Ottawa, April 8, 2009

Archived - Minister of Finance Announces the Membership of the Advisory Committee on Financing

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The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, announced today the membership of the Advisory Committee on Financing (ACF).  The new committee is part of the comprehensive package of measures the Government put in place in Canada's Economic Action Plan to ensure the availability of financing to Canadian businesses and consumers to support the economy and encourage growth.

"Access to credit and financing is the number one issue facing Canadians and Canadian businesses," said Minister Flaherty. "Where gaps in credit availability remain, they must be identified and fixed. These eminent Canadians will provide their expertise to the Government on how to ensure Canadians and Canadian businesses have access to financing to encourage the robust growth necessary to put the recession behind us."

Specifically, the ACF will provide expert advice to the Government on financing conditions and on the design, scope and scale of initiatives under the Extraordinary Financing Framework (EFF) and advise the Minister of Finance on their implementation and effectiveness. The EFF consists of up to $200 billion in existing and new measures to support the extension of financing to Canadian businesses and consumers during these exceptional times.

The ACF will play an important role in identifying areas where gaps in credit markets exist as the EFF, part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, is implemented. The ACF was announced in Budget 2009 and was a recommendation of the Economic Advisory Council, which will continue to provide advice to the Minister on the economy as a whole.

Minister Flaherty said the committee members have agreed to a salary of $1, with their expenses being reimbursed by the Government. The first meeting of the ACF will take place in the coming weeks.

The committee members are:

  • Stanley H. Hartt (Chair)
  • Elyse Allan
  • Luc Bertrand
  • Richard Bird
  • Christian Chia
  • Gail Cook-Bennett
  • Leo de Bever
  • William Lovatt
  • Bill McEwan
  • Siim Vanaselja

"I would like to thank these professionals for agreeing to serve in this capacity," Minister Flaherty added.

For further information, media may contact:

Chisholm Pothier
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance

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Biographical notes

Stanley H. Hartt (Chair)

Mr. Hartt is Chairman of Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd.

Mr. Hartt was called to the Quebec Bar in 1965 and worked for law firm Stikeman Elliott for twenty years. From 1985 to 1988, he was the Deputy Minister of the Department of Finance, under Hon. Michael Wilson. From 1989 to 1990, he was Chief of Staff in the Office of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. From 1990 to 1996, he was Chairman, President, and CEO of Campeau Corporation, a real estate and retailing enterprise. In 1996, he became Chairman of Salomon Brothers Canada Inc., later renamed Citigroup Global Markets Canada Inc., a post which he held until December 2008.

Mr. Hartt holds a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Bachelor in Civil Law degrees, all from McGill University. He was made a Queen's Counsel in 1984 and an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1994.

Elyse Allan

Mrs. Allan was named President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Canada in 2004. Prior to her current position, she served as President and CEO of the Toronto Board of Trade, was a senior executive at Ontario Hydro, and held senior roles with GE businesses in the U.S. and Canada.

She serves on several company and non-profit boards of directors, including the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), the C.D. Howe Institute, the Public Policy Forum and the Royal Ontario Museum. She became Vice Chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in 2008 and in March 2009, was asked to serve on the Ontario Metrolinx Transition Advisory Board. She previously served on the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College (New Hampshire) and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth. Mrs. Allan also holds an honorary doctorate degree from Ryerson University in Toronto.

Luc Bertrand

A participant in the securities industry for over 30 years, Mr. Bertrand has been President and Chief Executive Officer of the Montréal Exchange (MX) since March 13, 2000. He has served on its Board of Directors since 1992, sitting on the Executive Committee and as Vice-Chairman and as Chairman before his appointment as President and CEO.

Since May 1, 2008, Mr. Bertrand has served as a member of the Board and Deputy CEO of the TMX Group.

Mr. Bertrand is a member of the Board of the Canadian Derivatives Clearing Corporation (CDCC); Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Boston Options Exchange (BOX); and Chairman of the Board of the Montréal Climate Exchange (MCeX). He is also a member of the Board of Natural Gas Exchange Inc. (NGX), Shorcan Brokers Limited and CanDeal.

Mr. Bertrand serves on the Board of the International Financial Centre Montréal. From 1996 to 2002, he was Governor of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and served as Vice-Chairman in 1998 and 1999. He is also a former Governor of the Canadian Securities Institute, a former Vice-President and Managing Director with the Institutional Sales Group at National Bank Financial, and former Partner, Executive Vice-President and Resident Director (Quebec) at Deacon Capital Corporation, formerly Barclays, de Zoete, Wedd. In 1985, he co-founded the brokerage firm Pollitt, Bertrand.

