05/03/2012 07:42 EDT | Updated 07/03/2012 05:12 EDT

Former prime ministers honoured in Toronto

Five former prime ministers are attending an awards dinner in Toronto tonight honouring contributions to public policy in Canada.

John Turner, Kim Campbell, Joe Clark, Paul Martin and Brian Mulroney will be honoured in person at the Public Policy Forum's annual Testimonial Dinner and Awards. The former leaders are all expected to make remarks.

Jean Chrétien is also being honoured but will not be in attendance.

Clark headed a Progressive Conservative minority government from June, 1979 to March, 1980. Turner was prime minister from June to September 1984 after succeeding Pierre Trudeau as Liberal leader.

Campbell became Canada's first female prime minister (June to November, 1993) upon her election as PC leader after Mulroney's back-to-back majority governments (September, 1984 to June, 1993). Chrétien headed three successive majority Liberal governments between November, 1993 and December, 2003. He was succeeded by Martin, who led a minority government between December 2003 and February, 2006.

The Public Policy Forum, an independent think tank that promotes discussion about governance and public policy in Canada, hosts the annual awards dinner to recognize contributions to public policy and public management.

For its 25th anniversary, the organization chose to honour all six of Canada's living former prime ministers.

CBC.ca is offering live coverage of the event starting at 6:20 p.m. ET Thursday (live coverage will be interrupted between 7:15 and 8 p.m. for the dinner portion of the event.).