2019 Speakers Biographies



Robert Kuttner

Brandeis University, Heller School for Social Policy and Management


Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect magazine and Meyer and Ida Kirstein Professor at Brandeis University’s Heller School. He was a longtime columnist for Business Week, and for the Washington Post syndicate. He was a founder of the Economic Policy Institute and serves on its board and executive committee.

His magazine writing, covering the interplay of economics and politics, has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and Book Review, The Atlantic, Harpers, The New Republic, New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Mother Jones, Village Voice, Commonweal, Dissent, Foreign Affairs, New Statesman, Political Science Quarterly, Columbia Journalism Review, Harvard Business Review, and Challenge. He has contributed major articles to The New England Journal of Medicine as a national policy correspondent.

His previous positions have included national staff writer and columnist on The Washington Post, chief investigator of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, executive director of President Carter’s National Commission on Neighborhoods, and economics editor of The New Republic.

He is the winner of the Sidney Hillman Journalism Award (twice), the John Hancock Award for Financial Writing, the Jack London Award for Labor Writing, and the Paul Hoffman Award of the United Nations Development Program for his lifetime work on economic efficiency and social justice. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Demos Fellow, Radcliffe Fellow, German Marshall Fund Fellow, Wayne Morse Fellow and John F. Kennedy Fellow.

Robert Kuttner was educated at Oberlin College, The London School of Economics, and the University of California at Berkeley. He holds honorary doctorates from Oberlin and Swarthmore. He has also taught at Boston University, the University of Oregon, University of Massachusetts, and Harvard’s Institute of Politics.

Kuttner is author of twelve books, some of them are:

Most recently:

2008 New York Times Bestseller: Obama’s Challenge: American’s Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency

His 2013 volume on the financial crisis, Debtors’ Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility.  

His best-known earlier book is Everything for Sale: The Virtues and Limits of Markets (1997), which received a page-one review in the New York Times Book Review.

Ed Broadbent

Chair, Board of Directors, The Broadbent Institute


Ed’s concern for the deepening of inequality in Canada has been a consistent theme in all of his professional and volunteer endeavours. First elected to Parliament in 1968, Ed served as an MP for 21 years, 14 of which were spent as leader of the New Democratic Party. During his time in Ottawa, his focus was on Aboriginal and economic rights, women’s equality, child poverty, ethics in government, and tax equality. The founding president of Rights & Democracy, Ed has a Ph.D. in Political Theory and has taught at several prestigious universities. He has been invested as a Member of the Privy Council (1982), Officer of the Order of Canada (1993), and Companion of the Order of Canada (2002).




Roy Culpeper

Chair, Group of 78


Roy Culpeper is a Senior Fellow of the University of Ottawa’s School of International Development and Global Studies, Adjunct Professor at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, and a Fellow of the Broadbent Institute. He is Chair of the Group of 78, and founding Chair of the Coalition for Equitable Land Acquisitions and Development in Africa (CELADA). From January until May 2011 he was Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chair at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Previously he was President and Chief Executive Officer of The North-South Institute, Ottawa. Earlier in his career, he was an official at the World Bank in Washington, the federal Departments of Finance and External Affairs in Ottawa, and the Planning Secretariat of the Government of Manitoba in Winnipeg.


Roy Culpeper obtained his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Toronto. He has published widely on the issues of international development, finance and global governance.


Manfred Bienefeld

Professor Emeritus, School of Policy and Public Administration


Manfred A. Bienefeld is a professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University. His current research interests include, development policy, wages/employment, commodity/capital markets, human capital, technology/industrialization, development and the environment, development in a historical perspective, his area interests include Africa, Canada, the Pacific, and East Asia and his issue interests include, issue interests, the debt crisis  protectionism, industrial policy, planning, privatization, the “newly industrializing countries.” He has edited (with Jane Jenson and Rianne Mahon) Production, Space, Identity, Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press 1993.


Armine Yalnizyan

Former senior economist, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives; Fellow at the Atkinson Foundation

Armine Yalnizyan is a leading voice in Canada’s economic scene. She has just returned to the public sphere, after a 14 month term as Senior Economic Policy Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada. She helped define the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Inequality Project from 2006 to 2016.  She has also worked with the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Democracy; the Mowat Centre; and the Government of Canada’s foresight department, Policy Horizons.

Armine obtained her M.A. in Industrial Relations from the University of Toronto. She has a bilingual B.A. in economics from Glendon College, York University, which included a year of study in economics at Université de Bordeaux, France.


Armine became well-known for her weekly business commentary on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning from 2012 to 2018, and her role on The Big Picture panel, a popular weekly feature of CBC TV’s premier business show, which began as the Lang and O’Leary Exchange in 2010, and ended as On The Money in 2018

She has served on many boards, including the Canadian Institutes for Health Research’s Institute of Population and Public Health. She co-chaired the Economy and Employment committee of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women. Armine also served on advisory groups to the federal government on working time and on voluntary sector initiatives; and to the government of Ontario on welfare reforms and basic income.


