Policy Crunch: Disruption in the Lab - Government Science and Innovation in the New Normal - Institute on Governance

Policy Crunch: Disruption in the Lab – Government Science and Innovation in the New Normal

Free Virtual Event


During the pandemic, federal public servants have consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve, support, and care for their fellow Canadians. We applaud them and are grateful for what they do. This panel will explore the impacts of the pandemic on one of the lesser discussed federal government functions: regulatory science and related scientific activities. This critical government function supports the policies and programs that enforce compliance and safety standards across a myriad of commercial functions from food safety and medical devices to commercial transport to border scales. Join us for early insights from the ongoing IOG-led collaborative research initiative, Government Science and Innovation in the New Normal.


Jeff Kinder (Moderator), Executive Director, Science and Innovation Governance, IOG

Dr. Esther Salvano, Director General, Grain Research Laboratory, Canadian Grain Commission

Dr. Salvano has worked in the agricultural sector for more than 20 years and is currently the Director General of the Grain Research Laboratory with the Canadian Grain Commission located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was previously the Director for Research Development and Technology Transfer at Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada in Manitoba. During the course of her career, she also worked with Manitoba Agriculture in the areas of sustainability and program development. Her experience, at both levels of government, working with a wide range of industry and scientific stakeholders, provides expert science-based research and analysis. She studied at the University of Quebec and has a PhD in Water Science. Dr. Salvano is bilingual, which will be a strong asset in dealing with both domestic and international scientific communities and stakeholders.

Dr. Salvano brings strong leadership and partnership/collaboration competencies to this position, and is well positioned to work with the innovative science leaders in the Grain Research Laboratory, and across divisions of the Canadian Grain Commission, to successfully position the science-based department for the future. Dr. Salvano is working closely with all staff to enrich collaborations with other departments, industry and stakeholders and to continue the success of the Grain Research Laboratory nationally and internationally.

She is the proud mother of a young adult and enjoys training sessions, hiking, gardening and reading.

Paul Astell, Director, Outreach, Communications Research Centre Canada, ISED

Mr Astell works at the Communications Research Centre (CRC) which is the Federal Government’s centre of excellence on wireless and wireless spectrum usage. The CRC provides scientific advice to its parent, the spectrum regulator.

He obtained his MSc in Telecommunications at Essex University in England. He has subsequently spent his career working mainly in wireless research and advanced technology development and has worked in a number of wireless research labs including the Marconi Research Centre, Standard Telecommunications Laboratories, Bell Northern Research, BlackBerry Advanced Technology division and for the last 7 years, the CRC. During that time he has observed dramatic differences in wireless technology and the way that researchers work together. The CRC in particular has made some major changes in how research is done since it fully embraced Cloud technology and moved beyond just radio science and learned to apply big data analytics and high-performance computing to wireless spectrum problems.

Isabelle Tremblay, Laboratory Director, Engineering and Laboratory Services Directorate, Measurement Canada, ISED

Isabelle Tremblay is the Laboratory Director at Measurement Canada, an agency of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. She is also a champion for LGBTQ2+ and Women in STEM. In her role, Isabelle leads multiple laboratories responsible for the calibration of the devices used by inspectors who verify the functioning of devices used in trade such as scales, gas meters, electricity meters and gas pumps.

Having spent most of her career at Measurement Canada functioning as a Measurement Specialist, Laboratory Manager, and a Program Development Manager, Isabelle has more than 24 years of experience in a metrology laboratory environment, policy writing, and Quality Management Systems.  

Policy Crunch Format

Policy Crunch takes place from 5:30 to 7:30, via Zoom and the IOG Youtube channel. IOG staff discuss the event live on Twitter (#PolicyCrunch) and Slack. Each event is organized into three parts:

  • 5:30-6:00 – E-Networking and engagement
  • 6:00 – 7:00 – Panel discussion 
  • 7:00 – 7:30 – Small group discussions with panelists 

We’re On Slack

Your feedback from Season Two was to be more engaged in the Policy Crunch. For season three, we’ve added a Slack Workspace for the Policy Crunch Community. We will be posting updates, new events, and live-slacking each event in case you can’t attend. We will also post the Zoom link, YouTube livestream link, and the recording there. 

You can use our Slack Workspace to talk about the events, ask questions, share your ideas, give us your feedback and more! To join our IOG Policy Crunch Slack Workspace, click here.