Annual Meeting Montreal 2017

Thank you to the City of Montréal, Québec for hosting and to all participants for attending the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative 2017 Annual Meeting and Conference!

 Click Here to Read a Summary


For more photos from the 2017 Annual Meeting & Conference, please email

Press Release

Simultaneous translation services will be available for all conference programming. 

Tuesday, June 13
5:00pm–9:00pm Registration
Wednesday, June 14 – Members’ Activities
8:00am-6:00pm Registration (Lobby)
8:00am – 8:30am Breakfast (Jasmin room)
8:30am – 12:30pm Board Meeting and Lunch
12:45pm – 1:45pm Regional Meetings

  • Quebec Meeting (room: Jasmin)
  • US Meeting (room: Iris AB)
  • Ontario Meeting (room: Ball room)
2:00pm Members’ Meetings
5:30pm Break
5:15-5:30pm Departure for Montreal City Hall
5:45pm – 6:45pm Welcome Cocktail at Montreal City Hall
6:45pm Departure for Members’ Reception
7:15pm-10:00pm Members’ Reception (shuttle buses back to hotel throughout the event)

Presented by the Chamber of Marine Commerce and the Port of Montreal

Thursday, June 15 – Open to the public (with registration)
7:30am-5:00pm Registration
7:30am Breakfast

Presented by the Quebec Port Authority and AIVP, the Worldwide Network of Port Cities

8:15am Opening Ceremonies and Welcoming Remarks
The Honorable Denis Coderre, Mayor, Ville de Montréal
9:00am Keynote speaker
9:30am Press Conference – Cities Initiative Members (Jasmin Room)

Break with sponsors – All other attendees (Lobby)

10:30am Break with sponsors – All attendees (Lobby)
10:15am City to City Partnerships
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is an example of municipalities acting as catalysts for on the ground action with respect to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.  In this panel, we will hear about other city to city partnerships that are making more and better things happen faster.  Panelists will explore how municipal organizations can help municipalities lead by example and advance on issues, particularly when there may not be broader support.Speakers

  • Serge Péloquin, Mayor, Ville de Sorel-Tracy
  • Jarkko Virtanen, Deputy Mayor, City of Turku (Finland), Vice President of the Union of Baltic Cities
  • Frank Klipsch, Mayor, Davenport, Iowa, Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative
11:15am Public Private Partnerships for Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Municipalities
Public Private Partnerships (PPP) offer opportunities in water management, gray and green infrastructure and shoreline planning. This panel will discuss how PPPs are developed and what their advantages and disadvantages are in a context of public water as a primary issue.Moderator

  • Tom Barrett, Mayor, City of Milwaukee


  • Chris Wheat, Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Chicago
  • Steven Hobbs, Director, The Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships
  • Johanne Mullen, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
  • Pierre J. Hamel, Professor, INRS Urbanisation
12:15pm Lunch
12:45pm Keynote Speaker

Dr. Pierre Béland, former IJC Commissioner, researcher, writer and conservation expert

 1:15pm  Break with Sponsors (Lobby)
13:30pm Special Session – Great Lakes Restoration Financing
Cities Initiative mayors will share success stories and the results of investment in Great Lakes restoration, particularly through the U.S. Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.Moderator

  • Mayor Denis Coderre


  • Mayor Paul Dyster, Niagara Falls, NY
  • Mayor Mike Vandersteen, Sheboygan, WI
  • Mayor John Paterson, Leamington, ON
2:00pm Partnerships to Address Climate Change
For Great Lakes and St. Lawrence communities, impacts of climate change, such as extreme weather events, are a reality. Municipalities must prepare for the impacts of climate change. Citizen participation is necessary. What are the partnerships that can help municipalities to address climate change and improve their resilience?Moderator:

  • Michelle Morin-Doyle, Deputy Mayor, Québec City


  • Kimberly Hill Knott, Director of Policy, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice and Project Director, Detroit Climate Action Collaborative
  • Cindy Toth, Director of Environmental Policy, Town of Oakville
  • Roger Lachance, Directeur du service de l’environnement, Ville de Montréal
3:15pm Break with Sponsors (Lobby)
3:30pm Special Presentation – Sustainable Municipal Water Management in Montreal

Chantal Rouleau, Borough Mayor of Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles Ville de Montreal

4:00pm Partnerships with Indigenous People and Communities
There are a number of opportunities for partnerships between Indigenous People and Communities and municipalities in order to advance common goals on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence.  Management of our water resources is one integral way in which we can work together.  This panel explores examples of these partnerships to address water management in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence region.Moderator:

  • Keith Hobbs, Mayor, City of Thunder Bay


  • Chief Christine Zachary-Deom, Mohawk Council of Kahnawake
  • Frank Ettawageshik, Executive Director, United Tribes of Michigan
  • Dr. Dean Jacobs, Consultation Manager, Walpole Island First Nation
5:15pm Break
6:00pm Departure for cocktail, dinner and show (meet in the lobby)
7:00pm Cocktail, dinner and Cirque du Soleil (shuttle available, 15 minute walk through Old Montreal, show starts at 8:00pm)


Friday, June 16 – Open to the public (with registration)
7:30am Breakfast

Special tables to learn about the Aquahacking Movement

8:30am Keynote
Frank Ettawageshik
, Executive Director, United Tribes of Michigan
9:00am Intergovernmental Partnerships for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence
There are a number of jurisdictions that share the responsibility of managing the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.  This panel will explore instances where federal, state, provincial and local governments work together to sustainably manage the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence and address issues and challenges.Moderator:

  • Mitch Twolan, Mayor, Town of Huron-Kinloss


  • Denis Lapointe, Mayor, Ville de Salaberry de Valleyfield
  • David St. Pierre, Executive Director, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago
  • Tim Eder, Executive Director, Great Lakes Commission
10:00am Special Presentation – NASA DEVELOP program

Jenna Williams, NASA Develop Program, Ames Research Center (CA)

The NASA DEVELOP student team will discuss an update to their project aiming to identify trends in the movement of algae and the formation of harmful blooms.

10:30am 2018 Host Presentation – Town of Ajax, ON and Closing Ceremonies
11:30am Departure for tours (meet in the lobby)
2018 - Save the Date