Keynote Speaker 2023
Lisa LaFlamme has been at the forefront of journalism for over 30 years tackling some of the biggest issues of our time, traveling the globe, delivering breaking news and bringing it back home to Canadians.
The internationally respected journalist has interviewed major newsmakers, Prime Ministers, Presidents and Princes while always keeping the spotlight on the injustices that plague the world’s most oppressed.
LaFlamme has traveled to some of the world’s most dangerous places and through her extensive war coverage of Iraq, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ukraine has documented the reality of how conflict warps society, punishes the most vulnerable and benefits the most corrupt.
A native of Kitchener-Waterloo, in 1988, LaFlamme began her career in local radio and TV in her hometown before making the move to CTV National News in 1997. She moved from Prime Time anchor of CTV Newschannel to an Ottawa correspondent in CTV’s Parliamentary bureau. In September 2001, LaFlamme became co-host of the number one morning show Canada Am. Her second day on the job, 9-11, the attacks on the World Trade Centre pulled her out of the studio once again to report from New York City, the United Nations, the Pentagon and ultimately Iraq and Afghanistan.
For more than a decade LaFlamme went from conflict zone to disaster zone delivering award winning coverage of hurricanes, earthquakes and climate crises including Southeast Asia in the wake of the deadly 2005 tsunami and Japan’s devastating nuclear emergency in 2011. That same year she was named Canada’s first female anchor of a national nightly newscast replacing longtime anchor Lloyd Robertson.
As Chief Anchor and Senior Editor of CTV National News for almost 12 years, LaFlamme led the country’s number one newscast and cemented her role as the face of news in Canada. During her career, she has received critical acclaim for her live special broadcasts from around the world marking moments in history from Royal weddings to funerals, major political upheaval at home and abroad, the rescue of the Chilean miners, the opioid crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing resilience of refugees. LaFlamme has reported extensively on the humanitarian crisis facing the Afghan people and has worked intensively on helping Afghan women and girls under threat by the Taliban.
The veteran journalist is the recipient of 12 Canadian Screen Awards, consecutive RTDNA awards as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award for broadcasting and journalism. Over her career she has received an honorary doctorate from her alma mater University of Ottawa, an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont. and the University of Windsor and an honorary Doctor of Letters from Trent University. She is the recipient of the Order of Ontario and in June 2019, was named Officer of the Order of Canada (O.C.), one of the country’s highest honours.
A passionate advocate of democracy in journalism, LaFlamme volunteers for Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) and has traveled with the organization to the Democratic Republic of Congo to mentor young journalists in Goma, in the heart of the conflict zone. She serves as honorary co-chair of the annual JHR Night for Rights.
Lisa is also an ambassador for Plan International and volunteers for Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan.