University of Alberta’s 2015 Access and Privacy Conference Hits Another Home Run!

March 9, 2015 - Wayne MacDonald, Chair, 2015 Access and Privacy Conference

The Faculty of Extension’s annual national access and privacy conference is recognized across Canada as the best conference of its kind! 2015 marks the thirteenth year that the University of Alberta is delivering its award winning conference format. This year’s conference is scheduled for June 10th, 11th and12th and will be held at the Marriott Hotel, River Cree Resort in Edmonton, Alberta.

The 2015 conference theme is Access and Privacy: A Bird’s Eye View. Conference content will not only celebrate the 20th anniversary of FOIP legislation in Alberta but will engage delegates to focus on lessons learned from other national information rights legislation jurisdictions, highlight key access and privacy issues and trends from across the country, grapple with understanding new health privacy expectations, give helpful tips and insights into IT and security strategies and offer practitioners valuable lessons on best practices. The matrix of conference keynotes, plenary sessions and breakout presentations are designed to expand and enlighten the knowledge of information rights administrators, practitioners and stakeholder experts.

As in past years the 3 day conference starts off on Wednesday, June 10th with a full day of workshops aimed at giving practitioners in-depth training and knowledge that they can take back to their workplaces for immediate application. This year’s 4 workshops focus on: the latest and best PIA template devised by Service Alberta and approved by the Alberta IPC office, suggestions and recommendations for best practices related to cross program/department information sharing protocols and insights, FOIP training for the beginner and an in-depth workshop on how to achieve a ‘win-win’ situation in municipal project development where an openness, transparency and accountability approach results in successful community development.

The first day of the conference workshops concludes with a sponsored evening Conference Opening Reception. Here conference delegates are treated to complimentary refreshments, hors d’oeuvres and have the opportunity to mingle and network with conference speakers, attending commissioners, academics, senior government officials and fellow delegates. This mixer is a great opportunity to make contacts and engage in some active career planning.

On Thursday, June 11th the conference kicks off with a hot breakfast, followed by conference opening activities that include: greetings from the Dean of the Faculty of Extension, an update to delegates from Stephen Kahan, Minister, Service Alberta, sharing the latest access and privacy priorities of the Alberta government and a brief summary of the state of information rights in Alberta by Commissioner Jill Clayton.

Our featured keynote this year is former Prime Minister Kim Campbell who will address the delegates on the importance information rights legislation plays in maintaining a healthy democracy. This is the first time that a former Prime Minister has delivered a keynote address on the topic of access and privacy.

The keynote is immediately followed by two plenary presentations. The first presentation examines 20 years of FOIP accomplishments in Alberta delivered by Jill Clayton and former Commissioners Frank Work and Bob Clark. The morning concludes with an address by the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada delivering a presentation focused on the current state of federal access to information across the country.

Following lunch the conference delivers 3 breakout sessions focused on a Health Information Act presentation concerning mandatory privacy breach reporting. For the first time at a conference the privacy rights of K-12 and post-secondary student’s sexual orientation and gender identity will be examined and the last afternoon breakout session will be delivered by KPMG focusing on IT and security. The sessions culminate with the popular and entertaining Commissioner’s Round Table.

Friday, June 12th kicks off with a keynote address by Daniel Therrien, Canada’s new Privacy Commissioner. Delegates will be interested to hear what the Commissioner’s privacy priorities will be for the next 5 years. The morning sessions conclude after a presentation of the 2015 Access and Protection of Privacy Awards and 3 breakout sessions that update delegates on Commissioner Rulings 2014-2015, a presentation on employee/employer privacy rights and a presentation on insights into perceptions and activities of an IPC office delivered by the Saskatchewan Commissioner.

Immediately following lunch delegates will enjoy a plenary presentation by Gartner Research touching on the latest research into information rights compliance followed by 3 more insightful breakout sessions. Friday afternoon concludes with a health privacy presentation by Mary Marshall and Diane McLeod-McKay, two of Canada’s foremost health law experts, information rights administrators will gain insight in how to deliver timely and cost effective access and privacy programs in a financially constrained environment and lastly a presentation on Canadian’s privacy rights related to security will be examined by Dr. Avner Levin and Laurence Kearley, two of Canada’s foremost experts on the topic of surveillance.

The Conference Organizing Committee invites you to join us for this year’s conference in Edmonton, Alberta. The University of Alberta’s conference is not only cost effective but features speakers and experts that will enlighten and expand your learning. Come for the conference – stay and visit the Rocky Mountains!

For further information on the 2015 Access and Privacy Conference including registration, booking a hotel room, presentation topics and speakers please visit:

I look forward to seeing you at this year’s conference in June!

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