drawn from an equally diverse and distinguished group of leaders.

    Virtual Event: John Graham, President and CEO, CPP Investments

    Virtual Event: John Graham, President and CEO, CPP Investments

    As the CPP Fund nears the half-trillion-dollar milestone, join Canadian Club Toronto on June 22 as CPP Investments President and CEO John Graham delivers his first public speech since being appointed to the role earlier this year. With CPP Investments recently announcing its highest ever annual return, John will share the Fund’s approach to investing in the energy transition, remotely leading a global team during the pandemic and how CPP Investments will grow and diversify the Fund in the years to come, to help ensure Canadians have a strong foundation of financial security in retirement.

    John will be joined in conversation by BNN Bloomberg’s Amanda Lang to discuss how his unique experience as a research scientist led him to take the helm at Canada’s largest pension fund investor.

    Biography:

    John Graham, President and Chief Executive Officer, CPP Investments

    John was appointed President and CEO in February 2021 and is responsible for leading CPP Investments and its investment activities.

    John joined CPP Investments in 2008 starting in what is now Total Fund Management. John led Principal Credit Investments before his appointment as Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Credit Investments in 2018. John has had a global experience with the Fund, working in Toronto, London and Hong Kong.

    John is a champion for innovation and inclusion across the Fund. He has been instrumental in efforts to bring technology and data closer to the investment process. Under John’s leadership, the Credit Investments grew to over 43 percent female.

    John holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

    Amanda Lang, Anchor, BNN Bloomberg

    Amanda Lang rejoined BNN Bloomberg in January 2018, returning to the channel she helped create almost 19 years earlier. As New York correspondent, she was a key part of the team that launched BNN Bloomberg’s predecessor, ROBTV, in 1999.

    Lang has been covering business news in North America for 20 years. She started her journalism career at The Globe and Mail and then the National Post, before moving into television with ROBTV and then CNN.

    Lang returned to BNN Bloomberg ROBTV in 2002 as anchor of the network’s flagship morning show before creating and hosting SQUEEZEPLAY, a nightly issues driven debate show with Kevin O’Leary. In 2009, Lang left BNN Bloomberg to join the CBC as its senior business correspondent. Most recently she worked as an anchor for Bloomberg Television Canada.

    Lang studied architecture at the University of Manitoba before becoming a journalist. Her best selling book, The Power of Why, HarperCollins, October 2012, explores the connection between curiosity and success. Her second book, The Beauty of Discomfort, was published in 2017.

    • 57 min
    Virtual Event: Lessons from Another Pandemic, Panel: Melissa Koomey, Joanne Simons, Nadine Sookermany and Jaime Watt, Moderated by Tim Kiladze

    Virtual Event: Lessons from Another Pandemic, Panel: Melissa Koomey, Joanne Simons, Nadine Sookermany and Jaime Watt, Moderated by Tim Kiladze

    2021 marks the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's first report of the disease now known as HIV AIDS, and the beginning of the AIDS pandemic. Exactly 40 years later the entire world saw first hand the devastating impact a new, unknown disease can have on people, communities and businesses and shape the way we interact with each other.

    Join Canadian Club Toronto as we engage in a conversation around how pandemics can pierce through politics, business, media, and public health to force inward reflection of who we want to be as a community and how leaders and citizens can build more compassionate spaces.


    Biography:

    Melissa Koomey, Vice President and General Manager, Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc.

    Melissa Koomey is the Vice President and General Manager of Gilead Sciences, Canada, where she oversees the company’s work across therapeutic areas including HIV, viral hepatitis, oncology as well as COVID 19 in Canada. She has been with Gilead Sciences for nine years, previously as Vice President of the United States HIV Business Unit where she oversaw Gilead’s HIV treatment and prevention portfolio. Prior to Gilead, Melissa built a strong foundation of expertise in US and global commercial operations as well as communications and investor relations at companies including Pfizer and Novartis as well as smaller San Francisco Bay Area biotechnology company, FibroGen. Melissa is a member of the Board of Directors of BIOTECanada. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Yale College and received her Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

    Jaime Watt, Executive Chairman, Navigator and Founder, the Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation

    Jaime Watt is the Executive Chairman of Navigator and Founder of the Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation. He specializes in complex public strategy issues, serving both domestic and international clients in the corporate, professional services, not for profit, and political leaders at all three levels of government across Canada.

    Currently, Jaime chairs the board of OCAD University. As well, he serves on the board of the University Health Network, the Literary Review of Canada, CANFAR, and the Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake.

    He is a past president or chair of the Canadian Club of Toronto, the Albany Club, Casey House, Canadians for Equal Marriage, Canadian Human Rights Campaign and Canadian Human Rights Trust among others. Additionally, he is a past director or governor of many organizations including the St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation.

    He is an adjunct faculty member of the Directors Education Program, jointly developed and administered by the Institute of Corporate Directors, ICD, and the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

    Deeply involved with efforts to promote equality and human rights issues, he was the inaugural recipient of Egale’s Lifetime Achievement Award and has been awarded the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals for service to the community.

    A highly regarded speaker, Jaime appears often as a public affairs commentator in the media. He is a regular contributor to all CBC platforms across Canada. He also writes a weekly column for The Toronto Star.

    Joanne Simons, CEO, Casey House

    Joanne Simons is a senior health care leader and devoted advocate of healthy communities whose first passion is the not for profit sector. Joanne has been the Chief Executive Officer of Casey House since 2016, leading the transformation of the organization from a hospice to an HIV AIDS specialty hospital to better serve a community that faces systemic barriers to accessing health care. Under Joanne’s leadership, Casey House was recognized as one of Canada’s top ten health charities by Maclean’s.

    Over the past 20 years, Joanne has provided strategic guidance in areas of revenue

    • 1 hr
    Virtual Event: Child Care in Canada

    Virtual Event: Child Care in Canada

    Women’s workforce participation has declined over the past year but the federal government’s commitment to big investments in child care aims to reverse that trajectory. We’ve been down this road before, why is Canada wide child care so difficult to achieve? What’s different this time? What could a system look like and how will it benefit children, parents and the economy? Join Canada Club Toronto to hear from our panel of experts as they discuss the benefits, challenges and opportunities of Canada wide child care and early childhood education. This panel will be hosted by the YMCA of Greater Toronto and feature an introduction from CEO, Medhat Mahdy and will be moderated by Michelle Eaton, VP of Public Affairs at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and will include:

    Dr. Emis Akbari, Professor and Program Coordinator, the School of Early Childhood, George Brown College
    Dr. Kate Bezanson, Associate Dean of Social Sciences and Associate Professor of Sociology, Brock University
    Jean François Perrault, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Scotiabank
    Armine Yalnizyan, Atkinson Foundation’s Fellow on the Future of Worker

    Biography:

    Dr. Emis Akbari, Professor and Program Coordinator, the School of Early Childhood, George Brown College

    Dr. Emis Akbari is a professor and program coordinator at the School of Early Childhood at George Brown College, an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development, and Senior Policy Fellow at the Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development at OISE at the University of Toronto.

    She is a behavioural neurobiologist by training and specializes in early adversity.

    She evaluates policy provisions at all levels of government within early learning and child care, and is the co author of The Early Childhood Education Report.

    This report provides a snapshot of provincial and territorial preschool services and performance on quality criteria including access, investments, and learning environments in early education.

    She is committed to evidence based changes in policy and its connections to improving child and family outcome.

    Dr. Kate Bezanson, Associate Dean of Social Sciences and Associate Professor of Sociology, Brock University

    Dr. Kate Bezanson is Associate Dean of Social Sciences and Associate Professor of Sociology at Brock University as well as a Faculty Research Fellow at the Institute for Gender and the Economy, GATE, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. She works in the areas of social and family policy, gender, social reproduction/care, constitutional law, political economy, and federalism, and is co investigator on a 7 year, $2.5 million partnership grant investigating the best policy mix for Canadian families. She strives to bridge academic research with practicable policy approaches, and to translate this work for general audiences. Her analysis and commentary have appeared in Canadian and international print, radio and television media such as CBC, Globe and Mail, New York Times, National Post, and CTV.

    Jean François Perrault, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Scotiabank

    Jean François Perrault joined Scotiabank on December 31, 2015 as Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. He leads a team of Economists to support Scotiabank’s domestic and international business lines and clients from retail to capital markets, providing Scotiabank's senior executives, business lines and customers with perspectives, insights and forecasts on economic, financial market and policy developments.

    Prior to joining Scotiabank, Jean François held prominent roles with the federal government, the Bank of Canada, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. His educational background includes Master's and Bachelor's Degrees in Economics from the University of Ottawa.

    Armine Yalnizyan, Atkinson Foundation

    • 58 min
    Virtual Event: Dean Connor, CEO, Sun Life

    Virtual Event: Dean Connor, CEO, Sun Life

    Join Canadian Club Toronto, as Sun Life CEO, Dean Connor, sits down with Marcia Moffat, Managing Director, Country Head of Canada, BlackRock for a candid virtual fireside chat. Dean will reflect on leading after the pandemic, the Canadian insurance industry on a global stage, and the evolving roles of executives and directors.

    Biography:

    Dean Connor, CEO, Sun Life

    Dean A. Connor was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer, Sun Life on December 1, 2011, and is a member of the company’s Board of Directors. Dean will be retiring from Sun Life in August 2021.

