The Massey Dialogues

In March 2020, Principal Des Rosiers launched The Massey Dialogues – an online salon discussion series featuring experts and scholars from our wonderful community to be experienced and enjoyed from the comfort of one’s own home and shared online. The Massey Dialogues are designed to embrace the very essence of our college and community – highly informed intergenerational and interdisciplinary discourse.

The format is as follows: Principal Des Rosiers as host first interviews her featured guest about their field of expertise, which will then evolve into a broader discussion with a Junior Fellow and an invited guest from the community, often from unrelated disciplines. Together via live broadcast, the guests will describe what they have drawn from the talk and reflect on how it applies to their own profession and research.

Everyone is invited to follow the discussions via the Massey College YouTube channel, where participants are invited to listen and interact with our guests in real time by posting questions online via the YouTube chat function. Events are free, are broadcast online and are welcome to all – there is no login or registration required to tune in from the comfort of home.

We invite you to click here to access and review the 31 informative and thought-provoking Massey Dialogues in Season 1 (Spring 2020).

Please click here to access the compilation of our current and ongoing Season 2 (Fall 2020), and click here to please subscribe to our YouTube channel to ensure you never miss another Dialogue or any of Massey’s virtual events!




Upcoming Massey Dialogues
Wednesdays at 4pm EDT





Past Massey Dialogues


It’s What You Can’t See: Mental Health and Psychosis

This Massey Dialogue will take a closer look at the field of mental health, its current status of care in North America and where that stands in comparison to our global counterparts. We welcome to the discussion Dr. Elyn Saks, J.D., Ph.D. Distinguished Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences, Founder of the Saks Institute, Senior Fellow Dr. Andrea J Levinson, MD MSc FRCPC Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Health & Wellness at University of Toronto, which will be hosted and moderated by Junior Fellow Keshna Sood, PhD Candidate Molecular Genetics, Faculty of Medicine. The panelists will work together to dismantle outdated ideologies about mental illness, and envision a future system to address current pitfalls, anticipating cultural changes and emphasizing the need for empathy and compassion in mental health care options in a post-pandemic world of health reform. Full details here.


COVID, the old and Canada: What’s wrong with us?

The glare of COVID-19’s spotlight in Canada falls shockingly on old people — at least 80 per cent of pandemic deaths in the country have occurred among the institutionalized elderly, the highest proportion in the world. Why? Are we that callous as a society toward the elderly needing assistance or has there been some aberration in the evolution of Canada’s health care system that has left elderly care orphaned and fragile?

Massey Dialogues this week brings you three of the College’s members who have spent much of their exceptional academic careers examining the issue. Our special guest is Senior Fellow Professor Ito Peng, Canada Research Chair in global social policy and professor of sociology and public policy at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, specializing in family, gender, and demographic issues, migration and comparative social policy. She will be joined in conversation by Senior Fellow Professor Dorothy Pringle, professor emerita and former dean of nursing at University of Toronto whose research has concentrated on the quality of daily life of older people who are cognitively impaired, and those who live in long-term care facilities and their family caregivers, and Junior Fellow Husayn Marani, doctoral candidate in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation who examines aging with dignity and the shift to home care from institutional care for the infirm aged. The session will be moderated by Senior Fellow and journalist Michael Valpy. Full details here.



Indigenous Perspectives on Policing in Canada

Indigenous people have been the target of policing for centuries. The use of criminal law to undermine culture was a deliberate strategy and it created a culture of racist policing. It is a case of overpolicing against come members of the communities (more likely to be arrested and for more serious charges and overrepresented in detention) and underpolicing where victims get no help (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry) – how to change that? Principal Nathalie Des Rosiers hosts Junior Fellow James Bird, Senior Fellow The Hon. Harry LaForme, and Chief R. Stacey Laforme, from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Full details here.



The Future of Regulating Big Tech: Techplomacy with Consul General Rana Sarkar

The Massey Dialogues welcomes Rana Sarkar, Consul General of Canada in San Francisco | Silicon Valley, to discuss the decentralization of Silicon Valley and the future of Canada in Tech. Junior Fellow Keshna Sood will host and moderate the Dialogue, joined in conversation by Junior Fellow Nathaniel Starkman and Senior Fellow Chirag Variawa. Full details here.


Sabreena Delhon on the Day of Democracy: Building Resilient and Relevant Public Institutions

Open Democracy Fellow Sabreena Delhon will join the Dialogues to mark the International Day of Democracy. The discussion will examine shifting expectations of institutions and explore whether they can evolve to meet new standards of accountability. Can democracy be strengthened in the recovery from COVID-19?

