Past Events

Below is a list of our past events.

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22-May-2014 Ethics in Public Life The Honourable R. Roy McMurtry, OC, O.Ont, QC

Ethics in Public Life: personal reflections on ethics in public life with a focus on politics and the administration of justice.

Event sponsored by TD Bank Group

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15-Apr-2014 Complying with Canada's New Anti-Spam Legislation Barry Sookman, Senior Partner, McCarthy Tétrault
21-Mar-2014 Designing Cross-sector Social Partnerships for Local Sustainability Dr. Amelia Clarke, Director, Master of Environment and Business (MEB) Program, University of Waterloo

Amelia Clarke’s research explores the emergence, role and design of cross-sector social partnerships as a strategy to solve community-wide social problems. These are partnerships involving local authorities, large corporations, business associations, non-governmental organizations, universities, and small- & medium-sized enterprises.

This talk focuses on Canadian communities, and considers different approaches to implementing a collaborative strategic plan when multiple organizations with different communications and decision-making systems, mandates and cultures are involved. Drawing on four cases, 72 interviews, and two Canada-wide surveys, Clarke draws out the perceived advantages and disadvantages of different ways of designing these partnerships.

The scope of Clarke's recent work on this topic makes it a first in Canada. The panel and discussion following the talk will explore the diverse experience of professionals involved in cross-sector social partnerships. The aim is to explore the issues and questions raised by this research, in relation to the practice of partnership as a vehicle for corporate social responsibility.

About the event:

This event launches the 2014 Canadian Business Ethics Research Network (CBERN) PhD Winter Research Meeting. This is the 3rd year that EthicsCentreCA has supported this initiative. The meeting brings together PhD students working in different disciplines from universities across Canada with senior faculty and business leaders, to discuss and develop research on topics in business and economic ethics.

Andrew Crane (moderator), Professor of Business Ethics and Director, Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business, Schulich School of Business, York University: Andrew Crane's research and teaching explore new ways of thinking about the social, ethical and environmental dimensions of business. He is particularly known for his work on the changing role of the corporation in the global economy, where he has been influential in developing a new view of corporate citizenship that addresses the political roles and responsibilities of business. He has also focused on how ideas of ethics, freedom, and responsibility are communicated and made meaningful by corporations, consumers and other stakeholders through talk and text. Finally, his work has also addressed specific application areas of corporate responsibility, such as forced labour and slavery, competitive intelligence, responsible marketing, nonprofit partnerships, and responsibilities to children.


Paul Klein, President and Founder, Impakt: Paul Klein is an internationally respected authority on the social purpose of corporations and civil society organizations. Paul has helped global corporations and leading non-profit organizations to understand and profit from their social purpose. He also writes about corporate social responsibility for Forbes, was selected as one of the Globe and Mail’s Leading Thinkers and has been recognized as one of America’s Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior. Paul sits on the Advisory Board of the Centre for Excellence in Responsible Business at the Schulich School of Business.

Hadley Archer, VP Strategic Partnerships and Development, WWF: Hadley leads a highly motivated and dedicated team that builds and stewards strategic partnerships among businesses, foundations and individuals. These relationships advance conservation through improved business practices, advancing leadership in protecting the environment and providing critical funding for WWF's conservation work.

For more information about the event, visit:

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25-Feb-2014 Doing the “right” thing. Convincing directors and senior executives that doing the “right” thing is not so bad John Keefe, Partner, Goodmans LLP

In today’s extremely competitive environment, senior executives and directors are under pressure to deliver immediate and positive results. At times, this may conflict with ethical business practices. Often, there is pressure to turn a blind eye to doing the “right thing”. Sometimes this works. Sometimes it creates a disaster. We will discuss the challenge of convincing senior executives and directors that doing the “right thing” is the right thing to do.

This event was generously sponsored by Hydro One.