    Dean joined Sun Life in 2006 and held a series of roles prior to his current appointment, including head of Sun Life’s Canadian Operations, and Chief Operating Officer. Dean joined Sun Life following 28 years at Mercer Human Resource Consulting, where he rose to be President for the Americas.

    Dean serves on the Board of the Business Council of Canada, as a Trustee for the University Health Network in Toronto, and as a member of the Ivey Advisory Board and the Asia Business Leaders Advisory Council. He also Chaired the 2017 United Way campaign for Toronto and York Region, and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute’s ‘Making Incredible Happen’ campaign.

    Dean is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. He holds an Honours Business Administration, HBA, from the Ivey School of Business at Western University. Dean was named Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year for 2017, Ivey’s Business Leader of the Year for 2018, and one of the Top CEOs in the World for 2019 by the Harvard Business Review

    Marcia Moffat, Managing Director, Country Head of Canada, BlackRock

    Marcia Moffat, Managing Director, is BlackRock’s Country Head of Canada. As Country Head, Marcia is responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of BlackRock’s business activities in the region. Through our institutional client and iShares businesses, and growing technology and advisory services, the Canada team is focused on sharing the very best of the firm’s global capabilities and local expertise with Canadian clients. Marcia is also a member of the firm's Global Operating Committee, Global Human Capital Committee and US and Canada Executive Committee.

    Marcia joined BlackRock in 2015 with over 15 years of experience in financial services. She has spent most of her career in financial services, including several years at the Royal Bank of Canada where she held progressively senior roles in Investment Banking, Investor Relations and Retail Banking. Earlier in her career, she worked as a corporate finance lawyer in the New York and Paris offices of Shearman and Sterling.

    Beyond the firm, Marcia is actively involved with several industry and not-for-profit organizations, and speaks regularly at conferences and other events. She is Board Chair of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, Board Vice Chair of the Ontario Brain Institute, a Board Member of the C.D. Howe Institute, a member of the Business Council of Canada and Co chair of McGill University’s campaign for its third century. She also dedicates time and resources to a number of philanthropic endeavors.

    She earned her MBA and Law degrees from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Science, biology, degree from McGill University.

    • 58 min
    Virtual Event: A New Type of Capitalism, Panel: Guy Cormier, Kayla Isabelle and Jenn Harper, Moderated by David Skok

    Virtual Event: A New Type of Capitalism, Panel: Guy Cormier, Kayla Isabelle and Jenn Harper, Moderated by David Skok

    All eyes are on social responsibility as the business community responds to the pandemic’s economic impacts. Canadian businesses, large and small, have stepped up to support each other and their communities during the pandemic. Leaders agree, those that prioritize community will ultimately be more sustainable, more resilient and better set up for long term business growth. Join Canadian Club Toronto for a discussion that will feature opening remarks from Guy Cormier, CEO of Desjardins Group, and a panel of business leaders including Jenn Harper, Founder of Indigenous owned beauty brand Cheekbone Beauty and Kayla Isabelle, CEO of StartUp Canada, both who have a unique perspective on doing good through business, and supporting their communities and other entrepreneurs along the way. The panel will be moderated by David Skok, Editor in Chief of The Logic, Canada’s innovation economy news outlet. Join us in this exciting, important discussion.

    Biography:

    Guy Cormier, President and CEO, Desjardins Group

    Guy Cormier was 26 years old when joined the world of cooperatives and started working at Desjardins Group. He became the president and CEO in 2016, and is completely transforming the organization with his member and client focused vision.  

    He's a leader who puts innovation, people and communities first. These values are key to his goal to make Desjardins everyone's No.1 choice.  

    That's why he created the GoodSpark Fund to support different community projects.  

    Guy is also actively involved in engaging youth. He became the first sponsor of Academos, an organization that helps young people reach their full potential by connecting them with professionals in the workforce. He also supports shared prosperity, sustainable economic development and building a more open and inclusive society.

    Kayla Isabelle, CEO, StartUp Canada

    Kayla Isabelle is the CEO of Startup Canada, the national rallying community supporting and giving a voice to Canada’s 3.5 million entrepreneurs. Kayla has dedicated her career to supporting entrepreneurs, both in Canada and internationally. An advocate for women in leadership, Kayla is also the host of the Startup Women Podcast focused on providing resources to women entrepreneurs across Canada.

