Canada’s 17 Advisors

14 Dec

Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice has recruited/APPOINTED 17 prominent Canadians to help advise him during environmental negotiations here at COP15.

Clare Demerse, an analyst for the Pembina Institute, an environmental think tank, said Prentice’s advisers are “an eminent list of people,” but environmental non-governmental organizations (e.g. Oxfam Canada who will push for climate change financing to the poorer countries) and Canadian climate scientists,  should have been invited to join the Canadian delegation. The minister is clearly lacking in advice on many topics. However, Prentice said environmental groups are already well-represented in Copenhagen.

“There’s been (and there still is??) a decided lack of balance in previous COP meetings,” he added.

Demerse said groups such as hers get to meet with Canada’s chief negotiator Michael Martin, but the real decisions will be made at the political level by Prentice and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Before reviewing the list of advisers, consider the fact that Harper has employment history in Imperial Oil situated in Alberta, after he dropped out of the University of Toronto. He moved to Edmonton, Alberta and currently has a private residence there. He completed his Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in economics at the University of Calgary. Harper has kept strong links to the University of Calgary. He was also the Member of the Canadian Parliament for Calgary West since 1993-1997.

Jim Prentice is the Member of the Canadian Parliament for Calgary Centre-North and Canada’s Minister of the Environment. He was educated at the University of Alberta and Dalhousie University. He pad for his tuition by working as a coal miner in the summer months for seven years. As a lawyer, he has specialized in physical property rights including relocations, environmental protection suits, and cases arising from restricted development areas. He also served as a Law Commissioner of the Indian Claims Commission of Canada.

Advisers list

Shawn A-in-chut Atleo: National chief of the Assembly of First Nations

  • Atleo is a Canadian First Nations activist
  • Holds a Master’s degree in education from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia
  • Named chancellor of Vancouver Island University in 2008, becoming the first university chancellor of aboriginal heritage in the province’s history

Elyse Allen: President and CEO of GE Canada

  • President CEO since 2004
  • Advocate for advancing the country’s science and technology base, competitive fiscal policy, and strong cities
  • Has served on the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy

Gary Doer: Canada’s 23rd ambassador to the United States

  • Only since October 19 this year, he has served as Canada’s Ambassador to the U.S.A
  • Previously served as the Premier of Manitoba from 1999 to 2009, leading a New Democratic Party government
  • Rated as Canada’s most popular premier in polls taken in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008
  • Election of 1990, Doer rejected possibility of forming coalition government with the Liberals, allowing Progressive Conservatives to form a coalition government with NDP
  • First NDP premier in Manitoba to lead three successive majority governments

David Emerson: Former federal Conservative cabinet minister

  • Emphasis: FORMER
  • Obtained Bachelor and Master of Economics degree at University of Alberta
  • Received Ph.D in Economics at Queen’s University
  • Was President of the British Columbia Trade Development Corporation
  • Was President and Chief Executive Officer of Canfor Corporation (leading integrated forest products company)
  • Former Member of Parliament for the riding of Vancouver Kingsway
  • First elected as Liberal, served as Minister of Industry under PM Paul Martin
  • After controversially crossing the floor (accepted Harper’s offer) to join Harper’s Conservatives, served as Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and Vancouver Olympics, followed by Minister of Foreign Affairs

Charlie Fischer: Former president and CEO of Nexen Inc. Special adviser on carbon capture and storage under the U.S.-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue

  • Emphasis: FORMER
  • Received Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and Master degree in Finance from the University of Calgary
  • Calgary-based Nexen Inc.
  • Currently co-chairs the Alberta Climate Change Central board

Daniel Gagnier: Chairman of the International Institute for Sustainable Development and past chairman, board of directors, for the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, past chair of the Canadian Standards Association (technical committee on Environmental management), and past chair of the International Emissions Trading Association

  • Formerly Alcan Inc.’s (Aluminum production) senior vice president, Corporate and External Affairs
  • Was deputy Minister of energy and deputy Minister of intergovernmental affairs for Toronto
  • Past president of the Brewers Association of Canada

Linda Hasenfratz (Newton): CEO of Linamar Corp.

  • Publicly traded manufacturer of auto components, assemblies, castings…
  • Completed Executive MBA from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western and has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western as well

Mike Holmes: Host and creator of the popular television show Holmes on Homes, and eco-friendly homes developer

  • Well known for his contribution to the international community through his work with SOS Children’s Villages
  • Recognized in Canada’s House of Commons for his promotion of skilled trades and for his advocacy for improved building standards
  • Currently developing Wind Walk, first Holmes Community of eco-friendly and sustainable homes in Southwest Alberta

William Lahey: Director of the Dalhousie Health Law Institute and an assistant professor at Dalhousie Law School

  • Deputy minister for Nova Scotia’s Department of Environment and Labour (2004-2007)
  • Completed education in Mount Alison University (B.A.), Oxford University (B.A.) and University of Toronto (Certificate of Foreign Accreditation)

Jacques Lamarre: Former president and CEO of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

  • Emphasis:FORMER (from 1996-2009)
  • Earned Bachelor of Arts degree and Bachelor of Arts and Science degree in Civil Engineering from Universite Laval
  • Connection? His older brother controlled Groupe Lavalin in the early 1990s and is now the president of the Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal (engineering school)
  • SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. is an engineering and construction firm
  • On November 12, 2009, appointed to the Board of Directors of Suncor Energy Inc. (Canada’s largest energy company – situated in Alberta)

