The Summit on Youth in Nova Scotia Economy took place on March 19th and 20th 2014 at Dalhousie University. For a summary of events and outcomes from the Summit, please see our Summit Report – July 2014.


Students Nova Scotia invites students, business leaders, educators, public servants and other community members to attend our Summit on Youth in the Nova Scotia Economy. The Summit will explore the challenges facing youth at different stages in the journey from high school, to post-secondary, to getting established in the labour market and building a life following graduation.

All sessions will be held at the Dalhousie University Club on the Halifax Dalhousie campus at 1 Alumni Cres.

March 19th, 5:30 pm: co-hosted with Fusion Halifax and Digital Nova Scotia
A casual evening with facilitated conversation about the economic opportunities and challenges for youth in Nova Scotia. Appetizers and innovation provided free of charge.

March 20, starting at 9:00 am:

(1) the Post-Secondary System’s Role in Preparing Youth for the Labour Market

(2) Youth Transitions to the Labour Market

(3) Beyond the Transition: Expectations and Obstacles Facing Recent Graduates

We aim to create a collaborative environment for discussion. Further details on our excellent confirmed speakers and panelists are provided on pages 2 and 3 of this invitation. Check out the agenda.

Participants, speakers and panelists must register for the day event.

 The Summit is free of cost and travel can be covered for students through their student associations.

Keynote Speakers

Sandra McKenzie was appointed Deputy Minister of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education in January 2012. Prior to that, she served as Acting Deputy Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. She has extensive government experience, including more than two decades with the Province of Nova Scotia in the fields of adult education, workforce development, and policy and planning. Ms. McKenzie previously chaired the Ships Start Here Partnership of government and business leaders and currently chairs the Atlantic Workforce Partnership Deputy Ministers’ Steering Committee. She is also a member of Nova Scotia’s Treasury and Policy Board and the Policy and Planning Office. Ms. McKenzie holds a Bachelor of Design from NSCAD University and an MPA from Dalhousie University. She is a past member of the Board of Directors for Pier 21 and is a member of the Board of the Halifax Youth Foundation, the Province House Credit Union, and several community- and school-related volunteer boards.
Andrew Langille is a Toronto based labour lawyer and an internationally recognized labour law scholar. Andrew holds a Master of Laws in Labour Relations and Employment Law from Osgoode Hall Law School, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Windsor, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Political Science from the University of Guelph. His research on the legal regulation of the school-to-labour market transition has been utilized by a large number of organizations, including the Tax Court of Canada, the Law Commission of Ontario, and Australia’s Fair Work Ombudsman. He acts as labour relations expert for organizations, as legal counsel to individuals and organizations on labour, employment, and human rights matters, and as a strategic consultant to organizations and political parties on economic and labour market issues affecting youths.

Paul Kershaw is a farmer morning and night. By day, he is a University of BC professor, public speaker, volunteer, and regular media contributor. In these latter roles, Kershaw founded the Generation Squeeze campaign, which thousands have joined from coast to coast in order to build a powerful organization to speak up for Younger Canada. Kershaw is one of Canada’s top thinkers about generational equity with Canadian Family magazine describing him as “the ‘Generation Squeeze’ guru.” Twice the Canadian Political Science Association has awarded Kershaw national prizes for his research. “Armed with a laptop and a raft of statistics,” the Vancouver Province describes Kershaw as “a one-man road show trying to change BC one talk at a time.” He brings that commitment to all provinces in support of a Canada that works for all generations. At the University of BC, Kershaw is a faculty member in the Human Early Learning Partnership in the School of Population and Public Health, where he is a Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation Scholar.

Other confirmed speakers, panelists and hosts:

  • Ann Sylliboy, Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey
  • Ather Akbari, Professor, St. Mary’s University
  • Ava Czapalay, Senior Executive Director, Universities and Colleges Branch (NSGOV)
  • Bob Parker, Director of Research, Students Nova Scotia
  • Chris Glover, Student Leadership Manager, Dalhousie University
  • Christine Frigault, Career Planning Services Coordinator, Mount St. Vincent University
  • Clarence DeSchiffart, Coordinator- Career Development & Essential Skills, NSCC
  • Darcy Shea, Vice-President Academic, Acadia Students’ Union
  • David Fleming, Executive Director, North End Business Association
  • David Wheeler, President, Cape Breton University
  • Donna Safatli, PhD Candidate, University of New Brunswick
  • Fred Morley, Executive Vice President and Chief Economist, the Greater Halifax Partnership
  • Gillian Wesley, Owner, the Local Traveller
  • Gorba Bhandari, President, St. Mary’s University Students’ Association
  • Jeremy Mott, President, Kingstec Nova Scotia Community College Student Association
  • John Read, Owner, Colibri Software
  • Karen Foster, Banting Fellow, St. Mary’s University
  • Leonard Diepeveen, Professor, Dalhousie Faculty Association
  • Marguerite Drescher, Graphic Recorder and Facilitator, Brave Space
  • Mary Morrissey, Executive Director, Prior Learning Assessment Centre
  • Matthew Latimer, President, Cape Breton University Students’ Union
  • Patti Doyle-Bedwell, Professor and Transition Year Program Director, Dalhousie University
  • Paula Barry, Manager, MSVU International Education Centre
  • Peter Moorhouse, Vice-President People, T4G
  • Robyn Webb, Director Labour Market Development, Greater Halifax Partnership
  • Sasha McEachern Caputo, MA Candidate, University of New Brunswick
  • Sherry Ross, Student Employment Centre Acting Manager, St. Mary’s University
  • Tova Sherman, CEO, Reachability

…as well as other representatives from Digital Nova Scotia, Fusion Halifax, Immigrant Settlement and Integration Services, and Students Nova Scotia.