This year’s annual advocacy conference, “Advocacy in a Time of Opportunity” took place on the April 14 and 15th, 2016. With nearly 160 participants, our largest conference to date, we delved into important questions for all Albertans in the new political context at both the provincial and federal levels.On Thursday evening, we heard from President of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Secretary-Treasurer of NUPGE, Larry Brown, who shared his thoughts on political advocacy in Alberta and why it was needed, now more than ever.
Friday morning featured a fantastic panel, “Advocacy in the new Alberta context” with panellists Ricardo Acuna (Parkland Institute), Sandra Azocar (Friends of Medicare), Julie Hrdlicka (Calgary Board of Education Trustee, Wards 11 and 13), and Colleen Huston and Brad Robertson (Disability Action Hall).
We then went into Table Discussions where conference participants were asked how their work has changed in the new political context and what opportunities and tactics can help us achieve positive change. View the compiled notes from the morning table discussions, here.
After lunch, we held a panel discussion entitled, “Making Waves: Ideas for Change” with panellists Line Perron (Early Childhood Development Support Services), Dennis Theobald (Alberta Teacher’s Association), and Noel Somerville (PIA Seniors’ Task Force).Participants were then asked to choose an area of interest and attend corresponding workshops. Each workshop had an activator, facilitator, and note-taker. Thanks to the note-taking skills of volunteers in each workshop, we are happy to share with you the following notes:
- Human Services and Poverty
- Seniors (coming soon!)
- Childcare and K-12 Education
- Post-Secondary Education
Elaine Bernard, Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, closed off the conference on Friday afternoon with a riveting talk about citizen and labour engagement with progressive governments.We’ve received great feedback on both the afternoon workshops and the morning’s table discussions. Thank you to all who participated in this year's conference and a special thanks to all of this year’s volunteers! We look forward to seeing familiar faces along with new ones at next year’s annual advocacy conference!