Synergy in Education 2014 Speaker Profiles

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Welcome Address

For more about Hon. Pettigrew, please see timgPierrehe CIEC Executive Team.




  • Hon. Deepak Obhrai, PC, M.P Calgary East & Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Human Rights

o  Inaugural Address

obhraiHon. Deepak Obhrai was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Calgary East in 1997. In addition to his current roles, Deepak was appointed to Her Majesty’s Privy Council for Canada in 2013 in recognition of his many years of public service as a Member of Parliament and in promoting the Government’s foreign affairs agenda internationally.

  • Doug Smith, Author/Former 1st Round NHL Pick
  • Dave Best, Author/Director of Sport Business Management, Algonquin College

Keynote Address

DSmithAt 18, Doug Smith was the recipient of the Ontario Hockey League’s Academic Award and was selected 2nd overall by the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. After a career ending broken neck and spinal cord injury, Doug fought back from quadriplegia to walking, running and after 13 years of recovery, skating and playing hockey again. For over 2 decades Doug has worked to identify, organize and document the key priorities & behaviors he has used to drive performance. Today he offers a refined process that is practical, easy to implement and possible to sustain with manageable effort.

dave2As a seasoned sport administrator, Professor Best earned his BA, HPHE and BEd degrees and MA in Sport Finance all while playing varsity sports. He previously served as Assistant Director of the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations and Director of Olympic Affairs with the Canadian Olympic Committee. Best also wrote a best-seller on Canadian sport in the 20th Century, “Canada: Our Century in Sport”.

  • Hon. Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sports)

o  Opening Session

balHon. Bal Gosal was elected to the House of Commons in May 2011 as the Member of Parliament for BramaleaGore-Malton and appointed as a Minister of State (Sport). He  has served as the Treasurer and founding member of the Ontario Federation of Sports and Cultural Organization. He was also a Director, past Secretary, and Treasurer of the Ontario Khalsa Darbar Sports and Cultural Centre. As Minister of State for Sport, Gosal helped promote, and advance the mission of Sport Canada by developing a federal sport policy in Canada, providing funding programs in support of sport, and by working together with partners to advance sport initiatives.

  • Peter Meincke, past President, Royal Commonwealth Society (Ottawa), past President, UPEI
  • Dr. Brian MacPherson, CEO, Commonwealth Games Canada

o  Session IV: “What Can Sport Do For Education?”

brian2Dr. MacPherson has successfully held senior leadership positions in Canadian high performance sport for a quarter century. A former Executive Director at the Federation of Canadian Archers as well as Water Ski & Wakeboard Canada, he also served as CEO for the Canadian Paralymic Committee. During his tenure, Canadian teams produced best-ever results in both summer and winter Paralympic Games.


peter2Peter received degrees from RMC Queens, Toronto an honorary degree from RMC and jubilee medals in 2002 and 2012. He has taught and done research at RMC, Bell Labs, and Toronto. He was president of UPEI 1978-1985 and taught there until retiring in 2001. He has served on many boards and councils and continues to serve on a number of volunteer organizations. He is currently the past president of the Ottawa Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society. His main concerns are choosing the right technologies for sustainable development.

  • Alicia Swinamer, National Director, MYCommonwealth
  • Fawzi Ghosn, MYCommonwealth

o  Session VII: “What Is Commonwealth and Why Is It Important?”

Alicia is a passionate public affairs specialist with experience in youth affairs, international development, federal politics and international trade. Alicia has been actively engaged in Commonwealth organizations for over eight years. In 2012, Alicia co-founded MYCommonwealth (MYC) – a Canadian organization for-youth by-youth that allows them to be represented in the Commonwealth for the first time in Canadian history. In 2012, Alicia was awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee medal for her work in promoting Commonwealth values and youth empowerment.

Fawzi is a strong believer in the power of civil society to influence change.  He is involved in a number of national and international projects which aim to empower and advance the interests of young people. He has represented Canadian youth on multiple occasions and has made presentations to domestic and foreign governments, NGO’s, and other stakeholders. In 2012, Fawzi co-founded MYCommonwealth (MYC) and currently serves as a National Director. After much hard work, he helped make history by getting MYC recognized as the official voice of Canadian youth in the Commonwealth.

  • Patrick Brown, MP & Co-Chair, Canada-India Parliamentary Association

Closing Remarks

pbrown2Patrick studied political science at the University of Toronto and graduated Law School at the University of Windsor, where he was one of 10 recipients of the prestigious Magna Scholarship in his second year. Patrick was first elected to the House of Commons in the 2006 federal election against the incumbent Liberal cabinet minister. He plays a leadership role on international affairs in the current Parliament. He is chairman of the Canada-India Parliamentary Association which focuses on building relations with one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

o Vote of Thanks

imgHusainFor more about Mr. Neemuchwala, please see the CIEC Executive Team.

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