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06-Feb-2014 Responding to the Bangladesh Tragedy On April 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed, killing over 1,100 people, thought to be one of the worst industrial disasters in history. Details quickly emerged that warnings to evacuate the building the day before were ignored by a number of factories. Several well-known clothing brands had garments made in these factories, including Joe Fresh of Loblaws. Within days of the tragedy, Loblaws, which was one of the first firms to publicly acknowledge it had garments manufactured in the building, was also one of the first to announce that it would “provide compensation to the workers and families of the collapsed factory…in the best and most meaningful way possible.”

Bob Chant, Senior Vice-President Corporate Affairs and Communication of Loblaw Companies Limited will discuss the backdrop to this tragedy and how Loblaws came to so quickly take a leadership position in helping the victims and to take concrete steps to protect foreign workers from being exposed to unsafe working conditions in the future. He will also bring us up to date on what has transpired in the six months since that heartbreaking day.

28-Jan-2014 Off-shoring and Near-shoring: Reputational Risks from Fraud and Corruption Peter Dent (CA, IFA, CPA, CFE, CIA) Partner & National Practice Leader, Deloitte Forensic, Financial Advisory, Deloitte LLP and Chair, Transparency International Canada

Dealing with global supply chain risks is a never-ending effort and the risk of corruption and fraud make for their own unique challenges. Reputations are inextricably linked to business partners throughout the supply chain, and their adherence to an agreed code of conduct, making due diligence and audits a necessary risk management strategy. But what constitutes an effective amount of due diligence or a supplier audit? How much effort is required? We will explore these and other questions as part of this session.

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14-Jan-2014 Offshoring from a macro ethical perspective – balancing the economic advantages with the ethical decisions involved to offshore Diane Francis, award-winning columnist, bestselling author, journalist, broadcaster and entrepreneur joins the Centre on January 14, 2014. Ms. Francis is Editor-at-Large at the National Post, a blogger with Huffington Post and a Distinguished Professor at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management. An expert on geopolitics, business and white collar crime, Ms. Francis has written nine books on white collar crime, politics, immigration, economics and finance, including the bestseller, Who Owns Canada Now: Old Money, New Money and the Future of Canadian Business.
12-Nov-2013 Theft, Abuse, & Cooking the Books: ClearView’s 2013 Workplace Ethics Survey Michelle Vincent, Director of Ethics Advisory Services, ClearView Strategic Partners Inc.

What are Canadians’ perceptions about ethics in their workplace?

In June 2013, through ClearView’s research partner Ipsos Reid, ClearView surveyed over 1000 working Canadians to determine the answer to that question. They asked about tone at the top, Codes of Conduct, misconduct, reporting, retaliation, performance pressure, and ethics programs.

• The ethics program tools that are associated with lower observed misconduct

• The factors in the workplace that influence employees’ attitudes about reporting misconduct

• The surprising difference between perceptions of senior management and employees about ethics in the workplace

Join us to discuss the results in detail!

23-Oct-2013 Compliance Surrounding Gifts, Entertainment and Hospitality Brenda Swick, Partner, International Trade and Investment and Chair of Government Contracting Practice, McCarthy Tétrault

A common challenge facing companies is the handling of gifts and hospitality to foreign and domestic government officials, as well as the treatment of gifts and hospitality to and from non-government persons such as customers and suppliers.

This discussion will review these and other key questions:
- What types of hospitality with domestic and foreign officials are permissible under Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Government Officials and Criminal Code?
- When do gifts to officials cross the line from being part of a custom to being interpreted as a bribe?
- When can offering or accepting gifts, entertainment or other benefits be mistaken for improper payments, secret commissions, bribes or kickbacks?
- What strategies can companies employ to ensure full compliance in gift giving, travel, entertainment and hospitality?

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02-Oct-2013 Waging War on Corruption The Ethics Centre and Transparency International Canada are pleased to welcome Frank Vogl, author of “Waging War on Corruption – Inside the Movement Fighting the Abuse of Power”. In his remarks Mr. Vogl (a co-founder of Transparency International, former international correspondent for The Times of London and former World Bank chief spokesman) will argue that we are at a crucial tipping point in scores of countries in the fight against corruption that impacts global poverty, human rights, security, business and finance. This promises to be a very interesting presentation, occurring as Canada takes measures to toughen its own regulatory environment in its fight against bribery and corruption.

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