Ken McGoogan – Author, Historian, Travel Writer

Ken McGoogan is the author of a dozen books including four previous bestsellers on Arctic exploration – Fatal Passage, Ancient Mariner, Lady Franklin’s Revenge and Race to the Polar Sea. His latest book, “Dead Reckoning: The Untold Story of the Northwest Passage”, was the basis of his engaging talk to the Canadian Club of Halton. Ken proved his talent as a brilliant and humorous story teller as he illustrated the history of the various attempts at discovering a passage through the Arctic including the mysteries of the Franklin Voyages. He is a globe-trotting ex-journalist who survived shipwreck in the Indian Ocean, chased the ghost of Lady Franklin from England to Tasmania, and placed a commemorative plaque on Boothia Peninsula in the High Arctic.

Ken’s latest book “challenges the conventional narrative of the Northwest Passage which emerged out of Victorian England and focuses almost exclusively on Royal Navy officers. By integrating non-British and fur-trade explorers and, above all, Canada’s indigenous peoples, Dead Reckoning drags the story of Arctic discovery into the twenty-first century.” The audience all came away with a much better understanding of the events and hardships that shaped the history of our country in the Arctic.

The award-winning author’s other books include Celtic Lightning, 50 Canadians Who Changed the World, and How the Scots Invented Canada. He has won numerous awards for his books including the UBC Medal for Canadian Biography and the Pierre Berton Award for History.

Ken worked as a journalist for two decades, served as chair of the Public Lending Right Commission and is a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and the Explorers Club. He teaches narrative non-fiction at the University of Toronto and in the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of King’s College in Halifax. Every summer, he voyages in the Northwest Passage as a resource historian with Adventure Canada.

Article courtesy of Janet Bedford.

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Dr. David Posen Featured Speaker

Authenticity: A Guide to Living in Harmony with Your True Self is the fascinating subject and title for the 5th book written by Oakville’s Dr. David Posen, MD, best-selling author and motivational speaker and consultant on stress and change management. The Canadian Club of Halton enjoyed a near-record turnout of well over 200 guests, excited to hear Dr. Posen share his expertise and some stories from his recently published book. Dr. Posen’s 4 previous books include The Little Book of Stress Relief, translated into seven languages, and Is Work Killing You?, profiled in media outlets across North America.

Drawing on real-life examples from over 30 years in his stress management practice, Dr. Posen has identified five common problem areas that can lead to anxiety and unhappiness – personality traits, time and speed, sleep deprivation, values conflicts, and neglected passions.

Authenticity was a challenging book to write, he said. It is difficult to be yourself, and getting an introduction to one’s self can take time! It is, however, an opportunity to “listen to your body, understand your mind and make better choices in your life.” As Dr. Posen so cleverly pointed out “Pavarotti did not sing soprano and it is easier to ski down a hill”. He says that people are often disconnected from who they are, draining energy from their lives.

Do you know what gives you energy and what robs you of your energy? Dr. Posen spent time on two types of people, Introverts and extroverts. As an example he said that actor Robin Williams was actually an introvert – no matter how extroverted he appeared in action. As an introvert, recovery time is required to stay balanced. This can help to explain the behaviour of ourselves and loved ones, as there is an optimal level of mental arousal for every person. The world would be a healthier place if we would try not to influence others to be what we want them to be and allow them to be their authentic selves. It would also be useful for us to realize that when we are going our fastest, we cannot go any faster!

Dr. Posen’s recipes for life also include finding the ultimate sleep patterns for you. Too many people underestimate the number of hours of sleep that they need every night. He also encourages us to find and follow our passions – instead of our pensions. And take time to be bored – that’s when creativity can kick in! If we could discover the parts of our lives that have taken away our authenticity, we could have an entirely new experience.

All this and much more can be found in Dr. Posen’s new book, Authenticity.

Article courtesy of Janet Bedford.

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Barry Wylie receives Paul Harris Fellowship Award

The Paul Harris Fellowship Award is one of the highest honours Rotary can bestow upon a person. Recipients are Rotarians and community professionals, in recognition of their outstanding contributions, exemplifying the highest ideal in Rotary in placing “Service Above Self.” This honour accompanies a donation of $1,000 or more, in the recipient’s name, to Rotary International’s “Annual Program Fund,” which supports Rotary’s world-wide programs. 

