GGconversations – The Pandemic and Persons with Disabilities: What Canadians Should Know

July 15, 2020

OTTAWA—As part of the innovative series highlighting exceptional Canadians across diverse areas of interest, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, will host a virtual discussion entitled “The Pandemic and Persons with Disabilities: What Canadians Should Know.” Two sessions will be held on Thursday, July 16, 2020, beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT. The discussion will be divided into two 30-minute sessions and made accessible to the public on

The first session, beginning at 1:30 p.m., will be in English. The guests will be Benoît Huot, C.M., Canadian Paralympic champion and sports broadcaster; Al Etmanski, C.M., M.S.M., author, blogger, community organizer, social entrepreneur and former co-chair of the COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group; and Barbara MacDougall, freelance musician.

The second session, beginning at 2:30 p.m., will be in French. Benoît Huot will also participate in the French session and will be joined by Paul-Claude Bérubé, Chair, Board of Directors, Accessibility Standards Canada; Jocelyne Pasquier, Occupational Health and Safety Advisor, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, and former DanceSport world champion; and Ingrid Carey, writer.

The conversations will focus on the particular impacts the pandemic has had on persons with disabilities.

Should you have a question for the Governor General or her guests, we invite you to submit it via the Governor General’s Facebook page @GGJuliePayette. Questions may also be sent in advance by e-mail to


The live stream will be available in English at

The live stream will be available in French at

Media information:

Ashlee Smith
Press Secretary to the Governor General

Follow GGJuliePayette on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.