Our People

Board of Directors

Pierre Bélanger

Pierre Bélanger
Chair

Pierre Bélanger is a well-known personality in Northern Ontario and northwestern Québec.  Born in Timmins, ON in 1947, he has a varied background in both business and public affairs. In business, this ranges from a key role in manufacturing the Boler RV (1972-1982) to owning and managing a large multi-product retail RV dealership, Earlton RV (1976-2012).  For a time, from 1983 to 2002, this also included ownership and operation of the Earlton Zoo, a major northern tourist attraction.

He has maintained an interest in agriculture with Bisons du Nord, a 480 acre/200 head buffalo ranch established in 1972.  The ranch sells breeding stock and meat animals.  Pierre has served as a long time director on the Canadian Bison Association (CBA) and as founding president in 1983. His early 70’s activities included the development of significant franco-ontarian cultural institutions such as the Théâtre du Nouvel Ontario (TNO) and the Coopérative des artistes du Nouvel Ontario (CANO).

His commitment to public affairs has been constant from school board to regional, provincial and national economic development councils.  He has had an active presence as president of the Collège Boréal’s foundation and chair of the national RDÉE, a francophone economic development and job creation network. He has chaired the Northern Ontario Development Corporation (NODC), a provincial crown corporation, and was a board member of the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC), a federal crown corporation.

Mr. Bélanger has run twice as a Liberal candidate for Canada’s Parliament in 1979 and in a 1982 by-election.  Other commitments include the Foire Gourmande, a successful Quebec/Ontario regional food products fair and Entre-Amis/Between Friends, a Quebec/Ontario linkage effort.  He currently chairs the Fondation communautaire du Témiskaming, a community philanthropic foundation established in 1987. In 2000, he was actively involved as a spokesperson in the widespread community resistance to the rail shipment of Toronto’s municipal waste to the Adam’s Mine open pit in Temiskaming. Mr. Bélanger also works on contract as a trainer and speaker on profitable management for owner-operated businesses. Since 2006, he has been a regular issues commentator for Ontario on french Radio-Canada radio.

The common thread in his public affairs involvement are his regional and francophone roots and his firm belief in sustainable community development through local effort and enterprise. In 2007, Laurentian University in Sudbury, ON awarded him a Doctor of Laws honorary degree in recognition of his contribution to his community. “I measure myself against my 20 year old self when I didn’t know half measures.  I still want to be enthused and to make principled, intelligent choices.”

 

Read message from the Chair. 

 

Asima Vezina

Asima Vezina
Vice Chair- Northeast

Asima Vezina is Algoma University’s President and Vice-Chancellor.

Asima Vezina is well known to the community of Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding areas. Vezina has worked in various educational administrative roles within communities across Northern Ontario, including 15 years as a Superintendent of Education with the Timmins and Algoma District School Boards. She has also worked in government for the Ministry of Education as a Provincial Lead within the Leadership Branch of the Student Achievement Division. Before her tenure as President and Vice-Chancellor, she served as a member and Chair of the Algoma University Board of Governors and member and Vice-Chair of the Council of Chairs of Ontario Universities.

Dr. Brian Tucker

Dr. Brian Tucker
Treasurer

Dr. Brian Tucker is an ecologist specializing in terrestrial ecology and spatial statistics, with additional background in ecological restoration. He is a resident of Northwestern Ontario and has a strong connection to his Métis community, the traditional Métis way of life, as well as the commercial fishing, logging and trapping industries. He is currently the Manager of Métis Traditional Knowledge and Land Use for the Métis Nation of Ontario.

Brian was born and grew up in Northwestern Ontario (Fort Frances), where his traditional lifestyle fostered and maintained a close connection to the lands and waters of the north. He grew up hunting, fishing, trapping and harvesting plants as part of his Métis way of life. Before completing high school and moving away to attend post-secondary education, he worked at the family commercial fishing, trapping, and logging operations. He has also worked in the tourism industry, primarily as a fishing guide.

Brian studied at the University of Alberta in Edmonton (Ph.D. in Ecology) where he explored new methods of spatial data analysis and applied them to clonal plant ecology. During his M.Sc. research at Laurentian University (M.Sc. in Biology), Brian examined small scale (topographic) and large scale (historic smelting impact) vegetation community composition gradients using Hidden Markov Models. His B.Sc. research at Laurentian University (B.Sc. in Environmental Earth Science) comprised of examining the same gradients with the standard Markov Model. Prior to his university studies, Brian attended Confederation College in Thunder Bay (3-yr Environmental Engineering Technology). He has been an NSERC scholar throughout his undergraduate, M.Sc. and Ph.D. studies.

Brian’s studies have allowed him to explore and live across Northern Ontario; over the years, both Thunder Bay and Sudbury became “home” as connections and friends were made both at educational institutions and in the community. This has provided him with knowledge of the geography, the people, the issues and the opportunities across Northern Ontario. Brian’s studies in Alberta provided him continued exposure to high calibre educational institutions. It also served to further broaden his understanding of the Canadian experience, both in the sense of its diversity and its consistency across space and people.

Driven by the need to return to his family roots and community in Northwestern Ontario, Brian and his family moved back to Fort Frances where he remotely completed his doctoral research at the University of Alberta. During this time he spent three years teaching a range of courses at Confederation College’s Fort Frances campus. Many of these courses were distance education courses, and Brian was able to teach and learn from students from across the northern part of the province.

Over the course of the past three years, Brian has worked within the Métis Nation of Ontario in the Lands, Resources and Consultations Branch. He has served as the Manager of the LRC Branch, and he is now the Manager of Métis Traditional Knowledge and Land Use. This work has allowed him to work closely with Métis communities, industry representatives in the resource and energy sectors, and Federal and Provincial officials from various ministries on a range of projects, issues and initiatives. Brian has gained experience in government policy development and implementation, Aboriginal consultation, resource development in northern Ontario, infrastructure projects, natural resource management and northern education initiatives. Working within the MNO has also given Brian considerable exposure to Métis governance, rights, and culture. This work has also allowed him to travel across much of Ontario. Whenever possible, Brian enjoys spending time with his wife and son. He also enjoys canoeing, hunting, fishing, trapping, and literature.

Dwayne Nashkawa

Dwayne Nashkawa
Secretary

Dwayne has been the Chief Executive Officer of Nipissing First Nation, located on the shores of Lake Nipissing in northern Ontario, since January 2004.  He has spent his career working in First Nations in senior roles in the areas of natural resources development, treaty research, governance, and administration. 

Dwayne has led various tripartite negotiations including the Ontario First Nations Policing Agreement and the development of the Anishinabek/Ontario Resource Management Council. While at Nipissing, Dwayne has led the development of private business relationships for and various community development initiatives including the NFN Constitution and Financial Administration Law.  He has also participated as a negotiation team member on Nipissing First Nation’s recently settled boundary claim.

Dwayne is a member of the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation located on the Bruce Peninsula and is the proud father of three.

 

 

Charles Cirtwill

Charles Cirtwill

Charles Cirtwill is the founding President and CEO of Northern Policy Institute.

Charles joined NPI in September 2013 after twelve years with the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies.

