Transition Binder for Minister of Natural Resources
Annex D: Governance Biographies
Board of Directors
Cassie Doyle, Chairperson
Cassie Doyle has had a distinguished career in the public service, where she served at the executive level in all three levels of the Government in Canada, including as Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Canada. She has gained a deep understanding of natural resource and environmental governance and management and has a strong track record of effective partnerships with non-governmental organizations, industry, First Nations, governments and academia. Ms. Doyle was recently the Chair of the Expert Panel on Integrated Natural Resource Management conducted by the Council of Canadian Academies and a Board Member of the Alberta Energy Regulator.
George Vegh, Vice-Chairperson
Mr. Vegh is the Head of McCarthy Tétrault’s Toronto energy regulation practice and co-leader of the firm’s national energy regulatory practice. Mr. Vegh is an Adjunct Professor of energy law and regulation at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy as well as the University of Toronto Law School, Mr. Vegh was previously General Counsel at the Ontario Energy Board.
Ellen Barry, Director
Ellen Barry is a former Deputy Minister with the Province of New Brunswick. As a career public servant she served as Deputy Minister with the Departments of Tourism & Parks, Wellness, Culture and Sport and the Department of Human Resources. Previous to these assignments, she served as Assistant Deputy Minister in the Department of Natural Resources and Finance. Her public service experience has provided her the opportunity to work extensively with multi- stakeholder groups. Since her retirement, Ms. Barry has worked on consulting assignments in New Brunswick as well as with the Institute of Public Administration (IPAC). She is a graduate of the University of New Brunswick.
Melanie Debassige, Director
Melanie Debassige has over 20 years of experience in Indigenous Economic Development and is a certified corporate director. She is currently employed as the Executive Director of the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation and serves on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Clean Water Agency. She previously served as Chief of Staff for the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations and was an elected official with the M’Chigeeng First Nation. Ms. Debassige holds a Master of Business Administration from Cape Breton University and is a graduate of the Directors Education Program at the Institute of Corporate Directors and Rotman School of Management.
Alain Jolicoeur, Director
Alain Jolicoeur has served as a temporary member on the National Energy Board since 2016. He has more than 30 years of experience as an executive in the federal public service, including as the former President of the Canada Border Services Agency. Mr. Jolicoeur holds a Master of International Law and Customs from the University of Canberra, as well as degrees in Physics Engineering and Meteorology. He also holds an Institute of Corporate Directors Certificate from the Rotman School of Management.
Karen Leibovici, Director
Ms. Leibovici’s professional background includes personnel management, labour relations and social work. She has over 20 years of combined political and public service experience as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and as an Edmonton City Councillor. While on City Council, Ms. Leibovici was involved in numerous key policy issues and led many city-wide initiatives. She served twice on the Edmonton Police Commission and was the Vice Chair of the Civilian Review and Complaint Commission for the RCMP. She was also a Board member of Alberta’s Municipal Government Board. In addition, Ms. Leibovici has undertaken leadership positions in other organizations such as President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), Chair of the Green Municipal Fund and President of the Alberta Association of Former MLA’s. Karen has a Masters of Social Work Degree and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management.
Karim Mahmud, Director
Karim Mahmud has enjoyed a 30-year career as a leading energy lawyer in Canada and overseas. Originally from Alberta, and following law degrees at Oxford and Dalhousie Universities, Mr. Mahmud has practiced in major law firms in Calgary, London, Hong Kong, and Dubai. Most recently, he was partner and Head of Energy & Infrastructure for EMEA for a major international law firm. He has extensive experience in executing major energy, infrastructure, and privatization projects in Canada as well as over 45 countries overseas. This has included structuring innovative Indigenous investment partnerships and sustainable ESG compliant project structures.
François Tanguay, Director
François Tanguay has been involved in environmental work for over 45 years. Co- Founder of Friends of the Earth Québec, he was executive director for Greenpeace Quebec from 1992 to 1997, where his work centered on climate change issues.
Nominated as an administrative judge to the Quebec Energy Board in 1997, M. Tanguay served until 2007. He was then named Chair of the Quebec Energy Efficiency Agency. In 2008, he was asked by the Quebec Minister of Natural Resources to help put up a coalition for the promotion of wood in all sectors of construction. As director and main spokesperson of the Coalition Bois Québec, M. Tanguay worked closely with all levels of decision makers and investors.
M. Tanguay was nominated in July 2011 for a 30-month mandate to Quebec’s Special Committee for a Strategic Evaluation Assessment on shale gas. In recent years he has worked on humanitarian projects in South Africa and with Oxfam-Québec in Peru.
Author of essays on environmental issues, including three on ecological housing, M. Tanguay was for five years columnist for The Sherbrooke Record on environmental issues. He has served as advisor to elected officials, private business, and labor unions.
