Corporate Secretary

Corporate Secretary Forum – Canada

Thursday, October 15, 2020


About the forum

Interactive discussions on the big questions facing Canadian GRC professionals

The forum took place as a virtual event designed for GRC professionals. It enabled participants to network, discuss, debate and dissect best practices and topical issues in the corporate governance world.


 Timely event: Covid-19 has further demonstrated the importance of identifying emerging risks and prioritizing investment in governance, risk and controls. With the year-end fast approaching, this event is perfectly positioned to help you take stock of the year-to-date, refocus and plan for 2020-2021
  Benchmarking: it is a great opportunity to evaluate where you stand in comparison to your peers, how other companies have managed and overcome similar challenges
  Unique format: far from a traditional webinar format, our virtual event platform enables attendees to have intimate discussions and participate in virtual roundtable debates with fellow GRC professionals
  Discover something new: learn about new technologies, innovations, and services that are available to help to transform your governance strategy, increase productivity and make better decisions
  Network with the community: meet with investors, analysts, experts, and GRC peers


  • 08:30 AM
    Welcome to Corporate Secretary's Canada Forum 2020 - Live Networking

    To kick the day off, please take some time to connect with another attendee via the ‘networking feature’. Like chat roulette, you will be matched at random with a fellow attendee where you can chat and swap contact details. Enjoy!

  • 08:55 AM
    Opening remarks from the chair

    Welcome and introduction to the event and platform from our Editor-at-large Ben Maiden.

  • 09:00 AM
    How can the board be ready for the next crisis? Emerging stronger from Covid-19

    Overseeing crisis management and business continuity planning is a key function of the board. This session will explore the ways in which governance professionals can help their boards be successful in this role, and prepare their companies to navigate turbulent times.

    • How are boards managing through a crisis such as the pandemic? What business continuity planning lessons can boards learn from the pandemic?
    • What should boards be considering now in terms of planning for future disruptions?
    • Where can governance teams add the most value to business continuity planning and the board’s oversight?

    Brigitte Catellier, vice president, corporate governance and corporate secretary, Meridian Credit Union and Motus Bank

    Amy Freedman, CEO, Kingsdale Advisors

    Matthew Langford, corporate counsel, SSR Mining

    Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary

  • 10:00 AM
    Lessons learned from AGMs and managing the evolution to virtual

    The pandemic has this year significantly changed the way companies maintained their relationships with investors. This session will explore and what that means going forward.

    • What lessons can we draw from the widespread use of virtual AGMs? Are they here to stay?
    • How can companies address investor concerns around the governance and conduct of virtual AGMs?
    • How can virtual engagement be best deployed when it is not necessary? What are some tips and tricks for virtual decision making?

    Simon Bryan, managing director, Americas, Lumi

    Cathy Conlon, head of corporate issuer strategy, Broadridge

    Carolyn Hadrovic, vice president and corporate secretary, Air Canada

    Nizam Hasham, general counsel and assistant corporate secretary, Canadian Pacific Railway

    Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary


  • 11:00 AM
    Moving forward on ESG: how the pandemic has impacted ESG reporting & engagement

    Contrary to some expectations, the Covid-19 pandemic appears to have only reinforced the importance of ESG issues for many investors, and the need for companies to address these.

    • How has Covid-19 affected investor focus on ESG concerns?
    • How can companies best tackle reporting around human capital management and climate change?
    • What shareholder engagement issues should governance teams be targeting?

    Melanie Adams, VP & head, corporate governance & responsible investment, RBC Global Asset Management

    Kathleen Keller-Hobson, corporate director, Premium Brands Holdings Corporation and Greater Toronto Airports Authority

    Neil Stewart, director of corporate outreach, SASB

    Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary

  • 12:00 PM
    Interactive Session: Roundtable Discussion

    Join our live, interactive roundtable discussion to share ideas and best practice on the biggest future trends for governance professionals. This session really benefits from participation so don’t be afraid to switch your audio and video on or comment in the chat box. Enjoy!

    Improving efficiency in your governance team: future trends

    Corporate secretaries and governance professionals continue to face growing demands, which they must meet often with little or no additional resources. This session will look to the future and discuss how they can run their teams more efficiently moving forward.

    • What are some of the latest ways to improve operational efficiency in legal, governance and corporate secretaries’ teams?
    • Where can technology and automation be best deployed and can AI help?
    • What lessons can the board take away from the pandemic in terms of how it operates?
  • 12:45 PM
    Diversity and inclusion: working with the board and beyond

    The need is growing for greater diversity at the board level, and across management and workforces in general. This has been accelerated by the unequal social effects of Covid-19, and greater investor interest in diversity as an indicator of better corporate performance.