A resident of Thunder Bay, Charles travels extensively throughout Northern Ontario and can routinely be found engaging with one of NPI’s 780,000 “bosses”. Whether at formal conferences, small workshop sessions, or one on one over coffee, Charles is passionate about listening to his fellow northerners. Charles is the author of, and firmly believes in, NPI’s tag line: evidence based solutions for and from Northern Ontario.

Charles’ work on education, fiscal management, debt reduction, taxation, the growth of government, and the importance of government accountability regularly appears in local, regional and national media.

His published works focus on government structure and organization, business-government relations, inter-governmental relations, performance measurement and accountability. He has spoken across Canada and the United States on the role of think tanks in society, the appropriate assessment of government activities, and the use of school performance data to improve classroom practice and fully engage all education stakeholders.

He has worked in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors as a program manager, policy analyst, senior administrator, consultant and entrepreneur. Charles has also served as policy advisor to several political campaigns and has provided non-partisan advice and direction to provincial and municipal administrations across Canada.

He currently serves as an adjunct member of the Rural Ontario Institute’s Board of Directors,  and he has had leadership roles in multiple community organizations including Civitas, IPAC, Scouts Canada, local school associations and local homeowners associations. He attended Dalhousie University, earning a BA in Political Science, a LLB, and a MPA with a focus on quantitative and qualitative assessment of public policy and programs.

Read the message from the President.

Contact Charles

Suzanne Bélanger-Fontaine

Suzanne Bélanger-Fontaine

Mrs. Bélanger-Fontaine, who currently serves as Director of Immigration Services and Programs at Collège Boréal, is a well-recognized and respected figure within the Francophone community. She brings with her significant public service experience having worked in senior and leadership level roles with both the Federal and Provincial governments.

Before her time at Collège Boréal, Mrs. Bélanger-Fontaine spent several years working with the Commissioner of Official Languages as Representative for the province of Ontario, where she acted on the Commissioner’s behalf to promote official languages in federal, provincial, and municipal organizations and at the community level. She previously served as Director with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Yukon Region, where she worked closely with the territorial government and with First Nations and territorial partners on environmental and economic development initiatives, as Associate-Director on the DEW Line Clean Up Project with the Department of National Defense and as Senior Officer with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.

In addition to her impressive employment background, Mrs. Bélanger-Fontaine has been deeply involved at the community level. She has served on several agency boards over the years. She is currently on the Board of directors of the Canadian Centre for Language Benchmarks, and Le Phénix, a provincial organisation supporting inclusion and persons with disabilities. Mrs. Bélanger-Fontaine is a graduate of Brock University, the Université du Québec à Montréal and L’école nationale d’administration publique.

Dave Canfield

Dave Canfield

Dave Canfield has been involved in municipal politics for 27 years. He is the former Mayor for the Town of Jaffray Melick until its amalgamation into the City of Kenora where he served as Mayor from 2000 until his retirement in 2018. Prior to his entrance into politics, he was a crane operator and heavy equipment trainer with Boise Cascade and Abitibi Consolidated for 30 years.

Dave has been an active member of several regional municipal associations, serving as the President of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association and a member of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario Board and Executive. Dave has also served on various Provincial and Regional Committees including the Northwest Ontario Smart Growth Panel, the Ministers Council for Forest Sector Competitiveness, the Ontario Forest Tenure Reform Committee as well as the Lands for Life Boreal West Round Table.

Kevin Eshkawkogan

Kevin Eshkawkogan

Kevin is Anishnabek and is a member of the M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island.

Kevin has been a key player in the development of Indigenous cultural tourism in Ontario since 2003. Kevin was an integral part of the development and growth of the Great Sprit Circle Trail on Manitoulin Island, one of the country’s most renowned Indigenous tourism organizations that provides culturally authentic Indigenous experiences to visitors along with marketing support to Indigenous operators. He has provided leadership to GCST formally for over 15 years and has imparted his guidance to countless individuals throughout Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada, and beyond.

Kevin works tirelessly to unite Indigenous tourism providers, grow market reach and bring meaningful employment opportunities to the region. Kevin is a mentor and visionary who works closely with his community to ensure sustainable and organic growth within the Indigenous tourism industry.

In 2015, Kevin was named the Tourism Champion of the Year by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario. He has also been recognized by numerous media outlets for his accomplishments within the industry.

Kevin sits on a variety of boards including the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) and the Tourism Association of Ontario. He has also helped establish ITO, ITAC, Northeastern Ontario Tourism, Destination Northern Ontario, the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre, and many other tourism organizations and businesses.  He sits on the Destination Ontario Sector Advisory Committee, Tourism Skillsnet Ontario Council, and the Trans Canada Trail Indigenous Advisory Committee.

Alan Spacek

Alan Spacek

Born and raised in Kapuskasing, Alan has been a lifelong community volunteer.  Building a career as a respected entrepreneur, owning and operating a number of businesses, Alan continues to serve as an active member of the Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA).

Elected Mayor of Kapuskasing in 2006, Alan was acclaimed for two more terms, retiring in December 2018. During his time as Mayor, Alan was a member of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities for twelve years, serving as President for eight years until August 2018.

Alan was, and continues to be, very active and passionate about promoting Northern Ontario and the value of strong local government.  He has served as a Chair, President, executive member and board member in multiple organizations.

Alan is currently an associate member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 85. In his spare time and as a member of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Alan enthusiastically enjoys all outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling alongside his family and friends.

More about the Board of Directors here

President & CEO

Charles Cirtwill

Charles Cirtwill

Charles Cirtwill is the founding President and CEO of Northern Policy Institute.

Charles joined NPI in September 2013 after twelve years with the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies.

A resident of Thunder Bay, Charles travels extensively throughout Northern Ontario and can routinely be found engaging with one of NPI’s 780,000 “bosses”. Whether at formal conferences, small workshop sessions, or one on one over coffee, Charles is passionate about listening to his fellow northerners. Charles is the author of, and firmly believes in, NPI’s tag line: evidence based solutions for and from Northern Ontario.

Charles’ work on education, fiscal management, debt reduction, taxation, the growth of government, and the importance of government accountability regularly appears in local, regional and national media.

His published works focus on government structure and organization, business-government relations, inter-governmental relations, performance measurement and accountability. He has spoken across Canada and the United States on the role of think tanks in society, the appropriate assessment of government activities, and the use of school performance data to improve classroom practice and fully engage all education stakeholders.

He has worked in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors as a program manager, policy analyst, senior administrator, consultant and entrepreneur. Charles has also served as policy advisor to several political campaigns and has provided non-partisan advice and direction to provincial and municipal administrations across Canada.

He currently serves as an adjunct member of the Rural Ontario Institute’s Board of Director, and he has had leadership roles in multiple community organizations including Civitas, IPAC, Scouts Canada, local school associations and local homeowners associations. He attended Dalhousie University, earning a BA in Political Science, a LLB, and a MPA with a focus on quantitative and qualitative assessment of public policy and programs.

Read the message from the President.

