February 2017

The Kids Are Not Alright: The Urgent Need for a National Dialogue to Invest in the Wellbeing of Canada’s Children

11:45am-1:30pm | Château Laurier - 1 Rideau St. , Ottawa

Canada is the 5th most prosperous nation in the world, but Canadian kids aren’t reaping the benefits. We rank 17th globally for the wellbeing of children, and drop to 27th place for child health and safety. We can and must do better: Canada’s future depends on it.

After Children First's initial 2016 launch on the EC platform in Toronto, we are proud to bring this important discussion to Ottawa. Join Sara L. Austin, Founder, President and CEO of Children First Canada alongside the Prime Minister's Youth Council Member Ashley Whiteman, The Honourable Landon Pearson O.C., and Ted Woodhead, Senior Vice President, Federal Government and Regulatory Affairs at TELUS. The Globe and Mail’s André Picard will be serving as moderator with special introductory remarks by Alex Munter, President and CEO of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre.

Member price:
Individual seat: $89 +HST
Table (seats 10): $800 +HST

Regular price:
Individual seat: $110 +HST
Table (seats 10): $990 +HST

- Lunch will be served -

From January 9 to March 19, 2017 the Hotel will be conducting maintenance work in its parking garage. Due to limited parking availability while the work is being carried out, unfortunately on-site parking will be limited to registered hotel guests through valet parking service.

- For information about accessibility, please email peters@economicclub.ca
- Dietary restriction notes and meal requests must be submitted to peters@economicclub.ca 48 hours in advance of event.

The Kids Are Not Alright: The Urgent Need for a National Dialogue to Invest in the Wellbeing of Canada’s Children

Ashley Whiteman

Prime Minister's Youth Council Member
Government of Canada

Ashley Whiteman, Prime Minister's Youth Council Ashley is a high school graduate from Edmonton, Alberta, who is passionate about supporting her community. While attending school, she was part of several different programs and committees such as the Jean Forest Leadership Academy, Personalized Self-directed Learning, Student Union and Social Justice. She was involved with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a student facilitator and a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization.

Currently, Ashley supports her community through the Edmonton Police Cadet Corps, sits on youth panels, Subcommittee Health and Wellness of the City of Edmonton Youth Council, RCMP Youth Advisory Board and assists senior citizens in their daily activities. Ashley donates blood regularly and is working towards achieving the bronze level in the Duke of Edinburgh.

Alex Munter

President and Chief Executive Officer
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)

Alex Munter

Alex Munter is President and CEO of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre. Since joining CHEO in 2011, he has helped CHEO earn recognition as one of Canada’s most admired corporate cultures and a leader in research, health technology and patient-centred care. CHEO is a world-class centre that provides outstanding family-centred patient care, pioneering research, and training for the health care professionals of the future. In October 2016, CHEO's hospital services and OCTC's community services were unified into one organization in order to better connect care for kids and families.

Previously, Alex was Chief Executive Officer of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) -- the crown agency responsible for planning, integrating and funding health services in the region. Before joining the LHIN, he led Ottawa’s Youth Services Bureau, one of Ontario’s leading child and youth mental health agencies. Alex also taught in French and English at the University of Ottawa as a Visiting Professor in its Faculty of Social Sciences. From 1991 to 2003, he was an elected Councillor in Ottawa, where he also had lead responsibility for public health, long-term care, housing and social services.

Alex has won awards from a wide range of organizations for his contributions to the community, including the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Canadian Institute for Child Health, United Way/Centraide Ottawa, the Federal Business Development Bank, l’Association Canadienne-Française de l’Ontario d’Ottawa, and Leadership Ottawa, among others.

André Picard

Health Columnist
The Globe and Mail

André Picard

André Picard is the health columnist at The Globe and Mail, where he has been a staff writer since 1987.

He is also the author of five books. His current bestseller is a collection of columns entitled “Matters of Life and Death: Public Health Issues in Canada.”

André is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and Carleton University and has received honorary doctorates from six universities, most recently the U of T.

