top of page

Virtual Conference Program



Note that virtual events occur ONLY on May 26th and 27th.

Please note that there may be a five-minute delay between

presentations for technical support issues.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Welcome and Fireside Chat – A View of Rural Development and Canada's Economy (In-person/Virtual)


10:00 a.m. -

10:45 a.m.

With Stéphane Lauzon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Rural Economic Development, and member of Parliament, Argenteuil-La Petite-Nation; Dr. Heather Hall, University of Waterloo

An exploration of the opportunities and issues in rural Canadian communities from the perspective of the Government of Canada and the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation

Panel Discussion – Powering Prosperity: The Impacts of Connectivity on Rural Communities and What It Will Take to Get It Done – With Presenting Conference Sponsor TELUS®


10:45 a.m. -

11:30 a.m.

Moderator: Caroline Arbour. Panelists: Nathalie Dionne, acting VP Home Solutions & Customer Excellence, TELUS Quebec; Kara Westerlund, Regional Municipalities of Alberta Vice President and Councillor in Brazeau County, AB; Randy Jones, CEDEC and former Mayor of Gros-Mécatina; Alfred Loon, President, Eeyou Communications Network.

Connectivity is more than wires and Netflix. It’s a foundational enabler that delivers education, digital healthcare, economic opportunity, modern sustainable agriculture, social connection and community. While Canadians in urban centres take these things for granted, the journey to full remote, rural, and indigenous connectivity continues. This panel will feature rural community leaders who will share the impact that connectivity has had on their communities, the challenges they’ve faced and the lessons they learned.

Presentation – Co-operative Conversion: Helping to Safeguard Jobs & Local Businesses


11:30 a.m. -

12:15 p.m.

With Daniel Brunette, Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada

Business Conversions to Co-operatives (BCCs) take place when private, public, or non-profit entities transition for a variety of possible reasons, including succession planning, into a co-operative corporation. This can prevent the closure of locally based businesses and the elimination of economic drivers, including many in small and rural communities.

Presentation – Addressing COVID-19 Challenges Through Multi-Sectoral Collaboration: The Rural Rebound Case Studies


1:30 p.m. -

2:15 p.m.

With Lissel Hernandez-Gongora, University of Guelph


The Rural Rebound case studies highlight the experiences of selected stakeholders in rural Ontario reflecting multi-sectoral collaboration to respond to Covid-19. The underlying approach of this initiative, developed by the Rural Ontario Institute, is promoting peer-to-peer learning so other rural regions responding to similar concerns can take ideas and adapt them to their own context. Multi-sectoral collaboration is not exclusive to Covid-19 responses, but it is critical to overcoming any crisis. The participant stakeholders concurred on the value of this type of collaboration to build on each other’s knowledge, generate solutions that respond to actual needs and optimize resources.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Welcome and Take-Aways from Day 1


10:00 a.m. -

10:15 a.m.

Welcome - Dominique Marquis, Vice-Rector, Training and Research, UQAR

Presentation – Canada’s Rural Regions in the Quest for Inclusive Knowledge-Based Economies: Triumphs, Prospects and Challenges


10:30 a.m. -

11:00 a.m.

With Dr. Charles Conteh, Niagara Community Observatory, Brock University

Panel – Building Bridges Between Public-Private-Civil Society Sectors to Optimize Rural Economic Development


11:00 a.m. -

12:00 p.m.

Moderator: Kelly Vodden, Professor (Research), Environmental Policy Institute. Panelists: Dr. Heather Hall, University of Waterloo, author of COVID-19 and Rural Economic Development in Canada: Impacts, Responses and Recovery; Matthew Mendelsohn, Visiting professor at Toronto Metropolitan University, Senior Advisor, BCG Global Public Sector Practice; and John Buck, President & CEO, CEDEC.

Closing Remarks


12:00 p.m. -

12:15 p.m.

Closing remarks

bottom of page