Creating space for transformative conversations

Who Governs in a Minority? Join us October 7

October 07, 2015

SFU Centre for Dialogue and the Vancouver Sun presents



Are you confused by recent statements by each of the party leaders about what happens if no party wins a majority of seats in the next federal election? Join us and a panel of Canada’s constitutional experts as we explore what happens when a minority government is elected.

October 7, 2015, 5:30–7:00pm, light refreshments at 5pm

Room 1420, Segal Centre, SFU Vancouver, 515 West Hastings Street

This dialogue is free, but please reserve your seat by registering HERE




Geoff Plant,  Partner, GLGMLaw, former Attorney General of BC

Geoff Plant is a partner in the Vancouver law firm Gall Legge Grant & Munroe LLP, where he provides legal and public policy advice and representation to public and private sector clients, and also works as a mediator and arbitrator.

Geoff was elected to the BC Legislature in 1996 and from 2001 to 2005 served as Attorney General of British Columbia and Minister responsible for Treaty Negotiations. He was the minister responsible for the Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform and the New Relationship, the first-ever political accord between the BC government and the province’s three aboriginal political organizations.

Geoff has undertaken a number of projects since leaving politics, including producing the report known as Access and Excellence: the Campus 2020 plan for BC’s Post-Secondary Education System.  He has taught public law at UBC and University of Victoria law faculties.  Geoff obtained his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and has law degrees from Southampton, Dalhousie and Cambridge Universities.

Geoff is Chancellor of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and board chair of the Canada West Foundation and the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education.  In 2012 he was named one of the “Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada” in the “Changemaker” category by Canadian Lawyer Magazine.



Andrew Heard, Professor, Department of Political Science, Simon Fraser University

Andrew Heard is a Professor in the Political Science Department at Simon Fraser University and is President of the British Columbia Political Studies Association. His research interests cover Canadian constitutional and institutional issues: the Crown, constitutional conventions, Senate reform, parliamentary privilege, federalism, elections, and the courts. He recently published a second edition of Canadian Constitutional Conventions: The Marriage of Law and Politics



Barbara Messamore, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of the Fraser Valley

Barbara J. Messamore, (PhD, Edinburgh), Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, associate professor of history at University of the Fraser Valley, is the author of Canada’s Governors General, 1847-1878: Biography and Constitutional Evolution (University of Toronto Press, 2006), co-author of Narrating a Nation: Canadian History Pre-Confederation (McGraw Hill Ryerson, 2011), and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Historical Biography. She has published academic articles on constitutional and political history topics. A recent article in John A. Macdonald at 200 (Dundurn, 2014) considers Macdonald’s “use and abuse of the Crown.” Some recent work and conference presentations have explored the meaning of Confederation.



Herman Bakvis, Professor, School for Public Administration, University of Victoria

Herman Bakvis (PhD, UBC) is Professor of Public Administration at the University of Victoria, Canada. Previously he was at Dalhousie University for 26 years, where he was Director of the School of Public Administration from 2000 to 2004. He has also held visiting appointments at the Australian National University, Queen’s University and the University of Saskatchewan. His teaching and research interests include intergovernmental relations, the policy process, and public sector governance. Recent books include: From New Public Management to New Political Governance (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2012), co-edited with Mark Jarvis; Canadian Federalism (Oxford University Press, 3rd ed., 2012), co-edited with Grace Skogstad; and Contested Federalism (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2009), co-authored with Gerald Baier and Douglas Brown. He has also been involved in applied policy research for departments and agencies such as Human Resources and Social Development Canada, Transport Canada, and Treasury Board Secretariat. From 1990 to 1992 he was research coordinator with the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing for the section on political parties and voter turnout.