Chief Executive Officer
Gitane De Silva, CEO
Ms. De Silva became the Chief Executive Officer of the CER in August 2020. Prior to joining the CER, she was a Special Advisor at TransAlta Corporation. She previously served as Alberta's Senior Representative to the United States and as Deputy Minister for Alberta International and Intergovernmental Relations.
Before joining the Alberta Public Service, Ms. De Silva spent 12 years in Canada's Foreign Service as a specialist in Canada-U.S. relations, serving in a variety of roles, including as Consul General of Canada in Chicago and as Counsellor (Environment & Fisheries) at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. She also served as Deputy Head of Agency at Status of Women Canada.
Ms. De Silva has a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of British Columbia and is a 2013 recipient of The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) World of Difference Award.
Damien Côté, Lead Commissioner
Damien A. Côté served as a temporary Member of the National Energy Board (NEB) since October 2016 (reappointed in April 2019). He has a wealth of expertise related to Indigenous and regulatory law and more than seven years of senior executive leadership. Prior to joining the organization, he worked for the Department of Justice Canada and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, both in Iqaluit (Nunavut). He then served as the Executive Director of the Nunavut Water Board in Gjoa Haven (Nunavut), and as Chief Operating Officer of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation in Inuvik (Northwest Territories). Prior to his appointment as Lead Commissioner, he served briefly as a Member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. Mr. Côté holds a Juris Doctor and a Licentiate of Laws from the University of Ottawa, a Master of Arts (Economics) from the University of Toronto, as well as a Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental) and a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) from Carleton University.
Kathy Penney, Deputy Lead Commissioner
Kathy Penney was a permanent member of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission until her appointment as a Commissioner. She has over 25 years of regulatory, environmental, health and safety (HSE) experience in the public and private sectors. Ms. Penneyren has expertise in environmental assessments, HSE assurance and compliance processes, quasi-judicial and federal government project hearings, community consultation, and engagement with Indigenous peoples. Her career includes roles with Jacques Whitford, in Newfoundland and Labrador and in Western Canada, and with Royal Dutch Shell, both in Canada and in Australia. Recently she was on the Assessment Review Board for the Rocky View County. She holds a Master of Science from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto. Ms. Penney is a Pearson College scholar and holds an Executive Management Certificate from Queen’s University.
Mélanie Chartier, Commissioner
Mélanie Chartier is a lawyer, with more than 20 years of experience in a variety of areas, including aboriginal, environmental and administrative law, having practiced primarily with the Department of Justice. Ms. Chartier also served as a Member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada from 2016 to 2019. Most recently, Ms. Chartier served as Crown Counsel at the Public Prosecution Service of Canada where she prosecuted regulatory offences. She is a passionate advocate for official languages and has occupied various roles promoting official languages within the federal public service as well as in her community. Ms. Chartier holds a Bachelor of Laws (civil) from Laval University, a Certificate of Qualification in common law from the National Committee on Accreditation, and a Master of Laws from the University of British Columbia, focused on the Crown’s duty to consult with Indigenous peoples.
Trena Grimoldby, Commissioner
Trena Grimoldby was appointed as a Commissioner in 2019. She is a lawyer and an adjudicator. Prior to her appointment as Commissioner, she was a Public Chairperson at the Insurance Councils Appeal Board of Alberta (ICAB). She has also previously served as in-house counsel to two multi-national energy companies (Shell Canada and PETRONAS Canada), a midstream energy company (Pembina Pipelines Ltd.), the provincial oil and gas regulator in Alberta (the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER)), and in a private practice setting. She is the CER’s representative at CAMPUT (the Association of Canada’s Energy and Utility Regulators), where she is a member of the Executive Committee, Chair of the Regulatory Affairs Committee and Lead of the Women in Energy Community of Interest. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Arts with a specialization in English from the University of Alberta.
Wilma Jacknife, Commissioner
Wilma Jacknife served as a temporary member of the National Energy Board until December, 2018. She has more than 20 years of experience in practicing law, both in private practice and as legal counsel for Cold Lake First Nation in Alberta. She specializes in First Nations governance and law-making, consultation and negotiation of impact benefits agreements, business development, administrative law and employment and estates law. Ms. Jacknife also has participated in joint task forces to develop legislative frameworks for First Nations in Canada (Specific Claims Tribunal Act, Indian Oil and Gas Act and regulations). Ms. Jacknife holds a Doctor of Juridical Science in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy and a Master of Laws in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy from the University of Arizona – College of Law and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of British Columbia and two Bachelor of Art degrees from the University of Alberta.