Barry Wylie, President of Canadian Club of Halton, was bestowed with this coveted award on January 24th at the Paul Harris Community Awards Annual Fellowship Dinner hosted by the three Rotary clubs of Oakville. Canadian Club of Halton Board Director Susan Sheppard made the announcement at the Canadian Club dinner event on January 25th. Susan said, “this is outstanding recognition of what Barry does to contribute to a number of causes, including the Canadian Club of Halton and the Oakville Chamber of Commerce.” The audience of over 200 gave a hearty round of applause to Barry.

Other recipients included (left to right) Tracey Ehl, Eve Willis, Patricia Harbman (for Chris Stoate), Leslie Ann Bent, Barry Wylie, and Bill Shields.


Franco Vaccarino’s Vision

“My Vision for Canada 2067: Our Strength of Diversity and Common Purpose” was the topic for discussion by Franco Vaccarino, PhD, FCAHS, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Guelph, at the latest gathering of the Canadian Club of Halton at the Oakville Conference Centre.

Dr. Vaccarino discussed lessons learned about resilience and opportunity, how he applies those lessons in leading Canada’s food university, and how those ideas may help us shape our shared future in this country and beyond.

“Canada is a land of many peoples, including its numerous immigrants who have found and made new lives here. Our diversity – and our willingness to seek common ground – is what lends our country resilience and strength” says Dr. Vaccarino. “Diversity requires us to look for the common humanity that we share and that makes Canada what it is – this land of opportunity that attracts people from all over the world, including my own family from Italy in 1958 and all the families that have arrived here before and since”.

A builder and a visionary with an entrepreneurial spirit and a powerful commitment to community and societal engagement, Dr. Vaccarino acknowledged the future population growth and the challenges we as a common community face.  He outlined his plan to help us feed the nine billion people that will populate the planet by 2052 and the need for a precision agriculture environmental footprint to accomplish this.

Dr. Vaccarino acknowledged that Canada is not perfect. However, we are a country willing to work at it and willing to look at both the good and the not so good and decide which patterns need to be either changed or replaced.  “How do you see the challenge?” was his question to the audience present that evening.

Article and photos courtesy of Janet Bedford.

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Lindy Mechefske Charms Audience

The Canadian Club of Halton dinner on September 21, 2017 featured Lindy Mechefske, a free-lance food columnist with the Kingston Whig-Standard and a writer for a variety of Canadian magazines and literary journals. Lindy has written two successful books, A Taste of Wintergreen and her most recent Sir John’s Table: The Culinary Life and Times of Canada’s First Prime Minister. Burlington-based Different Drummer Books was on hand with Lindy’s books for sale and signing. Lindy is currently working on her next food-related book.

Lindy spent her early years in Yorkshire in northern England before moving to Canada, eventually settling in Kingston, Ontario. She has a science degree from the University of Waterloo and spent a number of years as a scientific copy editor.

Lindy and her family had the good fortune to move into an 1840’s home in Kingston, previously owned and lived in by Sir John A Macdonald and his family. Lindy claims she can feel his presence to this day. Her stories about the life, food and career of Sir John A compelled the audience to learn more about this colourful, engaging political figure.

Sir John A. was 4 years old when he gave his first speech, standing on the kitchen table in the middle of a party. Honest and charming, he continued to be a colourful figure throughout his life. His salary was $8,000 per year as prime minister while the average salary in those days was in the $2,000-$3,000 range. Lindy’s book is full of interesting details about the life and times of the era and includes many recipes popular at the time. A great book to read to explore our Canadian heritage!

Lindy has two daughters, Laura, a military doctor in Kingston who is getting married at the end of September, and Elly, who recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at Queen’s and much to her Mom’s relief already has a job in her field! Lola is their big, beautiful, reasonably-behaved, white Goldendoodle.

Lindy loves hiking, especially long-distance. She has walked the Tour Mont Blanc through France, Italy, and Switzerland; the Camino de Santiago in Spain last Fall; and great stretches of other trails including the Bruce Trail and the Appalachian Trail.

She is also interested in transgender issues and has written many articles on this topic.

Her passion is food, reducing food waste, access to food, food security, and of course, cooking.

Article and photos courtesy of Janet Bedford.

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Dr. Linda Penn from Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Dr. Penn has received several awards including the New Investigator Award from the Terry Fox Foundation, the Woman-of-Action Award from the Israel Cancer Research Fund, and the Award of Distinction from the Leukemia Research Fund.

