Former Ontario Environmental Commissioner
Gord Miller is an ecologist and environmental policy analyst with many years of experience. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Guelph and has worked in the manufacturing industry and consulting business as well as in academia as a professor. However most of his career has been spent in the public sector starting as a scientist with the Ministry of the Environment and concluding his career by serving three five-year terms as Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner. In that role he was an independent Officer of the Legislative Assembly overseeing and critically evaluating government decision-making on the environment, climate change and energy conservation. Gord retired from that role in May of 2015. He now does public speaking on environment and energy topics and occasional consulting projects. He also chairs the Board of Directors for Earthroots the environmental group and the Public Advisory Board of the Canadian Electricity Association.
Former Quebec Commissioner of Sustainable Development
Mr. Jean Cinq-Mars was appointed Québec’s Sustainable Development Commissioner in 2009 (to 2016). Prior to this position he was the president of ERSD Consulting, an environment, natural resources and sustainable development consulting firm. He is the past chair of Canada’s National Forest Strategy Coalition (2004-2006). Prior to becoming a consultant, Mr. Cinq-Mars has occupied the positions of President of Wildlife Habitat Canada, Head of Division for Pollution Prevention and Control at the Environment Directorate of the OECD in Paris as well as Environment Canada’s Director of the Canadian Wildlife Service and Director of Environment Protection for Québec. He is a director of the International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment (iiSBE), a member of the advisory panel for Canada’s federal Commissioner for the Environment and Sustainable Development, fellow of the Royal Geographic Society of Canada. Since leaving his position of Sustainable Development Commissioner, Mr. Cinq-Mars has gone back to consulting with Canadian and international organizations. Mr. Cinq-Mars holds degrees in biology and public administration.
Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief Edward Wawia
Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief Edward Wawia started his career in the mining industry where he worked for 40 years. He served his home community as Councillor of the Red Rock Indian Band for 10 years before serving as Chief for 2 and a half more. He was elected Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief in June of 2018 as leader of the Northern Superior Region of Anishinabek Nation. In addition, he is Chief of the Lands and Resources and Justice as well as the Health and Justice Portfolios for the Anishinabek Nation. Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief Wawia has served as a representative of the Anishinabek Nation for 5 years on the Forestry Commission and continues to contribute to the modernization of forestry tenure in Ontario as a member of the Oversight Group. He has served on the Board of Directors of the company that manages the Lake Nipigon Forest that has held the Sustainable Forest Licence for said forest for 10 years. He sits on the Board of Directors of Nedaak who manage the Kenogami Forest in Northern Ontario. He is passionate about water conservation and management and is an active member of the management teams of two Fisheries Management Zones in Lake Superior. He has also been involved in water management planning for the Nipigon and Namewanaminican River Watersheds for more than 10 years. Chief Wawia is in his second term on the Board of Directors for the Nipigon District Memorial Hospital. When he can find the time, Ed enjoys watching the Toronto Blue Jays and the Winnipeg Jets.
First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Sustainable Development Institute (FNQLSDI)
Sarah Zammit holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and a Master’s degree in Environment from the University of Montpellier in France.
Graduated in 2009, she has since worked in the field of environmental certification in the industrial sector as well as in sustainable territorial development. Arriving in Quebec in 2012, she joined the Fédération québécoise des coopératives forestières as an environmental advisor.
Since 2013, she has been working at the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Sustainable Development Institute, a commission of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador. As coordinator of the Centre of Expertise in Consultation, she works, in support of First Nations, on the technical and strategic analysis of government bills, policies and regulations related to the environment and sustainable development. She was involved in the federal review of environmental and regulatory processes. She also works on impact assessments of major natural resource development projects.
A cross-cutting objective of her role as Consultation Coordinator is to foster better practices in consultation, mobilization and collaboration between First Nations and government and civil society stakeholders.
Ms. Zammit sits as a member and/or coordinator on various committees and working groups such as the First Nations Advisory Committee for Species at Risk, the Advisory Committee on the establishment of a national centre of expertise on cumulative effects management and the TEQ – First Nations Committee on Energy Transition.
Mayor Walter Sendzik
City of St. Catharines
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative Board
Mayor Walter Sendzik was born and raised in St. Catharines. In 2014, as a first time candidate for political office he was elected as Mayor of St. Catharines. As Mayor, Walter brings a strategic focus and business-like approach to City Hall where he has focused on streamlining processes and building a culture of excellent customer service. Since becoming Mayor, the City has approved a new strategic plan and economic development strategy, stabilized tax rate increases and implemented long-term budgeting.