Principal Nathalie Des Rosiers will moderate the conversation, welcoming Shauna Sylvester, Executive Director of Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue to Massey, alongside Junior Fellow and Master of Public Policy student Stephanie Bertolo. Full details here.



The Arts today – a discussion on the impact of the pandemic and racism

Recent Massey Alumna Julia Kim, a cellist and a doctoral student at UofT Faculty of Music will interview top artists in Toronto to discuss the impact of the pandemic and racism on the arts. She will be joined in conversation by Ali Momen, actor and activist, Gaëtane Verna, Director at The Power Plant, and Olivia Shortt, multi-disciplinary performing artist. Full details here.


The Toronto G20: Where Are We Ten Years Later?

It has been ten years since Canada saw the largest mass arrests in its history during the weekend that Toronto hosted world leaders for a G20 Summit. The G20 weekend was a turbulent one that exposed how vulnerable Canada is to serious restrictions on fundamental civil liberties like the right to protest. The weekend also demonstrated that police powers could be used and abused with minimal accountability. What has been learned in the ten years since the Toronto G20? How does the future of protest in Canada look? This panel discussion will explore these questions in an informal and interactive format.

Massey College Principal Nathalie Des Rosiers — former General Counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) — will moderate this conversation with Cara Zwibel, Director of CCLA’s Fundamental Freedoms Program, Murray Klippenstein, a Toronto litigator who is representing the plaintiffs in the G20 class action and has litigated a number of significant police powers and protest cases that came out of the G20, and Basil Alexander from the Faculty of Law at the University of New Brunswick, who spent several years practising at a public interest and social justice law firm in Toronto before returning to academia. Full event details here.


Ambassador Kirsten Hillman on Canada and the United States: Communication and Collaboration in Unprecedented Times

Massey College welcomes Kirsten Hillman, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, to discuss the health of the Canada-U.S. relationship, and how the strong lines of communication have supported the unprecedented actions and decisions made together through this pandemic.  From border restrictions at our shared border to resolving challenges with our integrated supply chains, Canada and the United States are learning to be more resilient together. As USMCA/CUSMA come into force on July 1, Ambassador Hillman looks ahead to the next phase of this strong partnership. Full event details here


On Cities After COVID — ft. Principal Des Rosiers

How will COVID-19 shape the future of our cities? What are the most important priorities for our cities as a result of this pandemic?

Join experts Nathalie Des Rosiers, Anita McGahan, Shauna Brail and Richard Florida as they discuss cities after COVID with Marcia Young, host of CBC’s World Report. Click here for full event details.


On Anti-Black Racism with Dr. Alissa Trotz and Dr. Lisa Robinson

To address the issue of anti-Black racism and the need for systemic institutional change, Principal Des Rosiers will be joined in conversation with Senior Fellow Dr. Alissa Trotz, Director of the Women & Gender Studies Institute and Professor in Caribbean Studies at New College, and Dr. Lisa Robinson, Head of Nephrology at Sick Kids and Associate Dean, Inclusion and Diversity at the Faculty of Medicine as our guests, both from the Black Faculty Network. They will be joined by Junior Fellow and Rotman MBA candidate Frank Otabor. The discussion will focus on creating institutional change, and what change looks like if we are to address racism systematically. Full event details here.


On Cultural Diplomacy

Is COVID-19 changing the face of cultural diplomacy? Or is the current prohibition on face-to-face encounters in a don’t-touch-your-face environment simply making it apparent that the old-school exclusivity of traditional diplomatic practice is already in the rear view mirror, as much a victim of the now decades-old Global Era rise of information communication technologies as it is of changes in the post-Cold War international environment? Organized by the North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative and hosted by 2019-2020 Massey College Senior Resident Professor Jeffrey Brison will moderate this conversation with Dr. César Villanueva Rivas, Senior Resident Dr. Lynda Jessup, and Senior Fellow Dr. Sascha Priewe to will address non-state driven networked diplomacy and the power of cultural engagement in the covid moment. Full event details here.


On a Feminist Economic Recovery Plan for Canada

Principal Des Rosiers will be joined by Maya Roy, CEO of YWCA Canada and Member of Canada’s Expert Panel on Early Learning and Child Care, and Massey Junior Fellow Alumna Anjum Sultana, who is the Director of Public Policy & Strategic Communications at YWCA Canada.
Full event details here.


