Conversations with Power
Experience lectures from our archive.
Established in 1903, as a response to Canadian political unrest, the Empire Club ofCanada (ECC) quickly became a leading speakers’ forum. Beginning with speeches to address Canada’s relationships with the British Empire and the United States, the ECCcontinues to tackle issues that affect the lives of Canadians.
The club invites speakers to present various perspectives—including those that may not be popular but should be heard. Since its inception, the ECC has hosted 3500prominent Canadian and international leaders, including Prince Edward, the Prince ofWales (later Edward VIII), Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, Audrey Hepburn,Margaret Mead, Christopher Plumber, Roberta Bondar, Maureen Forrester, AdrienneClarkson, Margaret Thatcher, Vladamir Putin and Bill Gates, to name but a few. Topics encompass business, politics, education, trade, labour, culture, international issues, as well as, other relevant topics that emerge.
Get up close and personal to the most relevant issues of the day and network with other like minded members.
Topic: 21st Century Yukon: Reconciliation and a Modern Economy
Progressing the territory through strengthening government-to-government relationships with First Nations and attracting world-class resource investment has made the Yukon’s economy one of the fastest growing in Canada. Premier Sandy Silver will unveil the great potential this new Yukon means to a breadth of sectors.
Biography: Sandy Silver was first elected to the Yukon Legislative Assembly as MLA for Klondike in 2011, and re-elected in 2016. He is proud to serve the constituents of Klondike. To represent the riding effectively, Sandy works closely with the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation, the City of Dawson, the Dawson City Chamber of Commerce, the Klondike Placer Miner’s Association, and other non-profit organizations.
As the leader of the Yukon Liberal Party, Sandy assembled a strong team of outstanding candidates, which saw the Yukon Liberal Caucus grow from a single member in 2011 to a Yukon Liberal majority government with 11 seats in 2016.
Sandy’s vision for the Yukon Liberal Caucus is built upon four key priorities: balancing economic growth with environmental protection, working in partnership with First Nation governments in the spirit of reconciliation, a greater emphasis on the importance of local decision-making by communities, and a government that is open and accountable to Yukoners.
Sandy Silver was sworn in as Premier on December 3, 2016, becoming the first MLA for Klondike to serve as Premier of Yukon. He is also the minister responsible for the Executive Council Office (which includes aboriginal relations and intergovernmental relations), the Minister of Finance, and a member of the Members’ Services Board and Management Board.
A long-time Yukoner, Sandy Silver moved to Dawson in 1998. The incredible community spirit he found there, which allows anyone who is ready, willing, and able to contribute, made it abundantly clear Dawson would become his home.
After moving to Dawson, Sandy led the mathematics department at Robert Service School, where he coached, mentored, and tutored youth from all walks of life. He was also actively involved as an educator in the First Nations community in Dawson, supervising practicums for the Yukon Native Teacher Education Program. His commitment to education led him to get involved with the Tr’ondek Hwech’in Justice department and the restorative justice process, including Community Group Conferencing, and working with youth alongside the Young Offenders Act.
Sandy has volunteered for many community organizations and continues to be an active member in the Dawson community. He is a dedicated participant in the Tr’ondek Hwech’in Moosehide Gatherings, and continues to volunteer for the Dawson City Music Festival each summer.
Sandy Silver has degrees in Math and Psychology from Saint Francis Xavier University and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Maine.
Topic: Understanding Canada's Coming Cannabis Regime by Looking South to US
Join us on June 12th for an intriguing event that will shine a spotlight on what recreational marijuana legalization will look like in Canada later this summer. To get a look into the future, we will bring up from the United States leading figures who can speak to experiences in Colorado and Massachusetts as well as a Canadian expert to the Club to discuss the considerations that have gone into the regime set to launch here in Canada. The discussion will be moderated by Nicole MacAdam of the National Post and should provide one of the clearest perspectives on what we can expect in Canada later this summer when marijuana becomes legal for recreational use.
Co- Founder & Senior Director, Freedman & Koski,Former Director, Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division
Lewis Koski was the Director of the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division during the legalization of marijuana. Lewis played a pivotal role building the first agency in the world to implement medical and retail marijuana policy, constructing innovative strategies to develop balanced regulations, launching the first marijuana inventory tracking system and finding solutions to some of the biggest challenges the State faced developing and implementing divisive mandates related to contemporary marijuana laws.
Lewis is recognized nationally and internationally as an expert in formative marijuana policy. He is among a small group of government executives who have been intimately involved in the development and implementation of marijuana policy from the infancy of medical marijuana through the realization of legalization. Lewis’ leadership contributions and devotion to implementing marijuana policy thoughtfully played an important role achieving what has become one of the most fully developed marijuana regulatory frameworks in the world.
Lewis is currently a co-founder and senior director at Freedman & Koski, Inc. where he works with government clients across the United States tasked with developing and implementing cannabis policy. He also works with ancillary companies and investment firms that are focused on helping government successfully implement cannabis policy.
Lewis holds a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis on International Business and is a Doctoral Candidate in Public Administration with a focus on policy analysis and public participation in rulemaking. He also teaches a graduate-level course called, “The Marijuana Policy Frontier” at the University of Colorado-Denver.
Commissioner Shaleen Title was jointly appointed by the Massachusetts governor, treasurer, and attorney general to the Cannabis Control Commission in September 2017. She co-authored the Massachusetts marijuana legalization referendum and has consulted on state and local marijuana policy around the United States. As an attorney specializing in marijuana regulations, she has provided regulatory expertise for leading marijuana consulting firms. Shaleen was a founding board member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, where she led the drafting of the first state-level model bill created to give states guidance to implement a process of reinvestment and reconciliation. She was also a founding board member of Marijuana Majority, and she previously served as a trustee for Students for Sensible Drug Policy as well as a board member of the Family Law and Cannabis Alliance and the National Lawyers Guild. Prior to joining the Commission, she was a co-founder of THC Staffing Group, a cannabis recruiting firm focused on equality and inclusion. She holds a business degree, law degree, and graduate degree in accounting from the University of Illinois and was previously a part of the multistate tax group at Deloitte Tax. She lives in the Boston area.
VP Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Hiku Brands
Will is a leading public affairs figure on cannabis legislation in Canada. He has developed significant expertise in Canada’s legal cannabis space working with a variety of large ACMPR Licensed Producers and other leading companies in the sector. Before joining Hiku Brands, Will served as Managing Principal of one of Canada’s leading high-stakes communications and lobbying consulting firms as one of the country’s leading public affairs advisors. He has been named as one of Canada’s top lobbyists for seven consecutive years under both the Federal Conservative and Liberal governments. Will was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to Canadian Public Policy. Prior to his time as a consultant, he was Chief of Staff to an Ontario cabinet minister serving in portfolios in both ministries and legislative branches. Will also sits on the advisory board of Lift, a cannabis education company as well as the Board of Directors of Young People’s Theatre in Toronto.
Executive Producer, Financial Post
Nicole MacAdam is an award-winning journalist and executive producer of the Financial Post, part of the Postmedia network of publications. She has worked as an editor and visual journalist at publications including the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business, the Seattle Times, the Toronto Star and Canadian Press. During her nearly 20 years as a journalist, she’s lead teams of writers, editors and visual journalists report stories on topics ranging from the financial crisis, income inequality, how the education system fails boys, private health care and diversity in the C-Suite. She is an alumnus of the University of Western Ontario and Ryerson University, and is an MBA candidate at the University of Illinois.