With a background in business, Mayor Sendzik has been a strong advocate for local business and regularly meets with local businesses, employers and investors. Mayor Sendzik has led in the transformation of inter-municipal transit from pilot project to a permanent service that will connect all of Niagara’s communities. He has helped bring private sector partners to community events and worked with the development community on a new Housing Action Plan.
Prior to becoming Mayor, Walter was the Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce. Prior to the Chamber, Walter founded Vines Publishing, company specializing in wine and travel magazines and wine books. Walter has served on local and provincial boards including Niagara College, Hotel Dieu Shaver and the board of the LCBO where he chaired the governance & compensation committee. He currently serves on the boards of Niagara Regional Housing and the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC).
Former Mayor of the City of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield
Former Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative board member
Co-chair of Table de Concertation Montreal
Denis Lapointe is the former Mayor of the City of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield. He was born in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield and also completed his elementary and high school studies there. He then entered the Polytechnique school of Montreal where he obtained an industrial engineering degree and later completed a master degree in environmental engineering. He worked as an engineering consultant for 15 years in his own company. His expertise in the field of potable water and wastewater treatment led him to become involved in organizations such as AQTE (Association Québécoise des Techniques de l’Eau) today known as Environmental Network (Réseau Environnement), of which he has been chairman, the American Water Works Association, and the World Environment Federation. He has been honored many times for his professional work and has received many distinctions in his field of engineering. He has worked as a consultant in many countries in the world.
He began his political career in 1995 when he was elected mayor of the City of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield. He sits as member of the Board of administration of the Québec Municipalities Union and chairs the permanent commission on the environment of this organization. Since 2005, he is Chairman of the Québec Network of Healthy Cities and Towns. He sits as the Chairman of the Local Development Center since 2008. He also sits as administrator on the Board of Directors of the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative Conference.
President, Québec Business Council on the Environment
(Présidente, Conseil Patronal de l’environnement du Québec – CPEQ)
Ms. Hélène Lauzon was appointed in May 2008 as President of the Québec Business Council on the Environment (Conseil Patronal de l’environnement du Québec – CPEQ). The CPEQ speaks for Québec businesses on, among other things, the environment and sustainable development. She practiced environmental law at Lavery, a large Montreal firm, as a partner for more than 20 years. Ms. Lauzon has a degree in law and a master’s degree in urban planning. She is a lawyer and an urbanist. Ms. Lauzon is currently a member of several national and provincial working groups and enforces the concerns and contributions of Québec businesses in the environment and sustainable development field. Ms. Lauzon serves on several boards of directors. She also serves as co-president of the Advisory Committee on climate change for the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Change (MDDELCC), Ms. Isabelle Melançon. She was entrusted in 2016 and 2017, by the Federal Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Jim Carr, to serve as co-chair of the National Energy Board (NEB) Modernization Expert Panel. She was also entrusted, in December 2017, to serve on the Advisory Committee of the ministry of the Economy, Science and Innovation (MÉSI), on Green growth and Clean technologies.
Executive Director and Counsel, Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA)
Twitter: @TheresaMcClenag and @CanEnvLawAssn
Theresa McClenaghan is Executive Director and Counsel at the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA). She holds an LL.B. from the University of Western Ontario (1984), an LL.M. (Constitutional Law) from Osgoode Law School (York University, 1999), and a diploma in Environmental Health from McMaster University (1999). She served in the past as senior water policy advisor to the Ontario Minister of the Environment. Notable litigation includes representing the Concerned Walkerton Citizens at the Walkerton Inquiry; attendance at the Supreme Court of Canada on the Hudson and Toronto pesticide by-laws, and the Oncomouse patent, among others.
Theresa is author or co-author of various environmental law books and chapters including Ontario Water Law. She sits on the steering committee of the Low Income Energy Network, on the Ontario Energy Board’s Chair’s Advisory Roundtable, and is most recently a member of a national advisory panel on contaminants in wastewater. Theresa represents clients before the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the National Energy Board, and in the Federal Courts among other courts and tribunals.
Executive Director, Centre d’interprétation de l’eau (C.I. EAU)
Denise Cloutier has been Executive Director of the Centre d’interprétation de l’eau (C.I.EAU) (Water Interpretation Center) since 2017, after being a member of the Board for seven years. With her team, she raises awareness among audiences of all ages about the importance of the protection and responsible use of water through scientific activities and the permanent exhibition “Le Chemin de l’eau de la rivière à la rivière” in the Water Museum located in Laval.