Contact Charles

Samantha Angell

Samantha Angell
Executive Assistant

Samantha has many years’ experience working with various government agencies and private corporations in Northwestern Ontario and the Ottawa area. Prior to taking on her current role, she played a central role in laying the foundation for the growth and development of Northern Policy Institute.

Samantha’s broad project management experience has resulted in the successful implementation of business development strategies, client and stakeholder engagement programs and operational procedures and systems redesign. Samantha is a graduate of the Human Resources Management Program at Confederation College.

While not an employee of Northern Policy Institute, Samantha plays a critical role in its ongoing success as Executive Assistant to Charles Cirtwill,  President & CEO of Northern Policy Institute.

Staff

Cristina Cromeyer

Cristina Cromeyer
Graphic Designer

Cristina Cromeyer was born and raised in the smallest country in Central America, El Salvador. Looking for a new adventure she decided to explore Canada which led her to Sudbury. She recently just graduated from Cambrian College with an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design. Having participated in her program’s tree planting, Cristina is always implementing sustainable means into her designs. Since her arrival, Cristina has grown fond of Sudbury and is excited to work for NPI and explore Northern Ontario. During her free time, you could find her reading, exploring outdoors and skiing.

Contact Cristina : ccromeyer@northernpolicy.ca 

Evelynn Hoffman

Evelynn Hoffman
Outreach and Development Officer

Born and raised in Northern Ontario, Evelynn Hoffman spent her childhood in Longlac, Ontario. With a passion for horseback riding and competition, Evelynn moved to Sudbury to finish high school and improve her show jumping skills. She fell in love with the rocks of Sudbury and is proud to now call it her home. Evelynn has just completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies from Laurentian University as well as a Public Relations Graduate Certificate from Cambrian College. She is excited to launch her career in Northern Ontario with NPI in Sudbury. Apart from horses, Evelynn is a licensed trapper on her family’s trapline in Longlac, enjoys a good book, camping, curling and crosscountry skiing.

Contact Evelynn : ehoffman@northernpolicy.ca 

Rachel Rizzuto

Rachel Rizzuto
Research Manager

Rachel Rizzuto is the Research Manager for Northern Policy Institute. Originally from the United States, Rachel attended the University of Guelph and the University of Waterloo, earning her B.A. (Honours) and M.A. (co-op) in Political Science, respectively. Throughout her academic and professional careers, Rachel has pursued the study of community and economic development, an enthusiasm borne out of travel throughout rural and urban China. Through her role at NPI, Rachel provides research expertise and passion for seeing northern communities thrive.

The Research Manager is responsible for assisting in the development and delivery of policy and research priorities for NPI.

Contact Rachel: rrizzuto@northernpolicy.ca

Krissie Rose

Krissie Rose
Finance & Operations Coordinator

Born and raised in Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and Labrador, Krissie Rose graduated with a Diploma in Business Administration (Accounting) from the College of the North Atlantic in 2011. Krissie is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Business Administration degree part-time at Memorial University of Newfoundland with a focus on accounting, in anticipation of working towards a CPA designation. Krissie brings to NPI a wealth of financial experience in budgeting and forecasting, primarily from various roles in the aviation industry. In her spare time, Krissie enjoys her fur babies, hiking, camping, fishing and boating. 

The Finance & Operations Coordinator is responsible for coordinating all budget and finance related activities of the Institute.

Contact Krissie: krose@northernpolicy.ca

Raven Wheesk

Raven Wheesk
Economist

Born in Thunder Bay, Raven is a lifelong citizen of Northern Ontario. Interested in history and math from a young age, he graduated with an Honours B.A. in Economics from Lakehead University in 2019 and will be completing his MA in Economics from Lakehead in the next few months.

Raven’s research interests include economic history, public finance, labour and natural resource economics. When not crunching numbers, Raven enjoys running, hiking, and being outside. He is excited to join the NPI team and put to use the economic knowhow that he’s spent the past five years building.

Interns and Project Staff

Hilary Hagar

Hilary Hagar
Policy Analyst

Hilary Hagar is originally from Hamilton, ON, and is a recent graduate from the University of Guelph with a B.A. (Hons) in International Development, Hilary values interdisciplinary approaches and is passionate about community economic development and poverty alleviation. During her undergraduate degree, Hilary completed participatory research in both Cuba and Bolivia. Closer to home, Hilary has also contributed policy debates on issues ranging from greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario agriculture to Inuit nutrition and health. An avid outdoors enthusiast, she spends as much time as possible camping, hiking, and canoeing.

Hilary is a FedNor intern located in the Thunder Bay office.

Contact Hilary : hhagar@northernpolicy.ca 

Sherry Mayer

Sherry Mayer
Employablity Advisor

Born and raised in the Greater Sudbury Region and a true nature lover, Sherry remained rooted within her community after her first academic graduation. With an honours diploma from Cambrian College in Social Services and currently completing her final year of the Indigenous Social Work Program with Laurentian University, her career focus is to help raise the bar with social inclusion, diversity and anti oppression efforts within Northeastern Ontario communities.  Sherry brings forth 12 years of both front line and management experience within a not for profit setting, in the Employment and Immigration sectors.  She also holds a Teaching Certification in Hatha Yoga through the Canadian Yoga Alliance and is working toward her certification in Mindfulness and Meditative Studies, with the University of Toronto.  Sherry is passionate about application of both Western and Eastern philosophies, within the mind-body-spirit connection.

Sherry is the Northeastern International and Community Matchmaker

Contact Sherry : smayer@northernpolicy.ca 

Experience North Placements

Christina Fera

Christina Fera

Christina Fera is a recent graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University where she majored in Communication Studies with a specialization in the Cultural and Creative Industries. Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Christina moved to Southern Ontario in order to pursue her degree. Christina is planning on continuing her studies in the fall at Humber College in order to obtain a post graduate certificate in Public Relations. Previously, Christina worked as a Communications Specialist Student for a non-profit in Waterloo, Ontario, called Monica Place. She also spent two years working for Laurier’s Department of Residence as a residence life assistant and two years working for the Municipality of Sault Ste. Marie as an environmental initiatives student. In her free time, Christina loves spending time out at her camp on Lake Superior, taking her dog for walks and writing poetry.

Christina is a Communications Officer

Contact Christina: cfera@northernpolicy.ca

Andrew Jalak

Andrew Jalak

Andrew will be entering his third year of study at Wilfrid Laurier University, with a focus of communications studies in Waterloo Ontario. Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario, Andrew has developed a great knowledge of Northern Ontario and the beauty this fine land has to offer, through opportunities and travels over his 20 years. Andrew’s thirst for travel has not held him within our rocky mountains, but to many places across the world, some of his favourites being’ Paris, Liverpool, London and Portrush in Northern Ireland. Not only is Andrew an avid traveler, but he is also very into sports, both as a participant and spectator. Growing up playing hockey, much like many Canadians, this is his sport of choice, still playing at the recreation level at Wilfrid Laurier. As a fan his favourite team is the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL. His love for sports does not just end there, he also enjoys watching the Toronto Raptors of the NBA, and also playing golf. During the summer months, you can find Andrew spending time out at camp with his family, friends and of course his chocolate Labrador, Dolce.

