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REF NO.: 65

SUBJECT: Harris Centre celebrates 10 years of relevance, integrity and independence; hosts NL Forum 2014 for 10th anniversary

DATE: Nov. 3

Changing people, shifting place, thriving culture, booming economy, growing democracy – Memorial’s Harris Centre will mark its 10th anniversary at a two-day conference, NL Forum 2014.

The province’s thought-leaders and decision-makers will discuss what significant issues the province has faced during the past decade and what is on the horizon for the next decade during the event.

Founded from the merger of the Public Policy Research Centre and the Centre of Regional Development Studies, the Harris Centre has spent the past decade connecting Memorial University with the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Always seeking to maintain integrity, independence and relevance, the Harris Centre has strived to provide the mechanisms for Memorial’s faculty, students and staff together with communities and organizations, to grapple with some of the most puzzling problems confronting Newfoundlanders and Labradorians,” said Dr. Rob Greenwood, executive director, Harris Centre.

In the lead-up to the conference, the Harris Centre asked a team of researchers to review a decade’s worth of centre programming and projects to assess their contributions to regional development and public policy knowledge in Newfoundland and Labrador. The series of five themed reports (demographic and labour market development, environment and natural resource development, governance and public policy, regional and rural development, and social and cultural development) have been released in preparation for NL Forum 2014 and will form the basis for discussion at the conference.

 “This year, as we celebrate our 10th anniversary, we are taking time to look back at all those connections the Harris Centre has worked to foster between Memorial and the province and the difference that it’s made,” said Dr. Greenwood.  “From there we can look ahead to see what’s on the horizon for Newfoundland and Labrador and how the centre can continue connecting, collaborating and making things happen.”

With a broad-based group of panellists representing industry, academia and relevant organizations, the schedule for NL Forum 2014 will initiate discussions with public, academic, government, industry and non-governmental organization stakeholders. Spread over six sessions, the conference will feature a specific session devoted to each of the topical research reports, along with a final plenary session.

NL Forum 2014 takes place Nov. 4-5 at the Holiday Inn in St. John’s. For more information, please visit

The full conference schedule is in the attached backgrounder.

The event is open to media.

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For more information, please contact Cathy Newhook, communications co-ordinator, Harris Centre, at (709) 864-7918 or, or Diane Keough, communications co-ordinator, Harris Centre, at (709) 864.3739 or


NL Forum 2014 takes place Nov. 4-5 at the Holiday Inn. Spread over six sessions, the conference will feature a specific session devoted to a topical research report, along with a final plenary session. 

Each topical session will feature a 20-30 minute presentation by the researcher, followed by short responses from three panellists (e.g. government, university, industry, community, or other practitioners in the field in question—see below), followed by an audience question and answer opportunity. Each session will be chaired by a special guest facilitator.

Conference Program

Tuesday, Nov. 4

1 p.m.

Welcome and Conference Overview

1:30 p.m.

Demographics and Labour Market with Lisa Kiada


Session Chair:

Lisa Browne, Eastern Health (Harris Centre Advisory Board)



Memorial University – Doug May, Department of Economics

Industry – Elizabeth Deale, Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (Harris Centre Advisory Board)

Community – Chris Mercer, College of the North Atlantic

2:45 p.m.

Afternoon Break

3 p.m.

Culture, Heritage and Society with Jennifer Dyer


Session Chair:

Angela Antle, CBC



Memorial University – Noreen Golfman, Provost & Vice-President (Academic) pro tempore

Industry – Lisa Moore, Author

Community – John Fisher, Fisher’s Loft, Port Rexton

Wednesday, Nov. 5

9 a.m.

Governance and Public Policy with Russell Williams


Session Chair:

John Abbott, Institute for Advancement of Public Policy Inc. (Harris Centre Advisory Board)



Memorial University – Doug House, Department of Sociology

Industry – Dave Cochrane, CBC

Community – Shannie Duff, former Deputy Mayor, St. John’s

10:15 a.m.

Morning Break

10:45 a.m.

Environment and Natural Resource Development with Tom Cooper


Session Chair:

Ron Sparkes, Labrador Institute



Memorial University – Barbara Neis, Department of Sociology

Industry – Max Ruelokke, past chair CNLOPB (Harris Centre Advisory Board)

Community – Keith Goulding, Work Force Qalipu, Corner Brook

12 p.m.


1 p.m.

Rural and Regional Development with Ivan Emke


Session Chair:

Craig Pollett, Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador



Memorial University – Keith Storey, Harris Centre Associate, Department of Geography

Industry – Ted Lomond, NEIA

Community – Colleen Kennedy, Gros Morne Co-operating Association

2:15 p.m.

Afternoon Break

2:30 p.m.

Plenary Session with David Freshwater

3:45 p.m.

Closing Remarks


Plenary session The plenary session will feature concluding remarks by conference rapporteur Dr. David Freshwater and allow ample time for an audience question and answer opportunity. Dr. Freshwater is a professor at the University of Kentucky with appointments in the Department of Agricultural Economics and in the Martin School of Public Administration and Public Policy, an adjunct professor at Memorial University Department of Geography and former head of the rural development program at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Researcher biographies are available at           . 


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