Each year Public Interest Alberta hosts an advocacy conference addressing pressing public interest issues in Alberta. These conferences are essential opportunities to work with other individuals and organizations in developing public solutions that strengthen our communities and provide us with the tools to mobilize us into action to build a better Alberta for all.

14th Annual Public Interest Alberta Conference 

Our Power: Creating a Just Future for All 

Conference Wrap Up & All Sessions→

13th Annual Public Interest Alberta Conference
Our Public Services: Protecting and Revitalizing in Uncertain Times

April 4 - 5, 2019
Chateau Louis Conference Centre, Edmonton

Keynote April 3 in Calgary

Keynote Speaker: Trish Hennessy, Executive Director of Upstream

Conference Wrap Up


2018 - Alberta at the Crossroads: Forward, Not Back


Opening Keynote Speaker: Alex Himelfarb, former Clerk of the Privy Council and editor of Tax is Not a Four-Letter Word
Closing Keynote Speaker: Diana Gibson, Research Associate, Canadians for Tax Fairness

Speakers and moderators:

  • Ricardo Acuña, Parkland Institute
  • Gillian Steward, Toronto Star columnist
  • Michael Janz, Edmonton Public School Board
  • Jennifer Tupper, University of Alberta, Faculty of Education
  • Lewis Cardinal
  • Charlene Bearhead, National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women
  • Kevin Taft
  • Laurie Adkin, University of Alberta, Department of Political Science
  • Nikki Way, Pembina Institute

Conference wrap up

2017 - Bold Advocacy for Big Changes

Keynote Speaker: Erika Shaker, Director of Education and Outreach, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Speakers and moderators:

  • Ian Hussey, Parkland Institute
  • Adrienne Silnicki, Canadian Health Coalition
  • Sandra Azocar, Friends of Medicare
  • Michael Janz, Edmonton Public School Board
  • Hilary Gough, Saskatoon City Council
  • Michael Phair, University of Alberta Board of Governors
  • David Climenhaga, United Nurses of Alberta
  • Mariam Ibrahim, Alberta Union of Provincial Employees
  • Chris Chang-Yen Phillips, Edmonton's Historian Laureate
  • Reakash Walters, Black Lives Matter, Bread and Roses
  • Claire Edwards, Camp FYrefly
  • Diane Connors, Council of Canadians

Conference wrap up

2016 - Advocacy in a Time of Opportunity

Keynote Speakers: 

  • Larry Brown, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Elaine Bernard, Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School

Conference wrap up

2015 - A Just and Fair Alberta for All: Making it Happen

Keynote Speaker: Avi Lewis

Plenary speakers:

  • Asbjørn Wahl, Norwegian Union of General and Municipal Employees
  • Sarah Hainds, Chicago Teachers’ Union
  • Colleen Fuller, Health Policy Researcher
  • Bill Phipps, Social Justice Advocate

2014 - Reasserting the Public Good in a Corporatized World

Keynote Speaker: Vandana Shiva 

Plenary speakers:

  • Dr. Alex Himelfarb, Former Clerk of the Privy Council
  • Dr. Craig Holman, Government Affairs Lobbyist for Public Citizen

2013 - Fighting for Our Future: People Power vs. Corporate Control

conference 2013

Keynote Panel - Fighting for our Future, Speakers: Linda McQuaig, Crystal Lameman, Peas Peas Ayui, Gregor MacLennan

Plenary speakers: 

  • Afsar Jafri, Coordinator Focus on the Global South, Focus-India
  • Sean Devlin, founder and Creative Director of Truthfool Communications, and founder of ShitHarperDid.com
  • Kevin Millsip, Co-founder & Director of Next Up
  • Julia Pope, Director of Strategic Communications at Leadnow.ca

2012 - Make Shift Happen: Mobilizing the Power of the People

Conference Banner

Keynote speaker: John Ralston Saul

Plenary speakers:

  • Armine Yalnizyan, Senior Economist, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Dr. Danielle Martin, Board Chair, Canadian Doctors for Medicare
  • Anil Naidoo, Coordinator, Blue Planet Project

2011 - Mobilizing for a Better Alberta: Strong Communities, Public Solutions

Conference poster image

Keynote speaker: Dr. Dennis Shirley, Professor, Lynch School of Education, Boston College

Plenary speakers:

  • Rob Hopkins (via live video feed), Co-Founder, Transition Town Movement
  • Dr. Ritika Goel, Co-Founder, Students for Medicare
  • Dr. Trevor Harrison, Professor of Sociology, University of Lethbridge
  • Walter Davis, Executive Director, National Organizers Alliance

Visit our YouTube Channel to check out videos from this conference and more.

2010 - Worth Fighting For: Public Solutions and Our Common Future

Keynote speaker: David Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and Agenda for a New Economy

Plenary speakers:

  • Robert Chernomas, Professor of Economics at the University of Manitoba
  • Alex Molnar, an expert on the commercialization of public education from Arizona State University
  • Natalie Mehra, Ontario Health Coalition
  • Ricardo Acuna, Executive Director of the Parkland Institute
  • Meera Karunananthan, National Water Campaigner for the Council of Canadians

2009 - Beyond Band Aids and Bailouts: Public Solutions in Critical Times

Keynote speaker: Judy Rebick, CAW-Sam Gindin Chair, Social Justice & Democracy, Ryerson University

Plenary speakers:

  • Dr. Elaine Bernard, Executive Director, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School
  • Margrete Strand Rangnes, Deputy Director, Blue Green Alliance
  • Dr. Robert Woollard, Canadian Doctors for Medicare
  • Diana Gibson, Parkland Institute

2008 - Not for Sale: Promoting Public Solutions in Today's Alberta

Speakers: Avi Lewis, Allyson Pollock, Deb Brennan, Heather-jane Robertson and Maude Barlow

2007 - 1st Annual Conference, Changing Alberta: Pursuing the Public Interest

Keynote speaker: Tony Clarke, President, Polaris Institute

Plenary speakers:

  • Tyson Slocum, Director, Public Citizen's Energy Program in Washington D.C.
  • Annie Kidder, Executive Director and Co-Founder, People for Education
  • Monica Lysack, Executive Director, Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada