Sympo 2016 

APEX Symposium 2016: Leadership Action for Excellence, Innovation and Health

May 31 - June 1, at the Shaw Centre, Ottawa


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In preparation to your participation at the APEX Symposium 2016, please make sure to download:

*** Please note that the detailed APEX Symposium Program will not be available at the conference.***


This is a unique networking and learning opportunity and the largest gathering of federal executives of
the Canadian Public Service - An event not to be missed!


  • Marie Lemay, Deputy Minister, Public Services and Procurement Canada, and 
  • Bill Pentney, Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General of Canada.

Opening Keynote Address:

Keynote Address:

Keynote Presentations:

  • "3 Box Solution for Leading Innovation Strategy"

Vijay Govindarajan is one of the world's leading experts on innovation, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, and Coxe Distinguished Professor at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business and the Marvin Bower Fellow at Harvard Business School; click here for more information.

  • The Right Kind of Influence: What Think Tanks Do (or Should Do)

Rohinton Medhora, President of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Waterloo, Ontario will reflect on what think tanks do, and what they are likely to be doing in coming years as technology drives change in all parts of the research and policy processes. There are an estimated 6500 think tanks worldwide, about 100 of which are in Canada. They promote evidence-based decision making. But why, how and through what means?

      • Mental Health in the Workplace: A joint presentation by:

Bill Wilkerson, Chair of Mental Health International and on the Clerk's Advisory Committee on Mental Health. University of Toronto Chancellor and Barclays Chairman, and Michael Wilson was federal Minister, and Ambassador to the US, and currently chairs the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Followed by audience Q&A.

Concurent Sessions on Leadership, Innovation/Collaboration:

  1. Collaboration in Business and Policy Innovation: The Prime Minister directed his Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development to expand support for "incubators, accelerators, [and] the emerging national network for business innovation and cluster support". Dr. Paul Genest, former Deputy Minister with the Ontario Government and Fellow at the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Ryerson University, leads the panel. Valerie Fox, a co-founder of the Digital Media Zone (DMZ) at Ryerson University will present along with Richard Lachman, Director of Ryerson's Trans Media Zone. The DMZ has incubated over 190 start-ups ($120 M raised), is the top-ranked university business incubator in North America, and #3 in the world. The panel will explore how public policy challenges could be addressed through collaboration and innovation.

  2. Public Policy Decision Making: Mitigating Risk through Evidence: Graham Fox, President/CEO, Institute for Research on Public Policy, Martin Loken, CIO, Global Affairs Canada and the Director of Thomson Reuters Labs in Waterloo, Brian Zubert, in a conversation on how evidence should inform public policy, and the challenges and opportunities therein.

  3. A New Relationship Starts with Me: Exploring the Public Service role in supporting a new relationship between the Government of Canada and Indigenous Peoples. The Government of Canada has made unprecedented commitments to renew relationships with First Nation, Inuit and Métis people across the country. Every department and agency is implicated in supporting Ministers to honour this commitment, even those that have not traditionally seen how their mandate affects or is affected by Indigenous issues.  How do we show leadership action and approach this with more effective and productive relationships?  ADM Catherine MacQuarrie, currently at the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, will moderate a panel of four colleagues: Rob Prosper, Nadia Ferrara, Henry Kudluk and Gina Wilson.

  4. Senior Fellow at the Global Affairs Institute Colin Robertson in an armchair conversation with Richard Fadden, former National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada.

Concurrent sessions on Mental Health/Wellbeing in the Workplace and
Addressing Leadership Gaps

  1. Mental Health and Wellness: Modern Solutions for a 21st century Challenge: Sapna Mahajan, Director, Prevention and Promotion Initiatives in the Workplace, Mental Health Commission of Canada, leads a panel examining challenges, opportunities and best practices. She will be joined by two senior practitioners: Barbara Mildon, from the Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health and Cathy Weaver, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Great West/London Life.

  2. The Art and Science of Positive Leadership: Craig Dowden, Executive Coach and author of APEX white papers on Civility and Engagement. His 2015 session was among the highest rated and he will address "The Art and Science of Positive Leadership. This session is presented in English only

  3. Moving to Action on Mental Health: Discussion with co-chairs Bob Kingston (Public Service Alliance of Canada) and Caroline Curran (Treasury Board Secretariat) of the technical committee of the Mental Health Task Force, moderated by Hélène Nadeau, APEX representative on the committee.

  4. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada's Aboriginal Leadership Development Initiative (ALDI) for feeder categories is succeeding in addressing significant gaps in recruitment. Françoise Ducros, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada's Senior ADM, is champion for ALDI. She will lead the panel, which includes ALDI participants in an exploration of leadership dimensions.

Plenary Panel

      • Towards 2017: How the Public Service Leads and Serves (Our Proud History, Our Exciting Future)

Plenary Panel moderated by Michael Ferrabee of the Canada School of Public Service

Panelists: Hélène Laurendeau, Deputy Minister, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and Christiane Fox, Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet/PCO.

      • Addressing today's Workplace Challenges: A conversation with two senior private sector leaders

Plenary Panel moderated by: Symposium Co-Chair Marie Lemay, Deputy Minister, Public Services and Procurement Canada

Panelists: Isabelle Marcoux, Chair of the Board, Transcontinental and, Kim Thomassin, Managing Partner (Quebec), McCarthy.

Networking Reception & APEX Awards of Excellence event

Open to Award winners, their guests and to all participants

Closing Keynote Address




General Dynamics




Nelligan O'brien Payne











Thomson Reuters