Andrew is a Communications Officer

Contact Andrew: ajalak@northernpolicy.ca

Maia Kvas

Maia Kvas

Maia Kvas, born and raised in Timmins, has completed her fourth year in the Medical Sciences program at Dalhousie University. Through her involvement with Engineers Without Borders Canada, she has developed a profound passion for social change. In the future, she wishes to combine both her interests in health and social development to improve health policies. Maia has experience with academic research in the biomedical engineering department and has worked as a mining laboratory analyst. Maia is looking forward to applying her data analysing skills gained during her Experience North Summer 2019 placement to health policy research in her 2020 placement. On her free time, Maia loves to play Ringette, soccer and hike with friends.

Maia is a Research Analyst working on Healthcare Asset Mapping

Contact Maia: mkvas@northernpolicy.ca

Mercedes Labelle

Mercedes Labelle

Mercedes Labelle graduated from McGill University in 2020 with an Honours Bachelor of Political Science and Urban Systems. During her studies, she focused on Canadian politics and public policy processes, specifically researching the uneven distribution of benefits and services between urban and rural communities. At McGill, Mercedes provided analysis on Canadian Politics for the McGill Journal of Political Studies (MJPS). Through her involvement with MJPS, Mercedes developed a deeper understanding of the diverse interests and needs of the Canadian population. Having grown up in Canada, the United States, and Spain, Mercedes is eager to return to Northern Ontario, where her family now resides. In her free time, Mercedes enjoys listening to podcasts, cooking, and reading.

Mercedes is a Research Analyst working on Comparative Transportation Subsidization

Contact Mercedes: mlabelle@northernpolicy.ca

Mateo Orrantia

Mateo Orrantia

Born and raised in Marathon, ON, Mateo is proud to call Northern Ontario home. Heading into his fourth year of Arts & Science at McMaster University,  Mateo tries to bring an interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving. A firm believer in a self-directed North, he wants to apply his experiences in research and grassroots activism to help foster stronger and more sustainable communities across Northern Ontario. After spending his last few summers working at Pukaskwa National Park, Mateo has become passionate about protecting the region's unparalleled natural resources. Unsure of where his future will take him - other than back to the North - Mateo has gotten involved with initiatives across disciplines, from Strength & Conditioning coaching to forestry research and student governance. When he's not working, Mateo enjoys powerlifting and exploring the outdoors (which usually results in a little too much bushwhacking).

Mateo is a Research Analyst working on First Nation and Métis Asset Mapping

Contact Mateo: morrantia@northernpolicy.ca

Abby Shillinglaw

Abby Shillinglaw

Abby Shillinglaw grew up in New Liskeard, ON, and is very happy that she can call Northern Ontario her home. Growing up, Abby helped support her community by contributing many hours to fundraisers and events, as a dancer and instructor at a local studio. Being a resident of Northern Ontario, Abby will be able to contribute a unique perspective and specific knowledge of the area to her NPI work. She has completed the first 3 years of her undergraduate B.Sc. (Hons.) degree in Environmental Science at Queen's University and hopes to return back home to the North after she graduates. Abby is passionate about the environment, conservation, and social environmental justice issues which are paths she plans pursue in the future. In her free time she enjoys spending time outdoors, being active, and hanging out with her friends and family. She is looking forward to her 2020 summer placement with NPI.

Abby is a Research Analyst working on Post-Secondary and Indirect Learners

Contact Abby: ashillinglaw@northernpolicy.ca

Advisory Council

Jean Pierre Chabot

Jean Pierre Chabot
Chair, NPI Advisory Council

Jean Pierre Chabot was born and raised in Moose Factory, a remote Northern Ontario community at the southernmost tip of the James Bay. He served as Senior Development Officer at MoCreebec Eeyoud Council working towards implementing the MoCreebec Eeyoud Constitutional Framework and advancing the interests of members. Chabot has lived, worked and studied abroad where he was able to acquire valuable connections in both the private and public sectors and experience at the local and international levels. Conscious of the unique challenges Northern Ontario faces, Chabot continues to work towards its growth and success.

Michael Atkins

Michael Atkins

Michael Atkins is the president and owner of the Laurentian Media Group, a diversified media company which includes a digital trade group (IT World Canada Inc.), a consumer publishing magazine group (CCMC Sports Group), a weekly newspaper company (Laurentian Publishing Ltd.), a business publishing company (Northern Ontario Business Limited), a digital design Creative Operations software business (ConceptShare Inc.) and a digital music business (Adventus International Limited).

Atkins is the past chair of the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology, past chair of the Laurentian University Board of Governors,  past Chair of the Canadian Business Press, past President of the Association of Area Business Publications (US), former director of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Community Newspaper Association.  He is a 2004 recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Rotary Club of Sudbury, and received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Laurentian University in June 2005.

He joined the board of the Northern Policy Institute in the fall of 2016. 

Kim Jo Bliss

Kim Jo Bliss

Kim Jo Bliss began working at the Emo Agricultural Research Station in 1988 as a summer student.  Though her employer name has changed, currently she is employed by the University of Guelph doing applied crop research at the Emo Station.  Kim Jo also owns and operates a Beef Farm north of Emo and takes great pride in raising quality beef & lamb.  Most of her products are marketed through local networks.  Kim Jo developed a passion for Agriculture at a young age by spending most of her time with her grandmother on her farm. 

Kim Jo spends a great deal of time promoting Agriculture and takes pride in living and working in Northwestern Ontario.  She also enjoys sharing the many reasons others should consider living, working and raising families in the North.

Kim Jo volunteers on various Agriculture Committees both locally and provincially.  She is still a director with Riverside Foundation and welcomes any chance to talk and promote Agriculture whether it be on her own farm or in school settings.

She has a huge passion for teaching her 2 nieces the need and value of Agriculture and that hard work will never hurt anyone.  

Adam Castonguay

Adam Castonguay

Adam T Castonguay was born and raised in the Greater Sudbury community of Chelmsford, Ontario. He attended Sudbury’s Laurentian University where he obtained a degree in Law & Justice and Political Science, and went on to Thunder Bay where obtained a law degree from Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. In Thunder Bay, he worked as a student at one of the City’s leading law firms and became an active member of the community.

Adam returned to Sudbury to join Conroy Scott LLP where his practice encompasses a number of areas, including construction and infrastructure law, land use law, and environmental law. He also provides corporate and commercial advice to businesses and entrepreneurs, and represents his firm in Sudbury’s Regional Business Centre Collaboration Network in support the development and growth of local businesses.

Adam has extensive knowledge of government policies affecting Indigenous peoples and development activities in the North and is always looking for new ways to support sustainable economic development in Northern Ontario.

Audrey Gilbeau

Audrey Gilbeau

Peter Goring

Peter Goring

Peter Goring comes from a family with strong ties in the business community in the Sudbury Region.  He was born in Sudbury where he received his primary and secondary education and graduated from Laurentian University (B.Comm 1967). After  he qualified as a Chartered Accountant in, he spent almost 50 years as a real estate finance professional, active in Canadian and US markets. He has extensive experience as a senior executive with both public and private companies and provided leadership in financing, acquisitions and restructurings. From 1998 through 2018 was involved with the Minto Group Inc., a real estate development company headquartered in Ottawa with residential development and commercial interests in the Ontario, Alberta and Florida real estate markets. He retired from a full-time position with Minto in December 2007, but continued as a Director until December 2018, including as a member and Chair of the Audit Committee and member of the Special Committee for the IPO of Minto REIT.

