Saskatoon Event Announcement: Partners in Public Service – Collaboration Across the Public Sector


The Partners in Public Service: Collaboration Across the Public Sector, promises to be  an evening of learning and connecting with colleagues across all levels and areas of the public sector. The event will feature a multi-disciplinary panel of public sector leaders discussing the importance of collaboration across jurisdictions and sectors,  and how we as a collective public service can better serve our citizens.

This evening will also provide you with an opportunity to forge new partnerships with your counterparts and to learn more about our host organizations.

Thursday, March 23, 2017
5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Delta Bessborough
601 Spandina Crescent E
Saskatoon, SK

Appetizers and a cash bar will be provided.

Please register with Katie Chesterton ( by Monday, March 20, 2017.

The following panel of esteemed leaders are confirmed to be attending this event:

Chief Lorie WhitecalfChief Lorie Whitecalf

Lorie made history when she became the first woman to be elected Chief of Sweetgrass First Nation in 2011. She is currently serving her third term of office.  Lorie is a proud mother of three children, Kylie, Whitney and Austin.  Being raised on a farm, usually considered men’s work, provided Lorie with strong work ethic and a belief system that women can do anything.  She continues to raise cattle alongside her father. Chief Whitecalf practices a traditional lifestyle of hunting and gathering. She currently sits on numerous boards:  Saskatchewan First Nations Natural Resources Centre of Excellence, FSIN Executive Council, Treaty 6 Education, Battle River Treaty 6 Health Centre, BATC Executive Council, and BATC Community Development Corporation.

Catherine GrybaCatherine Gryba

  • Worked for the City of Saskatoon for the past 32 years and is presently the General Manager, Corporate Performance Department.
  • Board Member and Past Chair of the Board, Saskatchewan Blue Cross.
  • Past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Saskatoon and Area United Way, and the Cabinet for United Way
  • Board Member for the Jeux Canada Games Foundation
  • Co-Founder and Member of Executive Women of Saskatoon – a peer mentorship group consisting of women in executive positions
  • Graduate of the University of Saskatchewan and served as an alumna committee member for a variety of CIS Championships, including hockey, basketball, volleyball and track and field, and most recently the Vice-Chair of the 100th Anniversary of Huskie Athletics.
  • Married to Shawn and have 3 children.


Rob Norrisrob-norris

After almost a decade of serving in the Saskatchewan Legislature, Rob returned to the University of Saskatchewan on 1 January 2016; he serves as the University’s Senior Strategist for Partnerships within the Office of the Vice-President Research. His core responsibilities include advising:

1) the Canadian Light Source (CLS) Synchrotron, where he is working on partnership development opportunities in the Middle East, Europe and across Canada; 2) the Vaccine Infectious Disease Organization and the International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac), where he focuses on relations with the Canadian government and partnership development in East Asia; 3) the Sylvia Fedoruk Centre for Nuclear Innovation, where he works to enhance relations with various Canadian and global partners; and 4) the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS).

Norris also works with the University’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine, the College of Agriculture and Bio-Resources as well as the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition regarding outreach and engagement; he serves as a strategic communications and community-engagement advisor to a University-led, Canadian-sponsored food and nutritional security program in Ethiopia.

Finally, as needed, he offers advice to the Vice-President Research – including as a member of the Canadian Neutron Initiative working group – and other senior administrators.

From November, 2007 – December, 2015, Norris served as the Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan (MLA) for the constituency of Saskatoon-Greystone. First elected in 2007 and re-elected in 2011, he served in Premier Wall’s Cabinet as: Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Labour; Minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board; Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration; Minister responsible for SaskPower; Minister responsible for Innovation, Minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Research Council as well as the Premier’s Legislative Secretary for First Nations and Metis Peoples. He was a member of Treasury Board and the Board of Directors of Saskatchewan’s Crown Investment Corporation as well as other executive bodies. Upon announcing his departure from executive government, Norris concluded his elected tenure with membership on two legislative committees: Crown and Central Agencies as well the esteemed Public Accounts Committee of the Legislature.

Known for being both collaborative and decisive, Norris had dozens of ministerial accomplishments which helped to transform Saskatchewan.

