Opening Plenary Session

Investing in Transportation: Building Canada's Economy

Monday, September 25 – 09:00-11:00

St. John’s Convention Centre; business casual attire

Sponsored by:

A representative of Newfoundland and Labrador Transportation and Works will welcome delegates on behalf of the host province. Honourable Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, will deliver a special video message on investing in transportation, as well as current and upcoming transportation challenges.

Panel Discussion - Financing in the Transportation Industry

Moderated by Don Newman, award-winning broadcast journalist, this panel discussion will provide an overview, strategies and future implications about financing in the transportation industry.

Panelists from the following organizations will offer insights and perspectives:

Don Newman, Chairman of Canada 2020, and Principal Strategic Council, Temple Scott Associates

Mr. Newman’s celebrated journalism career spans more than forty years. As Senior Parliamentary Editor of CBC Television News, he anchored live specials and his own national weekly and daily political affairs programs. He also helped launch Canada’s first all- news channel, and reported with The National, and was a foreign correspondent, with CTV and CBC, reporting from Washington, New York and the United Nations.


His recently published career memoir “Welcome to the Broadcast” has received critical acclaim. Mr. Newman is a life member of the CanadianParliamentary Press, Canada’s History Society (a long-serving director and now on its Advisory Council), a director of the Canadian Committee of World Press Freedom Day and the Canadian Club of Toronto, and a founder of the Science Media Centre of Canada.

Nithi Govindasamy, B. Sc. (Agriculture) M. Sc. (Ag. Ec.), Former Deputy Minister, Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure, Government of Saskatchewan
In his former role as Deputy Minister for Saskatchewan Highways and Infrastructure, Mr. Govindasamy was responsible for developing and implementing a progressive and strategic business plan to optimize the role of transportation relating to increased development, trade and competiveness. His previous roles include Associate Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Agriculture and Vice-Chair of the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation. Nithi was a member of the Board for the Agricultural Credit Corporation of Saskatchewan. He spent 25 years with the Government of Alberta in progressively senior roles and retired from public service in 2017 after 40 years. Nithi currently serves as a Management and Leadership Consultant for governments.

John Law, President, Lawmark International, Senior Fellow, Canada West Foundation
Mr. Law founded Lawmark International to provide integrated business development, logistics, and regulatory support services to his clients in Western Canada. He has served a number of senior positions in both government and the transportation industry, including President of the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) and Chair of the Council of Deputy Ministers responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety. John was Founder and CEO of the Saskatchewan's Global Transportation Hub, and Deputy Minister of Saskatchewan Highways and Infrastructure. He has published numerous reports on the importance of Canadian trade infrastructure and has facilitated think tank discussions with several organizations, including the Canada West Foundation. John served 10 years as President of the Saskatchewan Property Management Corporation and was the Province’s first Chief Information and Services Officer. His public service career included staff advisory positions to the Treasury Board and Cabinet with the Government of Canada, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Bruce McCuaig, Executive Advisor on the Canada Infrastructure Bank, Privy Council Office
In his current capacity, Mr. McCuaig supports the work of Jim Leech, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on the Bank, and works as part of the Transition Office embedded in Infrastructure Canada. As President and CEO of Metrolinx, Bruce led a team committed to transforming transportation in the GTHA, to deliver on the promise of The Big Move. Bruce spent 10 years with the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and 15 years with the Ministry of Transportation. In this final role as Deputy Minister, Bruce led 4,000 public servants dedicated to ensuring a safe and efficient provincial transportation system. Bruce is on the Board of Directors the United Way of Peel Region, a member of the Providence Healthcare Foundation Board of Directors, and a former member of TAC’s Board of Directors.  He holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Urban and Regional Planning from Ryerson University, and a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University.

Russell Neudorf, Former Deputy Minister of Transportation, Government of the Northwest Territories
As Deputy Minister, Mr. Neudorf has provided strategic leadership and management, and has managed several large scale capital projects, including the Deh Cho Bridge and the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway. Russell has over 30 years’ transportation experience in policy development, consultation and engagement of partners and stakeholders, and management of research and major capital projects.

He previously served as President of the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC), and as Past President until 2017. Russell has chaired the Council of Deputy Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety, and the Engineering and Research Support Committee. Russell has led the successful development of a strategic vision for transportation in Canada. His previous roles include Senior Transportation Planner and Director of Transportation Planning and Policy for the Government of the Northwest Territories. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with Great Distinction from the University of Saskatchewan, and a Master of Science in Transportation and Engineering Economics.