2011 Conference

Eroding North America’s Borders

at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

The U.S.-Canada Conference 2011 was the second annual conference jointly organized by the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy and Governance and the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. This year’s conference focuses on human capital development as a policy tool to address the most important public policy issues that confront the United States and Canada.

Student participants were divided into groups to work on policy case studies on one of three issues: equitable access to healthcare, sustainable urban growth, and the role of private business in spurring innovation. Participants devised policy options and presented their findings to a panel of experts for feedback.

While still maintaining its model as a student-run initiative, the conference hopes to achieve the following:

  • Explore issues of relevance to Canada and the United States;
  • Create an environment conducive for interaction between different policy programs;
  • Apply a conference framework that allows policy students to apply their problem solving capabilities;
  • Illustrate the importance of public policy in addressing the most pressing national and international concerns.



Dr. Roy B. Norton, Consul General of Canada in Detroit

As the Consul General of Canada based in Detroit, Roy Norton represents Canada in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.  The Canadian Consulate General, which he heads, promotes Canadian interests – trade, investment, the environment, culture and academic relations being among the principal ones. The office also provides consular, passport, visa and immigration services.

Until August, 2010, Roy Norton served  the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., as Minister (Congressional, Public and Intergovernmental Relations).  In that capacity, he was responsible for the Canadian government’s relations with the U.S. Congress, as well as for media & public relations, cultural & academic relations, the interests of Canadian provinces & territories in Washington, D.C., the activities of Canadian legislators in Washington, and outreach to US states.

That was Roy’s 2nd posting in Washington; he served in the Embassy’s Economic Section from 1990-94 and was a member of Canada’s negotiating teams for the intellectual property and investment chapters of NAFTA.

From 2000 until 2006 Roy was based in Toronto, working for the Government of Ontario (in 2005-2006 as Assistant Deputy Minister, International Relations & Chief of Protocol in the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs; previously as Assistant Deputy Minister B Export Development, and President/CEO of Ontario Exports Inc., in the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade).

Prior to his earlier Washington assignment, Roy worked in the Canadian Parliament (first in the House of Commons, then in the Senate) and, subsequently, for five years, as Senior Policy Advisor to the Canadian Foreign Minister.  After leaving the Embassy in 1994 he worked as a consultant to the Canadian Departments of Foreign Affairs and Industry and to several private sector firms.

Born in Ottawa, Roy graduated initially from Carleton University (MA in Canadian History).  He also holds Masters Degrees from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government (in Public Administration) and Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (in International Public Policy), as well as a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins SAIS (in International Relations).