The Canadian Club of Halton hosted their final dinner of the season at the Oakville Conference Centre last week. Guest speaker, Dr. Linda Penn, PhD, Senior Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, focuses on the molecular basis of cancer and the development and application of novel anti-cancer therapeutics. She feels that, “These are revolutionary and exciting times in Cancer Research”. Dr. Penn walked the mostly lay audience through her cancer research story and outlined her plan for “Understanding Cancer and Personalized Medicine”.

Dr. Linda Penn, PhD, Senior Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Mary Saunders and CCH President, Barry Wylie;

Dr. Penn has received several awards including the New Investigator Award from the Terry Fox Foundation, the Woman-of-Action Award from the Israel Cancer Research Fund, and the Award of Distinction from the Leukemia Research Fund. She holds the Canada Research Chair in Molecular Oncology and is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Linkoping University in Sweden.

Dr. Penn explained that “normal cells in the body are highly controlled, whereas tumour cells are out of control. The more out of control the cells are, the more aggressive the tumour is.” New research has shown that inhibitors, such as Gleevec, block tumour cell growth at the molecular level allowing diagnosis and treatment that works!” This is wonderful news for many suffering from the ravages of cancer.

Jeanne Crockett, Angela Lukowski, Mark Lukowski, Kriss Bush with Linda and Spence Williams

Her important and innovative research is changing the lives of many Cancer patients helping them to live a full life far beyond original expectations. In 1996 she started her own laboratory at Princess Margaret and from 2005-2010 was Division Head of Cancer Genomics & Proteomics, and served on the Research Executive Committee from 2009-2012. Years of basic research focused on understanding the molecular differences between normal and tumour cells have yielded new insights into how and why cancers develop.

This knowledge is having a profound impact on cancer diagnosis and treatment. By identifying the mutations causing specific cancers, a more precise diagnosis can be made and a treatment strategy prescribed that targets an individual’s cancer.

Lesley Harchnitz, Mary Jane Tuthill, Barrie Haywood, Brian Grose, Ann Grose, Michael GlynneAccording to Dr. Penn, “This new paradigm of ‘personalized medicine’ is already impacting cancer patient outcome and survival.”

In keeping with Canada’s 150th Birthday Celebrations, the Canadian Club of Halton will kick off their 32nd season on September 21, 2017 with guest speaker Lindy Mechefske, an Award-Winning Author, Food Columnist for the Kingston Whig-Standard, Food Blogger, and Cook talking about her recent book Sir John’s Table: The Culinary Life & Times of Canada’s First Prime Minister.

Dr. Linda Penn, PhD, Senior Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Speaker at CCH and honoured Head Table Guests

Reservations for the dinner can be made by e-mail (, by telephone (905-827-6302), or by mail (cheques payable to Canadian Club of Halton, 283 River Side Drive, Oakville, L6K 3N3).
The not-for-profit, volunteer-driven, Canadian Club of Halton has been hosting guest dinner speakers on a wide range of subjects since 1986. Guests and other non-members are always welcome.




Article and photos courtesy of Janet Bedford.

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The Hon. Hugh Segal, OC, OOnt Speaks at Canadian Club of Halton

Mr. Segal was eloquent, witty and extremely knowledgeable as he sketched an insider’s view of Canada’s Global Future with remarks titled “Understanding the Mix Between Global Security & Economic Opportunity World-Wide”.

The Hon. Hugh Segal, OC, OOnt, Master of Massey College, past member of the Senate of Canada, was the guest speaker at a well-attended Canadian Club of Halton dinner on March 23, 2017. Mr. Segal was eloquent, witty and extremely knowledgeable as he sketched an insider’s view of Canada’s Global Future with remarks titled “Understanding the Mix Between Global Security & Economic Opportunity World-Wide”.

Mr. Segal has worked with top officials of the Canadian Government, both Conservative and Liberal, for much of his working life. His daughter Jacqueline, a graduate of U of T with an Honours BA in Political Science and Master of Arts, Global Media from American University of Paris, is following closely in his footsteps. After graduation she worked for the Jimmy Carter Presidential Centre democracy program in Atlanta, overseeing elections in the Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea and Tunisia and she is now assisting the Ontario Region of the Nature Conservancy of Canada with their communications.

