International policy conference to be held at UPEI

Conference honours the late Jim Palmer, direct descendant of one of the Fathers of Confederation
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Trade and commerce, environment and energy, and defence and security are topics that affect all Canadians. As a leader for innovation and social development, the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) will host the 2017 Palmer Conference this summer to welcome discussion on these important topics.

First held in 2010, the Palmer Conference on Public Sector Leadership brings together business leaders, policy experts, academics, and government representatives to discuss matters of national policy. The conference was established to honour Jim Palmer, a PEI native who was a direct descendant of Edward Palmer, one of the Fathers of Confederation, and partner at a Calgary law firm, Burnet Duckworth and Palmer LLP. It welcomes a diverse range of panelists and attendees from across Canada and the United States. The theme of this year’s conference is “Canadian-American Relations in a Changing World”, and takes place from August 29 to 31 on the UPEI campus.

“With our shared border and positive relations, Canada and the United States are friends and partners. This conference offers Canadians the opportunity to discuss current issues facing our country today,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). “Open and constructive dialogue has been, and always will be, a key element of social and economic success in our democratic society.”

“This year’s Palmer Conference brings an impressive line-up of panelists, in addition to a keynote address by the Honourable Andrew Leslie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs,” said Sean Casey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Member of Parliament for Charlottetown. “Thanks to organizers, conference attendees will be treated to engaging conversation on matters important to all Canadians.”

The Government of Canada is supporting the conference by providing more than $35,000 as a non-repayable contribution through ACOA’s Business Development Program (BDP).

“We are very grateful for the continued support of the Government of Canada over the years for this important conference. Through the assistance of ACOA and the Department of National Defence, we have been able to bring together some of the best minds in North America to discuss these important policy questions,” said conference organizer and UPEI professor, Dr. Don Desserud.

UPEI’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz said, “the Palmer Conference could not be possible without the support of the Palmer family, sponsors, and many organizers. I add my thanks and sincere appreciation to the Government of Canada for their important contributions and look forward to participating in this event that allows delegates to delve into a relevant topic so critical to our country’s future.”

The University of Prince Edward Island prides itself on people, excellence, and impact and is committed to assisting students reach their full potential in both the classroom and community. With roots stemming from two founding institutions—Prince of Wales College and Saint Dunstan’s University—UPEI has a reputation for academic excellence, research innovation, and creating positive impacts locally, nationally, and internationally. UPEI is the only degree granting institution in the province and is proud to be a key contributor to the growth and prosperity of Prince Edward Island. UPEI is located on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People.


Nicole Phillips
Associate Director
Marketing and Communications
(902) 566-0947
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