2019: A Year In Review

The Max Bell School had a busy 2019. In this article, we look back on some of the highlights of our year.

The Max Bell School has been very active for the past 12 months, addressing the most pressing policy issues through events, research and education.

A big milestone for the School was the arrival our first MPP cohort in August. They are currently four months into this innovative educational program, learning from leading public policy thinkers and practitioners. Apart from their courses, they have also had unique opportunities to meet national and global leaders including David Malpass, Paul Martin, Sally Armstrong, Larry Summers, and Rachel Notley.

The 2019 federal election brought many policy issues into sharp focus. From climate change to foreign policy to election interference, the School provided a platform for balanced discussion and debate. We hosted a marathon 30 events (including two conferences), bringing together students, faculty, alumni, and the policy-interested public for sessions with policy leaders, experts and practitioners.

To highlight some of our biggest moments of the year, we’ve put together this end-of-year recap article. We hope you enjoy catching up on what we've been doing and join us in our activities next year.

Does Rising Populism Threaten Good Public Policy?

February 2019 | Populism is that rare phenomenon that defies easy definition, yet is shaping movements from the United States to Hungary, from Ontario to the Czech Republic. In its first event of the year, the School assembled a panel of experts to examine both the meaning of the word, and the growing movements to which it has given its name. Read more.

Election 2019: Policy Insights from Political Insiders

March 2019 | For this event, we brought together political insiders for a forecast of what to expect in the 2019 federal election. The panel discussed carbon pricing, budget deficits, taxes, international trade, foreign policy, China, and indigenous reconciliation, and much more. Read more.

The Canada-U.S. Relationship: Past and Future

April 2019 | This half-day conference examined the past, and looked into the future relations of Canada and the United States, covering emerging issues from trade to populism, to climate change and immigration. The event saw a number of distinguished speakers grace the stage, including former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Read more.

Fighting Climate Change and Building New Pipelines: Crazy or Coherent?

April 2019 | Does putting a price on carbon to reduce emissions and building another pipeline at the same time make sense? We hosted a panel discussion featuring experts with views across the spectrum of this issue who explored the policy implications of building a new pipeline and fighting climate change at the same time. Read more.

First MPP Teaching Faculty Meeting

Max Bell School faculty

May 2019 | The members of our teaching faculty got together for a full-day session at McGill's Faculty Club. This eclectic group of policy practitioners and academics spent the day discussing their respective curricula, sharing previous experiences in teaching and policy practice, and participating in a policy lab and workshop. Our MPP class is sure to benefit from their passion for their work and the School. Read more.

Policy & Data Science (PODS) Program

Summer 2019 | The PODS Summer Program, presented in partnership between McGill’s Centre for Social and Cultural Data Science and the Max Bell School, is a cutting-edge program that gives students the technical skills to tackle Canada’s biggest policy problems, to train a new generation of data-driven policy analysts. Find out more about the 2019 PODS program.

Inaugural MPP Class Welcomed to McGill 

Max Bell School MPP students

August 2019 | Our inaugural Master of Public Policy class arrived at McGill in August to start their orientation week. Chosen from a pool of close to 200 applicants, the MPP cohort represents students from 17 countries, from Argentina to Zimbabwe, who are as accomplished academically as they are professionally. Read more.

Mix and Match: Technology and Policy for Canada’s Energy Future

September 2019 | This event brought together leading industry and policy experts from hydroelectricity, oil, nuclear, and renewables to talk about the critical role Canada’s energy sector occupies in the economy and politics of the country. Read more.

Podcast on the 2019 Election Campaign

Attention control podcast

August- November 2019 | Max Bell School Associate Professor and Beaverbrook Chair in Media, Ethics and Communications, Taylor Owen, launched the Attention Control podcast with Kevin Newman. In 14 episodes, the podcast covered the role of technology in our democratic process, and unpacked how the digital media ecosystem is shaping the minds of voters. Listen to the podcast.

Foreign Policy and Foreign Interference in the 2019 Canadian Election

October 2019 | While the 2019 federal election saw limited foreign policy debate, international issues were omnipresent: climate change, refugees and immigration, trade disputes, and election interference all featured throughout the campaign. On the eve of the vote, we hosted a conversation about how Canada’s role in an increasingly unstable world, and threats to its core values and interests, have been addressed in this election, and what challenges might lie ahead for a new government. Read more.

Securing Good Development Outcomes: Global Growth Challenges and Opportunities

October 2019 | David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group, took the stage in Pollack Hall at McGill to give his first major speech as the president of the World Bank Group. His speech focused on the major global challenges and opportunities to achieving sustainable growth. Read more.

Digital Democracy Project

Digital Democracy Project

Fall 2019 | Headed up by Professor Taylor Owen, the Digital Democracy Project released seven reports on the Canadian media ecosystem in the run-up to, and during, Canada’s 2019 federal election. Through monitoring digital and social media, conducting national surveys, and a study of a metered sample of online consumption, the reports investigated the spread and impact of misinformation. Read the reports.

Better Policy for a Better World

November 2019 | The school hosted a full-day conference Better Policy for a Better World to explore why good ideas alone aren’t enough to put policy into practice. Over the course of four panel sessions, leading policy experts and politicians shared their insights on how to address complex policy issues in the real world. Read more and watch videos of the panels.

Policy Lecture Series

September-December 2019 | Our Fall 2019 Policy Lectures Series covered a range of topics and served as an opportunity for a deeper dive into important policy issues. Topics ranged from Medicare, to foreign policy, to the role of the nation states, and everything in between. Learn more.


Back to top