Coins in a jar - Monnaie dans un pot
Webinar event date: 
mar 21, 2023 12:00 pm EDT
Webinar Presenters: 
Senator Kim Pate

Kim Pate was appointed to the Senate of Canada on November 10, 2016. First and foremost, the mother of Michael and Madison, she is also a nationally renowned advocate who has spent nearly 40 years working in and around the legal and penal systems of Canada, with and on behalf of some of the most marginalized, victimized, criminalized and institutionalized — particularly imprisoned youth, men and women. Senator Pate graduated from Dalhousie Law School in 1984 with honours in the Clinical Law Programme and has completed post graduate work in the area of forensic mental health. She was the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) from January 1992 until her appointment to the Senate in November 2016. CAEFS is a federation of local societies who provide services and work in coalition with Aboriginal women, women with mental health issues and other disabling conditions, young women, visible minority and immigrant women, poor women and those isolated and otherwise deprived of potential sources of support. Prior to her work with CAEFS, she worked with youth and men in a number of capacities with the local John Howard Society in Calgary, as well as the national office. She has developed and taught Prison Law, Human Rights and Social Justice and Defending Battered Women on Trial courses at the Faculties of Law at the University of Ottawa, Dalhousie University and the University of Saskatchewan. She also occupied the Sallows Chair in Human Rights at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law in 2014 and 2015.


Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard

Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard is a highly regarded social worker, educator, researcher, community activist and advocate of social change. She has worked in mental health at the provincial level, in rural community practice at the municipal level, and, since 1990, as a professor at the Dalhousie School of Social Work, where she also served as director for a decade. In 2016, she was appointed Special Advisor on Diversity and Inclusiveness at Dalhousie University and she is the first African Nova Scotian to hold a tenure track position at Dalhousie University and to be promoted to full professor. Dr. Thomas Bernard has worked with provincial organizations to bring diversity to the political processes in Nova Scotia and teach community members about Canada’s legislative process and citizen engagement. She is a founding member of the Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW) which helps address the needs of marginalized citizens, especially those of African descent. As a former member of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, and as its past Chair, was instrumental in the development of advice to ministers regarding frameworks for gender violence prevention and health equity. At the national level, she has served as a member of the National Coalition of Advisory Councils on the Status of Women. She has served as an expert witness in human rights cases and has presented at many local, national and international forums. Dr. Thomas Bernard has received many honours for her work and community leadership, notably the Order of Nova Scotia and the Order of Canada


Senator Nancy Hartling

Nancy Hartling has played a prominent role in promoting social change and is one of New Brunswick’s most dedicated advocates on issues affecting women. With a career focused on families and social issues, she is well versed in matters of mental health, poverty, violence against women and economic development. As a divorced mother raising two young children, she realized the need to continue her education and learned quickly about the barriers that one faces while trying to earn a living and contribute to society. She completed two university degrees and founded the non-profit organization Support to Single Parents Inc. (SSPI) of which she was the Executive Director for thirty-four years. She has advocated locally, provincially and nationally on socio-economic issues facing single parents and their children, and has spearheaded innovative programs to address the challenges for low-income single mothers. She was also a founding member of St. James Court Inc., an affordable housing complex for single parents. She has contributed to programs for the elderly and has been researching healthy aging and population needs. In her work, Ms. Hartling built and maintained partnerships with all levels of government, community agencies, universities and educational institutions, businesses and media. Her involvement on women’s issues has been extensive, including co-chairing the provincial Minister’s Working Group on Violence against Women, serving on the Board of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research, co-chairing for New Brunswick for the Women’s World March 2000, as well as lecturing at the University of New Brunswick. Ms. Hartling’s record of achievement in community service, in organizational leadership and in advocacy has been recognized with several awards, such as the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case, the Community Spirit Award from the United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern New Brunswick, and the Order of New Brunswick.


Chrys Saget-Richard (they/them)

Parliamentary Research Assistant

Office of the Honourable Senator Kim Pate

Chrys Saget-Richard (they/them), is delighted and honoured to work as a Parliamentary Research Assistant in the office of the Honourable Senator Kim Pate. They recently obtained their B.C.L/JD from McGill University’s Faculty of law with a concentration in Indigenous Studies and their BSW at Toronto Metropolitan University in 2018.

Alongside both their legal and social work studies Chrys was heavily engaged in educational and activist work around issues of anti-Black racism, decolonization, gender justice, queer and trans justice, disability justice, anti-poverty and harm reduction. In 2017, they co-founded the Black Liberation Collective-TMU Chapter, dedicated to challenging anti-Black racism in post-secondary institutions.

Through direct action, the collective secured many wins including the creation of 8 full-ride scholarships for Black students (4 specifically for Social Work students), TMU’s first Black student space and many other wins dedicated to improving Black student life. As a placement student with the Policy Analysis and Research Directorate at the City of Toronto, they contributed to the development of two different equity strategies for the city: the Toronto Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism and the second Toronto Youth Equity Strategy (TYES), targeted at addressing discrimination against racialized Queer and Trans youth in Toronto.

Alongside their studies, Chrys was heavily involved in student politics locally and provincially, and continues to serve the movement as an anti-harassment advisor, consultant, and anti-oppressive practice trainer. They started their social work career as a youth worker in Ottawa and has worked consistently in different capacities with adults with developmental disabilities for over a decade.


During the global pandemic, the Government of Canada acted promptly to put in place far-reaching economic measures intended to support the safety and security of all people in Canada. These benefits demonstrated that a guaranteed livable basic income program is possible.

This webinar will overview the fundamentals of a guaranteed livable basic income program are already in place for the Government of Canada to advance in each province and territory in Canada.  This webinar will feature the perspectives of Senators advocating for and supporting a national framework for a guaranteed livable basic income through legislation. The webinar will also highlight the impact of a guaranteed livable basic income on people experiencing poverty and the deepening economic and social inequity in Canada.

It’s time to merge the levers of Canada’s social safety net into a guaranteed livable basic income program that will have all people in Canada live and die with dignity and respect.  If adopted, S-233 would move a guaranteed livable basic income from possible to a new reality for all people in Canada.