John Ralston Saul on Freedom of Expression

Principal Des Rosiers hosts Senior Fellow John Ralston Saul, Writer of The Unconscious Civilization and President Emeritus of PEN International, in conversation with Senior Fellow and former President of PEN Canada and former member of the Board of PEN International, Haroon Siddiqui alongside Junior Fellow and PhD student at the Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, Jona Zyfi. The discussion will focus on the importance of freedom of expression around the world and from an international perspective, will draw from Saul’s personal account negotiating with dictators and working against the imprisonment and killing of journalists, and will reflect on the balance between free speech and freedom from hate. Full event details here.


Dr. Joanne Liu, Dr. James Orbinski, and Dr. Peter Singer On Global Health

Junior Fellow Upasana Saha hosts Dr. Joanne Liu, Senior Fellow Dr. James Orbinski, and Senior Fellow Dr. Peter Singer together in a wide-ranging conversation about global health, touching on: global health priority setting in the context of COVID–19; data collection and access — and how the practice impacts community capacity and resiliency; best practices and lessons learned from other vaccine dissemination; the considerations organizations such as WHO and MSF make in developing policies and response recommendations; and a reflection on our existing global governance structures, and whether there is a potential for partnerships — do opportunities exist within the Global Health field to strengthen and foster existing or new partnerships between organizations or agencies? Tune in to the conversation to submit your questions to the group. Full event details here. [/vc_column_text]


Dr. Dayna Scott on Fire in the Ring

Principal Des Rosiers hosts a conversation with Visiting Scholar Dr. Dayna Scott, former Justice of the Court of Appeal and member of the Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation and incoming Senior Fellow The Honourable Harry LaForme, and Junior Fellow and student at the Faculty of Law, Myim Bakan KlineFull event details here.


Dr. Tom Axworthy and Dr. John Pomeroy on Water Security

 Principal Des Rosiers will host Senior Fellow and Chair of the Public Policy Program Dr. Thomas Axworthy, in conversation with Dr. John Pomeroy, Director of Global Water Futures Programme at the University of Saskatchewan. They will be joined by Junior Fellow Isaac Gazendam, who is pursuing his JD at the Faculty of Law. Here is the whitepaper discussed during the Dialogue: Modernizing Federal Freshwater Leadership. Full event details here.


Insights into the Arab Population in Canada

Principal Des Rosiers‘ guests will be Shireen Salti and Ola Mohajer from the Canadian Arab Institute, who will join us to share their research on history, migration patterns, and civic engagement, as well as challenges faced by newcomers to Canada. The conversation will highlight the various contributions members of the Arab community have made — and continue to make — to the life of our country. Click here to read the Institute’s research report that points to the various data points on the Arab community in Canada — the largest newcomer population in Canada and the fastest growing immigrant population. Full event details here.


Adrienne Clarkson on Being Old in the Time of Coronavirus

This new plague has revealed cracks in our society. One of those cracks is the gap between young and old. The pandemic has revealed that we have been systematically (conscious or not) ignoring a phenomenal societal fact of longevity. Governments are going to have to react to the open sore that has been revealed: how will this be done? We certainly cannot shut the pandora’s box now that ageism has popped out of it. Principal Des Rosiers will host Senior Fellow Adrienne Clarkson for this discussion. They will be joined in conversation by Senior Fellow Professor Gillian Einstein and Junior Fellow Gurveer Bains, a 2020 Clarkson Laureate. Full event details here.


Beverley McLachlin on Justice in the Era of COVID-19

Principal Des Rosiers will welcome our Massey College Visitor The Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin to reflect on how the COVID-19 pandemic has and will continue to have an impact on justice. We will be joined in this conversation by Massey Principal Emeritus Hugh Segal and law student and Junior Fellow Avnee Paranjape. Full event details here.


In Conversation with Unifor's Jerry Dias

Jerry Dias, National President at Unifor, will join us to speak to organized labour’s move to permanently improve pay and working conditions for grocery store clerks, personal support care workers, fast-food employees and others with jobs deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic but with low pay and few benefits. He will be joined in conversation by Senior Fellow Professor Sylvia Bashevkin from the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto and Junior Fellow Stephanie Bertolo who is pursuing her Master of Public Policy. Full event details here.


Margaret Biggs and Rosemary McCarney on The COVID19 Pandemic: Implications for foreign and defence policy

As the outgoing and incoming Visiting Fellows on Foreign and Defence Policy, Rosemary McCarney and Margaret Biggs share their reflections on global affairs and Canadian foreign policy in light of the current pandemic and economic crisis. They will be joined in conversation by Junior Fellow and student at both the Munk and Rotman Schools Anowa Quarcoo. Full event details here.


