Michael Wilson has combined a distinguished record of public service with long-standing leadership within Canada’s business community. Currently the Chair of Barclay’s Capital Canada, he has been Chair of UBS Canada, responsible for RBC Financial Group's Institutional Asset Management business and also served as a Vice Chairman of RBC Dominion Securities.
Mr. Wilson was the Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre between 1979 and 1993, during which time he served as Minister of Finance (1984 – 1991) and Minister of International Trade and Industry, Science and Technology (1991-1993). In 2006, he was appointed as Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, where he served until 2009.
A Companion of the Order of Canada, Mr. Wilson has been active in a number of professional and community organizations, including Brain Canada, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships and the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance.
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
John G. Abbott is Deputy Minister of Heath and Community Services with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, a position he held earlier (2004-2007). Before that he practiced as a management consultant with The Institute for the Advancement of Public Policy, Inc. (St. John’s) where he specialized in public policy analysis and development, and served as CEO of the Health Council of Canada (Toronto) from 2008-2014.
John’s distinguished work as a public sector executive earned him The Institute of Public Administration of Canada (NL Division) Lieutenant-Governor Award of Excellence in Public Administration in 1999. In 2012, Canadian Mental Health Association - NL awarded him the Dr. Clarence Pottle Award for Outstanding Service to Furthering Mental Health in the province.
John holds a BA in political science and economics from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a MA in Public Administration from Carleton University (Ottawa).
In addition to his role as deputy minister, John is National Treasurer of the Canadian Mental Health Association and past President of its NL Division, as well as a member of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Over the past decade, John sat on the board of directors of the NL Division of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires, Hot Soup Cool Jazz Association, Community Coalition 4 Mental Health, and Jimmy Pratt Foundation.
John’s personal interests include heritage property restoration, travel, hiking, camping and reading political biographies and historical fiction. In 2014, John walked the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain; previous to that he hiked Africa’s Kilimanjaro and took a polar dip in the Antarctic. He continues to hike the beautiful and at times challenging East Coast Trail.
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Charles Bruce is a senior executive with broad-based experience in finance, operations, and corporate governance. Currently the inaugural CEO of the Public Service Pension Plan Corporation in Newfoundland and Labrador, he was previously the CEO of the Nova Scotia Public Service Long Term Disability Plan Trust Fund (NSPS LTD).
With an extensive background in the fields of corporate finance, strategy and governance, he is former Chair of the Nova Scotia chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association. Mr. Bruce has been a member of the MHCC Advisory Council, providing strategic advice and expertise to the MHCC leadership, while serving as an external Ambassador at MHCC events.
Mr. Bruce holds the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA), Chartered Director (C. Dir) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professional designations.
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Dr. Manon Charbonneau, a Past President of the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA), is Chief of the Department of Psychiatry at Sept-Îles Regional Hospital in eastern Quebec.
Dr. Charbonneau Chaired the CPA’s Working Group for the Prevention of Stigma and Discrimination. She has more than 15 years of experience serving as Vice President, Secretary and Chair of several committees within the Association des médecins psychiatres du Québec.
In 2012, Dr. Charbonneau was honoured as a Distinguished Fellow of the CPA and was a presenter at the 5th International Stigma Conference, hosted by the MHCC, entitled “Together Against Stigma: Changing How We See Mental Illness”.
Dr. Charbonneau has experience working with diverse, multilingual and multicultural populations, including French and English-speaking Canadians, Métis, Innu, and Naskapi.
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Mike Dalton is an experienced financial executive, corporate director and retired officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. Currently the Chief Financial Officer of Guardian Exploration Inc., he has extensive experience in the design and implementation of financial accountability systems.
Mr. Dalton’s military experience and involvement with the Calgary Military Family Resource Centre provides the MHCC Board with the insights that can only come from a person with lived experience of military service and its impacts.
Mr. Dalton holds an Executive MBA from Athabasca University, as well as Chartered Professional Accounting designations (CA and CGA).
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New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
Cheryl Fraser brings over 35 years of experience in the public and private sectors. Currently Chief Talent Officer and Vice President, Communications with Crombie REIT, she has held senior executive roles with the Canada Revenue Agency, Correctional Service of Canada, Treasury Board Secretariat, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
A graduate of Dalhousie University, holding a Masters of Environmental Studies and a Bachelor of Science, Ms. Fraser is President of the John Howard Society of Nova Scotia and the Vice Chair of the YMCA of Pictou County.
She has an ICD.D designation and received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for her commitment to public service.
Ms. Fraser’s passions are music and the arts, and in providing mental health awareness and support.