Stephania Luciuk, Commissioner
Stephania Luciuk was appointed as a Commissioner in 2019. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Luciuk was in legal practice for over 20 years, with extensive experience in the energy sector, serving as in-house counsel at Imperial Oil Limited and Canadian Oil Sands Limited and in private practice with Macleod Dixon and Fasken Martineau DuMoulin. Her legal practice has spanned regulatory, commercial and environmental work as well as engagement with Indigenous peoples related to conventional/unconventional oil and gas development and pipelines. In 2017, Ms. Luciuk was appointed as an assistant professor in the Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University. She also served part-time as a commissioner of the Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers’ Compensation and as a mediator for the Provincial Court of Alberta. She is currently the CER representative to NARUC (the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners). Ms. Luciuk holds a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University and a Master of Laws in international environmental law, focused on freshwater protection, from Dalhousie University.
Mark Watton, Commissioner
Mark Watton has extensive experience in regulatory law and public policy. He was first called to the bar in Ontario and practiced as a litigator in the Toronto office of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin. He relocated to Calgary to join the National Energy Board (NEB) where he was legal counsel for seven years, advising on multiple major project applications. Before his appointment as a Commissioner with the CER, he held the position of Senior Legal Counsel with TC Energy. He also worked in executive and policy advisory roles for numerous cabinet ministers in several federal government departments, and in the office of the Prime Minister. Mr. Watton holds an LL.B. from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Political Science) from the University of Ottawa.
Indigenous Advisory Committee
Tribal Chief Tyrone McNeil, Chairperson
Tribal Chief McNeil is Stó:lō and a member of Seabird Island Band. He has extensive experience working to advance First Nations languages and education, collaborating with First Nations across the country, and developing agreements and partnerships with government. Tribal Chief McNeil manages a First Nation construction company that employs up to 70 Indigenous men and women, with expertise in Operational Health & Safety, safety audits, human resources management, operations & budgeting in civil construction and pipeline industries.
Tribal Chief McNeil works closely with the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee (IAMC) for the Trans Mountain Expansion and Existing Pipeline, including as a member of several leadership and sub-committees, driving changes to improve practices of regulators to better align with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and to advance reconciliation. He holds numerous leadership positions, including President of Stó:lō Tribal Council, President of First Nation Education Steering Committee, AFN Chiefs Committee on Education rep for BC, Chair of Emergency Planning Secretariat, Chair of Seabird College, President of the Sqewqel (Seabird) Development Corporation and Standing Chair of Union of BC Indian Chiefs.
Tribal Chief Tyrone is an active hunter, fisher and gatherer and looks forward to teaching his four grandchildren as he has been taught and learned.
Kaella-Marie Earle, Vice-Chairperson
Kaella-Marie Earle is an Anishinaabekwe from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory and Aroland First Nation. She is currently employed as an EIT at Enbridge Gas Inc. in Engineering Construction, System Improvement where she manages construction of natural gas pipeline projects. She holds an Advanced Diploma in Chemical Engineering Technology from Cambrian College as well as a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from Laurentian University.
Ms. Earle’s career goal is to weave her Indigenous cultural values into her engineering work in a way that will lead the oil and gas industry to a lower carbon energy future. She works toward this as a member of Young Pipeliners Association of Canada where she serves as Co-chair of YPAC’s Indigenous Inclusion Committee.
Ms. Earle delivers regular speaking engagements at conferences to advocate for Indigenous people and women in energy and mining, is the Director and Founder of Maamiwi Gibeshiwin Indigenous cultural training and allyship retreat, and is a delegate on the NWMO Indigenous Council of Youth and Elders.
Dr. Marie Delorme
Dr. Marie Delorme is CEO of The Imagination Group of Companies. She serves on the National Indigenous Economic Development Board, the Queen’s University Board of Trustees, Donner Canadian Foundation, the Canadian Energy and Climate Nexus, and The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking. She is also an advisor to two Universities.
Dr. Delorme is a Member of the Order of Canada. She has received the Inspire Award in Business and Commerce; and was named as one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women. Other awards include: the University of Calgary Dr. Douglas Cardinal Award; Alberta Chamber of Commerce Business Award of Distinction; Calgary Chamber of Commerce Salute to Excellence Award, and Métis Nation Entrepreneurial Leadership Award.
Dr. Delorme holds a Bachelor of Science degree, a Master of Business Administration from Queen's University, and both a PhD and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Calgary.
Ms. Judy Gingell is an Elder of the Kwanlin Dun First Nation and is from the Gaanaxteidi Raven Clan. She has worked to advance Indigenous rights within the Yukon and across Canada for more than 40 years, playing instrumental leadership roles in self-governance and land claims negotiations with the Government of Canada.