    Kayla is the Board Chair of the Innovators and Entrepreneurs Foundation, President of the International Association of Business Communicators, IABC, Ottawa Chapter, and a former Board Member of the Canadian Public Relations Society, CPRS. With a passion for mentorship, Kayla runs the IABC Members Connect Mentorship program, is a Carleton University Network Mentor, and Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization, OCISO, Career Mentor. Kayla has also worked as a Coach at the World Skills Employment Centre for newcomers to Canada, and as a Volunteer with the Darkness into Light Suicide Prevention initiative.

    Jenn Harper, Founder and CEO, Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics INC.

    An award winning social entrepreneur, Jenn Harper is the founder and CEO of Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics INC. Cheekbone Beauty is a digitally native direct to consumer brand with a mission to help Indigenous youth see themselves in a beauty brand while using the concept of a circular economy in the brands ethos and in developing their latest line of products. Creating a new segment in the beauty industry, Sustainable Socially Conscious Beauty

    Jenn Harper has been making a name for herself in the beauty industry for a number of years but has been gaining popularity quickly after being on the hit CBC show, Dragons Den. Cheekbone Beauty is helping Indigenous youth see themselves in a beauty brand.

    In addition to Cheekbone’s mission, she strives to educate as many people as possible about the Residential School System and the effects it has had on my family and friends through decades of generational trauma. S

    • 1 hr
    Virtual Event: Dany Assaf, Author, Say Please And Thank You and Stand In Line

    Virtual Event: Dany Assaf, Author, Say Please And Thank You and Stand In Line

    After the tragedy of 9 11, a sign suddenly appeared on a suburban Edmonton lawn that read: Osama bin Laden lives closer than you think. The sign pointed to Dany Assaf’s house. Dany was born in Edmonton, where he played hockey and dreamed of the NHL, a life familiar to any Canadian kid. Yet suddenly, despite generations of family history in Alberta, he and his family were branded as Muslim terrorists: the other to be feared and shunned. Join Canadian Club Toronto as we proudly host Dany Assaf, Past President of Canadian Club Toronto, as he sits down for a fireside chat in conversation with Farah Nasser, to discuss his newly released book, Say Please and Thank You and Stand in Line: One Man’s Story of What Makes Canada Special and How to Keep It That Way. Dany’s memoir offers a blueprint for hope that seeks to reclaim the soul and spirit of what has made Canada unique.

    Biography:

    Dany Assaf, Author, Say Please And Thank You and Stand In Line: One Man's Story Of What Makes Canada Special, And How To Keep it that Way

    Dany is the author of a recent book about Canada told through his family’s story including the building of the first mosque in Canada in 1938 called book, Say Please And Thank You and Stand In Line: One Man's Story Of What Makes Canada Special, And How To Keep it that Way. Dany is also a past President of Canadian Club Toronto and a partner at Torys LLP.

    Farah Nasser, Anchor, Global Toronto

    One of Toronto’s most recognizable faces in news, Farah Nasser is an award winning journalist, bringing extensive experience to her role as anchor on Global News at 5:30 and 6.

    Nasser’s status as a trusted journalist with a strong political background, having covered elections at every government level, has earned her the opportunity to moderate key political debates, including the main 2018 Ontario provincial election debate, and the only broadcast 2018 Toronto mayoral debate.

    Providing viewers across the GTA much needed clarity for nearly two decades, she was on the ground reporting during major events such as the Toronto van attack, the G20 Summit in 2010 and the Toronto 18 terror trials.

    Nasser has been praised for furthering public discourse with her thought-provoking reporting and motivational speaking. She created notable buzz on social media as the force behind #FirstTimeIWasCalled and #LivingInColour, two digital series’ exploring the experiences of marginalized peoples; she similarly received plaudits for her TEDx talk titled The Power of Intellectual Humility.

    She is also a back to back winner of the RTNDA Sam Ross Award for her viral commentaries 93 Killed a Day at the Barrel of a Gun, 2018; and What if the fighting in Aleppo was happening in Toronto? ,2017; the latter story was viewed 3.5 million times and used as a teaching aid in schools to explain the Syrian conflict.

    Nasser began her career with Rogers TV before accepting a position with Newstalk 1010, where she worked her way up to a reporting role. After landing this first major reporting gig, Nasser went on to hold various roles with Toronto 1, A Channel News, Citytv, and CP24 before joining Global News.

    A graduate of Ryerson University’s Radio and Television Arts program, she also attended the University of Westminster in London, England and later interned for CNN in New Delhi, India.

    When not reporting on the day’s headlines, Nasser spends her time volunteering in the community. She serves as a mentor for CivicAction, a non profit that brings together senior and emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds. Nasser regularly speaks at community events and has worked with organizations such as Journalists for Human Rights, the Aga Khan Foundation and the Economic Club of Canada.

    Nasser lives in Toronto with her husband and her two young kids. She can often be found looking for hidden gems around the city, having dance partie

    • 55 min

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