    • How can governance professionals work with boards to increase diversity?
    • Can and should diversity metrics be part of executive and board compensation?
    • What corporate reporting should governance teams be developing around diversity?

    Nita Chhinzer, associate professor, department of management, University of Guelph

    Marlon Hylton, CEO & senior counsel INNOV-8 Data Counselchair, CEO pledge committee, BlackNorth Initiative

    Naveen Mehta, chief legal officer, MESH/diversity

    Dottie Schindlinger, executive director, Diligent

    Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary


  • 13:45 PM
    People power: prioritizing the new focus on human capital

    Human capital management has taken on renewed importance as a result of Covid-19 with companies looking at talent management and retention, and simply keeping employees safe. This session will look at the issues boards need to be considering and how governance teams can help.

    • How should boards be approaching human capital as a risk management priority?
    • What role should boards play in ensuring talent management, retention and training are implemented effectively? How will Covid-19 and the market downfall affect this going forward?
    • What is the role of the corporate secretary in human capital management?
    • What lessons has the pandemic taught boards about succession planning?

    Christelle Gedeon, chief legal officerAphria

    Rani Pooran, senior advisor, social sustainabilityBMO Financial Group

    Brian Shurman, corporate social responsibility manager, Flight Centre Travel Group

    Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary

  • 14:45 PM
    Closing remarks & 1:1 networking

  • 15:30 PM
    Close of conference


To inquire about speaking at future events, please contact [email protected] or call +44 20 8004 4818


Who attends

Each participant is someone with an established track record and a strategic GRC role within his or her company. 2020 attendees included:

Click here to request the full attendee list

Job title Company Job title Company
Principal ACP VP M&A, director Logistec Corporation
Vice president and corporate secretary Air Canada Vice president, corporate governance and corporate secretary Meridian Credit Union and Motus Bank
SVP and CS Airports Council International Senior manager legal affairs National Bank
Chief governance officer Algqonquin Power & Utilities CFO & secretary Neovasc
Chief legal officer Aphria Senior legal counsel and corporate secretary Northland Power
General counsel Aritzia Vice president, legal and corporate secretary Northview Apartment
AVP, corporate secretary Aviva Canada Interim CFO Nuvo Pharmaceuticals
Assistant corporate secretary BCE MD ONEX
VP, deputy general counsel and assistant corporate secretary BlackBerry VP law, corporate governance and corporate secretary Ontario Power Generation
Corporate secretary Bluestone Resources Assistant corporate secretary Parex Resources
Senior advisor, social sustainability BMO Financial Group Governance specialist Payments Canada
Director, legal services, governance and assistant corporate secretary Cameco Corporation Secretary & corporate counsel Plaza Retail REIT
General counsel & corporate secretary Canada Infrastructure Bank Sr. corporate paralegal Precision Drilling
Strategic coordinator Canadian Corps of Commissionaires Director, legal Premium Brands Holdings
General counsel and assistant corporate secretary Canadian Pacific Railway Corporate director Premium Brands Holdings and Greater Toronto Airports Authority
Assistant corporate secretary Capital Power Corporation Legal counsel and corporate secretary Pyrogenesis Canada
VP legal Cargojet General counsel & corporate secretary RFA Bank of Canada
Manager, corporate secretarial legal Cenovus Energy Assistant corporate secretary and investor relations associate, legal Rockpoint Gas Storage
Corporate secretary CI Financial Managing counsel, commercial & securities Rogers
CEO Competent Boards Head of US corporate secretary Scotiabank
Assistant corporate secretary Concentra Bank VP, assistant general counsel Shopify
Legal counsel Crescent Point Energy Corporate secretary SouthGobi Resources
General counsel & corporate secretary CWB Financial Group Chief legal officer Sprucegrove Investment Management
Director, investor relations Elim Mining Corporate counsel SSR Mining
General counsel Ewing Morris & Co. Investment Partners Sr. legal counsel & director, governance STEP Energy Services
Communications Festival Hydro VP, law & corporate secretary TC Energy
Corporate social responsibility manager Flight Centre Travel Group VP, corporate secretary & subsidiary governance TD Bank
General counsel Friesen Group Company secretary The Alberta Library
Head of investor relations GT Gold VP, general counsel & corporate secretary The Green Organic Dutchman
Director, corporate affairs Guaranteed Funeral Deposits of Canada (Fraternal) IR analyst The Valens Company
EVP corporate affairs & general counsel High Liner Foods Legal counsel Traffic Tech
Legal counsel Husky Energy Senior paralegal Uni-Select
Manager – paralegal services Innergex Corporate secretary Vineland Research
Corporate counsel Legal Aid Alberta SVP Western Resources

Click here to request the full attendee list

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The prices are in CAD and are subject to a HST 13%. If you have any questions, please contact Priscilla Lim at [email protected] or +44 20 8004 4989.

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