Armine is the outgoing President of the Canadian Association for Business Economics, and the inaugural Atkinson Fellow on the Future of Workers.


Peter Venton

 Former senior economist in Ontario Government


Peter Venton was a senior economist in the Ontario Government for 24 years and a university chief financial and administrative officer for 14 years. He holds a MA degree in Economics from Queen’s University. Venton is currently President of JPV Associates consulting in economics and public policy in the public interest. Since his retirement in 2009, he has given a dozen presentations on democracy, capitalism, economic inequality, globalization, environmental sustainability and peace studies in Canada, Europe and Taiwan. The following three, which have been published, are related to the focus of the G78 Policy Conference, Global Markets, Inequality and the Future of Democracy.

“Radical changes in Canadian democracy for ecology and the public good”. In Laura Westra, Janice Gray, Vasiliki Karageorgou (eds), Ecological Systems Integrity. Routledge/Earthscan, Abingdon Oxon, 2015, pp 201-219

“Manifesto for a Movement Progressive”. In Shreesh Juyal and John Duncan (eds). Peace Issues in the 21st Century Global Context. Cambridge Scholars, 2017, pp 353-376

“Pope Francis’s ethics for democratic capitalism and the common good”. In Laura Westra, Janice Gray, Franz-Theo Gottwald (eds) The Role of Integrity in the Governance of the Commons. Springer International Publishing, AG 2017, pp 237-253



John Myles

Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto


John Myles is an emeritus professor of sociology and Senior Fellow in the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto.  Until 2012, he was Canada Research Chair in the Social Foundations of Public Policy and, for many years, Senior Visiting Scholar at Statistics Canada.  He has written widely on the comparative politics of the welfare state and on topics related to income inequality and poverty in Canada. His recent publications include Inequality and the Fading of Redistributive Politics (UBC Press, 2013), co-edited with Keith Banting.

Website:    http://sociology.utoronto.ca/people/faculty-and-staff/john-myles/



Mario Seccareccia

Professor emeritus at the Department of Economics, University of Ottawa


Mario Seccareccia is a professor emeritus at the Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada where he taught for forty years, from 1978 to 2018, in the fields of macroeconomics, monetary theory, labour economics, history of economic thought, and economic history areas in which he has also published extensively. Indeed, he has published over 100 academic articles in scientific refereed journals or chapters of books and has authored or edited a dozen books/textbooks and monographs. He has also edited or co-edited some 40 special issues of journals. Also, some of these publications are of an interdisciplinary nature and cover many areas of political economy.

Mario Seccareccia has been visiting as a professor in a number of universities in France (Université de Bourgogne, Université de Grenoble, Université Paris 13, and Université Paris-Sud) and in Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)), and he participates regularly in policy debate in both Europe and North America. Over the last fifteen years, he has been an editor of the International Journal of Political Economy, an interdisciplinary journal published by Taylor & Francis (Publishers) largely focused on policy questions of national and international scope. Over the years he has received research funding from such varied sources as the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Centre for International Governance and Innovation (CIGI) and the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET).  He has been recipient of a number of awards, the most recent being the Senate Sesquicentennial Medal by the Senate of Canada (2017) and, in 2018, he was recipient of the Patrick J. Welch Award for his co-authored paper “Supra-National Money and the Euro Crisis: Lessons from Karl  Polanyi” published in the Forum for Social Economics in 2017.

Selected Publications



Gordon Betcherman

Professor, School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa


Gordon Betcherman is a Professor in the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa. He also has a cross-appointment to the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. His research interests are in labour economics, social policy, trade and employment, and the economics of development.  Professor Betcherman’s recent publications include co-editing Jobs for Development: Challenges and Solutions in Different Country Settings (Oxford University Press) and articles on labour market regulation in developing countries, youth employment in sub-Saharan Africa, and livelihood trends in Vietnamese fishing villages. He was a co-author of the World Bank’s 2013 World Development Report on Jobs. Dr. Betcherman is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Labor Studies (IZA) in Germany. He joined the University of Ottawa in 2009 after 11 years at the World Bank. He is regularly engaged as a consultant and advisor for the World Bank and the International Development Research Centre. Dr. Betcherman holds a PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles.



Leilani Farha

 UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing; Executive Director, Canada without Poverty


Leilani Farha is a lawyer and an alumna of the University of Toronto and has been an Executive Director of Canada Without Poverty.

