The global refugee crisis has reached record levels, with more than 20 million people around the world forced to leave their countries. And while the number of refugees continues to grow, international responses have not kept up. As governments and institutions continue to look for bold new ways to respond to this crisis, the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), in collaboration with Carleton University’s Journalism Program, has asked some of Canada’s top journalists and writers to talk about their experiences and challenges reporting on the refugee crisis around the world.

Policy Options Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Ditchburn will moderate a lively discussion with stories from abroad and at home with:

  • Margaret Evans, Europe Correspondent, CBC
  • Mark MacKinnon, Senior International Correspondent, Globe and Mail
  • Naheed Mustafa, freelance writer, broadcaster and producer; OpenCanada contributor
  • Michael Petrou, 2017 R. James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellow; OpenCanada contributor
  • Michelle Shephard, National Security Reporter, Toronto Star


Location: Canadian War Museum, Barney Danson Theatre, 1 Vimy Place Ottawa, ON
Time: 5:30–7:00 p.m., followed by a reception

Event Speakers

Jennifer Ditchburn

Editor-in-chief of Policy Options

Jennifer Ditchburn is the editor-in-chief of Policy Options, the IRPP’s online policy forum. An award-winning parliamentary correspondent, Jennifer began her journalism career at the Canadian Press in Montreal as a reporter-editor during the lead-up to the 1995 referendum. She went on to work in the agency’s Toronto and Edmonton bureaus before landing in the nation’s capital in 1997. From 2001 and 2006 she was a national reporter with CBC Television on Parliament Hill, and in 2006 she returned to the Canadian Press.

Margaret Evans

Europe Correspondent, CBC

A veteran conflict reporter, Margaret Evans has covered civil wars and strife in Angola, Chad and Sudan as well as the myriad battlefields of the Middle East. She was based in Jerusalem from 2004 until late 2011 taking on the role of Middle East Bureau Chief in 2009. During her time in the region she reported on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the US invasion of Iraq, the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War, jihadist recruiting in Yemen and the “Arab Spring” uprisings in Egypt, Libya and Syria.

Mark MacKinnon

Senior International Correspondent, The Globe and Mail

Mark MacKinnon is Senior International Correspondent for The Globe and Mail. He is currently based in London, England. A graduate of Carleton University’s School of Journalism, Mark has been with The Globe since 1998, working first as a business reporter in Toronto, then a parliamentary reporter based in Ottawa.He has been posted abroad since 2002, first as The Globe’s Moscow correspondent, then as a Jerusalem-based Middle East correspondent. He recently completed five years as chief of The Globe and Mail’s historic China bureau. Mark is a five-time winner of the National Newspaper Award.

Naheed Mustafa

Freelance writer, broadcaster and producer

Naheed Mustafa is an award-winning writer, broadcaster, and producer working in print, radio, television, and film. Naheed's work has appeared in a variety of media in Canada and internationally including CBC Radio, Radio Netherlands, Walrus, The Atlantic, and Foreign Affairs, and Toronto Life. Recently, she worked on a digital journalism project for looking at the impact of the Syrian war on diaspora populations including refugees.

Michael Petrou

Freelance writer, 2017 R. James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellow

Michael Petrou, an award-winning senior writer at Maclean's, has covered wars and conflicts across Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. He is the author of "Renegades: Canadians in the Spanish Civil War", and holds a doctorate in modern history from the University of Oxford.

Michelle Shephard

National Security Reporter, Toronto Star

Michelle Shephard (@shephardm) is the national security reporter for The Toronto Star, author and filmmaker and has covered issues of terrorism and civil rights around the world since 9/11. Her reporting has taken her among other places to Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, the Central African Republic and more than two dozen times behind the wire in Guantanamo Bay. She is a three-time recipient of the National Newspaper Award; and the Governor-General’s Michener Award for public service journalism and author of Guantanamo's Child: The Untold Story of Omar Khadr, published in 2008 and Decade of Fear: Reporting from Terrorism's Grey Zone, published in 2011. Shephard was the co-director and producer of the Emmy-nominated and Canadian Screen Award-winning documentary Guantanamo's Child, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2015.