Dr. Sacha Bhatia on Virtual Care in a Post-COVID World

Join Dr. Sacha Bhatia, chief medical innovation officer of Women’s College Hospital and scientist, for a discussion on the future of virtual care following the COVID-19 pandemic. The current public health emergency has driven healthcare organizations around the world to re-think how they offer care and has led to a massive shift towards virtual care. Dr. Bhatia will provide context on the Canadian experience to date and highlight how we have greatly accelerated the modernization of Canadian healthcare. With the response to virtual care being largely positive for both patients and providers alike, it is clear that following this pandemic our health systems cannot return to “business as usual” – virtual care will continue to be an important aspect of the Canadian healthcare experience moving forward. He will be will be joined in conversation by Senior Fellow, and UofT’s former Dean of Medicine, Dr. Catharine Whiteside, and Junior Fellow and medical student Krish Bilimoria. Full event details here.


Ed Waitzer: We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us – What We Might Learn From This Crisis?

We will hear from Corporate Governance specialist Ed Waitzer alongside lawyer, innovator, and Senior Fellow Dr. Gary Mooney and Junior Fellow who is pursuing his Ph.D. in economics, Tommaso Alba. Full event details here.


Prof. Randy Boyagoda on Imaginative Distancing: Our reading lives in pandemic times

Junior Fellow Kate Frank will interview incoming Senior Fellow Randy Boyagoda – they will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on our reading lives, and will explore models and ideas for ensuring the continued vitality of our imaginations as free spaces for exploration and contemplation in an otherwise highly-confined feeling moment. Junior Fellow Stephanie Redekop and Alumnus and editor-in-chief of the Literary Review of Canada Kyle Wyatt will react.


Prof. Antonio Casilli on COVID19 and Digital Labour: the Fate of Last-Mile Workers

Principal Nathalie Des Rosiers will take us to France’s struggles with the pandemic, in her interview with Antonio A. Casilli, a professor of sociology at Telecom Paris (Paris Grande École of Telecommunications), which will focus on civil liberties, privacy issues, and digital workers in France during COVID-19 and particularly privacy invasion. He will be joined by Junior Fellow and former Don of Hall Julian Posada and Brenda McPhail, Director of Privacy, Technology & Surveillance Project at Canadian Civil Liberties Association.


Dr. Gwen Healey Akearok on Nunavut: Canada with no COVID

Our interview guest is Massey alumna Dr. Gwen Healey Akearok, executive and scientific director of Nunavut’s Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre which enables health research to be conducted by northerners for northerners. She will talk about how Nunavut is the only political jurisdiction in Canada with no reported cases of COVID-19 and relate it to the strong collective responsibilities Nunavummiut display for each other, especially for the elderly. Nunavut also has been declared basically off limits for all Canadians who are not Nunavummiut. Senior Fellow Michael Valpy will conduct the interview – they will be joined in conversation with 2019-2020 William Southam Journalism Fellow Sarah Rogers and Junior Fellow Rachel Lee.


John Macfarlane on the State of Media Today

Hosted by Junior Fellow and English Literature Ph.D. Apala Das, incoming Senior Fellow John Macfarlane will reflect on his career in publishing, the current state of media, and the danger of misinformation becoming a growth industry. They will be joined in conversation by Senior Fellow and Toronto Star editorial page editor emeritus Haroon Siddiqui, and Massey College Principal Nathalie Des Rosiers.


Governor General of Canada Julie Payette on Life after COVID

Her Excellency the Rt. Hon. Julie Payette will be with us to envision Canada after the COVID—19 pandemic. What will society look like, when it comes to addressing matters related to telehealth and telemedicine? How will we have evolved as a country? How will we work to ensure we care for all members of society? The Governor General will be joined in conversation with her good friend and Senior Fellow Dr. Barbara Sherwood Lollar and Junior Fellow, artist, and architect James Bird.


Nurjehan Mawani on Voices of Resilience: My Experiences in Afghanistan

On Resilience and Holding the Line: Safeguarding the Gains in Afghanistan. Principal Des Rosiers will interview Ms. Nurjehan Mawani, past Chair and CEO of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, who recently returned to Canada following her service as the Diplomatic Representative of His Highness the Aga Khan to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and who will reflect on her experiences in Afghanistan. They will be joined in conversation by Matthew Fisher, the 2018-2019 Bill Graham Centre / Massey College Resident Visiting Scholar in Foreign and Defence Policy, and Junior Fellow Leah Morris to add their reflections and commentary.


