Download the slides of the presentation here.

Thursday, March 18, 2021
Webinar co-hosted by CNPEA and Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
This presentation will be in English and will be recorded. ASL interpretation will be provided. 

age·ism | \ ˈā-(ˌ)ji-zəm: prejudice and/or discrimination against an individual or a group on the basis of their age.

Ageism is more than disparaging comments and offensive commercials. It is a pervasive mentality and a violation of human rights with very real consequences at the systemic level: poor or limited access to housing, health care, and justice; lack of inclusion of older adults in policies; discrimination in the work place; lack of representation in research. The impact of such discrimination has profound effects on the quality of life of older people and on their physical and mental health.

In this presentation, a panel of Canadian and international experts will address ageism through various lenses and will explore the work taking place across the world to eradicate it. The panel will look at ageism as it manifests in:

  • health care and mental health;
  • access to information and technology;
  • discrimination in the work place;
  • the era of Covid-19 

Finally, the presentation will further explore the work taking place to demand a Convention of the Human Rights of Older Persons, as the next session of the UN's Open Ended Working Group on Ageing is about to begin later this month.

MODERATOR: Kiran Rabheru, Board Chair and Founding Board Member -  International Longevity Centre Canada; Chair, Global Alliance for Rights of Older People


  • Margaret Gillis, President International Longevity Centre Canada
  • Margaret Young, Founder, Age Knowble; Steering Group member, Global Alliance for Rights of Older People
  • Liat Ayalon, Ph.D., Professor and researcher in the School of Social Work, Bar Ilan University, Israel.
  • Martine Lagacé, Ph.D. Associate Vice-President, Research, Promotion & Development, University of Ottawa



liatLiat Ayalon, PhD, is a researcher in the School of Social Work, at Bar Ilan University, Israel. She is the head of the impact center for the study of ageism. Prof. Ayalon coordinates an international EU funded Ph.D. program on the topic of ageism ( She is also the Israeli PI of the EU-funded MascAge program to study ageing masculinities in literature and cinema. Between 2014-2018, Prof. Ayalon has led an international research network on the topic of ageism, funded through COST (Cooperation in Science and Technology; COST IS1402, She consults both national and international organizations concerning the development and evaluation of programs and services for older adults.

margaret gillisMargaret Gillis is the founding President of the International Longevity Centre Canada, part of a global alliance of 16 Centres dedicated to the needs and rights of older people. An award winning executive in the public and private sectors Margaret is an innovative leader. 

Margaret has been working to achieve a United Nations Convention on the Rights of Older Persons, thought domestic and international activism. She played a key role in establishing the Age-friendly Community program in Canada and internationally, this program is now in over 900 Canadian communities and 26 countries worldwide. Other career highlights include a joint government-NGO project to protect seniors in disasters which was recognized by an special award from Her Majesty the Queen presented at Windsor Castle.

Margaret has strong credentials in regard to human rights, working with and speaking at the UN General Assembly on behalf of older people and as Canadian Delegate to the Organization of American States, Institute for Children. With a background in health promotion, protection and programming for the aged, women and children, Margaret is committed to improving the rights of older people.

martine lagace profile picMartine Lagacé, Associate Vice-President, Research Promotion and Development, Univeristy of Ottawa
Professor Lagacé has contributed greatly to the advancement of knowledge on the psychosocial aspects of aging, particularly as they relate to discrimination based on age. She has led several field surveys in Canada and abroad, with workers as well as elderly patients to better understand the impact of age-based discrimination. In the francophone community, her academic work on ageism has been groundbreaking. She has edited two books on the topic and regularly publishes articles in academic journals, in both official languages. Professor Lagacé contributes to several organizations, including the National Seniors Council, the Institut du savoir Montfort, the Bruyère Research Institute and the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal. She has also forged several international research collaborations, particularly in France and Italy.

kiran rabheruDr. Kiran Rabheru is Full Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa and Geriatric Psychiatrist at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH). He serves as Medical Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry, Electroconvulsive (ECT), and the Behavioral Support Programs at TOH. He obtained his MD from University of Western Ontario and practiced as a family doctor for 5 years in rural and urban settings. He is a Certificant and Fellow of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CCFP, FCFP). Subsequently, he completed a residency in psychiatry, subspecialized in geriatric psychiatry, and became Board Certified as a geriatric psychiatrist in Canada (FRCP) and the United States (DABPN).

Dr. Rabheru has been passionate and fully committed to serving older people throughout his life, and is recognized nationally and internationally for his work. He is a Founder of the subspecialty of Geriatric Psychiatry at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He is recipient of the Outstanding Achievements in Geriatric Psychiatry in Canada award by the Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry ( ) and has served as the President of the CAGP and its Board for many years. At present, he co-leads the Canadian Coalition of Seniors Mental Health ( ). He is Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Longevity Centre ( ), Canada and a member of the Board of the International Psychogeriatric Association ( ). Recently, he has been elected as Chair of the Section of Positive Psychiatry of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA).  He serves on the national leadership team for the Fountain of Health ( initiative, where he has been active in promoting healthy aging, brain resilience and vitality.

margaret youngMargaret Young, EMBA., Dip GERO., social entrepreneur and applied gerontologist.  Founder, Age Knowble; Steering Group member, Global Alliance for Rights of Older People. Conversations with older persons and Margaret's board work at non-profits exposed Margaret to both the system challenges and human potential in ageing. This is why she founded Age Knowble, a Canadian social enterprise. Age Knowble empowers older persons and strengthens the ecosystems they need to live secure and thriving lives through intersectoral collaboration. Along with her Age Knowble work, Margaret amplifies impact by volunteering with like-minded organizations such as Global Alliance for Rights of Older People, Pass It On Network, and older persons serving non-profits.