Public Interest Alberta's 12th annual advocacy conference

April 5-6, 2018
Chateau Louis Conference Centre, Edmonton (April 4 in Calgary)
Conference Hashtag: #PIAConf

Keynote Presentation

Alex Himelfarb

Alex Himelfarb
Rebalancing Power: Collective Action for the Common Good

Alex Himelfarb is Professor Emeritus of the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs. A federal public servant for twenty-eight years before his retirement in 2009, he served as Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to Cabinet for three prime ministers, as Canada’s Ambassador to Italy, as Deputy Minister of Canadian Heritage, and in senior positions in numerous ministries and agencies. You can also check out Alex's personal blog.

Keynote description

The directions of low taxes, deregulation, privatization, wealth inequality, and deunionization have been embraced by governments around the world for decades, united under the ideology of neoliberalism. Those ideas are now being increasingly questioned in public discourse, but a new, cohesive story to replace them has yet to be written. Alex Himelfarb’s keynote address will explore how we reassert the power of working people, provide economic security in a time of precarious work, and rebuild the collective action toolkit we will need to move these ideas forward.

**To purchase tickets solely for the Calgary (April 4) or Edmonton (April 5) keynote event, register at our dedicated Edmonton and Calgary event pages. If you're registering for the entire conference (which includes the keynote in either Edmonton or Calgary), proceed to the bottom of the page to register.

Closing Keynote Presentation


Diana Gibson

Diana Gibson is a social scientist who has published extensively and provided social commentary on labour and social justice issues ranging from tax fairness and health care reform to the socioeconomic impacts of pipelines for First Nations. She is a Principal with PolicyLink Research Canada, a Distinguished Research Advisor with the Parkland Institute, a Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and a founder and communications advisor with Canadians for Tax Fairness. Diana is also a social entrepreneur who has started multiple successful cooperatives and mission-driven businesses including founding The Firelight Group of which she is a former CEO and Director.

Conference Overview

In the final year before Alberta’s next provincial election, both citizens and political parties will need to decide which direction we want to take our province. Do we go backward by taking the regressive approach of massive cuts to public services, growing poverty, and greater income inequality? Or do we go forward in progressive directions by increasing government revenue through fair taxation, revitalizing public services, and strengthening our democracy?

Public Interest Alberta’s 12th annual advocacy conference will explore such important topics as climate change, reconciliation, democracy, and tax revenue. It will include workshops aimed at action to improve our public services, including child care, education, post-secondary education, seniors care, health care, and human services and poverty. Join activists and advocates from across the province as we come together with the aim of guiding Alberta on the road to greater fairness, justice, and equality.

Registration closes March 28, 2018.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding registration, please contact our office at 780-420-0471 or


*A detailed and complete schedule will be forthcoming as further speakers are confirmed. Check back soon for further updates!

Wednesday, April 4th: 7:00 pm Keynote address by Alex Himelfarb in Calgary - same as Edmonton event

Thursday, April 5th: 1:30 - 4:00 pm Pre-Conference Workshop on Understanding Provincial Budgets and Tax Revenue presented by Diana Gibson.

Thursday, April 5th: 7:00 pm Keynote address and reception with Alex Himelfarb in Edmonton - same as Calgary event

Friday, April 6th: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm full-day conference in Edmonton with closing keynote address by Diana Gibson


Hotel Accommodation

The conference is being held at the Chateau Louis Hotel and Conference Centre (11727 Kingsway Ave NW, Edmonton)

Accommodation at the Chateau Louis Hotel:
    $119 Queen single occupancy
    $129 King single occupancy
    $131 Queen double occupancy
    $141 King double occupancy
    $175 Queen 2 beds, up to four people

A full breakfast buffet is included with all rooms. Phone the hotel at 780-452-7770 or 1-800-661-9843 and mention that you are attending our conference to receive the preferred rates listed above. You can also register online and enter the group code 1804PUBLIC to receive the discount.


Information for the conference location, time, and registration is below. Current members of Public Interest Alberta are eligible to register with a conference discount. If you wish to become a member or need to renew, please visit our Members area to sign up.

Conference Location and Time


April 04, 2018 at 7pm - April 06, 2018


Chateau Louis Conference Centre
11727 Kingsway NW
Edmonton, AB T5G 3A1
Google map and directions


Monica Walker · · (780) 420-0471

Will you come?

$180.00 Full conference and keynote - for non-members

Registration includes attendance for the full conference as well as the keynote speaker.

$140.00 Full conference and keynote - for Public Interest Alberta members

Registration includes attendance for the full conference as well as the keynote speaker.

$20.00 Keynote speaker registration - extra tickets

Registration for extra tickets to only the keynote event.