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Keynote Speakers

David C. Onley

The Honourable David C. Onley
Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

Video of The Honourable David C. Onley

The Honourable David C. Onley was appointed Ontario’s 28th Lieutenant Governor following a distinguished career as a broadcaster. He is renown for championing disability issues.

In his role as Lieutenant Governor, he has adopted two causes: the first is to promote accessibility as that which enables people to achieve their full potential. The second is to continue the Aboriginal Youth Literacy Programs implemented by his predecessor and to twin-track the programs to include a computer literacy initiative.

He is a best-selling author, holds three honorary degrees, was inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame and is the recipient of a number of awards including The Rick Hansen Award and The Courage to Come Back Award.

Steven Fletcher

The Honourable Steven John Fletcher

Minister of State (Democratic Reform)
Charleswood–St. James–Assiniboia (Manitoba)

Video of The Honourable Steven John Fletcher

Steven Fletcher was first elected to the House of Commons in 2004 and re-elected in 2006 and in 2008. He was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Health in February 2006. Previously, he served as the Official Opposition Critic for Health and was a member of the Standing Committee on Health. Prior to his election, Mr. Fletcher worked as an engineer in the mining industry until an automobile collision with a moose left him paralyzed from the neck down. Afterwards, he returned to university where he obtained a Master’s in Business Administration. Mr. Fletcher was twice elected president of the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba and has played a leading role in many community organizations. He is also the recipient of Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee Medal, the King Clancy Award and is a Terry Fox Hall of Fame inductee. He is the first permanently disabled Canadian to be elected to the House of Commons. He was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1972, and he lives in Winnipeg.

Sandi Bell

Sandi Bell

Video of Sandi Bell

Ms. Sandi Bell is a highly respected expert with over 30 years experience in the areas of human rights and equality. Through both her employment and volunteer pursuits Ms. Bell has been a student and educator working with others to improve the welfare of the victims of the “isms” (such as racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, etc.) that continue to exist in our society. Ms. Bell is regularly sought-out based on her reputation for knowledge of, and sensitivity to Canada's diverse communities and the challenges they face.

As the President of EMPOWWORD Inc, a mediation and training & development firm, Sandi Bell offers a comprehensive range of “people-focused” expertise. She has extensive background dealing with interpersonal and organizational conflict, strategic planning, change management, human rights, anti-racism and anti-oppression, child welfare, education, youth matters, accessibility, disability issues and equity/diversity/access/inclusion – in other words, equality for all.

Ms. Bell is also a part-time Commissioner on the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

As an African-Canadian/Aboriginal-First Nations woman who has a disability, Ms. Bell’s passion to rid society of and prevent racism, discrimination and oppression is not a topic or research project; it is a way of life. Throughout her adult life, Sandi has been a sought after motivational speaker, locally, nationally and internationally.

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