Panel Hosts

Dr. Betsy McGregor, CM

Dr. Betsy McGregor spent sixteen years crafting public policy on science, ethics, and gender, including fellowships at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Kennedy School. She then entered politics to have a direct impact on issues at the decision table. She caught the bug for politics from her mother, who had been invited by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson to run for Parliament.

Betsy ran for nomination three times and Parliament twice (2004, 2008, 2011), learning lessons on timing, strategy, and skills, which  she shares in running campaign schools, nomination races, and leadership workshops. A member of three women’s leadership boards, Betsy wrote Women on the Ballot to equip, empower, and inspire women by telling her story and the story of over 90 women trailblazers.

She lives on Clear Lake in the Kawarthas and was appointed to the Order of Canada in late 2021 for her tireless effort in support women and gender diverse leaders in the political realm, as well as in STEM.

Her Honour The Honourable Judy May Foote

Born in Grand Bank, Newfoundland and Labrador, Her Honour Judy May Foote (née Crowley) attended John Burke High School in Grand Bank and is a graduate of Memorial University.

Her Honour is a former teacher, journalist, and communications director and served as a member of the House of Assembly and as a Member of the Parliament of Canada.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education from Memorial University and an Honours Diploma in Radio, Television, Journalism Arts from Lambton College.

Prior to serving in politics, Her Honour taught school in Grand Bank and St. John’s before working in television journalism with the CBC’s public affairs program Here & Now; was the Director of University Relations with Memorial University; and, the Director of Communications for the Office of the Premier, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Her Honour was a member of the House of Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador representing the District of Grand Bank for 11 years. She served as Minister of Development and Rural Renewal; Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology; Minister of Education; and, Minister of Industry, Trade and Rural Development.

In 2008, Her Honour was elected as a Member of Parliament representing the riding of Random-Burin-St. George’s and was re-elected in 2011. She served as Deputy House Leader and Whip. In October 2015, Her Honour was re-elected in the new riding of Bonavista-Burin-Trinity. On November 4, 2015, she was named to the Federal Cabinet as the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada and Receiver General of Canada and held this position until taking a leave of absence in April 2017 to return home to be with her family.

In August 2017, Her Honour announced her retirement as a Member of Cabinet and a Member of Parliament to remain in Newfoundland and Labrador with her family.

Contributing to community has always been a priority for Her Honour. She is a mentor for cancer patients and has volunteered with the Girl Guides of Canada, the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, the organization currently known as the Vera Perlin Society, and the United Nation Children’s Fund.

Her Honour and her husband, His Honour Howard Foote, have three children and four grandchildren.

The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, MP

Gudie Hutchings became the Member of Parliament for the riding of Long Range Mountains in October 2015. With her strong community ties and commitment to Newfoundland and Labour tourism, she was appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Tourism, and later was appointed by the Prime Minister to serve on the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians. In 2019 she was appointed Parliamentary Secretary of Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development.

Born and raised in Corner Brook, she is proud to call the Humber Valley home. Gudie’s focus on consultation and consensus-building makes her a strong voice for the business owners, workers, and families of Long Range Mountains. Since being elected, she has worked to grow and strengthen the middle class, champion the tourism industry across Canada, and work hard on issues relating to women and gender equality. Rural sustainability and growth is a focus also.

A well-known advocate in the outfitting and tourism industry for over 30 years, Gudie spent a decade as a board member for the Newfoundland and Labrador Outfitters Association, where she served as both president and vice-president. She was also Chair and Managing Director of the Battle Harbour Historic Trust – an organization committed to protecting, and promoting the living heritage, integrity, and natural environment of Battle Harbour.

Gudie is a former president of the Corner Brook Chamber of Commerce and was a founding board member of the Canadian Federation of Outfitting Associations. She built and established a wilderness lodge in remote Labrador which was known as one of the best in Canada. Gudie’s passion for tourism is known through this and her involvements in hotels and airlines and other small businesses. In all her pursuits, she has focused on developing and retaining local employees and promoting sustainable environmental practices.

Gudie was also Co-Chair of Forget-Me-Not, a community group dedicated to raising money to honour past and present soldiers at Remembrance Square in Corner Brook.

When at home or in her spare she can be found in the kitchen, garden, golfing, fishing, or maybe painting, while usually singing and always in the company of her dogs, Jigger and Dory. Gudie has one son David – she will always say being a mother is her most precious and prized part of her life.