Peter has always maintained a keen interest in public policy issues, both from his real estate industry involvement and otherwise and served in many industry and public interest organizations. As well, he has maintained a strong interest in Sudbury and Northern Ontario and has served as a member of the Laurentian University Board of Governors and subsequently as a Director of the Laurentian University Foundation. Through the Goring Family Foundation, he continues his interest supporting both Laurentian University and Northern Ontario issues. His other activities include an interest in Documentary Film through HotDocs in Toronto, where he is a member of the Advisory Board and participant in HotDocs Partners, which finances documentary films.

George Graham

George Graham

George Graham has a long career as a hands-on forest manager, consultant, employer and business owner in Northern Ontario. The forest industry and delivery of forest practices and operations which support that industry are an important economic foundation for communities in the Great Clay Belt region. 

A Registered Professional Forester, George has lived and worked in Hearst for forty years. He graduated with a forestry degree from Lakehead University in 1978 and was recognized by the Ontario Professional Foresters Association (OPFA) for exemplary contributions to the practice in 2015.

The owner of Thunderhouse Forest Services Inc. since 1994, his team delivers forest management planning and technical services to the forest industry.  Through a major client, Hearst Forest Management Inc., George enjoys the challenge of his role as senior forester, working for a board that includes First Nations and communities. He authored and guided several forest management plans and has many years of experience working with government to deliver complicated and regulated practices on the ground.

George’s passion and experience is ensuring a future forest. He has extensive silvicultural experience both in planning and costing of future forests and 40 years in the tree planting business.  His firm has planted over 100 million trees.     

For 10 years his team delivered Forest Resource Inventories (FRI) for nine forests throughout Ontario. FRI is the building block on which the profession relies to plan forest sustainability.  His team conducted field sampling and used sophisticated photo interpretation technology to produce the data and maps required by Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources. 

Presently a member of the OPFA Crown Lands Forestry Committee, George also sits on the board of Nord-Aski Regional Economic Development Corporation, a Community Futures Development Corporation.  He was also on provincial teams with MNR and industry on Silvicultural Standards (1994) and Forest Management Planning Manual (1993-94), a member of the Ontario Lumber Manufacturers Association Forestry Committee (2002-2004), Northeast Regional Advisory Committee (2002-2004), and Hearst Forest Local Citizen’s Committee (1988 to present). 

George is stepping back from career work and looks forward to more time at his cottage, with family and contributing to Northern Policy Institute.

Cheryl Kennelly

Cheryl Kennelly

Dr. George C. Macey

Dr. George C. Macey

George C Macey, DDS graduated from the University of Toronto Dental Faculty 1968 and practices full time with his spouse Krystyna in Marathon Ontario. He has 2 adult children and 3 shihtzus. He was made a Fellow of Lakehead University in 2005 and was a recent recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Medal.  George Macey has been a community activist and involved in public policy through the Chamber of Commerce movement and party politics for 30 years.

His experience includes holding positions as President of Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce, President & Chairperson of The Common Voice Northwest, Chair of the Marathon Development Commission and as a Board Member with the Northwestern Ontario Technology Centre.

Winter Dawn Lipscombe

Winter Dawn Lipscombe

Winter Dawn is a member of Wauzhushk Onigum Nation and was born and raised in Kenora, ON. She is a recent graduate from Mount Allison University, with a B.A. (Hons) in International Relations and Economics. Winter Dawn was recently traditionally selected to serve on the Treaty #3 Youth Council and holds the Economic folder; she is also a former Policy Intern of the Northern Policy Institute. During her undergraduate, Winter Dawn’s research focused on Indigenous populations across the world and studied the health and economic outcomes within them. She is passionate about community development and the impact of policy on Indigenous populations. Winter Dawn is excited to return to Northern Ontario and enjoys taking her dog exploring the North.

Ogimaa Duke Peltier

Ogimaa Duke Peltier

Ogimaa Duke Peltier’s career path has been grounded in the historical and cultural teachings given to him from his relatives and elders. His close kinship ties within the Wiikwemkoong community has inspired and prepared him for leadership positions in community development on Manitoulin Island, Ontario and Saskatchewan for over 15 years.   Duke attended Laurentian University in Sudbury and focused on Native Studies. As a culturally grounded and educated leader, he is particularly interested in the promotion of excellence in his community.   He believes strongly that it is when band members are given the opportunity to reach their full capacity and develop their special gifts that only then can they take their rightful place in all sectors of society.

Ogimaa Peltier’s commitment to serve his people has been demonstrated throughout his career, from his early work as a Marketing Executive, Wiikwemkoong Council member, to his current role as the elected Chief of Wiikwemkong Unceded for a second term.  He has also served on several boards of directors, including community organizations and is a big fan of participating in sporting initiatives. Through his leadership roles in business, politics, education and community service, Duke has had many accomplishments but is particularly proud of his partnership building ventures with non-Aboriginal and other community representatives which leads to progressive change.

Under Ogimaa Peltier’s leadership, the community has moved forward in taking control over its destiny through two major initiatives that have been enacted, the Wiikwemkoong Constitution – Wiikwemkoong Gchi-Naaknegewin and the Wikwemikong Children’s Bill of Rights.

Duke and his wife, Nicole, have three children and live in Wiikwemkoong.

Danielle Perras

Danielle Perras

Bill Spinney

Bill Spinney

Bill was born and raised in the Niagara peninsula and received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from Wilfred Laurier University in 1975, and yes, he was there when it was called Waterloo Lutheran University.

Bill and his wife Dr. Susan West D.V.M. relocated to Parry Sound in 1986 when his then employer answered their prayers and offered a move out of the GTA. Since 1988 Bill has been a part of the Parry Sound Area Community Business & Development Centre, the Community Futures (CF) office for West Parry Sound most recently (1999) as their General Manager. Building the small business employment base through counseling and development lending has and continues to be a rewarding experience for anyone involved in the CF program... "Always look for a way to say yes".

Locally Bill served as President of the Parry Sound Area Chamber of Commerce and sat on the West Parry Sound Health Centre and Georgian Bay Biosphere Boards. Provincially he served as President of the CF Ontario Board (2009/10) and Chaired the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (2006/06). 

Dr. Sue and Bill raised 3 children in their Nobel home, now spoil 4 1/2 grandchildren and remain at the beck and call of a dog and 2 cats, all very fortunate rescue pets.

David Thompson

David Thompson

David Thompson is the project manager of Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN) and has been involved in expanding the agriculture sector of northern Ontario since 2007. His experience has consisted of agri-food economic development and conducting applied agronomic research studies. His work at RAIN has consisted of pursuing regional infrastructure projects for tile drainage, land clearing and value-added processing. In 2012 David received his MBA in Community Economic Development from Cape Breton University where he focused on policy issues in expanding the northern agri-food sector through co-operative models. Before getting involved in economic development, David operated an IT business focusing on web development and networking. David has been an active volunteer and board member with Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie & Area. David was raised in Thessalon and now lives in Sault Ste. Marie with his wife and son. 

More about the Advisory Council here

Research Advisory Board

Dr. Heather Hall

Dr. Heather Hall
Chair, NPI Research Advisory Board

Dr. Heather Hall is one of the leading scholars on innovation and economic development in rural and northern regions in Canada. She grew up in Northern Ontario and has a professional and personal interest in researching issues that are important to the North, including: the impacts of new technologies in the mining sector; the community impacts of large-scale industrial projects; and innovation and economic development policy, planning and practice. Her work has been recognized nationally and internationally, and has informed government policy in Canada, Northern Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Sweden. Dr. Hall is the co-lead of the University of the Arctic’s Thematic Network on the Commercialization of Science and Technology for the North. She is also the lead researcher for Remote Controlled, a national project exploring the impacts of new technologies in the mining sector.

Dr. Hugo Asselin

Dr. Hugo Asselin

Dr. Hugo Asselin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human and Social Development at Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. In 2008, he was awarded the Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Forestry. He has since supervised the work of more than 30 graduate students. His research interests include northern development; land and resource management and governance; social acceptability; aboriginal knowledge, and research ethics. Since 2011, he is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Ecoscience, an international peer-reviewed journal in ecology. Since 2007, he serves as a board member of the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS). He is frequently interviewed by the media and had a weekly popular science column for 2 years (2012-2014) on the morning show of the French CBC in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. 

George Burton

George Burton

George Burton is currently serving his second term as President and CEO of Canadore College.

Burton has a long-standing history with Canadore, having graduated from its Recreation and Leadership program and then launching his career in the College’s Registrar’s Office.

Prior to his renewed appointment at Canadore, Burton served as Vice-President, Enrolment Management and Student Services at Loyalist College. While at Loyalist, he also assumed the role of Vice-President, Academic, in addition to his core business portfolios and acted as the Executive Director of the Loyalist Training and Knowledge Centre. Burton spent six years at George Brown College as Registrar and Director of Management and Student Information Services. Above and beyond his extensive experience in the Ontario college system, Burton also has an established background in the private sector, having held senior management assignments at Canada Trust Financial Services and Telmar HMS Ltd.

Community engagement, volunteer work and lifelong learning are all extremely important to Burton. He carries out a great deal of committee work and is a member of: Committee of Presidents, Colleges Ontario; Board of Directors, College Employer Council; Board of Directors (Chair), Ontario College Application Service (OCAS); Board of Directors, Contact North/Contact Nord; Board of Directors, North Bay and District Multicultural Centre; Board of Directors (Treasurer), North Bay Jack Garland Airport Corporation; and Board of Directors, Ontario Colleges Library Service. He is a committee member to the Innovation Initiatives Ontario North (IION); and Joint Relations Committee – Academic Health Sciences Network, North Bay Regional Hospital. Burton has also proudly served as past Chair of the provincial grant program for the Ontario Trillium Foundation, on the Board of Directors for Variety Village, and as past Director for the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. In 2013, Burton was sworn in as Honorary Colonel of 21 Aerospace Control and Warning Squadron, 22 Wing North Bay.

Burton holds a Recreation Leisure diploma from Canadore College, has received a Bachelor of Science degree from Lake Superior State University, and a Master of Arts in Education from Central Michigan University.

Riley Burton

Riley Burton

Riley Burton currently works as the Academic Chair of the School of Business, Hospitality and Media Arts at Confederation College in Thunder Bay.

Riley has held many different positions within Confederation College including Program Manager for Contract Training, Chair for the School of Engineering and Director of the Teaching and Learning Centre. With a commitment to education Riley has held contract teaching positions within the diploma programs of Forestry and Business. He has also taught numerous courses on contract with Oshki-Wenjack Education Institute. Prior to serving the College system, he worked as a Professional Forester for private enterprise and a Communications and Project Management consultant for both public and private clients within Northwestern Ontario.

Mr. Burton is passionate about Northern Ontario issues and always works to align his endeavours with the College system to regional initiatives. As such, he is a current community elected director with the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Board. Mr. Burton also serves as a plan governor for the CAAT Pension Plan, is a past board director for the Ontario College Administrative Staff Association and past internal governor for the Board of Governors of Confederation College.

Riley holds an Honours Bachelor of Science in Forestry degree from Lakehead University, a Master of Arts in Applied Communication from Royal Roads University and a Business Fundamentals certificate from the Harvard Business School Online. He remains a registered professional forester in the province of Ontario and is also a certified Project Management Professional with the Project Management Institute.

Ken Carter

Ken Carter

Carolyn Hepburn

Carolyn Hepburn

A proud member of Fort Albany First Nation, Carolyn first joined Sault College in 1999. Having worked in a number of departments throughout the institution, Carolyn became the Director of Native Education in 2005, taking on the Employment Ontario Literacy and Basic Skills portfolio in 2010 and in 2017 was appointed to the position of Dean of Indigenous Studies and Academic Upgrading. Currently the Chair of the Indigenous Peoples Education Circle representing all 24 Colleges in Ontario and Vice-Chair of Colleges and Institutes Canada’s National Indigenous Advisory Committee, Carolyn is a passionate advocate for education who is committed to fostering and strengthening the interconnections and collaborations needed between Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators, communities and industry in meeting the future demands of a qualified Indigenous workforce.  

Dr. Peter Hollings

Dr. Peter Hollings

Dr. Hollings completed his Ph.D. at the University of Saskatchewan in 1998 where he investigated the geochemistry of the 2.7-3.0 Ga Uchi Subprovince from Red Lake to Pickle Lake. During a two-year NSERC funded postdoctoral fellowship at CODES Dr. Hollings participated in a multi-disciplinary research project investigating the genesis of giant copper-porphyry deposits in Chile. As a faculty member at Lakehead University since 2001, Dr. Hollings is continuing his research into the relationship between igneous petrogenesis and mineralisation in Northwestern Ontario, the Philippines and S America. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers on these topics. Hollings is currently the Chair of the Department of Geology and Director of the Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Mining and Exploration, both at Lakehead University. He is an Associate Editor of Mineralium Deposita and Acta Geologica Sinica.

Brittany Paat

Brittany Paat

Brittany Paat was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie where she completed her BA from Algoma University. She went on to complete her MA from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs where she focused her studies on Northern Ontario health policies. Brittany’s research interests  include rural and remote public health policies, social and economic determinants of health, health equity, evidence-based and evidence-informed decision making, and education policies. 

Dr. Barry Prentice

Dr. Barry Prentice

Dr. Prentice is a Professor of Supply Chain Management, at the I.H. Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba and the former Director (1996-2005) of the Transport Institute. His major research and teaching interests include logistics, transportation economics, urban transport and trade policy. Dr. Prentice holds a degree in economics from University of Western Ontario (1973) and graduate degrees in agricultural economics from University of Guelph (1979) and University of Manitoba (1986).

Dr. Prentice has authored or co-authored more than 250 research reports, journal articles and contributions to books. His scholarly work has been recognized for excellence in national paper competitions and awards. In 1999, National Transportation Week named him Manitoba Transportation Person of the Year. Through the Transport Institute, Dr. Prentice has organized national and international conferences on sustainable transportation (Railways and the Environment), supply chain logistics (Planes, Trains & Ships), agribusiness logistics (Fields on Wheels), the potential use of airships for northern transportation (Airships to the Arctic) and food trade between Canada and Mexico (La Cadena de Frio). In 1999 and 2003, he received University of Manitoba Outreach Awards. In 2009, Dr. Prentice was made an Honourary Life Member of the Canadian Transportation Research Forum.

Dr. Prentice was instrumental in founding a major in transportation and logistics within the B.Comm. (Hons.) program at the I. H. Asper School of Business (fall 2003). Since that time a new Department of Supply Chain Management has been formed, and in 2006 a M.Sc. program in supply chain management was initiated.

Dr. Prentice has served on the Boards of Directors of several transportation organizations: National Transportation Week (President, 2001 and 2003), Honourary President of the Canadian Institute for Traffic and Transportation (2001-3) and the Canadian Transportation Research Forum (Past President, 1997). Dr. Prentice is the President of ISO Polar Airships that he co-founded in 2005 as a not-for-profit research institute to promote the use of airships as sustainable transport for the northern latitudes. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Transportation Research Forum. In addition, Dr. Prentice has served on Winnipeg Airports Authority, Inc. (1998-2003), Winnipeg TransPlan 2010, the Mid-Continent International Trade Corridor Task Force, the Rapid Transit Task Force, expert committees, and is frequently asked to speak on the topics of trade and transportation.

Leata Rigg

Leata Rigg

Leata grew up in Northern Ontario and completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Laurentian University and Master of Nursing at Athabasca University. Leata brings a strong clinical background to Northern College with 35 years of Emergency (ER) and Intensive Care (ICU) nursing at Timmins and District Hospital(TDH), St. Mary’s General Hospital (Timmins) and the Sudbury Memorial Hospital. She served as Advanced Practice Leader in both ER and ICU and was the accreditation lead for TDH. She joined the faculty of Health Sciences at Northern College in August of 2007 and teaches in the undergraduate nursing program and the practical nursing program. Leata teaches in the classroom and in the clinical settings.  Her research interests are supportive conversation for students to facilitate communication for clients with aphasia, palliative care and diverse teaching styles that enhance knowledge transfer. She contributes her nursing expertise in the community by co-chairing the Timmins Palliative Resource Team and sitting on the Board of Directors of the Horizon – Timmins Palliative Care Incorporated.

Dr. David Robinson

Dr. David Robinson

David Robinson, PhD, is an economist. As a leading expert on Northern Ontario economic development, he was the first person to identify and promote the Northern Ontario Mining Supply and Service sector as our leading sector. He was also the first person to propose Northern Ontario School of Architecture. He has consulted for forest-dependent communities and written on the economics of community forestry. He is best known publicly for monthly columns in Northern Ontario Business Magazine, and in Sudbury Mining Solutions, the trade journal for the local Mining Supply and Services sector which he helped found. He does frequent interviews in broadcast media, has been a guest on TVO’s Agenda several times, and is often a featured speaker at conferences and events. He is particularly concerned with the economics of climate change. David teaches Game Theory, Natural Resource Economics, Statistics, and Econometrics. 

 

J.D. Snyder

J.D. Snyder

J. D. Snyder is a leading expert on community and regional economic development. He previously conceptualized and headed up the U.S. EDA-funded East Michigan and Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional SME Exporting & Bi-National Strategies project.  He was also the project director for the USDA-funded Northern Michigan Capital Access Project and the nationally-recognized, US EDA-funded project to support Northern Michigan innovative regional planning in the global knowledge economy. Under his supervision, the latter project produced six Collaborative Learning (Co-Learning) White Papers and the Northern Michigan Knowledge Economy Indicators report (2009). He has conceptualized, developed, and managed a diverse range of projects from demonstrations of recycling automotive plastics with the Detroit 3’s Vehicle Recycling Partnership to investigating the feasibility of recycling urban wood waste for new secondary market applications. He served as an environmental advisor to Michigan Governor James J. Blanchard (1984-89) and Director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes (1989-90).  As a member of the Great Lakes Commission, he headed up task forces on spill emergency response preparedness and soil erosion/control. He has an M.S. in Resource Development from Michigan State University and a B.A. in history from Wayne State University in Detroit.

Dr. Lindsay Tedds

Dr. Lindsay Tedds

Dr. Lindsay Tedds is an Associate Professor and Scientific Director, Fiscal and Economic Policy School of Public Policy, University of Calgary.

Her primary research and teaching area is applied economic research and policy analysis, with a particular focus on the design and implementation of tax policy. She has written a number of peer reviewed journals articles, book chapters, and technical reports, as well as two books in this field. Lindsay has also held several posts with the Government of Canada in Ottawa as well as in municipal government in the areas of public economics and policy implementation.

More about the Research Advisory Board here

Authors

Celisse Bibr

Celisse Bibr

Celisse Bibr is a second year Ph.D. student in the Interdisciplinary Rural and Northern Health program at Laurentian University, and a recent M.A. graduate from the Interdisciplinary Health program. Her current research centres around Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, exploring efforts for education and awareness in Northern Ontario.

David Bruno

David Bruno

As founder and CEO of a global cyber security firm, David Bruno specialises in anti-fraud and anti-corporate espionage systems for banks and financial institutions worldwide. Through his company, Secure Swiss Data (now SafeSwiss®), he provides financial sector solutions for the digital and interactive e-commerce sectors. For 20 years he has worked to provide security protection to the masses. After completing his MA in International Relations & Communications in Spain, he was hired by a telecom company for their new office, working out of both Barcelona and Montreal as a business development manager. It was here that his career advocating for fraud prevention systems began. He has since taken a number of courses in topics including DDoS, identity theft, anti-money laundering and combating terrorist financing.

Josée Malette

Josée Malette

Josée Malette is a current 4th-year medical student at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine who was born and raised in Thunder Bay. She holds a B.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and an Honours B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Ottawa. Lover of the outdoors, she enjoys fishing, canoeing, hiking and spending time with family. She is currently the Chair of the provincial student-led
Northern Ontario and Rural Medicine Committee. Apart from northern, rural and remote medicine, her interests in the field revolved around access to French-language services, critical care, acute care and wilderness medicine. She is delighted to be pursuing a career as an Emergency Medicine resident starting July 1, 2020. She looks forward to providing care to patients in her hometown and the rest of Northwestern Ontario in the future.

Zoe Higgins

Zoe Higgins

Zoe Higgins is a second year PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Rural and Northern Health program at Laurentian University and a pediatric speech-language pathologist at the Laurentian University Speech and Language Clinic. I have a Master of Health Science in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Ottawa. My research interests are speech and language assessment practices with First Nations children, literacy and bilingualism.