In her tenure as Special Rapporteur, she has focused on economic inequality and an absence of effective political representation for the poor as causes of homelessness or inadequate accommodation. Farha campaigns for the right to adequate housing for marginalized groups, she worked in Canada to implement United Nations resolutions that see homelessness as a violation of human rights. Farha has taken part in missions worldwide to examine the condition of housing rights and to develop policies to implement those rights


Katherine Scott

Senior Economist, CCPA, gender equality and public policy


Katherine is a Senior Researcher with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and serves as the director for its gender equality and public policy work. She has worked in the community sector as a researcher, writer and advocates over the past 20 years, writing on a range of issues from social policy to inequality to funding for nonprofits. She is passionate about research that speaks to the aspirations of communities and supports collective action for change.

She has served as Vice President of Research at the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) for several years and, in recent years, has produced research and analysis for organizations such as Prosper Canada, Volunteer Canada, Capacity Canada, Pathways to Education Canada, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Katherine lives in Ottawa with her family. She holds degrees in political science from Queen’s University and York University.

Selected Publications


 Ellen D. Russell

 Associate professor in Digital Media and Journalism and Social and Environmental Justice programs, Wilfrid Laurier University


Ellen D. Russell is an associate professor in Digital Media and Journalism and Social and Environmental Justice programs at Wilfrid Laurier University, and was formerly a senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.  She is interested in inequality, austerity and wage stagnation, and the economic discourses that impede more equitable labour market transformation.   Her recent publications include “Resisting Divide and Conquer: Worker/Environmental Alliances and the Problem of Economic Growth” (Capitalism Nature Socialism), “Why the Rising Tide Does not Lift all Boats: Wages and Bargaining Power in Neoliberal Canada.” with Mathieu Dufour. She received her PhD in economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.



Julie Delahanty

Executive Director, Oxfam Canada

Julie Delahanty, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada since 2014, is a leader on gender equality and human rights with more than 25 years of international development experience. Before joining Oxfam, she was the Director of the Central America Program for Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and has served as the Director of CIDA’s Gender Equality and Child Protection Division and Deputy Director for Human Rights at the Department of Foreign Affairs.  Julie has written extensively on issues of gender and employment, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and globalization.  She sits on the Executive Board of Oxfam International where she acts as the gender champion for the world-wide influencing and campaigning work, chairs the Gender Justice Committee and is a member of the Safeguarding Task Force for the organization.



Lars Osberg

 Professor of Economics, Dalhousie University


Lars Osberg is McCulloch Professor of Economics at Dalhousie University, Halifax. Borne in Ottawa, Ontario, he attended Queen’s University, Kingston and the London School of Economics and Political Science before working for the Tanzania Sisal Corporation as a CUSO volunteer. He went to Yale University for his Ph.D. and was at Western before moving to Dalhousie.  He has had visiting positions at New York University and the Universities of Cambridge, Sydney, New South Wales, Essex and Queensland, as well as Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA), Dar es Salaam, the Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research, Mumbai, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Paris and The Institute for New Economic Thinking, Oxford.

His first book was Economic Inequality in Canada (1981) and there have been ten other since, plus four editions of an introductory economics textbook and numerous refereed articles. In June 2019, he was awarded the Doug Purvis Memorial Prize for contribution to Canadian Economic Policy by the Canadian Economics Association for his most recent book The Age of Increasing Inequality: The Astonishing Rise of Canada’s 1%. Among other professional responsibilities, he was President of the Canadian Economics Association in 1999-2000. His current research emphasizes the measurement of economic well-being and the implications of increasing inequality, economic insecurity and inequality of opportunity.



Toby Sanger

Executive Director, Canadians for Tax Fairness


Toby Sanger has been executive director of Canadians for Tax Fairness since October 2018.  Prior to that, he worked as the economist for the Canadian Union of Public Employees, chief economist for the Yukon government, as a college lecturer in economics, principal economic policy advisor to the Ontario Minister of Finance, economic researcher at the House of Commons and as a consulting economist on labour, environmental and First Nations issues. 


While working in government Toby was closely involved in the preparation of the Ontario and Yukon government budgets. He has written many reports and commentaries on various taxation and economic issues and frequently appears in the media, on panels and provides presentations. He has served on a range of different professional boards and councils, including currently on the council of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice and on the steering group of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation.  

More Information about Canadians For Tax Fairness: www.taxfairness.ca/ 


Angella MacEwen

Senior Economist, Canadian Union of Public Employees


Angella MacEwen is the Senior Economist at CUPE, where her focus is on the impacts of social policy and broader economic trends for workers, especially climate policy and international trade and investment treaties. A research associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives since 2006, Angella is a regular contributor to their Alternative Federal Budget. She’s also a policy fellow with the Broadbent Institute and sits on the steering committee of the Progressive Economics Forum. She holds a Masters in Economics from Dalhousie University and an undergraduate degree in International Development Studies from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.