We’re thrilled to offer you exceptional value this year, including a distinguished line up of keynote speakers.
After everything you’ve been through, you deserve to hear from some of Canada’s most impressive representatives. Our speakers’ areas of expertise are different, but like municipal leaders from coast to coast to coast, they know the value of perseverance, resilience and serving their communities on the frontlines. Their lessons will surely guide us as we plan a path forward, building better communities for all Canadians.
Read their bios below, and get ready to celebrate our ability to move Forward, together at the conference.
Non-political keynote: AKOR Expedition, Nicolas Roulx and Guillaume Moreau
From March to October 2021, Nicolas and Guillaume completed the longest-ever north-to-south human-powered crossing of Canada. From the high Arctic to southern Ontario—and via Saskatchewan!—it took 234 days to cover the 7,600 km by ski, canoe and bike, covering 19 percent of the planet’s circumference. That’s the equivalent of 180 marathons.
These young explorers tested the limits of the mind and collaboration, saw the impacts of climate change first-hand and learned valuable lessons from Indigenous communities. Their story of resilience, adaptation and partnership will resonate with elected officials from coast to coast to coast as they gear up to lead the inclusive nationwide recovery Canadians deserve.
With their insightful talks, AKOR team members are looking to inspire leaders of today and tomorrow to face challenges with hope, ambition and confidence in their role as agents of change.
AKOR 2021 was named The Royal Canadian Geographical Society's "Expedition of the Year."
To learn more about their expedition: https://expeditionakor.com/en/home/
Speaker: The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Justin Trudeau (born December 25, 1971) is Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister.
Justin’s vision of Canada is a country where everyone has a real and fair chance to succeed. His experiences as a teacher, father, leader, and advocate for youth have shaped his dedication to Canadians – and his commitment to make Canada a place where everyone has the opportunities they need to thrive.
The oldest of three boys, Justin grew up with the profound influence of his father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and his mother, Margaret Trudeau. He was raised speaking both French and English and has family roots in both Eastern and Western Canada. This background helped spark his passion for public service and shaped his conviction that diversity is Canada’s strength.
Justin studied literature at McGill University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in 1994. He went on to complete the University of British Columbia’s education program, and spent several years teaching French, math, and other subjects in Vancouver. Teaching allowed him to make a positive impact in the lives of young people. He remains committed to hearing the voices of young Canadians, from the classroom to Parliament Hill.
In 2002, Justin returned home to Montréal, where he met Sophie Grégoire, a Quebec TV and radio host. They married in 2005 and are now the proud parents of Xavier, Ella-Grace, and Hadrien.
Before entering politics, Justin served as the Chair of Katimavik, on the board for the Canadian Avalanche Foundation, and as an advocate for young people and the environment. As a speaker at events and conferences around the country, he encouraged young people to engage with the issues important to them and participate as active citizens. These experiences made it increasingly clear to him that the issues young Canadians care about – education, the environment, and their generation's economic prospects – needed a stronger voice.
Justin entered politics to make change that would better serve all Canadians. In 2007, he built a community-based, grassroots campaign to win the Liberal Party nomination in the Montréal riding of Papineau. He was elected in 2008, and re-elected in 2011, 2015, and 2019.
Justin was elected Leader of the Liberal Party in April 2013. His leadership campaign focused on building a new, truly national movement of progressive Canadians, bringing hundreds of thousands of Canadians into politics, most for the first time. He worked closely with his team to build a plan to create jobs, grow the economy, protect the environment, and strengthen the middle class. With Justin’s leadership, the Liberal plan emphasized fair economic opportunity for everyone, respect for and promotion of freedom and diversity, and a more democratic government that truly represents Canadians.
On October 19, 2015, Justin led his party to victory, winning a majority government with seats in every province and territory across the country. He was sworn in on November 4, 2015.
On October 21, 2019, Justin led the Liberal Party to re-election, earning a second mandate from Canadians.
As Prime Minister, Justin leads a government that works hard every day to continue moving Canada forward. His team is focused on creating good middle class jobs, making life more affordable, keeping Canada’s communities safe, fighting climate change, and moving forward on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. A proud feminist, Justin appointed Canada’s first gender balanced Cabinet.
Speaker: The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
First elected in 2000 and re-elected seven times since, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc has represented the riding of Beauséjour for over 20 years.
He has served as Minister of Northern Affairs and Internal Trade, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. On a number of occasions, he also served as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs concurrently. He was previously Senior Advisor to former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, Deputy Government Whip, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence.
Before entering politics, Minister LeBlanc attended the University of New Brunswick and later Harvard Law School, before beginning a career as a lawyer with Clark Drummie in Shediac and Moncton, New Brunswick.
Minister LeBlanc is married to Jolène Richard, a former Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of New Brunswick.
Speaker: The Hon. Andrew Scheer, Conservative Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Communities
Andrew Scheer is the Member of Parliament for Regina—Qu’Appelle and the former Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and of the Official Opposition. He has dedicated his public service career to helping hardworking Canadians and their families.
He was elected as Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada in 2017 and won the popular vote with the highest vote total of any party in the 2019 election, increasing his party’s seats and ending the previous government’s majority.
Born and raised in Ontario, Andrew moved to Saskatchewan to raise a family and build his career. After working in the insurance industry, Andrew was first elected as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Regina—Qu’Appelle in 2004, overcoming the odds and defeating the longest-serving MP at the time.
In 2011, he was chosen by parliamentarians to become the 35th Speaker of the House of Commons, the youngest in Canadian history. As one of the younger MPs, his hard work and strong principles earned him the confidence of his constituents and he has since been re-elected five times.
Throughout his political career, Andrew has been a strong advocate for Canada on the world stage and has defended human rights and economic freedom around the world. In his roles as Speaker of the House of Commons and Leader of the Official Opposition, he has hosted many world leaders here in Canada and led official visits to many countries.
Andrew has always been true to his positive Conservative vision and his leadership is focused on helping hardworking families with lower taxes, controlled government spending and an economic plan that creates prosperity and opportunity for all Canadians.
He and his wife Jill live in Regina with their children, Thomas, Grace, Madeline, Henry, and Mary.
Speaker: Jagmeet Singh, Leader of Canada’s NDP
Leader of Canada's New Democratic Party, Jagmeet Singh is a lawyer, a human rights activist, and a former MPP in Ontario. Jagmeet understands the struggles Canadians are faced with because as a young man, he had to step up and take care of his family. Jagmeet is driven to fight for people and the help they need to get through this pandemic and beyond.