Event Image Details - featured (featured && panelist=0||1)
Thursday, January 19, 2017
12:00 PM
 - 1:30 PM
Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building, 255 Front Street West

The Strategists

Moderated by Don Newman, with Kathleen Monk, David Herle and Jaime Watt
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Predicting and Prognosticating in advance of the U.S. Inauguration

In anticipation of the upcoming U.S. presidential inauguration, join The StrategistsKathleen Monk, David Herle and Jaime Watt – in a discussion moderated by Don Newman, as they look forward to the future of Canada-U.S. relations.  They will bring their experience inside political back rooms and the highest offices of power to our stage and share their insights on the election’s implications and what challenges and changes Canadians can expect to see in the next four years. 


(This event is a continuation of the series and panel participants formerly known as The Insiders, who have brought you “A master class in Canadian politics” and “2015 Federal Election Forecast”)



Don Newman (Senior Counsel, Navigator Ltd.)

His depth of experience, expertise and vast networks in media, politics and business, enable Don Newman to provide valuable strategic public affairs, communications and media advice.

One of Canada’s most respected journalists and an award-winning broadcaster, his career spans five decades. He is a Member of the Order of Canada, a life-member and past president of the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery, and has numerous other honours, awards and honorary degrees.

As Senior Parliamentary Editor of CBC Television News for over two decades, he anchored major live news and election specials in Canada and the U.S., as well as his must-watch political affairs programs (“Politics”, “This Week in Parliament”, and “Capital Report”) and National Remembrance Day Ceremonies. Don Newman helped launch CBC’s all-news channel, CBC News Network, the first of its kind in Canada, and negotiated with the Supreme Court of Canada to allow live coverage of its major decisions. He also reported for “The National” and was U.S. correspondent for CBC and CTV, a reporter for The Globe and Mail and Winnipeg newspapers, and a broadcaster on the Prairies.

In addition to being a public affairs consultant, Don Newman is a public speaker, event moderator, political commentator, and a recent author. His career memoir “Welcome to the Broadcast” was published by HarperCollins in 2013.**

He is also the Chairman of the Advisory Board of Canada 2020, a think tank offering policy solutions for the future; Chair of the Nominating Committee at the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council; Executive Member of the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom; a Director of the Canadian Club of Toronto, and volunteers his time for non-profit groups. He and his wife Shannon Day are supporters of the Arts.

Kathleen Monk (Public Affairs & Campaign Strategist)

Kathleen is a senior strategic communications and campaign strategist who brings over 15 years of experience in media, politics and the non-profit sector to Earnscliffe. She is trusted by political and business leaders to navigate complex public strategy issues, and excels at bringing together diverse stakeholders to tell authentic stories that deliver results.

Dedicating her energies to advocacy campaigns and digital engagement, Kathleen offers Earnscliffe clients valuable insight into the strategies and tactics best used to target, engage and persuade the public, capitalizing on windows of opportunity to accelerate change in clients’ interests.

A prominent and highly sought media commentator on politics and public affairs, Kathleen appears regularly on CBC The National’s preeminent political panel, The Insiders, and has been named one of the 100 most influential people in government and politics by The Hill Times.

She was the founding Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute, a progressive organization focused on public policy and training. Prior to that, she served as Director of Strategic Communications for former NDP leader Jack Layton. Before entering her career in politics, Kathleen worked in newsrooms Toronto, Ottawa and Washington, D.C..

Kathleen holds an MSc in Politics and Communication from the London School of Economics, where she was awarded a Chevening Scholarship by the British Council and holds an Honours BA from Trent University. She remains an active volunteer with Equal Voice where she focuses on how to field, nurture and promote more women candidates to every level of political office in Canada.

David Herle (Principal Partner, The Gandalf Group)

David Herle is one of Canada’s most sought after public affairs and corporate strategists, having helped CEOs manage crises, union leaders shape their public appeals and directing winning campaigns for both prime ministers and premiers.

With more than 20 years of experience in research and communications analysis, David has built a reputation as a source of smart, strategic and strong counsel. David’s strategic and political acumen can be seen on CBC’s The National, where he provides biweekly commentary on “The Insiders” panel.

With his dual expertise in strategy and research, David excels in brand image and reputation management. He has helped clients like Maple Leaf Foods with crisis management and brand recovery. He has worked with industries like nuclear power to reposition them publicly within the context of a more environmentally-conscious marketplace. He has worked with consumer brands to reposition them in dynamic markets.

David’s policy experience includes working on nine consecutive federal government budgets, most notably the landmark 1995 budget that paved the way for eliminating the federal deficit by dramatically cutting government spending. That budget turned conventional political wisdom on its head by making a “bad news” budget a huge political success.

David also served as Premier Kathleen Wynne’s campaign co-chair and steered the Ontario Liberals to a majority government in 2014. As the national campaign chair for the Liberal Party, he also helped to engineer the Right Honourable Paul Martin’s electoral victory in 2004. In 2016, he was awarded the Reed Award from Campaigns and Elections for the best international political advertising campaign for his work on the Justin Trudeau Liberal campaign.

He is frequently featured as a speaker and lecturer at universities and conferences on such topics as politics, economic policy, consumer and brandings issues, energy, health care, crisis management, agriculture, and the environment.

A Saskatchewan native, David earned his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Regina and was called to the Bar in Ontario after receiving his LLB from the University of Saskatchewan.

Jaime Watt (Executive Chairman, Navigator Ltd.)

Jaime Watt is the Executive Chairman of Navigator Ltd. He specializes in complex public strategy issues, serving both domestic and international clients in the corporate, professional services, not-for-profit, and government sectors.

‪He is a trusted advisor to business leaders as well as political leaders at all three levels of government across Canada. Jaime has led ground-breaking election campaigns that have transformed politics because of their boldness and creativity.

‪Jaime is immediate past president of the Albany Club, Canada’s oldest political club. He also serves on the boards of many other organizations including the Canada Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation in Toronto, OCAD University and Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. As well, he chairs the Capital Campaign for Casey House, Canada’s pioneer AIDS hospice, and is past president of the Canadian Club of Toronto, Canada’s oldest podium of record.

Deeply involved with efforts to promote equality and human rights issues, he was the inaugural recipient of Egale’s Lifetime Achievement Award and has been awarded the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals for service to the community. He recently received Out on Bay Street’s Leader to be Proud of Award. Jaime has been elected to the College of Fellows of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, is a Toronto Heritage Companion, and was recently named one of Toronto’s most influential citizens.

‪A highly regarded speaker, Jaime appears often as a public affairs commentator in the media. He is a regular contributor to the CBC, and appears on its flagship news program The National with Peter Mansbridge.


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