Northern Policy Institute Fifth Anniversary Gala - Sudbury, Ontario
Northern Policy Institute (NPI) is celebrating our 5 year anniversary in 2018. In order to celebrate this milestone and thank those who have contributed to our success, NPI will be hosting two Fifth Anniversary Gala fundraisers. All funds raised will go directly toward future projects and programs of NPI as we look ahead to the next five years.
The Gala in Northeast Ontario will take place at the Vale Cavern in Sudbury, Ontario on April 11, 2019, with keynote speaker Jean Charest.
First came Plan Nord, then came the joint governance of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay territory. A deal, which covered a “territory the size of Italy” according to the CBC. In 2012 the municipality of James Bay ceased to exist, instead the Cree and non-natives living in the territory were tasked to govern their region jointly. "There are no precedents," for this action said then Quebec Premier Jean Charest.
This historic agreement did not come about quickly or at a single stroke, nor did it mark the end of progress in the Cree-Quebec and Cree-Canada relationship. Jean Charest played a critical role in decades of negotiation and progress. Working in partnership with the Cree people, Charest sought to give meaning to the words self-government, cooperation and reconciliation.
The Cree-Quebec relationship is a model routinely held out for others to follow. Charest will provide the Quebec perspective on the creation of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay territory and the sacrifices, compromises and hard stances needed to make real progress towards a true nation-to-nation relationship and the benefits accruing to both sides by sharing power and the risks associated with exercising that power.
Background reading that may be of interest for attendees to the Gala:
- Opinion: Cree governance accord with Canada is reconciliation in action
- Agreement on Governance in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory between the Crees of Eeyou Istchee and the Gouvernement du Québec
- Québec municipal government north of the 55th parallel
- Grand Council of the Crees
Jean J. Charest - Biography
Jean J. Charest is a renowned former Canadian politician and lawyer. He was born in Sherbrooke, Québec and received both his undergraduate degree and law degree from Université de Sherbrooke.
Charest was first elected as Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke in 1984 then held the position of assistant deputy speaker of the House of Commons from 1984 to 1986. He was appointed Minister of State for Youth as the youngest person ever to serve in the federal Cabinet. By winter of 1989, he was deputy leader of the House of Commons.
Charest ran for the leadership of the federal Conservatives in 1993, and finished a strong second to Kim Campbell. He was one of only two Conservative Members of Parliament elected in the 1993 campaign.
In 1995, Charest again made history when he was appointed leader of the Conservative party – the first French Canadian to ever do so. In the 1997 election, the Charest Conservatives secured 19% of the national vote. Charest was a powerful voice in the 1995 Québec Referendum, playing a significant part in preventing the separation of Quebec from the rest of the country.
In 1998, Charest became leader of the Québec Liberal Party. As Leader, he won three consecutive elections in 2003, 2007 and 2008. In February 2009, he was made a commander of the Legion of Honour by President Sarkozy of France.
Charest resigned as Québec Liberal Party leader in 2012, ending a 28-year career in politics. He has since returned to the practice of law, joining the firm McCarthy Tétrault LLP as a full equity partner.
NPI is a not-for-profit organization, and as such, relies on the generousity of our communities and partners to continue our important work. Please see our Sponsorship Package to explore the benefits that sponsors of the Gala will receive.