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Hon. Hugh Segal

Public Policy Expert, Former Senator

One of Canada’s most popular public speakers and commentators on domestic and foreign public policy, Hugh Segal brings a remarkable record of experiences to his task. Currently the Head of College at Massey College at the University of Toronto, Hugh also chairs the NATO Association of Canada and is a Senior Fellow of Global Affairs Institute of Canada.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Two Freedoms:  A bold call for a Canadian foreign policy that advances the basic freedoms that enable peace, stability, development, and security.
What ends should a democratic country’s foreign policy serve? Avoiding diplomatic disputes? Keeping allies happy? Promoting national and global security? While a qualified yes is the logical answer to all of these secondary questions, Two Freedoms argues for something more, something that reflects Canada’s commitment, at home and abroad, to the two key freedoms: freedom from want and freedom from fear.

Civility and Prosperity: The Canadian Challenge
Hugh Segal shares his profound belief that in these times of uncertainty we must focus on normal rhythms, activities and cycles. We may be at war with a terrorist threat at home and abroad. But giving up on the balance and equilibrium is a way of surrendering – which we must not do. Our business leaders’ duty to the rest of us, and to the effort to contribute to economic stability and confidence, is real. Our capacity to contribute to the effort is in the end related to our ability to contribute to social justice and equality of opportunity, both of which depend utterly on our ability to generate wealth.

National Security, Public Interest & How We Govern – A Time for Innovation
In this presentation, Hugh review the issues, problems and challenges the Government of Canada must address in the pursuit of national and security interests. he discusses why we need to have a permanent structure with independent research capacity and permanent staff to engage on national security.

Healthcare in Canada
In this presentation, Hugh Segal explores the questions facing Healthcare in Canada. What are the prospects for real, improvement in our health care delivery system? How can provinces and Ottawa be reconciled towards a more collaborative effort? What can health professionals do to help facilitate this greater engagement?


Defence Associations Institute | Vimy Award

Order of Canada

  • We were delighted with Hugh Segal's presentations at our pharmaceutical industry sessions in Montreal and Toronto. His material was bang on for our audience -- a perfect blend of thoughtful comments on topical issues, strategic thinking and challenge for the near term. Hugh's business, political and academic experience made for a great combination. He has a wonderful and wickedly funny wit and he thinks brilliantly on his feet.

    - IMS Health
  • Hugh was the perfect choice! He was a refreshing, informative and highly entertaining reminder of current events. Even those delegates not of the same political persuasion as Hugh had to admit that he was the right person to end our conference on a high note.

    - Canadian Wholesale Drug Association
  • Hugh Segal is...the funniest after-dinner speaker in the country.

    - Contributing Editor for Maclean's magazine

Summary Profile

Hugh is an accomplished author and columnist; he has appeared regularly on CTV, CBC and PBS. A former chair of the Senate foreign Relations and Anti-Terrorist Committees, he is a former Chief of staff to the Prime Minister and Associate Cabinet Secretary in Ontario, and served in the Senate for nine years as a Conservative even though he was appointed by a Liberal Prime Minister.

A former special envoy to the commonwealth, he has travelled extensively advocating for human rights, rule of law, judicial independence and democracy in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. An Honorary Captain in the Royal Canadian Navy he speaks, with both insight and humour about important domestic, international and income security issues. In 2015 he won the Vimy Award from Canada’s defence community for outstanding contributions to Canada’s national defence and the defence of democracy.

He has written several books on Canadian public policy and foreign affairs. When in the Senate he brought in ‎ legislation forcing quarterly public reporting on all government spending and motions for televising and reforming the Upper Chamber. He was elevated to the Order of Canada in 2003 before being summoned to the Senate. He is a co-chair of the Democracy 10(world’s largest democracies) forum and honorary chair of the Navy League of Canada.