Steve MacLean: President of the Canadian Space Agency

  • Appointed President in 2008
  • Canadian astronaut
  • Legislated mandate of CSA: “To promote the peaceful use and development of space, to advance the knowledge of space through science and to ensure that space science and technology provide social and economic benefits for Canadians”

Heather Munroe-Blum: President, vice-chancellor and senior officer of McGill University

  • Completed education from McMaster University, and Wilfrid Laurier University, and received her Ph.D from the University of North Carolina
  • Was a professor at York University, and University of Toronto
  • First woman to occupy position as McGill’s Principal
  • Trained as epidemiologist; has led large-scale epidemiological investigations related to psychiatric disorders
  • Served on the Board of Directors of the Medical Research Council of Canada (a.k.a Canadian Institutes of Health Research), German Academic Exchange Service, Swiss National Science Foundation and National Institute of Mental Health (U.S.A)
  • In 2009, she was made an Officer of the National Order of Quebec and Order of Canada
  • As Principal of McGill University, she has campaigned publicly for significant increases in the tuition fees paid by McGill studdents, arguing that current, heavily subsidized fees, amounted to a “dollar store policy on tuition”

Robert Prichard: President and CEO of Metrolinx, the regional transportation authority for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, and vice chair of Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council

  • Studied economics at Swarthmore College and received MBA from the University of Chicago and earned law degrees at the University of Toronto and Yale Law School
  • Served as Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto
  • Appointed president of the University of toronto in 1990 – 2ooo, while UT’s endowment rose to $1.4 billion dollars, the most of any Canadian university
  • Became president of the Star Media Group and chief operating officer of the Torstar Corporation in 2001 (independently-owned Canadian broadly based media company)
  • Torstar’s financial woes have been caused by Prichard’s distraction by his presence on several boards, including Onex (private equity nvestment firm and holding company) and Four Seasons and it has been an open secret that he would love to be a Liberal MP
  • Currently serves as Vice-Chair of Upper Canada Ccollege’s Boarding Task Force, which has the mandate of determining whether the school should shut down its boarding programme
  • Member of the Order of Ontario and Officer of the Order of Canada
  • Was a memberof Imasco‘s (largest tobacco manufacturer in Canada) board of directors since 1993
  • Director of Bank of Montreal
  • Director of George Weston Ltd (engaged in food processing and distribution. Company has two reportable operating segments: Loblaw Companies Limited and Weston Foods)
  • New science, technology, innovation council reports to the Minister of Industry: provides Government of Canada with external policy advice on science and technology issues, and produces regular national reports that measure Canada’s sicence and technology performance against international standards of excellence

Indira Samarasekera: President of the University of Alberta

  • First female president of any university in Alberta
  • Received Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Sri Lanka and her Master degree rom the University of California, and a Doctorate in Metallurgical Engineering at the University of British Columbia
  • Officer of Order of Canada
  • Currently on the board of directors for Scotiabank
  • In defence of white male students (??): “The presidents of the major universities are very concerned we are not attracting young men in the numbers we should… We’ll wake up in 20 years and we will not have the benefit of enough male talent”

Mary Simon: President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, a national Inuit organization

  • Served as Executive Council Member, President, and Special Envoy of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, where she obtined approval from the Russian Government to allow the Inuit of the Chukotka Peninsular to participate in the Conference
  • One of the senior Inuit negotiators during the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution, during First Minister Meetings
  • Apppointed by Prime Minister Jean Chretien to be the first Canadian Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs; acting on instructions from the government of Canada, she took the lead role in negotiating the creation of an eight country council – Arctic Council
  • Held position of Canadian Ambassador to Denmark
  • Was a member of the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the Northern American Free Trade Agreement Commission on Environmental Cooperation
  • Was Chancellor of Trent University
  • From 2004 to 2005, was Special Advisor to the Labrador Inuit Association on the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement
  • Officer of Order of Canada, National Order of Quebec, Gold Order of Greeland

Nancy Southern: President and CEO of Atco Ltd. and Canadian Utilities Limited

  • Alberta-based corporation with three operating divisions: power generation, utilities (natural  gas, electricity transmission, distribution), and global enterprises, and active in industrial manufacturing, technology, logistics, energy services
  • Connections: Nancy’s father is chairman of ATCO, who served as a director of several cooperations including Larfage (French company specializing in cement, construction aggregates, concrete), Southam Inc. (national news agency), Chrysler Corporation of Canada, Imasco (fourth largest international tobacco company), Canadian Airlines, Fletcher Challenge (multinational corporation from New Zealand, with holdings in forestry, building, energy), Royal & SunAllinace (provides insurance products and services to over 20 million policyholders), Canadian Pacific Railway

Galen G. Weston: Executive chairman of Loblaw Companies Ltd., Canada’s largest food distributor

  • Studied at the University of Western
  • Roomates with Dave Nichol, whom Weston made President of Loblaws
  • He and his family are the second richest family in Canada; fortune comes from their interest in Loblaws, Holt Renfrew and Selfridges
  • Officer of the Order of Canada, Order of Ontario

Review of the 17

  • First Nations are represented, as well as lawyers, engineers, science majors and economic majors (very little background in environment)
  • Successful businesses with  connections worthy to note, HOWEVER none of the corporations are known for/pioneers of their environment management systems or social responsibility initiatives in their industry
  • Emphasis on Alberta and the academic institutions within Alberta
  • Present and past Presidents and high decision-making roles in universities (But why not the University of British Columbia, who has the most sustainable campus?)
  • Controversial issues are relevant to some of the individuals  (characters revealed)
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