Keynotes

 
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Luc Bélanger

Luc Bélanger is the Chairperson as well as a Full-Time Member of the Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal. He has extensive experience as a lawyer with the Department of Justice Canada. From 2005 to 2011, he led the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada legal services team in litigation against tobacco manufacturers. Mr. Bélanger contributed actively to the 2015 publication of the second edition of the Sedona Canada Principles Addressing Electronic Discovery. He previously worked with Employment and Social Development Canada legal services. He argued before the Social Security Tribunal of Canada and participated in drafting legislation for the Canada Pension Plan enhancement that starts in 2019. Mr. Bélanger holds a civil law degree (LL.L.) from the University of Ottawa and is a member of the Barreau du Québec. He is the spouse of Ms. Josée Drouin and has three children: Léonie, Augustin and Calixa.


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Keith Currie

Keith Currie, a Collingwood-area hay and sweet corn farmer, was acclaimed as President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) at the 2018 Annual General Meeting, returning for his third one-year leadership term for OFA’s 38,000 farm members. Currie is the organization’s 31st President. His inaugural election as OFA President occurred at the 2016 Annual General Meeting. Prior to his role as President, Currie was the organization’s Vice President from 2013-2016. His 25+ years of experience with the OFA began with an appointment to the Simcoe County Federation of Agriculture, where he held numerous positions including President from 2004-2006.


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Suresh Doss

Suresh Doss is a food, drink, travel writer based out of Toronto, Canada. His essays on food and drink can be found through a variety of radio, print and online channels for the last 15 years. Suresh is the food guide for CBC Toronto with a weekly show on Metro Morning where he highlights various places to eat throughout the GTA and beyond. Suresh has also regularly contributed to Globe and Mail and Toronto life. Suresh regularly runs food tours throughout the GTAs, aimed at highlighting multi cultural suburban pockets.


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Carmen Francis

Carmen Francis is a senior associate in the firm’s International Trade & Investment Law Group in Toronto. Her practice is focused on providing business-friendly, strategic and skilled advice across a wide range of trade, regulatory and compliance matters. Carmen’s regulatory practice is tailored to supporting clients at each stage of the regulatory continuum: from the earliest stages of product formulation and development, to packaging and labelling requirements, ensuring compliance with mandatory standards, obtaining requisite permits and licences, assisting with import and export compliance, and through to responding to regulatory enforcement actions. Her advice is responsive to clients’ needs, and prioritizes supporting clients in achieving their business objectives while navigating complex regulatory regimes. In particular, Carmen has extensive experience in the regulation of food and consumer retail products, and products subject to specialized regulatory regimes such as alcoholic beverages, cannabis, controlled goods and defence articles, cosmetics, natural health products, and medical devices. Carmen provides proactive, pragmatic and considered guidance in an increasingly intricate regulatory environment.


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Martha Harrison

Martha Harrison is a partner in McCarthy Tétrault’s International Trade and Investment Law, and Retail and Consumer Markets Groups in Toronto. A strategic, experienced and approachable business advisor, Martha practices international trade, regulatory and public procurement law, as well as international arbitration. An experienced member of the trade bar, clients look to Martha for her industry expertise and deep comprehension of international trade law’s intricate business implications. Martha advises clients across a broad spectrum of industries, with an emphasis on food, beverage & agri-business, as well as other retail & consumer markets. In addition, Martha's regulatory practice is focused on providing strategic and pragmatic advice regarding product regulation in Canada, including standards, packaging and labelling, importing and exporting issues, and transportation matters.


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Camille Labchuk

Camille Labchuk is an animal rights lawyer and executive director of Animal Justice—Canada’s only animal law advocacy organization. Animal Justice works to promote tough new animal protection legislation, enforce laws already on the books, and fights legal cases in courtrooms. Camille’s work includes intervening in court cases to protect and enhance animals’ legal interests; filing false advertising complaints against companies making misleading humane claims; documenting Canada’s commercial seal slaughter; exposing hidden suffering on farms and zoos through undercover investigations. Camille is a frequent lecturer on animal law, and a regular contributor to publications like the Globe and Mail, iPolitics, and Huffington Post, and her work has been featured in countless media stories.


 
 
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Lyzette Lamondin

Lyzette Lamondin is the Executive Director of Food Safety and Consumer Protection with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. She has held various positions within the Agency, including Executive Director of the Food Import, Export and Consumer Protection Division and Director of Agri-food Programs, and was Chair of the Codex Committee on Food Labelling in 2015 and 2017. Lyzette led the initial consultations and drafting of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations from 2012 to 2015. Prior to joining the CFIA she worked in intergovernmental and regulatory affairs in the Departments of Fisheries Oceans, and in community-based programs at Health Canada.