In the post-secondary sector, he oversaw record funding for advanced education and skills training initiatives, including focusing on Indigenous education and institutions and facilitating historic federal-provincial infrastructure investments across Saskatchewan; he also created, as well as implemented, Saskatchewan’s Graduate Retention Program. Regarding the promotion of university-based research, in partnership with University of Saskatchewan, he fostered the creation of the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation, supported the establishment of the Global Institute for Water Security and played a key role in negotiating the creation of the public-private Global Institute for Food Security. He also laid the foundation for Saskatchewan’s International Education Strategy. Rob also supported numerous initiatives at University of Regina and other post-secondary institutions across the province.

Regarding SaskPower, as Minister Rob guided through cabinet and launched historic investments in Canadian green energy infrastructure, including the $1.5 billion, world-first, Boundary Dam 3 carbon capture and storage project in southern Saskatchewan as well as the concomitant establishment of the $60 million public-private Shand Carbon Capture Test Facility.

Importantly, Norris also developed and enacted the Wall Government’s inaugural Immigration Strategy (June 2009) to foster provincial population growth, international student retention and foreign direct investment; the foundations of this strategy continue to foster record population growth in Saskatchewan and robust international investment across the province.

In the labour portfolio, he led the modernization of Saskatchewan’s labour law, including within the construction sector.

As Minister, Rob also represented Saskatchewan on numerous pan-Canadian / federal-provincial – territorial committees, which had functional themes ranging from Advanced Education to the Status of Women and beyond. He also led Saskatchewan delegations to other regions of Canada, Western and Central Europe, the Middle East, Southeast and South Asia and the United States. As MLA, he also participated in Commonwealth Parliamentary missions to Alberta (including the Fort McMurray Oil Sands) and Western Australia and served with the Washington-based National Democratic Institute as an election observer in Tunisia (2014) and an Institute of Public Administration Canada governance expert in Malawi (2015).

Prior to holding public office, Norris served within the University of Saskatchewan’s senior administration as Coordinator for Global Relations, 2004-2007, where he helped the University analyze, articulate and act upon its global interests, including enhancing the profile and prestige of this campus community. In 2005, he helped secure and coordinate the campus visit of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh. He joined U of S International in 1999. Rob took political leave from the University from November 2007 – January 2016.

From 1997 – 1999, Norris served as a Legislative Assistant in the Canadian House of Commons, with a focus on Canadian foreign policy. As part of his duties, he worked closely with the House of Commons Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade as well as focused on policy issues and options relating to various geopolitical regions and international organizations.

Having earning various student scholarships and bursaries, Norris graduated with an Associate Arts Diploma, Red Deer College (1990), a B.A. (Hons.) in Political Science, University of Lethbridge (1992) and a M.A. in Political Science, University of Alberta (2004).

In addition to his current University duties, Norris comments on both local and global issues. For more than a decade, his articles, essays and reviews have been published in both the popular and academic press. He also works to build youth-focused bridges between Canada and the world; as a community contribution, he serves as Board Chair for Ottawa-based, Canada World Youth.

He is married to Carol Norris, a chemist within the Canadian Food Inspection Agency; within their blended family, they have three children: Jacqueline, Emmet and Hayden

Laurie PushorLaurie Pushor

Laurie Pushor is the Deputy Minister of the Saskatchewan Ministry of the Economy. This ministry’s mission is to advance economic growth to generate wealth and opportunity in Saskatchewan. The ministry includes the government’s major economic, resource and labour market development functions.

Laurie Pushor first joined the Ministry of the Economy serving as a Senior Advisor to the Deputy Minister. Prior to joining the Ministry of the Economy, he spent four years as a Chief of Staff with the Government of Saskatchewan. He was fortunate to serve as the Chief of Staff with Minister Harpauer in Social Services, with Minister Boyd in Energy and Resources, and Minister McMorris in Health. Prior to joining the Government of Saskatchewan, Laurie was the Director of Recruitment and Admissions for the University of Saskatchewan. This role included responsibility for Canadian as well as international recruitment and international student activities.

Moderator: Kristin BruceKristin Bruce

Kristin finished an undergraduate degree at the University of Saskatchewan in 2011. Following this, she took a year off to work and travel. Upon returning to Saskatoon, she started a Masters of Public Policy degree at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School (JSGS) of Public Policy. While at JSGS she completed a thesis looking at water governance and planning for future uncertainty in Saskatchewan under the supervision of Murray Fulton and Patricia Gober. After finishing the program in 2016, Kristin accepted a position with the Strategic and Business Planning Division at the City of Saskatoon as a Performance Improvement Coordinator.

The host committee would like to thank our sponsor, MNP, for its generous support.


The Partners in Public Service Event Series is being hosted by:


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