Hugh Segal with Head Table Guests

Hugh Segal was politically inspired by a visit by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to his Montreal High School in the early 1960’s. A graduate in Canadian History from the University of Ottawa, he was an aide to federal Progressive Conservative Leader of the Opposition Robert Stanfield in the early 1970’s while still a university student. At age 21, he was an unsuccessful candidate in Ottawa Centre for the Canadian House of Commons in the 1972 general election and again in 1974.

Segal was a senior aide to Ontario Progressive Conservative Premier Bill Davis in the 1970’s and 1980’s and was named Deputy Minister at age 29. He was Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney from 1992 to 1993.

The Hon. Hugh Segal, OC, discussed his Book “Two Freedoms” Speaking at Canadian Club of Halton.

Segal finished second to Joe Clark after the first ballot of the 1998 Progressive Conservative leadership election, but chose to withdraw and support Clark (the eventual winner) in the second ballot runoff vote. Segal was summoned to the Senate of Canada in 2005 by the Governor General on the recommendation of Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin.

His work in the Senate included chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and Chair of the Special Senate Committee on Anti-Terrorism. He became the fifth Master of Massey College in December 2013 and is also a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs.

Hugh Segal’s remarks included thoughts and arguments from his latest book “Two Freedoms: Canada’s Global Future”. Burlington’s Different Drummer Books participated in the evening offering the book for sale with Hugh graciously signing all copies.

Segal does not envy the “thirteen souls” currently running for the Conservative Party nor does he feel, based on history, that countries act fast enough to save peace and order. In his book, he stresses “the need for commitment to freedom from want and freedom from fear” in North America and abroad. In his book and in his remarks, he outlined “the ramifications of allowing these two freedoms to die or diminish”.

Article and photos courtesy of Janet Bedford.

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Dr. Julia Upton MD: “Food Allergy: Why, and What Can Be Done?”


Keynote Speaker at Canadian Club of Halton in Oakville: Dr Julia Upton MD with Husband and Father: Part of Julia’s Fan Club!

Dr. Julia Upton MD was the recent guest speaker at a Canadian Club of Halton dinner where she discussed the latest understanding of why food allergies have become so common. Her topic: “Food Allergy: Why, and What Can Be Done?

Passionate about food allergies, Dr. Upton is currently enrolled in a Masters Program in epidemiology at the TH Chan School of Public Health at Harvard. She is a Staff Physician in Clinical Immunology & Allergy at SickKids Hospital and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Division of Allergy & Immunology at the University of Toronto. She is also Chair of the Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Section of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Immunology.

Canadian Club Halton Member, Frank Vismeg with President Barry Wylie

“More than one in 15 Canadian children, or two kids in every classroom across the country, report having at least one food allergy.” Most allergies, it appears, are caused by very few foods: peanuts, milk, eggs, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, wheat and sesame. Allergies to these foods have been on the rise since the 1990’s and can be life threatening.

When a person has an allergy and comes in contact with a peanut, for example, their immune system overreacts to the allergen by producing antibodies called IgE’s (Immunoglobulin E).

Keynote Speaker Canadian Club Halton: Dr Julia Upton MD. Food Allergy: Why, and What Can Be Done?”

These antibodies travel to cells that release chemicals, causing an allergic reaction. IgE-mediated food reactions can cause severe allergy anaphylaxis that if left untreated can be life-threatening. EpiPens and antihistamines help in the control of many food allergy episodes.

Dr. Upton touched on the complex issues surrounding allergies such as the inaccuracy of testing procedures, the elimination of parasites in much of the developed world, living in cities instead of farms, and the timing of the introduction of solid foods to infants as all influencing the rate of allergic disease.

We are fortunate to have doctors such as Dr. Upton who have the passion and expertise to help unscramble this complex world of allergies. For more information visit .

Article and photos courtesy of Janet Bedford.

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Marc-André Bernier; The Discovery of the Franklin Expedition’s Royal Navy Ships

Marc-André Bernier, guest speaker at the sold-out Canadian Club of Halton dinner on January 26, 2017 considers himself a lucky man. As a member of the Parks Canada Underwater Archaeology Team since 1990 (26 years) and the Manager of the team for the past 8 years, he and his team played an integral role in the recent discoveries of the Franklin Expedition’s Royal Navy ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, in Canada’s Arctic.

