The Forum

We have an amazing, diverse line up of confirmed, featured speakers from Canada—leaders in fields like food security, economics, race and gender justice, mental health, and the environment—and one international expert on cash transfers during the pandemic who has lessons for governments like Canada’s.

Here is our incredible speaker line-up, in alphabetical order. 

Yves-Marie Abraham

Yves-Marie Abraham est professeur à HEC Montréal, où il enseigne la sociologie de l’économie et mène des recherches sur le thème de la décroissance. Après avoir co-dirigé la publication de Décroissance versus développement durable : débats pour la suite du monde (2011) et de Creuser jusqu’où? Extractivisme et limites à la croissance (2015), il a publié récemment chez Écosociété une synthèse personnelle sur la décroissance, intitulée Guérir du mal de l’infini. Il est par ailleurs responsable de la spécialisation en gestion de l’innovation sociale au sein de la Maîtrise à HEC Montréal, où il offre un cours sur la « décroissance soutenable » depuis 2013. Yves-Marie Abraham est également membre du collectif de recherche indépendant « Polémos décroissance ». 

Evelyn Forget

Evelyn L Forget is Professor of Economics and Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. Her research examines the health and social implications of poverty and inequality, and she is often called upon by governments, First Nations and international organisations to advise on poverty, inequality, health and social outcomes. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and a Fellow of the Royal Society. Her most recent books are Basic Income for Canadians: from the COVID-19 emergency to financial security for all (Lorimer and Co., 2020) and (with Hannah Owczar) Radical Trust: Basic Income for Complicated Lives.

Ugo Gentilini

Ugo Gentilini is Global Lead for Social Assistance with the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank. His interests encompass research and practice on social protection from high-income countries to fragile states. With a PhD in Economics, he has published extensively on social assistance in the context of, for example, labor markets, urbanization, food security and nutrition, and subsidy reforms. His recent books include Exploring Universal Basic Income (2020), and Adaptive Social Protection (2020). He is leading the global tracker of social protection responses to COVID-19, has been a team member of the World Development Report 2019, and is co-founder of the flagship The State of Social Safety Nets in the World Series.

Josephine Grey

Josephine is the President of the St. James Town Community Co-operative, UN-recognized human rights advocate, community leader, organizer and public speaker.

Rabia Khedr

Rabia is dedicated to equity and justice for persons with disabilities, women, and diverse communities. She most recently served as a Director on the Accessibility Standards Canada board and a Commissioner on the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and now sits on the Minister’s Disability Advisory Group. She is the National Director of Disability Without Poverty, a founder of Race and Disability Canada, and a board member of the Federation of Muslim Women. A motivational speaker, Rabia draws on her lived experience of being blind and advocating for siblings with intellectual disabilities. She holds a BA and MA and has received numerous awards, including a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Daniel G. Hill Human Rights Award.

Dr. Danielle Martin, MD

Dr. Danielle Martin, MD, CCFP, FCFP, MPP is Professor and Chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM), University of Toronto, an active family physician and a respected leader in Canadian medicine who also holds a Masters in Public Policy. In 2006, she helped launch Canadian Doctors for Medicare. Her national bestselling book ‘Better Now: 6 Big Ideas to Improve the Health of all Canadians’(2017) is used by students and lay people who want to learn more about Canada’s health system—one of those big ideas is a basic income. 

In 2019 Dr. Martin became the youngest physician ever to receive the F.N.G. Starr Award, the highest honour available to Canadian Medical Association members.

Dr. Kwame McKenzie

CEO of the Wellesley Institute, practicing psychiatrist and international expert on mental health, the social causes of illness, and social policy.

Qajaq Robinson

Commissioner with the Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), practising lawyer on Northern issues.

Jim Stanford

Economist, Director of the Centre for Future Work, former Director of Policy at Unifor, author of several books and respected media commentator.

Paul Taylor

Paul is a long-time activist, non-profit leader, educator, commentator, and a co-founder of Evenings & Weekends Consulting. He has taught in areas of organizational leadership, people resources and fundraising at Simon Fraser University. From 2017-23, Paul served as Executive Director of FoodShare Toronto, Canada’s largest food justice organization where his leadership was recognized for inspiring equity-focused policies and practices. He has chaired the British Columbia Poverty Reduction Coalition, served on the Board of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and as Vice-Chair of Food Secure Canada. In 2020, Paul was named one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40, one of Toronto Life’s 50 Most Influential Torontonians, and voted Best Activist by Now Magazine readers.

Jessica Topfer

The Nourish and Develop Foundation, board member for Community Justice Alternatives and a beneficiary of the Ontario basic income pilot.