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Annual Life Sciences Policy Forum

November 1 @ 10:30 am - November 4 @ 12:00 pm

LSO’s Annual Policy Forum, now entering its 11th year, brings together key stakeholders to strategize how we can accelerate our life sciences sector. The 2020 Policy Forum, features speakers from a broad spectrum of industry and government as well as robust opportunities for audience engagement.

To View Program Agenda, CLICK HERE.



November 2nd – 6th, 2020
Time: 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Location: Virtual

Day 1: Monday, November 2nd.

COVID-19 and our Digital Future

Speaker:Bogi Eliasen, Director of Health, Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies

The Future of Pharma in Canada

The panel will focus on the outlook of the pharmaceutical industry in Canada; specifically impacts of PMPRB, COVID19, national pharmacare, growing nationalism and other factors affecting Canada’s global competitiveness for investments and access to new medicines.


  • Moderator: Pamela Fralick, President, Innovative Medicines Canada
  • Michael Scott, Senior Vice President, Product Development/Toronto Operations, BlueRock
  • David Talbot, Sr. Advisor, International Corporate Affairs, Eli Lilly & Co
  • Sheryl Groeneweg, Director General for the Manufacturing and Life Sciences Branch, Innovation,
    Sciences and Economic Development Canada (ISED)
  • Maureen Smith, Secretary, Board of Directors, Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders

Day 2: Tuesday, November 3rd.

Science Communication During Crisis

COVID19 has thrust biological science into the spotlight, creating opportunities to educate the public and
policy makers alike. This session will explore how well the science behind the pandemic has been
communicated to the public. From transmission to detection, treatment to vaccine development; how
informed is the public?

  • Speaker: Amy Greer, Canada Research Chair in Population Disease Modeling and Associate
    Professor, Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph

The Biology of a Pandemic

Biology is the key to understanding zoonotic disease transmission to humans such as what was observed in
COVID19. Biologic interventions such a vaccines hold the most promise for a return to normal. This panel
will explore the crucial role of Biology in understanding COVID19, detecting the disease and growing a cure.


  • Moderator: Deb Stark, former Deputy Minister, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs
  • Gerard Wright, Associate Member, Pathology and Molecular Medicine; Professor, Biochemistry and
    Biomedical Sciences, McMaster University
  • Allison McGeer, Microbiologist, Infectious Disease Consultant, Department of Microbiology, Mount
    Sinai Hospital
  • Arjumand Siddiqi, Division Head and Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Canada Research Chair in
    Population Health Equity, Dalla Lana School of Public Health University of Toronto

Day 3: Wednesday, November, 4th.

Leadership in Challenging Times

This session will provide perspectives from a leader of a multi-national pharmaceutical company’s Canadian
operations during these challenging times. With the COVID19 pandemic still ongoing, PMPRB regulations
coming into full effect Jan.1st, 2021 and national pharmacare on the horizon; how do Canadian pharma
leaders navigate these challenges within the context of a global operation?
  • Speaker: Alok Kanti, President & CEO, Senior Bayer Representative, Bayer Inc.

From Villain to Hero: The Shifting Public Perception of Life Sciences

COVID19, USMCA, protectionism/nationalism, the WHO, US election, Black Lives Matter, China
relationship(s) – these all shape the political landscape here in Canada. Has the relationship between
government and life sciences shifted in light of recent events? Has public perception shifted? How will this
affect life sciences policy in Canada going into 2021?


  • Shachi Kurl, President, Angus Reid Institute
  • Jason Lietaer, President, Enterprise
  • Michelle McLean, Interim General Manager, Ottawa + Senior Vice-President, National Health +
    Wellness Sector Lead, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada
  • Mark Poznansky, Saved by Science
  • Doug Anderson, Principal, Earnscliffe Strategy Group

Day 4: Thursday, November 5th

Canadian Medtech pre-, during and post-pandemic

Medical technologies emerged into the common lexicon during the pandemic: N95 masks, ventilators,
swabs, point of care diagnostics. What was the state of the Canadian Medtech industry entering the
pandemic? How did it respond to the crisis and how is it evolving as we enter this new reality?

  • Speaker: Nicole DeKort, Vice-President, Ontario & Marketing, Medtech Canada

The Future of Canadian Medical Technologies

COVID19 has placed medical technologies in the spotlight. How do we strengthen local supply chains in
Canada? How do we boost the adoption of new innovations and digital health solutions to be better prepared
for future health crises?


  • Greg Miziolek, Vice President and General Manager, BD – Canada
  • Mike Nader, Former Chief Transformation Officer, Ontario Health
  • Sandy Schwenger, CEO, m-Health Solutions
  • Mike Canzoneri, CEO, Canadian Hospital Specialties

Day 5: Friday, November 6th

What’s Next?

Let’s gaze into the crystal ball – What’s on the horizon for Canadian life sciences? Will COVID19 spur a
renaissance in research, innovation and adoption of life sciences technologies? Will protectionism lead to
strong domestic industry or choke global supply chains and stymie collaboration?

  • Facilitated by: Ryan Wiley, President, Shift Health
  • Speaker: André Picard, Health Columnist, The Globe and Mail and the author of five books


November 1 @ 10:30 am
November 4 @ 12:00 pm