Marc-André Bernier; The Discovery of the Franklin Expedition’s Royal Navy Ships with Barry Wylie & Webmaster Clayton Shold

Marc-André Bernier; The Discovery of the Franklin Expedition’s Royal Navy Ships with Barry Wylie & Clayton Shold

Sir John Franklin and his two ships, with a total compliment of 134 officers and men, set out in 1845 from England hoping to find the Northwest Passage across Canada’s Arctic. During the three years that the expedition was expected to last, both the ships and their crews vanished and since then many search expeditions have attempted to locate the missing ships. It is believed that the crew, stranded amid the arctic ice flows around Victoria Island in Nunavut, eventually abandoned the ships and set out on foot to find civilization, perishing in the attempt.

The HMS Erebus was discovered in September 2014 and the HMS Terror in 2016. These search expeditions brought together the Government of Canada as well as public, private and non-profit organizations. The use of state-of-the-art technology, Inuit knowledge and oral testimony made these historic discoveries possible.

Marc-André Bernier; Sunk Amid the Ice Flows; The Discovery of the Franklin Expedition’s Royal Navy Ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror

It was interesting to hear Marc-André Bernier recount his experience – one of “countless, fruitless hours staring at a computer screen” of underwater images. As onlookers it is easy for us to make this appear glamorous – to him and the team there was boredom … lots of it … “until the day of the discovery of these ships, together with the knowledge that they were very intact.”

Marc-André Bernier was one of the first people to see and dive on the HMS Erebus after its discovery in 2014. Since then he has participated in subsequent return archaeological expeditions to the Erebus, and most recently the examination of the newly discovered wreck of HMS Terror this past September.

Plans are in place for 10 museums across Canada to soon have displays featuring HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.

To discover fascinating historical information on the Franklin Expedition, visit:

Article and photos courtesy of Janet Bedford.

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David Goldbloom speaks about Mental Health at Canadian Club Dinner

“In any given year, one in five Canadians will experience some form of diagnosable mental illness”, according to Dr. David Goldbloom MD, one of Canada’s leading psychiatrists and an articulate spokesperson for the field of mental health. Guest speaker at the Canadian Club of Halton dinner on November 17, 2016 the focus of the evening was on his book How Can I Help? A Week in My Life as a Psychiatrist.

(l to r)Mark & Angela Lukowski, Tanya & Tim Corkum, Wendy Burton, David Goldbloom, Mayor Rob Burton, Barry & Angie Wylie, Susan McArthur, David Posen

(l to r) Mark & Angela Lukowski, Tanya & Tim Corkum, Wendy Burton, David Goldbloom, Mayor Rob Burton, Barry & Angie Wylie, Susan McArthur, David Posen

Dr. Goldbloom talked about why he wrote the book, how he wrote it, and the larger themes and personal stories that the book reflects. The goal of the book, co-authored with Dr. Pier Bryden MD, is to reduce public fear of psychiatrists by showing what it is that they really do, the conditions they treat, the resources they deploy and the setting in which they work. The book quickly became a bestseller in Canada after its release in February 2016.

Charlotte & Jim Warren

A Birthday Celebration for Charlotte & Jim Warren at Canadian Club Halton

When asked for a show of hands, it was clear that almost everyone in the room had encountered some form of mental illness either personally themselves or with a family member or a friend. The stigma is real. The vision endures. In the past, people experiencing mental health issues were isolated from the general population, often being sent to “lunatic asylums” or “hospitals for the insane’ outside the borders of a community.

Dr. Goldbloom is happy in his role as a Psychiatrist. He has succeeded in making changes, both in the way that society looks at people who are mentally ill and for the individuals that he sees in his practice. Since 2003 Dr. Goldbloom has been the Senior Medical Advisor at the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto.

Barry Wylie thanking Dr. David Goldbloom

Canadian Club Director, Barry Wylie Presents Dr. David Goldbloom with a Thank You – and a cheque for the charity of his choice.

In addition to the many educational and professional awards that he has received over the years, David is a Distinguished Fellow of the Canadian Psychiatric Association and the American Psychiatric Association. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and, in 2014, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. He served as Vice-Chair and then Chair of the Board of the Mental Health Commission of Canada from 2007 to 2015. In addition to his professional activities, Dr. Goldbloom is past Chair of the Board of Governors of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada.



Article and photos courtesy of Janet Bedford.

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