 
 

 
 
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Darcy Lindberg

Darcy Lindberg is an Assistant Professor with the University of Alberta's Faculty of Law, where he teaches courses on Indigenous law, Indigenous peoples and the law, and Indigenous relationships to the environment. He is mixed-rooted Plains Cree, with his relations coming from Samson Cree Nation in Alberta and the Battleford-area in Saskatchewan. His research focuses on the constitutional and legal theory of Plains Cree peoples in relation to lands, waters, and animals.  Darcy was called to the BC and Yukon Bars in 2012, where he practiced law primarily in the Yukon Territory. 

 
 

 
 
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Pat Mooney

Pat Mooney is the co-founder and executive director of the ETC Group, and is an expert on agricultural diversity, biotechnology, and global governance with decades of experience in international civil society and several awards to his name. Since 1977, ETC group has focused on the role of new technologies on the lives and livelihoods of marginalized peoples around the world. Pat Mooney has almost half a century of experience working in international civil society, first addressing aid and development issues and then focusing on food, agriculture and commodity trade. He received The Right Livelihood Award (the "Alternative Nobel Prize") in the Swedish Parliament in 1985 and the Pearson Peace Prize from Canada's Governor General in 1998. He has also received the American "Giraffe Award" given to people "who stick their necks out." The author or co-author of several books on the politics of biotechnology and biodiversity, Pat Mooney is widely regarded as an authority on issues of agricultural diversity, global governance, and corporate concentration. Although much of ETC's work continues to emphasize plant genetics and agriculture, the work expanded in the early 1980s to include biotechnology. In the late 1990s, the work expanded further to encompass a succession of emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, synthetic biology, geoengineering, and new developments ranging from genomics and neurosciences to robotics and 3-D printing. Pat Mooney and ETC group are known for having discovered and named The Terminator seeds – Genetically-modified seeds designed to die at harvest.

 
 
 

Stuart Oke

Stuart Oke is an Organic Farmer who alongside his wife and their business partner run Rooted Oak farm. Located outside St-Andre-Avellin, QC they produce Certified Organic vegetables and flowers which feed their CSA members and farmers market clients in Ottawa and the surrounding areas. Stuart is an active board and executive committee member for Canadian Organic Growers (COG) a national organization which supports organic growers through training and education and advocates on behalf of the organic sector. He is the current Youth President for the National Farmers Union, a voluntary membership organization representing thousands of farmers across Canada. When not growing or selling vegetables and flowers he spends his time advocating for policies and services which will support the next generation of farmers. He is a strong supporter of Organics, Agroecology, and the principles of Food Sovereignty and uses his farm and position with the National Farmers Union and COG to promote them to eaters, farmers, and politicians alike.


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Melana Roberts

As Chair of the Board of Food Secure Canada, a member of the Toronto Food Policy Council (TFPC), and Chair of the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council, Melana has worked on variety of food policy initiatives with a diversity of stakeholders, including farmers, Indigenous communities and regional food networks. Grounded in food justice principles, her work strives to create a more just, equitable and sustainable food system through engagement on 2 simultaneous fronts: on the ground advocacy and community building and food policy development. Melana has led TFPCs Food Champion's initiative, mobilizing 400+ stakeholders to increase food assets in Toronto. Although grounded in Ontario, she has worked closely with local, regional and national stakeholders as the point person on SNPs and food policy issues for the Chair of the Board of Health; and has been involved in the development of Ontario and Canada's first food strategies. Melana is also deeply committed to supporting food justice principles, and has worked with a number of non-profits to better operationalize these principles in their work.


 
 
 
 
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Kathleen Sullivan

Kathleen Sullivan is one of Canada’s most dynamic agri-food industry leaders. She is a public affairs and regulatory expert, industry advocate, proven association executive and lawyer with a successful 20+ year career. In August 2018, Kathleen was appointed as CEO of the newly-formed Food and Beverage Canada – Aliments et boissons Canada – an organization representing Canadian food and beverage processor businesses located in urban and rural regions across the country. Kathleen has been involved in the development of key trade policies and the negotiation of significant multilateral and bilateral trade agreements such as the Doha Development and Bali Rounds of the World Trade Organization, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Kathleen’s leadership has been demonstrated through a number of senior positions including Executive Director of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, President of the Canadian Agri-food Policy Institute and General Manager of the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada.  Kathleen has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Carleton University and a law degree from the University of Western Ontario.

 
 

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Ryan White

Ryan is a partner at Cavalluzzo LLP. His practice areas include labour relations and construction law. Ryan is the co-leader of the firm's construction labour law practice group. He is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School. During law school he received several academic awards, including class prizes in Torts and Bankruptcy and Insolvency Studies, and the Nick McCombie Prize for the best paper on the subject of workers’ rights. While at Osgoode Hall, Ryan spent time in the Workers’ Rights Division at Parkdale Community Legal Services and worked as a research assistant in the areas of access to justice and Aboriginal sovereignty. In addition, Ryan was a member of the York University Senate and Osgoode Hall’s Student Caucus. Throughout his studies Ryan volunteered with the Workers’ Action Centre. Before law school, Ryan was an executive member of the University of Guelph’s student union, the Central Student Association (CSA), where he was responsible for leading social justice campaigns and supervising the CSA’s human rights office.