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Canadian Human Rights Commission
Beyond Labels 2017 Human Rights Symposium - Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario
September 27, 2017 - September 28, 2017
Beyond Labels - Labels help define us and stay connected to who we are.

Canada’s human rights laws are based on formal grounds, or labels, that define our unique combination of characteristics – our gender, our religion, our disability, our sexual orientation, our race. These labels have been embraced by many as a call to action for groups who claim these identities. Yet more and more, people are rejecting these labels.

During this pivotal year – Canada 150, 40 years of the Canadian Human Rights Act, and the 35th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms – we are asking participants: Is it time to focus on what unites us instead of what divides us?

Beyond Labels 2017 Human Rights Symposium will be held in Ottawa at the Shaw Centre from September 27-28.

Join us in making a difference

The Canadian Human Rights Commission’s 2017 symposium will challenge our thinking, our behaviour and the labels we use for each other and ourselves, setting the foundation for discussions about human rights over the next 40 years.

Join human rights advocates, academics, employers, lawyers, and engaged citizens from across the country as we explore the future of human rights beyond labels as it relates to technology, our institutions, our workplaces, and our public spaces.

▼ Wednesday, September 27, 2017, Morning

8:00 a.m. Registration opens

8:15 a.m. Refreshments and networking

8:30 a.m. Overview of the Symposium

Daniel Normandeau

8:45 a.m. Welcoming Remarks

Algonquin Territory Leader

9:00 a.m. Opening Remarks

Marie-Claude Landry, Ad.E. Chief Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission

9:15 a.m. Keynote Speakers – Living Beyond Labels

Tiq Milan and Kim Katrin Milan

10:15 a.m. Health Break and Networking

10:45 a.m. Panel Discussion – Moving Beyond Labels

Moderator: Peggy Warolin, Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission


Bernie Farber, Executive Director, Mosaic Institute
Donna Jodhan, Founder and Chair, Barrier Free Canada
Caitlin Tolley, Student, University of Ottawa
John Dick, Hallway Group

12:00 p.m. Buffet Lunch and Networking

▼ Wednesday, September 27, 2017, Afternoon

1:00 pm. Concurrent Workshops

Workshop A Blanket Exercise (KAIROS)

Moderator: Ed Bianchi, Program Manager, KAIROS

Workshop B Social Condition and Remote Communities

Moderator: Danika Billie Littlechild, Vice-President, Canadian Commission for UNESCO


Adam Akpik, The Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts (CYCC) Network
Harriett McLachlan, Canada Without Poverty

Workshop C Beyond Accommodation

Moderator: Bonnie Brayton, National Executive Director, DisAbled Women’s Network Canada


Fran Odette, Part Time Faculty, George Brown College
Neil Bélanger, Executive Director, BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society
Alexandre Baril, Dalhousie University
Dr. Susan Hardie, Director, National Network for Mental Health

Workshop D Engaging and Empowering Youth – Tools and Resources

Moderator: Ian Hamilton, Executive Director, Equitas


Max FineDay, Canadian Roots Exchange
Jennifer Reddy, Embrace Immigrant Youth, Vancouver School Board
Sarah Gaham, Girls Action Foundation
Hon. Landon Pearson, Founder and Chair, Landon Pearson Resource Centre for the Study of Childhood and Children's Rights

2:30 p.m. Health Break and Networking

3:00 p.m. Mental Health Commission of Canada

Louise Bradley, President and CEO Mental Health Commission of Canada

3:10 p.m. Panel Discussion – Mental Health

Moderator: Nitika Rewari, Manager, Research, Evaluation & Knowledge Translation, Workplace Mental Health, Mental Health Commission of Canada


Heather Stuart, Professor, University of Guelph
Dr. Rebecca Gewurtz, Assistant Professor, School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University
Lyne Wilson, Talent Acquisition and Organizational Health, NAV Canada
Misty Giroux, Manager, Legislated Programs, NAV Canada
Derek J. Jones, director, Mental Health, Privacy & Equality in the Workplace Project, McGill University

4:30 p.m. End of Day 1

5:00 p.m. Networking Reception

▼ Thursday, September 28, 2017 Morning

8:15 a.m. Refreshments and Networking

8:45 a.m. Overview of Day 2

Daniel Normandeau

9:00 a.m. Welcoming Remarks

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph

9:30 a.m. Entertainment

Dandelion Dance Performance

10:00 a.m. Health Break and Networking

10:30 a.m. Panel Discussion – Conflicting Rights

Moderator: John Packer, Professor, Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa


Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada
Farida Deif, Director, Canada, Human Rights Watch
Shahina Siddiqui, President, Islamic Social Services Association
Shaheen Azmi, Director of Policy, Education, Monitoring & Outreach, Ontario Human Rights Commission

12:00 p.m. Buffet Lunch and Networking

▼ Thursday, September 28, 2017 Afternoon

1:00 p.m. Concurrent Workshops

Workshop E Gender Identity and Gender Expression

Moderator: Helen Kennedy, Egale Canada


Françoise Susset, Institute for Sexual Minority Health
Quinn Bennett, Director, PeerNet BC
Nicole Nussbaum, Lawyer, Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health
Samuel Singer, Assistant Professor, Thompson Rivers University

Workshop F Families in Canada

Moderator: Nora Spinks, Chief Executive Officer, Vanier Institute of the Family


Sheila Osborne-Brown, Senior Counsel, Canadian Human Rights Commission
Natasha Bakht, Co-Mama
Todd Nicholson, 2018 Chef de Mission for Paralympic games
Farhat Rehman, Mother and advocate
Kelly J. Lendsay, President and CEO, Indigenous Works

Workshop G Human Rights – The Next Generation

Moderator: Renée Vaugeois, Executive Director, John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights


Odélie Joly, Administrator, Amnistie internationale
Raffi Cavoukian, Founder, Centre for Child Honouring
Tammy Robinson, Oxford House First Nation

Workshop H The State of the Rule of Law in Canada’s 150th Anniversary Year

Moderator: Errol Mendes, President, International Commission of Jurists (Canadian Section)


Hon. Michele Rivet, Board Member of ICJ Canada and Commissioner of ICJ Geneva
Janine Lespérance, Executive Director, ICJ Canada

2:30 p.m. Refreshments and Networking

3:00 p.m. Panel Discussion – Beyond 2017

Ian Fine, Executive Director, Canadian Human Rights Commission
Kim Samuel, Professor of Practice, McGill University's Institute for the Study of International Development
Ihsaan Gardee, Executive Director, National Council for Canadian Muslims
Haroon Siddiqui, Editorial Page Editor Emeritus, The Toronto Star

4:30 p.m. Closing Remarks

Marie-Claude Landry, Ad.E., Chief Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission

5:00 p.m. End of Symposium

Please note that simultaneous interpretation will be available during all plenary panel discussions, in English and French. The concurrent workshops will be held in both official languages, depending on the individual language choice of the moderator or panelist. During these workshops, participants will be able to ask questions in the language of their choice and a designated person will translate the exchange if the need arises.

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