Richard Bird

Mr. Bird currently holds the position of Executive Vice-President, Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Development in Enbridge, a Calgary-based firm specializing in energy transportation, distribution and services. In his current position, Mr. Bird is responsible for all financial affairs of Enbridge, including corporate planning, mergers, acquisitions and corporate development. Prior to joining Enbridge in 1995, Mr. Bird held numerous senior financial executive positions in several public companies.

Mr. Bird holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from the University of Toronto.

Christian Chia

Christian Chia is the President and Chief Executive Officer of OpenRoad Auto Group Limited. Mr. Chia was educated at the University of British Columbia and received his Bachelor of Commerce degree in Finance (Honours). In 1991 he was recognized by UBC as a Lesley Wong Fellow. In addition to his interests in OpenRoad, Chia established and managed Summit Motors, one of only five companies to be awarded the rights to distribute BMW automobiles in China. He was previously employed by Toyota Motor Corporation in Tokyo and was engaged in the finance industry prior to that. Mr. Chia has been a Director of the British Columbia Automobile Dealer Association since 2003.He has been active in numerous community and charitable activities and is a member of the British Columbia Chapter of the Young Presidents' Organization.

Gail Cook-Bennett

Ms. Cook-Bennett was named Chair of the Board of Manulife Financial in October 2008. Immediately prior to that appointment she had served for 10 years as the first Board Chair of the CPP Investment Board. She has also served as a Director of the Bank of Canada, the TD Bank and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.

Ms. Cook-Bennett holds a B.A. (Honours) from Carleton University and a Ph.D in Economics from the University of Michigan. She is a Member of the Order of Canada, a recipient of a Doctor of Laws Degree (honoris causa) from Carleton University and a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Leo de Bever

Mr. de Bever was named Chief Executive Officer of the Alberta Investment Management Corporation in 2008. 

Prior to 2008, Mr. de Bever was the Chief Investment Officer of Victorian Funds Management Corporation, an Australian firm managing a public sector pension fund. He has been Executive Vice-President, global investment, for Manulife Financial and a chief forecaster at the Bank of Canada, responsible for redesigning the bank's model of the Canadian economy. He has also worked for Chase Econometrics Canada, Crown Life Insurance, Nomura Securities Canada and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. 

Mr. de Bever graduated with an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Oregon. He later received a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin.

William (Bill) Lovatt

Mr. Lovatt is the Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Great-West Lifeco Inc. Mr. Lovatt also serves as Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life. He has occupied this position since 1979 (since 2004 only for Canada Life). Prior to his current positions, Mr. Lovatt held a number of positions in the Bond, Private Placement Investments, and Fixed Income Investments departments of the Investment Division of Great-West Life. Prior to joining Great-West Life in 1979, he worked with the Bank of Canada in Ottawa as a securities market analyst.

Mr. Lovatt is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), a Certified General Accountant (CGA) and a fellow of the Canadian Certified General Accountants Association (F CGA-Canada).

Bill McEwan

Mr. McEwan is President and Chief Executive Officer of Sobeys Inc., a leading Canadian grocery retailer and food distributor. He has occupied the position since 2000. He sits on the board of directors of Sobeys Inc.'s parent, Empire Company Limited. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for CIES – The Food Business Forum, a global food business network based in Paris, France.

Prior to joining Sobeys Inc., Mr. McEwan was President and Chief Merchandising Officer at A&P Canada. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors and is a past chairman of the Grocery Industry Foundation. Having spent more than 30 years in grocery retailing and five years in the consumer packaged goods industry, Mr. McEwan has a deep understanding of the food industry.

In 2005, Mr. McEwan was presented the Golden Pencil Award, the Canadian grocery industry's highest honour, recognizing a career of outstanding contributions. In 2006, the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors presented Mr. McEwan with the Robert Beaudry Award of Excellence for leadership in the grocery industry.

Siim Vanaselja

Mr. Vanaselja has occupied the position of Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer in Bell Canada since 2001. He joined BCE in 1994 and has held a variety of senior positions in the BCE group. Prior to joining BCE, Mr. Vanaselja was a partner at KPMG Canada, an accounting firm based in Toronto.

Mr. Vanaselja sits on the boards of directors of numerous BCE group companies. He has served on several other boards, including those of CGI Group Inc., Jones Intercable, Cable and Wireless Communications and the National Ballet of Canada. He has also been a member of the Conference Board of Canada's National Council of Financial Executives, the Corporate Executive Board's Working Council for Chief Financial Officers and Moody's Council of Chief Financial Officers.

Mr. Vanaselja is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (CA) of Ontario and holds an Honours Bachelor of Business degree from the Schulich School of Business (York University).