The Year Ahead: An International Security, Intelligence and Defence Outlook for Canada for 2019

On December 7th, 2018, academics, practitioners, and experts will meet for the 5th iteration of the Year Ahead Conference at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. Panelists from across Canada, the United States, and parts of Europe will meet to discuss looming threats, future challenges, and Canada’s changing position in the world. Experts will discuss topics ranging from electoral integrity in advance of the 2019 Federal Election, the risk that climate change poses for Canada and the world, and Canada’s ongoing contributions to international security through international organizations like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the United Nations. Panel topics this year are:  1) US-Canada Relations; 2) Domestic Security and the Canadian Homeland; 3) Global and International Threats; 4) Canada and the World: Operations and Transformations.

Date: 7 December 2018 – 9:00am to 4:45pm
Location: Barney Danson Theatre, Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Place, Ottawa, Ontario
Cost: General – $100; Students – $25; Table of 8 – $600


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Registration – 8:15am-8:45am

Introductory Remarks – Dr. Jeffrey Rice – 8:45am – 9:00am

Panel 1  –  US-Canada Relations 9:00 to 10:15

This panel examines security and defence in the context of US-Canada Relations. How has the US-Canada relationship changed over time? And what will it look like in the year ahead? These are the key questions informing this panel. Practitioners and experts from NORAD, the US Embassy in Ottawa, as well as a specialist on US-Canada relations discuss security, intelligence, and defence in the North American context and how the special relationship is being managed.

  • Mr. Jean Pierre-Louis (Deputy Political Counselor, US Embassy)
  • Dr. Jonathan Paquin (Université Laval)

Break 10:15-10:45 

Panel 2 – Domestic Security and the Canadian Homeland  10:45 to 12:00

This panel explores topics ranging from electoral integrity and the threat of foreign interference, issues currently affecting border security, and the legal status and history of foreign fighters returning to Canada. It takes as its primary focus the central issues security and intelligence issues affecting the Canadian homeland.

  • Dr. Holly Ann Garnett (Royal Military College of Canada)
  • Mr. Martin Bolduc (Vice-President, Programs Branch, Canada Border Services Agency)
  • Ms. Leah West (University of Toronto)

Lunch Buffet 12:00 to 12:40

Special Event on Gender and Security (12:40 to 1:30)

In the place of the Year Ahead’s annual keynote talk, a special moderated Q&A session  with some of the most influential practitioners, experts, and champions on gender is taking place. These individuals will discuss what initiatives are being undertaken at the highest-levels to address gender-based issues in security and defence.

  • Moderator:  Policy Lead for MATCH International Women’s Fund / WPSN-C Coordinator Beth Woroniuk
  • Assistant Deputy Minister of International Security and Political Affairs Mr. Mark Gwozdecky
  •  Former Ambassador to the North Atlantic Council (NATO) Kerry Buck

Break 1:30 to 1:45

Panel 3 – International and Global Threats 1:45 to 3:00

This panel challenges us to think of security and defence in broad terms. Though these threats may not necessarily be immediate, they each have the potential to radically re-shape and redefine the current political order. Nuclear weapons, divided populations and the rise and threat of populism, and perhaps the most significant threat to our world, climate change, are the focus of this panel.

  • Ms. Andrea Berger (James Martin Centre for Nonproliferation Studies)
  • Rear Admiral (ret’d) US Navy Jonathan White (Consortium for Ocean Leadership)
  • Dr. Mabel Berezin (Cornell University)

Break 3:00 to 3:30

Panel 4 – Canada and the World: Operations and Transformations 3:30 to 4:45

Alliances and international institutions are the central component of Canada’s defence policy and the primary way that Canada projects itself in the world. This panel, featuring speakers from NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium will discuss topics ranging from Afghanistan and Iraq, to the Enhanced Forward Presence in Eastern Europe. An expert on the UN system will join them to discuss the importance of the UN for Canadian interests and international security.

  • Dr. Stephanie Carvin (Norman Paterson School of International Affairs)
  • Mr. Andrew Budd (NATO Head Capabilities Section, Defence Policy Directorate)
  • Dr. Alistair Edgar (Wilfred Laurier University/Former Executive Director of ACUNS)