2008 CCEL Conference Highlights

The 2008 Canadian Conference on Elder Law featured speakers from around the world. Here are a few highlights from the event.

ry Opening Panel hosted by Alexa McDonough 

In 1997, Alexa McDonough led Federal NDP to regain official party status, becoming the first New Democrat elected to Parliament from the Nova Scotia mainland, and first NDP leader to win a majority of Nova Scotia seats in Parliament.

In 2006, Alexa McDonough became the first woman to win four consecutive federal terms in Nova Scotia, the first woman and second MP (since Gordon B. Isnor) to represent Halifax four consecutive federal terms, and the only woman elected from among 32 MPs in Atlantic Canada in the 39th federal election.

Alexa McDonough’s activism started at the age of fourteen, through initiating a youth outreach and day camp program to children of African Nova Scotian families facing discrimination and exclusion in their community. Throughout her career, she has supported and participated in dozens of advocacy and social action groups, human rights organizations, and professional associations.

She has received numerous awards for her peace advocacy work, her contributions to the Arab-Canadian community, and the 2003 Results Canada Political Leadership Award “in recognition of her outstanding leadership in the fight against global poverty and disease.”

Alexa is chair of the Canadian chapter of the Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament, and serves as a co-President of the Global Council of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.

Plenary Address led by Oliver Lewis
Executive Director, Mental Disabilities Advocacy Centre, Budapest, Hungary

“UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and its implications for international guardianship.”

Oliver Lewis was appointed MDAC’s Executive Director in September 2006,having served as its Legal Director for five years since its inception.Oliver graduated in law from the London School of Economics andPolitical Science (LSE) and obtained a postgraduate degree in medicallaw and ethics at King’s College London. He qualified as a barrister inthe UK, a position which he maintains through his associate membershipof Doughty Street Chambers, London. In 1999-2000 Oliver worked at theUK’s Department of Health researching mental health law reform.

Oliveris a visiting professor at the Central European University in Budapest,teaching mental disability law and advocacy to postgraduate humanrights students. He is also a Fellow at CEU’s Center for Ethics and Lawin Biomedicine. His publications include several journal articles and abook co-authored with Peter Bartlett and Oliver Thorold, “MentalDisability and the European Convention on Human Rights” (BrillPublishing, 2006). He is a board member of Amnesty InternationalHungary.

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