As the first female Chair of the Council of Yukon First Nations, Ms. Gingell facilitated the discussion among Yukon First Nations towards the signing of the Umbrella Final Agreement, a foundation for advances in self-governance. In 1995, she became the first Indigenous Commissioner of the Yukon Territory. Ms. Gingell sits on several Boards, including Yukon University and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, and serves as Elder Representative on Kwanlin Dun First Nation Council. She is a Member of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Chief Harvey McLeod
Chief Harvey McLeod is Chief of the Upper Nicola Indian Band, Executive Director for the Interior Salish Employment & Training Society, and has nearly 40 years of executive, political and relationship and partnership development experience.Chief McLeod sits on several Committees and Boards, including as a Director of the BC Assembly of First Nations, and is one of five Nicola Chiefs currently working with the Province of British Columbia to co-manage the Nicola Watershed. Chief McLeod has been extensively and directly involved in the development and operations of the Indigenous Advisory Monitoring Committee (IAMC) for the Trans Mountain Expansion and Existing Pipeline.
Nuka Olsen-Hakongak is a Nunavut Inuk originally from Cambridge Bay who now resides in Iqaluit. Ms. Olsen-Hakongak is currently working through a Juris Doctor Degree with the Nunavut Law Program of the University of Saskatchewan College of Law affiliated with Nunavut Arctic College. She has also worked with Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated where she focused on legal research and worked closely with senior legal counsel on Article 23 matters. Article 23 of the Nunavut Agreement is to increase Inuit participation in government employment in the Nunavut Settlement Area to a representative level. Prior to that, Ms. Olsen-Hakongak has held roles with the Government of Canada and the Government of Nunavut, and has worked in the fields of social services, community justice, income assistance, and child and youth support.
Ms. Olsen-Hakongak holds a Social Service Worker Diploma and received, as part of that program, the award for Community Involvement and awards for Academic Excellence. She is the Co-President of the Nunavut Law Student Society.
Mr. Scott Patles-Richardson is the founder of Indigenous Financial Solutions, a First Nations-owned company focused on economic development for Indigenous communities across Canada. He has extensive experience advising Indigenous communities, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and has negotiated for First Nation and Métis communities in the area of land claims and Impact Benefit Agreements, specific to energy and resource development projects.
Mr. Patles-Richardson is also the CEO of an Indigenous private-equity fund, Métis Infinity Investments, and is the majority shareholder of Nations Translation Group (NTG) and acts as their Executive Chair. NTG is one of Canada’s largest privately-held translation companies and is 100% First Nation owned and controlled with the balance of the shares held by the Little Red River Cree Nation’s investment arm. He has previously worked in leadership roles with Ishkonigan Consulting and Mediation, Tribal Council Investment Group of Manitoba, Scotiabank, and Royal Bank of Canada. Mr. Patles-Richardson is a Mi’gmaq citizen from Pabineau First Nation in northern New Brunswick of which he has been active as a key senior advisor.
Chief Matthew T. Peigan
Chief Matthew T. Peigan is Chief of the Pasqua First Nation. Chief Peigan is the youngest of 5 boys to parents Ronald Peigan Sr. and Grace L. Peigan. He was first elected in 1993-2001 and again in 2011, currently serving a fifth consecutive term. Upon his initial election in 1993, Chief Peigan was the youngest serving Chief in Canada at just 26. Chief Peigan has also served as Director of Operations and Housing Coordinator with Pasqua First Nation, and as Flood Claim Lead Negotiator for other First Nations.
Chief Peigan has been very active in engaging with industry as well as in interventions before the Canada Energy Regulator (formerly National Energy Board), including but not limited to the Energy East Project and Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project. Chief Peigan is also a member of the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee (IAMC) for the Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project. Chief Peigan is committed to both his home First Nation and to the advancement of all First Nations, and is a strong advocate for environmental, air and water protection measures. Chief Peigan was nominated to sit as a member of the Indigenous Advisory Committee by the Assembly of First Nations.
Marci Riel is the Senior Director of Energy, Infrastructure and Resource Management at the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF). The department was created by the Metis government in Manitoba to address the development and management of energy projects and infrastructure constructed on lands utilized by the citizens and harvesters of the Manitoba Metis Community. The amalgamated department also manages the MMF’s Resolution 8 engagement and consultation process and lands management files as well as the natural resources and conservation portfolios related to harvesting, environmental assessment, Metis monitoring, forestry, mining, migratory birds, commercial fisheries, wetland restoration, fish and fish habitat, environment, and climate change.
Marci is not an elected representative of the Metis Nation. Her role on the Line 3 – Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee is to best represent the needs of the citizens of the Metis Nation’s Manitoba Metis Community and to assist Canada and the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) in better understanding the lifecycle impacts of projects on the collectively held rights, claims and interests of the Metis Nation. Ms. Riel holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology and prior to joining the Manitoba Metis Federation in 2011, Marci worked in the field of public safety and crime prevention.
Marci is the mother of two active teenage boys and together with her husband Kevin is proud to be raising the next generation of citizens of the Metis Nation. Marci lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba – in the heart of the Homeland of the Metis Nation – on one of the original Red River lots next to the historic Riel House site.
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