Projects - University of Guelph Equine Public Policy Group UofG EPPG
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University of Guelph Equine Public Policy Group


As one of the world’s foremost centres for equine research and study, the University of Guelph is the one institution that has had the standing necessary to periodically call together Canada’s often-fractious horse community, to forge a consensus on our shared priorities, and to help us achieve together the higher objectives that none of us can achieve apart.

Guelph created the Equine Public Policy Group to press those priorities forward with Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial governments. The Group’s mandate is to develop and make the case for public policies that will enable the Canadian horse sector to be: humane, accessible, and professional; economically, environmentally, and inter-generationally sustainable; and integrated into coherent policy frameworks for education, employment, and culture.

The Group is composed entirely of volunteers, and receives no public funding and no budget from the university. This is my personal page about my involvement in the Group; the official page is at the Guelph Horse Portal.



Equine Public Policy Group

Equine Public Policy Group
Click emblem for member biographies

Group Members

Each member was selected for personal experience and expertise, and is part of the Group as an individual, not as a representative of an organisation or constituency. I am immensely grateful to my colleagues for donating their talents, time, and service to our work.

Julia Alebrand
» University Guelph, BBRM student

Al de Jong
» Green Party, Former Officer

Cheri DiNovo
» NDP, Former Member of Provincial Parliament

Vel Evans
» Strategic Equine Consulting, Senior Consultant

Sonja Gagnon
» Saddlefit for Life, Global Education Coordinator

Dolly Kruger
» Penticton Indian Band, Free-Roaming Horses Project Co-Coordinator

Akaash Maharaj
» Chair

Kerri McGregor
» Canadian Equestrian Team, Former Team Leader and Chef de Mission

Dennis Mills
» Liberal Party, Former Member of Parliament

Dominic Morrissey
» Conservative Party, Former Candidate

Roly Owers
» World Horse Welfare, CEO

Ian Russell
» Greenhawk Inc, CEO

Beth Underhill
» Canadian Equestrian Team, Jump Athlete



Rex Bellorum

Rex Bellorum
Click image for discussion forum

Background Documents

The Group emerged from the University of Guelph’s Equine Industry Symposia. The documents below describe the Group’s genesis, objectives, and means of public accountability.

» Discussion Forum
Online public consultation thread

» Equine Industry Symposium Presentations
27 October 2018
Presentations leading to the Group’s creation

» Horse Sport Magazine Article
01 May 2018
Overview of the equine sector’s key economic and demographic pubic policy dimensions



FEI Vaulting

Equestrian Vaulting
Click image for articles

Decisions and Findings

We will conduct most of our deliberations virtually, rather than through physical meetings. To maintain transparency and accountability, we will post timely reports on our activities, decisions, and findings.

» Key Priorities
March 2019
We will review the outcomes of the Equine Industry Symposia and the public contributions at our online discussion forum, to identify priority issues.

» Public Consultations
Beginning April 2019
We will consult with the equestrian community and subject matter experts, to develop public policy proposals to advance each priority.

» Policy Positions
Beginning May 2019
We will meet with governments and public services, to press forward our public policy proposals.

» Assessment and Reporting
Beginning June 2019
We will report to the Canadian equestrian community on the measurable progress of our public policy proposals.



Governor General's Horse Guards

Governor General’s Horse Guards
Click image for past symposia

Meetings with Policy Makers

Our meetings with elected representatives and members of the public service will be matters of public record. We will publish a calendar of upcoming meetings, and a record of the proceedings of completed meetings, using the standard format below.

Name and Role of Official
» Link to pro-memoria or aide-mémoire
» Link to video, audio, or photographs, if applicable
» Summary of next steps



Horses at the plough

Working Farm Horses
Click image for webcasts

Broadcasts and Articles

We will post webcasts, podcasts, and articles, to keep the Canadian equestrian community involved in our work and to inform Canadians at large about the community’s contributions to the public good.

TV Ontario’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin
» TV: Ontario SPCA at a Crossroads
A panel discussion on animal welfare policy, in light of a recent court ruling that the powers of the Ontario SPCA are unconstitutional

Horse Sport Magazine
» Magazine: Growing Together or Diminishing Apart
My comment article, about the equine sector’s contribution to Canadian employment and GDP, and the demographic crisis that looms over it

The Wellington Advertiser
» Newspaper: Equine industry youth engagement
A news article, reporting on the winter 2018 Equine Industry Symposium, which led to the creation of the Equine Public Policy Group



Combined Driving

Combined Driving
Click image to search social media


We encourage everyone who would like to participate in our work through social media to use and follow our (admittedly, somewhat unwieldy) hashtag #EquinePublicPolicy.

» YouTube
» Periscope

» Facebook
» Instagram
» Twitter

» LinkedIn
» Tumblr


Privacy Policy

Akaash Maharaj - Breaking News


CEO of the Mosaic Institute


My new role in international peacebuilding

Television appearances

TVO's The Agenda

My television panel on the future of the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society

Radio interviews

United Nations

My address in the UN General Assembly Chamber

Published articles

Montreal Gazette

My article on sport doping and Olympic politics

iTunes Podcast
My YouTube Channel
My Twitter Tweets
My Facebook Profile
My Instagram Gallery
My Flickr Photo Album
My LinkedIn Profile
My Tumblr Page
My RSS 2.0 Newsfeed