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Kellie Garrett is passionate about helping others reach their potential. She is an executive coach, speaker and consultant in the areas of leadership, internal culture change, employee engagement, governance and business strategy.
She coaches individuals, teams and boards on trust, constructive conflict, accountability and high performance. A marketing communication expert, Garrett was granted the titles of Master Communicator and Fellow by the International Association of Business Communicators. She is a Certified Daring Way Facilitator, qualified to teach Dr. Brené Brown’s work on courage, vulnerability and shame. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur in 2013, Garrett was a Senior VP at Farm Credit Canada, responsible for business strategy, enterprise risk management, the customer experience, and reputation management.
Three generations of Garrett’s family have lived with depression and anxiety, and she speaks about her own experience to encourage others to seek help and to reduce stigma. An ardent volunteer, Garrett received the Red Cross Humanitarian Award (SK) in 2014, primarily for her work in the area of autism awareness and Dress for Success.
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Arlene Hache, a person who has experienced homelessness, is well known across the Northwest Territories and Nunavut as an advocate for social change. Ms. Hache was a founder and the Executive Director of Centre for Northern Families for 25 years. The Centre offered a broad range of services including an emergency shelter for women, a poverty law program, a family support program and third party intervention and child supervision services for families impacted by violence.
Ms. Hache actively participated in the development, implementation and evaluation of every program offered at the Centre including: a family support delivery model and training curriculum that helps families strengthen and negotiate internal and external inter-personal relationships in a way that promotes healthy interdependence; and, she co-developed and co-managed a gender specific trauma recovery program for First Nations, Inuit and Métis women who were impacted by colonization, systemic oppression and extreme levels of violence.
As a result of her work in the North, Ms. Hache was awarded the Order of Canada in 2009 and then the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. She has participated on several research teams and is a published author.
Anne-Marie Hourigan is a retired Judge of the Ontario Court of Justice where she presided exclusively over criminal matters for 12 years. Prior to her appointment to the Court, she practised criminal law in Toronto, both as a defence counsel and as a prosecutor for the Attorney-General of Canada.Over the course of her 30 years in the Canadian criminal justice system, Ms. Hourigan worked with thousands of people affected by mental illness and came to appreciate the direct and repeated co-relation between the gaps in their mental health care and their appearance before the Courts. She retired early from the Bench so she could bring awareness to this issue. Since her retirement, Ms. Hourigan has lectured extensively about the intersection of mental illness and criminal behaviour. She has also spoken about the need to embed mental health literacy into the education system in order to increase awareness, reduce stigma and promote early intervention and treatment. Ms. Hourigan has served on the Boards of various organizations dedicated to furthering the mental health of Canadians, including The Institute of Families for Child & Youth Mental Health, Vancouver and the Eva Rothwell Centre, Hamilton. She also has lived experience supporting family members living with mental illness. Ms. Hourigan holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College, University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Laws from Queen’s University and a Master of Laws (Criminal) from Osgoode Hall Law School. She was awarded the Prime Minister of Canada’s Certificate of Excellence for Public Service and the Ontario Court of Justice Distinguished Service Medal in 2014 and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.
Vancouver, British Columbia
An experienced leader in the field of the design and implementation of health services for Indigenous peoples, Richard Jock is currently Chief Operating Officer of the First Nations Health Authority in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Mr. Jock brings a wealth of experience gained at the community, provincial and national levels while working with the Assembly of First Nations, Health Canada, The Mohawk Council of Akwasasne, Norway House Health Services Incorporated and as Director of the First Nations Health Commission.
Mr. Jock holds a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York (Plattsburg) and a Master of Education from St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York.
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Deputy Minister of Health Canada
Simon Kennedy was named Deputy Minister of Health effective January 21, 2015. Since he joined the department, Health Canada has taken on a national leadership role in responding to the opioids crisis; negotiated agreements with the provinces and territories to allocate $11 billion in new funding to home care and mental health services; and launched important reforms to pharmaceutical pricing, nutrition labelling, vaping, and tobacco product packaging. Mr. Kennedy has also overseen Health Canada’s leadership of the government’s initiative to legalize and regulate cannabis, including passage of the Cannabis Act.
Previously, Mr. Kennedy served as Deputy Minister of International Trade and Canada’s G-20 Sherpa. He oversaw the Trade Portfolio through one of the most productive periods in the history of Canadian trade negotiations. During his tenure, negotiations were successfully concluded on the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Negotiations were also concluded on the Canada-South Korea Free Trade Agreement, Canada’s first free trade agreement in Asia, and the treaty brought into force.