Dr. Sunit Das on Magic, Homer, Heidegger, LTP.

Junior Fellow Gurveer Bains interviews incoming Senior Fellow Dr. Sunit Das on his research journey — a fascinating look at his career from literature and philosophy to medicine, neurosurgery, and academia. They are joined by Senior Fellow Dr. Janet Rossant and Junior Fellow Seshu Iyengar.


Prof. Anita McGahan on A New Strategy for Global Health

Principal Des Rosiers’s featured speaker is Dr. Anita McGahan, Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and a Professor of Strategic Management at the Rotman School of Management. They are joined in conversation by Senior Fellow Dr. James Orbinski, Professor and the inaugural Director of York University’s Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, and Junior Fellow Amanda Loder, a PhD Candidate in Physical Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Toronto.


Phil Fontaine: Reconciliation. Next Steps.

Principal Des Rosiers interviews incoming Senior Fellow Phil Fontaine, President of Ishkonigan Inc. who served three terms as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (1997-2000, 2003-2009), followed by a conversation with Senior Fellow Bob Rae, currently a Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, and Junior Fellow Mia McKie, who is pursuing her PhD in the Department of History.


All hands on deck: Banding together against COVID-19

This Dialogue was hosted by Paul Chen, a Junior Fellow pursuing his PhD in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry. Paul is joined in conversation with Senior Fellow Dr. Natasha Crowcroft from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and Flavio Volpe, President of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association.


Prof. Linda Cardinal on Canada’s Language Regime in Theory and Practice

On the topic of La Francophonie, Principal Des Rosiers’s featured speaker is Dr. Linda Cardinal, Professor and holder of the Research Chair in Canadian Francophonie and Public Policies. They are joined in conversation with incoming Senior Fellow Dr. Normand Labrie from the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE, and former Junior Fellow (Alumnus) Pascal Thibeault.


In Conversation with Lorna Goodison, Poet Laureate of Jamaica (2017-2020)

A discussion to honour Lorna Goodison being named the 2019 recipient of The Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. Principal Des Rosiers interviews Lorna Goodison CD about her life, what has inspired her poetry and any future projects. They are joined in conversation by Senior Fellow Dr. Nick Mount, professor in the University of Toronto’s Department of English, and Junior Fellow Niyosha Keyzad, a PhD Candidate in the Department of English at U of T, who each reflect on what about Lorna Goodison’s work they find intriguing, inspiring, and relevant to their own areas of study and professions.


Hugh Segal on Judgement-free money efficiently distributed: Time for a Basic Income

Is it time to revisit the discussion on Basic Income in light of COVID-19? Junior Fellow Krish Bilimoria hosts the discussion with former Massey Principal Hugh Segal about his long-time advocacy for a basic annual income in Canada, and how the economic impact of COVID—19 should warrant a reconsideration towards adopting this economic policy. Senior Fellow and Physician and Health Care Expert,  Dr. Danielle Martin, and Senior Fellow Dr. Peter G. Martin, from the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, joined the conversation to reflect on what they find intriguing, inspiring, or disconcerting about the idea of basic income and how it applies to their own professions.


Dr. Barbara Sherwood Lollar on Earth Research that Matters for Life on Other Planets

Dr. Sherwood Lollar has found water where no one thought it was. What does this tell us about potential for elsewhere in the Universe? Principal Des Rosiers interviews Senior Fellow and Earth Sciences Professor Dr. Barbara Sherwood Lollar about the most important aspects of her research, followed by a conversation with former Junior Fellow Dr. Si Yue Guo, a Postdoctoral Researcher In Physical Chemistry at The Matter Lab, and Michael O’Shea, Junior Fellow and PhD Student in Higher Education, about the impact Dr. Sherwood Lollar’s talk has on their own work, and what among her ideas they would like to see pushed further.


Prof. Akwasi Owusu-Bempah on Colonialism and Criminal Justice: Addressing the Legacy

How is the experience of Black people with Crime and Policing linked to Colonialism? Will it have an impact on the way we address COVID-19? Principal Des Rosiers interviews Senior Fellow and Sociology Professor Akwasi Owusu-Bempah about the most important aspects of his research, followed by a conversation with 2017-18 Southam Journalism Fellow and Toronto Star Staff Reporter Jim Rankin, as well as Alex Luscombe, a Junior Fellow pursuing a PhD in the Department of Criminology.