Fenfang Li

Fenfang Li

Fenfang Li moved to Thunder Bay from China in 2015, and graduated from Lakehead University with a Master’s degree in Economics in 2017. She is a former data analyst for NPI. Her educational background and work experience have inspired her to apply economic theories to real life problems. Her experience living and studying in Thunder Bay provides her with a solid base of knowledge regarding Northern Ontario policy issues, and she is excited to apply her knowledge to help the local community.

David MacKinnon

David MacKinnon

Mr. MacKinnon is a frequent commentator on Canadian fiscal issues. He has spoken to audiences across Ontario and his work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the National Post and many local newspapers across Canada. He has also been a guest on The Agenda on TVO, the BNN and other national  public affairs programs.

Mr. MacKinnon is a native of Prince Edward Island. He was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree (honours economics) from Dalhousie University and an MBA from York University. He was also awarded a Centennial Fellowship by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and York University to study at York, Harvard and Oxford Universities as well as the European Institute of Business Studies.

Mr. MacKinnon served as Director, Planning and Economics and Executive Director, Development Strategy in the Nova Scotia Department of Development from 1977 to 1981. He later served in several senior capacities in the Ontario Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Montreal and as CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association from 1996 to 2003. He was also CEO of the Ontario Development Corporation, Ontario’s major economic development agency, from 1986 to 1993.

He is a Past Chair, West Park Healthcare Center, a Toronto rehabilitation hospital and currently serves as a Director and Chair of the Finance Committee at the Canadian Standards Association. He is a former member of the Patient Relations Committee of the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons, after serving on the governing council of that organization for six years.

In 2012, Mr. MacKinnon joined the board of the Quinte Health Care Center, a community hospital with sites in Picton, Belleville, Bancroft and Trenton.

David and his wife Betsy moved to Prince Edward County in 2010 after sailing in county waters for fifteen years.

Jamie McIntyre

Jamie McIntyre

Jamie McIntyre’s given name is Mashkiki Kwe, and she belongs to makwa doodem (bear clan). She has a mixed background of settler Scottish and Anishinaabe from Batchewana First Nation. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Community Economic and Social Development at Algoma University, and was most recently the Resource and Partnership Developer at NORDIK Institute based in Sault Ste. Marie. She has also received an Ec.d and Council for Advancement of Native Development Officers TAED certification through Algoma University. Her interests include cross-cultural relationship building and knowledge sharing, as well as sustainable development practices. 

Curtis McKnight

Curtis McKnight

Curtis was born and raised in Sherwood Park, Alberta. He has recently graduated from Queen’s University with a BAH, majoring in applied economics and minoring in political studies. During his time at NPI as a Research Analyst, Curtis was able to apply qualitative and quantitative techniques of analysis to make a positive impact on the unique policy environment of Northern Ontario. Some research interests of his include policy implications of business cycle dynamics, and the importance of natural resource development as it relates to economic growth. Currently, Curtis works as a financial advisor with Scotiabank. 

Christina McMillan Boyles

Christina McMillan Boyles

Christina McMillan Boyles RN, MScN is a Registered Nurse and an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at Laurentian University. Concurrent with her MScN degree, she completed a Type II diploma in Health Services and Policy Research. Currently, she is a PhD student in Interdisciplinary Health in the School of Rural and Northern Health at Laurentian University.  She is an active member of the Ontario Respiratory Care Society (ORCS). She serves as the ORCS Regional Representative for Northeastern Ontario, and is a member of the ORCS Provincial Committee and the Research and Fellowship Committee. She is also a member of the Canadian Respiratory Health Professionals Association (CRHPA), the Canadian Association of Health Service and Policy Research (CAHSPR), and the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO). She served as a development member for the RNAO Best Practice Guideline (BPG) for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Some of her research interests include chronic disease, COPD, health services, health policy, nursing education, and qualitative research methodologies.

Dr. Bakhtiar Moazzami

Dr. Bakhtiar Moazzami

Dr. Moazzami has taught Economics and Econometrics at Lakehead University since 1988. He is well known for his research activities particularly related to Northern Ontario. He has written many reports on Northern Ontario’s economic development challenges and opportunities. He was commissioned by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines to undertake a comprehensive study of Northern Ontario’s economy as a part of the research conducted for the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario. Included in the study were the identification of growing, declining and emerging industrial clusters in the region. Professor Moazzami has also written extensively on Northern Ontario’s Aboriginal people and Northern Aboriginal economy. Dr. Moazzami’s expertise and influence reaches beyond Lakehead University and Northern Ontario. He has been a regular guest speaker at the University of Waterloo’s Economic Development Program.

Dr. Sarah-Lynn Newbery

Dr. Sarah-Lynn Newbery

Dr. Sarah-Lynn Newbery, completed medical school at McMaster and postgraduate family medicine training in Thunder Bay in the Northern Ontario Medical Program. A fellow of both the CFPC and the SRPC, she has been a rural physician in comprehensive community practice in Marathon since 1996 and she is currently the Chief of Staff of the North of Superior Health Care Group. She has been on the board of the Ontario College of Family Physicians since 2008 and is a past President of the OCFP. She has been the
VP Clinical for the Northwest LHIN and is chair of the Northern Physician Resources Task Force. She is on several provincial health related committees and is chair of the OCFP’s Rural Mentoring Network and Leadership in Primary Care Mentoring Network. She has been an active community teacher and faculty member at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine since its inception and is currently the Assistant Dean of Physician Workforce Strategy.

Anthony Noga

Anthony Noga

Anthony Noga was born in Thunder Bay and grew up in city's rural outskirts. He graduated from Lakehead University with an HBA in History and Political Science. He spent time volunteering with an economic development agency in Israel before getting his Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Waterloo. A political economy geek, Anthony worked for NPI as a data analyst. He is now a labour market analyst for North Superior Workforce Planning Board (NSWPB) where he can put his extensive research and analytical skills to work in his hometown.
Alex Ross

Alex Ross

Alex Ross was born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario. After graduating from Laurentian University with a B.A. (Hons) in Economics in 2010, he completed a Masters Degree in Economic Policy from McMaster University. Alex is a former NPI senior data analyst after working as a trust officer in the wealth management industry, and he has past non-profit experience as well as international teaching experience in Thailand. Alex’s areas of interest include environmental economics and sustainability, labour economics, education, and community growth. In his spare time, Alex enjoys hiking, exploring Northern Ontario, cooking, and travel. Alex is the business development officer for arts, culture and film at the City of Greater Sudbury.

Nabina Sharma

Nabina Sharma

Nabina Sharma is a second year PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Rural and Northern Health program at Laurentian University. She has a Master of Public Health from Nepal and experience working with the rural and Indigenous communities of Nepal. Her research interests are global health, aging population, dementia and health policy.

Christina Zefi

Christina Zefi

Christina Zefi is a former Research Analyst at Northern Policy Institute. She has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Criminology from the University of Toronto as well as a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration from Humber College. Her research interests include immigration reform and policy related to Indigenous Affairs, the environment, and mental health. Prior to her role at NPI, Christina worked at TD Canada Trust as a Financial Advisor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To view past authors, click here

To view past authors, click here.