Sara L. Austin

Founder, President & CEO
Children First Canada

Sara L. Austin

Sara is a world class champion for children, with more than 20 years of global and Canadian experience. As the Founder and CEO of Children First Canada, she leads a national movement to make Canada the best place in the world for kids to grow up.
You’ll find her name on several “most powerful” lists, and for good reason. She has led highly successful advocacy, public awareness and philanthropic campaigns and shaped major public policy efforts. She has learned multiple languages and is fluent in the parlance of diplomacy. Her work has taken her into the top circles of power in the UN, national governments, and boardrooms around the world. In recognition of her efforts, she has twice been awarded the Top 25 Women of Influence, and in 2017 she was the youngest person to be inducted into the Top 100 Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame.
Sara has a proven track record of leading high achieving teams with local and global impact. Most recently she served as the CEO of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, where she led Canada’s most advanced frontline agency responding to child abuse. Previously she served as Director of the President’s Office of World Vision Canada, supporting the CEO and Board of Directors and leading strategic initiatives for children and workplace diversity and inclusion.
Her leadership has impacted the lives of millions of children. Most notably, she led a global campaign that resulted in the adoption of the UN Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child for a Communications Procedure (OP3). This ground-breaking law allows kids or their advocates to hold governments accountable for violations of children’s rights.
On a personal level, Sara is married and has a son, and she is a cancer survivor. She is an avid downhill skier, water sports enthusiast and international traveler.

Ted Woodhead

Senior Vice President, Federal Government and Regulatory Affairs
TELUS Communications Company

Ted Woodhead

Ted Woodhead is responsible for Federal Government and Regulatory Affairs at TELUS. He provides policy and regulatory advice to TELUS and its subsidiaries, and represents TELUS in proceedings before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and other Federal departments and agencies with respect to broadcasting and telecommunications matters.

In 1992, after two years of private legal practice in Ottawa, Mr. Woodhead joined the CRTC’s Decisions Branch. Over the next seven years, Mr. Woodhead assumed increasing responsibilities including as Director, New Media and International Affairs and finally as Director, Convergence Policy and Infrastructure Access.

In 2000, Mr. Woodhead joined Rogers Wireless as Director of Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs. In 2004, Mr. Woodhead joined TELUS as Director of Regulatory Matters. He assumed the positions of Vice President of Telecom Policy and Regulatory Affairs in 2008 and his current role in 2013.

Mr. Woodhead has participated in a number of regulatory and government proceedings and initiatives. He has appeared before the CRTC in numerous telecommunications and broadcasting proceedings.

Mr. Woodhead holds a BA (Honours) in Political Studies and History from Queen’s University, and an LL.B. from the University of Windsor. He was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1989.

The Honourable Landon Pearson O.C.

Landon Pearson Centre for the Study of Childhood and Children’s Rights, Carleton University

The Honourable Landon Pearson O.C.

The Honourable Landon Pearson O.C. is a long-time advocate for the rights and well-being of children. From 1994 to 2005, Landon Pearson served in The Senate of Canada, where she became known as the Children's Senator. She served in several influential roles in international affairs, including as the Personal Representative of the Prime Minister to the United Nations Special Session on Children. She then coordinated Canada's National Plan of Action entitled A Canada Fit for Children.

As the wife of a Canadian diplomat she brought up their five children in five countries and learned first-hand about the challenges confronting the world's children. She also learned to listen to her own. Prior to her appointment to the Senate of Canada, she had extensive experience as a volunteer with a number of local, national and international organizations concerned with children. As Vice-Chairperson of the Canadian Commission for the International Year of the Child (1979), she edited the Commission's report, For Canada's Children: National Agenda for Action. From 1984 to 1990, she served as President and then Chair of the Canadian Council on Children and Youth. She was a founding member and Chair of the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children from 1989 until she was summoned to the Senate.

Upon her retirement from the Senate in 2005, Landon Pearson established a Resource Centre for the Study of Childhood and Children's Rights at Carleton University. The Landon Pearson Resource Centre is devoted to promoting the rights of children and youth through disseminating knowledge about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, mentoring students, sponsoring youth participation in a variety of settings, organizing lectures and seminars and coordinating a growing network of child rights scholars across Canada.

Landon Pearson's accomplishments in the field of childhood and children's rights are numerous. She has received many awards, including the Canada Volunteer Award and several honourary doctorates. In 2005, she was one among 1000 women worldwide nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on behalf of children. In July 2008 Landon Pearson was appointed to the Order of Canada as an Officer.

Our Sponsors

Telus Interac Green Shield Canada