Economic ideas for a stronger Canada

New lecture series starts October in Ottawa, Calgary, and Montreal

The Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University has established an annual economic policy lecture series, starting with a foundational gift from Thomas E. Kierans, O.C., LLD, FICD. An alumnus of McGill from 1961, Kierans is one of Canada’s most respected business leaders and has provided national leadership in public policy research and development for over 25 years. This annual lecture series and accompanying book aim to encourage discussions on economic ideas and policy challenges. The 2023 lectures kick off October 19 in Ottawa, followed by October 25 in Calgary, and closing out the season in November 2 in Montreal.

“The newly created McGill Max Bell Lectures are devoted to examining and discussing policy ideas to strengthen Canadian prosperity,” says Christopher Ragan, economist and founding Director of the Max Bell School. “Our country has always faced its fair share of challenges, whether homegrown or from our participation in a complicated global environment. Recognizing these challenges and ensuring that we are thinking clearly about the associated policy responses will improve our progress in delivering the shared prosperity we seek.”

Inaugural lecturer: Andrew Leach

The McGill Max Bell Lectures will be held in three Canadian cities annually, and the associated book will be published each year ahead of the lecture series by Sutherland House. The 2023 lecturer is Andrew Leach, an economist, writer, and University of Alberta professor. His book Between Doom & Denial: Facing Facts about Climate Change will be available on October 17.

“In Canada, we can’t really discuss climate policy without thinking carefully about energy at the same time,” Ragan says. “Andrew Leach’s expertise is just what we need to advance our understanding on these complicated and related issues. He has a rare ability to communicate tough ideas in a clear and engaging manner. He is the perfect person to kick off this new lecture series.”

Thomas Kierans: National leadership in public policy research

Thomas Kierans has been a major figure in the business world for the last twenty-five years and has been the director and chairman of many successful national and international companies. His expertise on financial, governance and public policy matters is regularly sought by governments, public and private sector companies.

As the former President and CEO of the C.D. Howe Institute, he provided national leadership in public policy research. He is currently the Chairman and CEO of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research where he contributes to the promotion of basic research in the natural and social sciences. He is also the Chairman of the Toronto International Leadership Centre for Financial Sector Supervision.

“A long-time leader in the Canadian policy scene, Kierans is famous for being analytical, balanced, and practical – exactly what we need to solve the many economic challenges that we face as a country,” says Ragan.

“McGill has remained a significant positive for me in the whole of my career and my life,” Kierans said. “My hope in bringing these discussions across Canada is to reach and educate students and members of the community.”

The McGill Max Bell Lectures: Economic Ideas for a Stronger Canada

The inaugural lecture series kicks off October 19 in Ottawa at the National Arts Council, followed by October 25 in Calgary at the National Music Centre at Studio Bell, and finally on November 2 in Montreal at the McGill University Faculty Club.

To stay updated on this lecture series, learn more at and subscribe to the lecture series email list.


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