For the next National Conference on Ending Homelessness, we are excited to announce a stellar lineup of keynote speakers who are each luminaries in their field. They will bring an insightful perspective to today’s most relevant topics.

(More CAEH23 Keynote Speakers will be announced soon, so check back again soon for more exciting announcements.)

Keynote Speakers


The Honourable Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard

The Honourable Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard is the first African Nova Scotian woman to be appointed to the Senate of Canada, representing the province of Nova Scotia and her hometown of East Preston. Senator Bernard champions issues impacting African Canadians and people living with disabilities. She is particularly invested in human rights, employment equity, and mental health. Through her involvement in community projects, her social work career, her time with Dalhousie School of Social Work, and now her work in the Senate, Senator Bernard has maintained a deep dedication to social justice and racial justice. Senator Bernard advocates for reparations for the historical and continued anti-Black racism impacting the lives of African Canadians.

Dr. Marie-Hélène Pelletier

Throughout her career in business management and psychology, Dr. Pelletier has spearheaded a national dialogue on the crucial issues of leadership resilience and workplace health. Drawing on her extensive background in corporate, insurance, governance and public sectors, she brings national and international perspectives and expertise on mental health and resilience as a key pillar of overall health. She is a bilingual practicing psychologist with over 20 years of experience in clinical psychology and advisory workplace psychology and holds a Ph.D. and an MBA from the University of British Columbia. Marie-Helene is a Member of the Global Clinical Practice Network of the World Health Organization, and past Director on the boards of the Canadian Psychological Association and the International Association of Applied Psychology. She has presented and authored and co-authored a number of industry and academic publications and was won numerous academic and industry awards, including the Industry Leadership Award from Benefits Canada.

David Coletto

David is one of Canada’s leading pollsters and the founder of Abacus Data!  He has spent nearly 20 years exploring and measuring public opinion including on homelessness and housing. With a PhD in Political Science, David is also adjunct professor at Carleton University and the host of inFocus, a new podcast that explores the intersection of public opinion, politics, public policy, and consumer behaviour. 

During his keynote, David will explore the issues that have captured Canadians’ attention – with housing at the epicenter. He’ll present exclusive, eye-opening polling data, revealing the multifaceted relationship between housing issues, attitudes towards immigration, perceptions of government performance, and economic growth. 
David’s talk will spotlight housing as the defining issue of our era. He will articulate the vital interconnections of housing with a multitude of concerns – not just walls and roofs, but a phenomenon that touches every facet of Canadian life.

From a rich tapestry of perspectives, David will explore how the housing crisis impacts diverse communities. Listen as he navigates through generational, gendered, racialized, and socio-economic lenses to provide a full spectrum understanding of this pressing concern. 
David’s insightful analysis will shine a light on how the housing crisis has become a prominent symbol of societal unease, subtly shaping opinions on other, seemingly unrelated issues. He’ll equip participants with unique insights on engaging decision makers and making the case that ending homelessness is a national priority. 
Don’t miss this compelling exploration of an issue that lies at the heart of Canadian life today. 

Jeff Olivet

Jeff Olivet is a seasoned advocate and powerful force for social change in North America.  Jeff is the Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH).  

He has worked to prevent and end homelessness for more than 25 years as a street outreach worker, case manager, coalition builder, researcher, and trainer. He is the founder of Jo Consulting, co-founder of Racial Equity Partners, and served as CEO of C4 Innovations for 8 years. 

Jeff is deeply committed to social justice, racial equity, gender equality, and inclusion for all. Throughout his career, he has worked extensively in the areas of homelessness and housing, health and behavioral health, HIV, education, and organizational development. Jeff has been principal investigator on multiple research studies funded by foundations and the National Institutes of Health.  

During his keynote, we’ll hear about groundbreaking work being done with the new US federal strategy to end homelessness. 

Margaret Pfoh

We’re thrilled to announce that Margaret Pfoh will be a keynote speaker at CAEH23. Margaret is Tsimshian, a member of the Lax Kw’alaams Band and a descendent from the Eagle Clan. She joined the non-profit housing sector more than 27 years ago and is the CEO of the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA). Margaret’s career has been built on her dedication to serve and support Indigenous Peoples and she currently serves on both the CHRA’s Indigenous Housing Advisory Caucus and the CHRA’s Board of Directors as President.

Many Indigenous Peoples do not live on reserve lands due to displacement and dispossession from their homelands and issues with habitability, availability, and suitability of on-reserve housing. As Canada’s first For Indigenous, By Indigenous housing authority, AHMA has over 25 years of expertise in delivering Indigenous housing solutions. This keynote will address the importance of self-determination, decolonization, integrated healthcare, and human rights considerations for trauma-informed approaches to housing that serve those most in need.

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