SPEAKERS

Introducing our Change Makers

JUDY REBICK

Judy Rebick is a well-known feminist, social justice activist, writer, educator and speaker.... Her new book, a memoir called Heroes in my Head, is coming out in April.  She has worked as a journalist, professor and author over the last 20 years.  She is founding publisher of rabble.ca, and hosted two shows on CBC TV in the 1990’s.   She is perhaps best known to Canadians as a former president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, Canada’s largest women’s group.  Judy was also centrally involved in the battle to legalize abortion in Canada during the 1980’s.

SENATOR KIM PATE

Kim Pate was appointed to the Senate of Canada on November 10, 2016. First and foremost, the mother of... Michael and Madison, she is also a nationally renowned advocate who has spent the last 35 years working in and around the legal and penal systems of Canada, with and on behalf of some of the most marginalized, victimized, criminalized and institutionalized — particularly imprisoned youth, men and women.

Senator Pate graduated from Dalhousie Law School in 1984 with honours in the Clinical Law Programme. She was the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) from January 1992 until her appointment to the Senate in November 2016. She has developed and taught Prison Law, Human Rights and Social Justice and Defending Battered Women on Trial courses at the Faculties of Law at the University of Ottawa, Dalhousie University and the University of Saskatchewan. She also occupied the Sallows Chair in Human Rights at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law in 2014 and 2015.

Kim Pate is widely credited as the driving force behind the Inquiry into Certain Events at the Prison for Women in Kingston, headed by Justice Louise Arbour. During the Inquiry, she supported women as they aired their experiences and was a critical resource and witness in the Inquiry itself.

Senator Pate is a member of the Order of Canada, a recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case, the Canadian Bar Association’s Bertha Wilson Touchstone Award, and five honourary doctorates (Law Society of Upper Canada, University of Ottawa, Carleton University, St. Thomas University and Wilfred Laurier University).

TODD LEADER

Todd Leader, an alumnus of Cape Breton University and Memorial University of Newfoundland, is a Registered... Psychologist and a Registered Social Worker. He has spent 27 years working as a transformational leader in health services and has also been teaching in the Faculty of Science at Saint Mary’s University for the same 27 years.

Todd has twice earned awards for his teaching, including the Overall Excellence in Teaching Award, the highest award presented by the Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association. Health services under his leadership have earned two international best-practice awards, and a leadership award for excellence in women’s health. This past Spring, Todd’s contributions to our communities were recognized by a formal proclamation in the Nova Scotia Legislature.

Todd has been the President of the Public Health Association of Nova Scotia, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Public Health Association. He is currently the President of the Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia, the Vice President of the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers, and a member of the Nova Scotia Ministerial Advisory Panel on Innovation in Mental Health and Addictions.

Todd is also currently the Project Lead for the SEAK Project, working to integrate social and emotional learning in school systems and communities across Atlantic Canada. He currently works as a consultant, speaker, and facilitator helping to lead client-centered system improvements, using his recently published book “It’s Not About Us; The Secret to Transforming the Mental Health and Addiction System in Canada”.

DENISE COLE

Denise Cole is an Indigenous Two Spirit from Labrador with over fifteen years working in non-profits.... Her experiences include environmental stewardship, cultural revitalization, youth/community engagement, civil disobedience, and housing/homelessness project development. She is a strong advocate for social justice and a passionate protector of land and water. Her journey of healing includes “red road” sobriety, incorporating traditional ceremonies and modern therapy. Blood memory carries both trauma and strength; it is from this base that Denise uses her voice and actions as an agent for positive change.

LIANNA RICE

Lianna is an Inuk youth from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. She is passionate about the... well being of Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth of Labrador, mental health and suicide prevention, and having worked on several environmental research projects she identifies as an environmentalist. Lianna advocates for youth mental health on local, provincial, national and international levels.

As the Aboriginal Youth Director at the Labrador Friendship Centre, Lianna is involved with youth initiatives in Upper Lake Melville. She has been involved in Labrador Inuit mental health initiatives such as being a motivational speaker at a suicide prevention and life promotion week in Hopedale, speaking on a suicide prevention panel at the most recent National Inuit Youth Summit in Nain, Nunatsiavut, and most recently she was a youth guest speaker at Nunatsiavut Youth Symposium.

Lianna represented the federal riding of Labrador in Daughters of the Vote- a conference that celebrated the 100th anniversary of some women’s right to vote in Canada by promoting 338 young women to become involved in politics and advocacy by taking their seats in the House of Commons. There she delivered a speech on the importance of including Inuit voices while addressing the issue of Inuit suicide. She spoke again on this topic with Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla on their visit to Ottawa on Canada Day 2017. Since then she has continued advocating for indigenous youth and is currently the Treasurer of the Aboriginal Youth Council of the National Association of Friendship Centres.

After Daughters of the Vote, Lianna had the opportunity to advocate for Inuit on an international level at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She feels strongly that mental wellness and suicide prevention for all ages can be achieved in many ways, including through cultural continuity, the development of healthy communities, and the empowerment of youth.

JOANNE MACDONALD

Denise Cole is an Indigenous Two Spirit from Labrador with over fifteen years working in non-profits.... Her experiences include environmental stewardship, cultural revitalization, youth/community engagement, civil disobedience, and housing/homelessness project development. She is a strong advocate for social justice and a passionate protector of land and water. Her journey of healing includes “red road” sobriety, incorporating traditional ceremonies and modern therapy. Blood memory carries both trauma and strength; it is from this base that Denise uses her voice and actions as an agent for positive change.