Rt. Hon. Robert L. Stanfield Conversations

The 2023 Stanfield Conversation features speakers Megan Leslie, Naheed Nenshi and Mark Jaccard with CBC Radio host Jeff Douglas as moderator. This year's event will take place on Tuesday, October 24 at 7 pm (ADT) in the Joseph Strug Concert Hall, located in the Fountain School of Performing Arts at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The event will also be livestreamed. In-person seating is limited and registration is requiredRegister for in-person seating or to receive livestream access details here.

The Rt. Hon. Robert L. Stanfield Conversations
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Dalhousie University’s Stanfield Conversations: Talking Democracy series builds on the legacy of the Rt. Hon. Robert L. Stanfield, former Premier of Nova Scotia and leader of the federal Progressive Conservative Party. This series focuses on critical challenges to democracy and imaginative and inspiring responses to them. Through the Conversations, we aim to tackle subjects of national and international importance, drawing on diverse, world-class thinkers and practitioners of democracy to do so.


Talking Democracy

“WHERE IS DEMOCRACY TODAY?”  is the over-arching focus of the series. Conversations will address themes of both urgent contemporary and enduring importance. Topics may be national or international in scope and explore issues such as populism and the new authoritarianism, ethics in politics, inequality and democracy or accommodating division and diversity. The series will highlight diverse political orientations, while honouring Stanfield’s enduring contributions to public policy and public service grounded in decency and integrity.

Speakers will be chosen from the ranks of distinguished academics, past or present politicians, non-elected political practitioners, journalists, public service, civil society and private sector leaders and public intellectuals. In selecting speakers and topics, the aim will be to meet the highest standards of academic and public interest.

2023 Conversation: 
"Can democracies meet the challenge of climate change?"  

This year's Conversation will go beyond the concepts established in previous Stanfield Conversations, and will focus on the topic, "Can Democracies meet the Challenge of Climate Change?" On Tuesday, October 24, we will welcome three distinguished guests to Dalhousie to discuss this topic:

Megan Leslie, President & CEO of World Wildlife Fund Canada and former Member of Parliament for Halifax

Naheed Nenshi, former mayor of Calgary

Mark Jaccard, Chair and CEO of the BC Utilities Commission, Distinguished Professor of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University, and author of The Citizen's Guide to Climate Success: Overcoming Myths that Hinder Progress

The moderator for the 2023 Stanfield Conversation will be the host of CBC Mainland Nova Scotia's afternoon show Mainstreet on Radio One and Dalhousie alum, Jeff Douglas.

Learn more about this year's conversation topic and of each of our featured guests.

ASL interpretation will be provided on stage and on the livestream.

Registration is required. RSVP here for in-person seating (limited) or for livestream access.

Thank you to CBC Nova Scotia for acting as official media sponsor of the 2023 event.


The Stanfield Conversations series is supported by an Advisory Council of respected Canadians from across the country – many prominent practitioners and scholars of democratic politics – led by co-chairs the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark and the Hon. Anne McLellan (former Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister respectively). Operational activities are managed by a Dalhousie-based organizing committee, supported by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the Department of Political Science, the President’s Office, the Office of Advancement, and Communications, Marketing & Creative Services.

Please contact rlsconv@dal.ca if you have any questions about the Stanfield Conversations. 

Advisory Council


We are privileged to have prestigious individuals commit to providing volunteer leadership.  With their guidance, we are establishing an advisory council, co-chaired by the Rt. Honourable Joe Clark and the Hon. Anne McLellan, that will help us achieve the goals of the Rt. Hon. Robert L. Stanfield Conversations. 

Stanfield Fellows


We are pleased to welcome the first two Stanfield Fellows, Dr. Kiran Banerjee and Dr. Scott Pruysers - outstanding young scholars with a deep interest in democratic politics. The Stanfield Fellows are an integral part of the Stanfield Conversations: Talking Democracy series. The Fellows will be organizing a master class for Dalhousie students with the Conversation speakers, authoring publications, contributing to the development of yearly themes, and supporting the organization of the series. 

Fundraising goal

To ensure the long term sustainability of the events and conversations, sufficient capital will be endowed to provide annual funding in perpetuity.

The annual income on the endowment will cover the costs of presenting high quality programming in a modern format that is suitable for wide distribution on various audio, video and social media platforms, as well as in print publications.

Donate Now

To learn more about how you can support the Robert. L. Stanfield Conversations fund, contact: 

Tara Graham
Development Officer, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

E-mail: TLGraham@dal.ca
Tel: (902) 943-5854