Convention 2017 Agenda

Below you’ll find the agenda for the GPO 2017 Muskoka Convention & AGM. Times & activities are subject to change.

The Equity Officer for the Convention will be Norbert D' Costa. (updated GPO Equity Policy)

Download the 2017 Delegate Package

Details will be added as they are confirmed. 


Friday May 26




3:00 PM Registration Opens  
4:00 PM Walking tour of the local HydroElectric Facility  
6:00 PM Introductory Breakout Sessions
(Choose from 3)
Meet other convention goers and discuss the upcoming convention through a specific lens.
Group A: Introduction to Conventions
For new delegates & those that need a refresher
Group B: Campaigns & election
For those who want to talk election strategy and campaigning
Group C: Policy 
For those who want to discuss policy and resolutions
7:00 PM Dinner  
7:30 PM Presentation: A Living Wage Kelly Watson, Muskoka Brewery
8:00 PM Speaker BC Green MLA Adam Olsen
8:30 PM Table Talks - a series of short issue based presentations  

Saturday May 27

8:30 AM Official Welcome by Co-hosts Matt Richter & Arleigh Luckett
8:45 AM President's address Matthew Casselman
9:00 AM Overview of policy process Matthew Casselman
9:15 AM Official Convention Open  
  --CFO Report  
  --Plenary: Debate and voting on constitutional resolutions  
10:45 AM Break  
11:00 AM MEMBERS ONLY SESSION  Mike Schreiner & Becky Smit
12:15 PM Lunch  
1:00 PM Plenary: Debate and voting on constitutional and policy resolutions  
2:00 PM Break  
Doors Open Presentation: The story of how Guelph welcomed 50 Syrian families to the communtiy Sara Sayyed
3:15 PM Doors Open: Workshop Sessions
(Choose from 3 options)
Session A: Issue Panel: Poverty in Ontario
Session B: How to Grow a Certified B Corporation (Sustainable Business)
Session C: Elections Ontario: CFO Training on finance reform (closed session)
4:15 PM Leader's Keynote Address  Mike Schreiner
5:00 PM Break  
6:00 PM Reception   
7:00 PM Gala Dinner Begins  
  --Keynote Speaker Desmond Cole
10:30 PM Hospitality Suite   


Sunday May 28

9:30 AM Workshop Sessions
(Choose from 3 options)
Session A: Public Speaking Training
Speaker: Ron Servant

Session B: Carbon Fee & Dividend
Speaker: David Robinson

Session C: Data Driven Campaigning
Speakers: Nick Carter and Sonia Theroux
11:00 AM Break  
11:15 AM Plenary: Debate and voting on policy resolutions  
12:30 PM Lunch & Presentation: Accessibility issues in Ontario and what the Disability Channel is aiming to do Jay Stoyan, The Disability Channel
2:00 PM Plenary: Debate and voting on policy resolutions  
3:00 PM Close  



Desmond ColeDesmond Cole
Keynote Speaker, Gala Dinner
Speaking Saturday May 27, 7:00 pm

Desmond Cole is an activist, author, and award-winning freelance journalist. He writes regularly for the Toronto Star, and his work can also be found in Toronto Life, Walrus, NOW, Ethnic Aisle, and many other publications. Desmond won the award for Best New Magazine Writer at the 2016 National Magazine Awards. He is currently working on his first book, a non-fiction exploration of the experiences of Black people in Canada.


Kelly Watson, Muskoka BreweryKelly Watson, Muskoka Brewery
Speaking Friday May 26, 7:45 pm

Kelly Watson is the Director of People and Development at Muskoka Brewery. Muskoka Brewery is the first Muskoka business to be certified as a “living wage” employer.


Adam Olsen, MLA, Sannich North and The IslandsAdam Olsen, BC MLA (Sannich North and The Islands)
Speaking Friday, May 26, 8:00pm via Skypepe

Adam was a two term Municipal Councillor (2008-2013) in Central Saanich where he was the Chair of the Planning and Development Committee and represented the community on numerous regional committees including the Regional Housing Trust Fund. He has worked hard to address derelict and abandoned boats and clean up the Saanich Inlet. He was an intervenor in the National Energy Board hearings on the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project (Kinder Morgan), passionately arguing for the defence of the Salish Sea. Adam has also led the community effort to stop the Malahat LNG gas liquefaction plant proposed for Bamberton in the Saanich Inlet, which would see up to 122 LNG carriers visit each year. He was elected to the BC Legislature on 9 May, 2017.


Jay Stoyan, The Disability ChannelJay Stoyan, The Disability Channel
Speaking Sunday May 28, 1:00 pm

Jay Stoyan grew up in Toronto with the disability “Familial Mediterranean Fever”, which is an incurable illness, however he did not let this stop his thirst for life or his ability to overcome obstacles. This has led to the following resume in the TV world, interviewing such stars as OPRAH, Jeff Bridges, Michael Moore, LT. Gov. David Onley, and many more. From sports, news, music and entertainment, Jay gets the skinny and brings out the best in his guest with interesting and entertaining interviews and great performances.


Sarah SayyedSara Sayyed
Speaking Saturday May 27, 2:15 pm

Sara Sayyed has been an active member and volunteer with the Muslim Society of Guelph for a number of years, doing outreach and speaking to various groups about the role and importance of Muslims in the Canadian Landscape . Currently, she is a board member with Meezan School. Sara has also spent the past 18 months coordinating efforts to settle Syrian Refugees to Guelph.
When the Muslim Society was approached to help coordinate efforts to bring Syrian Refugees to Guelph, her involvement reached a whole new level as she took on the role of Director of Volunteers with the Guelph Refugee Consortium. Since then, Sara has screened, trained, mentored and oriented approximately 700 volunteers who have helped the Syrian families coming to Guelph. She has also been coordinating services and resources and other directors as families settle in and the needs continue to change. “A highlight of this intensive process was when the first family came to town and she was able to see all the preparations roll out and the volunteers jump into action.”


Mike Schreiner, Leader, Green Party of OntarioMike Schreiner: Leader of the Green Party of Ontario
Speaking Saturday, May 27, 4:15 pm

Mike Schreiner was elected leader of the Green Party of Ontario on November 14, 2009. Under Mike’s leadership the GPO has experienced substantial growth in its identified supporters, fundraising, staff, volunteers and media exposure. He has lead successful policy campaigns to push the provincial government to fund the Experimental Lakes Area, ban neonicotinoid pesticides and price carbon pollution. A leading advocate for independent businesses, local food and sustainable communities, Mike is well known for his leadership in co-founding the award-winning Local Food Plus organization and for his successful Guelph-based small businesses, WOW Foods and Earthdance Organics.


Ronald Servant
Speaking Sunday, May 28, 9:30 AM (Workshop Session A - Introduction to Public Speaking and Connecting with your Audience)

Ronald Servant has had a long time interest in public speaking, and has been actively developing the skill for 5 years now. He has delivered hundreds of speeches and learned from each one. Ron has been a member of the Green Party of Ontario and Green Party of Canada for over 10 years. He's held various roles on EDAs and CAs. He's currently President of the Kanata-Carleton CA provincially. Through this session he hopes to help Greens get elected!

Note: 2016 Convention minutes available here.