Since 2009, she has been dedicated to improving integrated water management, particularly with her company Arrimage.Com. Elected as a municipal counsellor for almost 20 years, she completed a bachelor’s degree in international marketing / management at HEC, then a master’s degree in environment at the University of Sherbrooke on water governance.
Strongly involved in the field of water and concerned about the protection of rivers, she founded the COBAMIL (Watershed Council of the Thousand Islands River), which she has chaired since 2010. She also sits on the Strategic Council of the Regional Concertation Table of the Upper St. Lawrence and Greater Montreal since its founding, to which she participated, and on the boards of directors of the Coalition of Watershed Organizations of Quebec (ROBVQ), of the Coalition for a responsible and sustainable navigation and of the Lac Laurel Association in the Laurentians.
Dr. Robert (Bob) Slater
Adjunct Professor and Executive Director of RGI, School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University
Dr. Robert Slater is Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University where he is also the Executive Director of the Regulatory Governance Initiative.
He was President of Coleman, Bright and Associates, a consulting firm that operated internationally specializing in Sustainable Development issues and a Senior Fellow with the International Institute for Sustainable Development. He was appointed to the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy where he served for 6 years.
Dr. Slater occupied several senior positions during a 32 year career at Environment Canada and was the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister for eight years. He was instrumental in establishing the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and the UNU Institute for Water, Environment and Health. He played a lead role in the renegotiation of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1978, Acid Rain Agreements with Provincial Governments, the Canada-US Accord on Air Quality, and the Green Plan. He led preparations for Canada’s role in the UN Conference on the Environment (“Earth Summit”) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. He was responsible for legislative initiatives leading to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) and the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and led development of regulations limiting lead in gasoline and bringing auto emissions standards in line with those in US. He chaired the International Joint Commission’s Great Lakes Water Quality Board from 1976 to 1982. Before joining the public service, he was co-founder of Pollutech, an environmental consulting company.
He was awarded degrees from Imperial College of Science and Technology and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2009.
Dr. Ariane Plourde
Director, Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski (ISMER), Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR)
Dr. Ariane Plourde obtained a Master Degree from Manitoba University in 1984 and a PhD Degree from Université Laval in 1988 in plant genetics. She joined the Government of Canada as research scientist at Natural Resources Canada shortly after graduating. In 1997, she became research manager of a science programme having both local and national responsibilities and a budget of $3.6 million. After 16 years of service, she became director of the Maurice-Lamontagne Institute, a research institute of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and regional science director for the Québec region. With a staff of 200 employes and an annual budget of $20 million, her mandate was to ensure an optimal research and science advice program meeting the needs of the ministry and building strong relationships with universities, stakeholders and end-users. In 2005, after 25 years of service for the Government of Canada, she became director of the Institut des Sciences de la mer de Rimouski of the Université du Québec à Rimouski. She serves on the board of directors of MEOPAR, Amundsen Science, CIDCO, CRBM and TMQ and is the chair of the board of directors of SLGO and REFORMAR. She is the representative of UQAR on national and international coordination and collaborative organisations such as CCORU and IAMRI.
Dr. Yves Comeau
Professor, Ph.D., P.Eng. Departement of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering
Dr. Yves Comeau is Professor in the Department of Civil, Mining and Geological Engineering at Polytechnique Montreal where he is the Director of the Environmental Engineering Laboratory, and a member of the CREDEAU and CentrEau research groups.
His research activities are focused on wastewater treatment and resource recovery, nutrients (P & N), modeling and soil bioremediation and have been conducted in collaboration with municipalities, industries, technology suppliers, consulting firms, ministries and research groups. He has published more than 125 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals, given more than 300 peer-reviewed oral or poster presentations at conferences and trained 300 highly qualified personnel. The quality of his work has been recognized notably, by distinctions from the International Water Association (IWA Fellow), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), Réseau Environnement and the Canadian Association for Water Quality (CAWQ).
He has been involved with the Board of the CAWQ, the Operation Excellence Program of Water Resource Recovery Facilities (PEX-StaRRE) of Réseau Environment, as the Quebec Delegate of the WEF, in organizing a number of conferences notably as a Scientific Co-Chair of the Water Resource and Recovery Modelling (WRRmod) Seminar in 2018, and in the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibitions in 2010 in Montreal and in 2022 in Toronto. He was also a member of the National Expert Panel on Canada’s Challenges and Opportunities to Address Contaminants in Wastewater.