Prior to his assignment at International Trade, Mr. Kennedy served as the Senior Associate Deputy Minister at Industry Canada from September 2010 to November 2012. One of his key responsibilities was to administer Canada’s foreign investment review regime. For almost a year during this period, Mr. Kennedy was also the Prime Minister’s representative on the Canada-U.S. Beyond the Border Working Group. In this role, he led the negotiation with the White House of the Canada-U.S. Action Plan for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness, announced by the Prime Minister and President Obama in December 2011.
Mr. Kennedy began his career with the public service in 1990 and has served in a variety of progressively senior roles in seven different organizations, including in five deputy minister-level appointments. He holds a Bachelor of Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University and a Master of Science in Communications Management from Syracuse University. He is a graduate of INSEAD’s Advanced Management Programme. Mr. Kennedy also holds an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Eels River Crossing, N.B.
Despite his young age, Marc-André LeBlanc has volunteered on the board of more than 10 organizations . A dynamic leader, Marc-André has lent his talents to advance diverse issues, including those affecting young people, Francophones and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
His advocacy began in high school, where he joined the “Roots of Hope” committee and wrote a manifesto he later presented to the ministers of Education, Health and Healthy and Inclusive Communities. After graduating in 2014, he received the Governor General's Medal and the Birks Leadership Medal. That same year, he became president of the Federation of Young Francophones of New Brunswick.
He is also a member of the Fédération de la jeunesse canadienne-française, where he works to offer the best experiences possible to young Francophones and Francophiles. In his capacity within these organizations, Marc- André prioritizes mental health and wellness and strives to lend a powerful voice to young Francophones and LGBTQ+ youths.
Currently studying political science and public relations at the University of Moncton, Marc-André credits his advocacy work with enhancing his knowledge of finance and human resource management.
Lynne McVey is President and CEO of Montréal West Island Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre as well as Associate Professor of Nursing and Psychiatry at McGill University and Head of Professional Education in the Department of Health Administration at the University of Montréal. She has a bachelor’s degree in physiology and a Master of Science in Nursing from McGill University, as well as a Fellowship in Healthcare management from the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania.
McVey is the former Executive Director of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, and since 2015 she has actively participated in the reform of Québec’s health and social services network. McVey is known for her patient-centred approach, her advocacy on behalf of vulnerable populations and her interdisciplinary leadership. She has an impressive track record in improving patient care and promoting research, particularly in cancer and mental health, including the management of a world-renowned clinical research centre.
Alisa Praamsma is an Inuk (Taloyoak), born in the Midland region of Ontario and raised in a non-Indigenous family.
In her twenties, she moved north to work with youth in Nunavut and the North West Territories involved with the justice system. Her experience led to a role with the Government of Nunavut Policy and Planning Division, where she was mentored for the position of Director of the Policy and Planning Division for the Department of Justice. In that role, Alisa led the implementation of the Family Abuse Intervention Act, legislation designed as a community-based, prevention and intervention response to address family violence.
More recently, Alisa was hired as Executive Director of the Native Women’s Association of the NWT. Under her leadership, the agency stabilized and expanded to offer new and enhanced programming for Indigenous women and their families. In this role, Alisa also led the NWT pre-Inquiry gathering for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
After a two-day gathering with family members, loved ones, community organizations and government partners, Alisa designed a Family Information Liaison Unit with offices in Yellowknife and Inuvik, established through a partnership with the government of NWT Department of Justice.
Alisa is Chair of Board of Directors for the Yellowknife Women’s Society, an organization that operates the Centre for Northern Families. She is working with Inuit in Yellowknife to develop a cultural resource centre.
Alisa resides in Yellowknife with her husband, two semi-adult girls and her dog.
St. Lazare, Manitoba
Carole Shankaruk is a Registered Social Worker and certified counsellor. She is currently the division school social worker for the Mountain View School Division, and will transition to the newly created role of Indigenous Education Facilitator in the 2018-19 academic year.
Carole is also Chair of the Board for the neighbouring division, Park West School Division. Carole is of Metis descent and the great-great-great-great granddaughter of Metis leader Cuthbert Grant.
Carole possesses strong and innovative leadership skills and has extensive experience within diverse sectors including: health care, child welfare, education and private business. Carole’s career trajectory included President of the Manitoba Council for Exceptional Children and an appointment as board member of the Child Welfare Intake Agency All Nations Response Unit. A small business owner and operator in the French Metis community of St. Lazare, Manitoba, Carole also assists her husband with the management of a cattle and grain farm.
A mother of two and a first-time grandparent, Carole seeks a balanced, holistic lifestyle by following her cultural beliefs, focusing on all aspects of self: spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical.