Archived - Minister Oliver Announces his Economic Advisory Council

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Harper Government remains committed to strengthening the economy for all Canadians

July 16, 2014 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance

Finance Minister Joe Oliver today announced the members of his Economic Advisory Council.

The group of 16 members from across Canada includes Canadian business and academic leaders who will meet with the Minister periodically to provide advice on a broad range of fiscal, economic and financial issues, as the Government will be returning to balance in 2015.

The Council members are:

  • John Bradlow
  • Bonnie Brooks
  • Peter Brown
  • Paul Desmarais
  • Murray Edwards
  • Monique Leroux
  • Donald Lindsay
  • Rebecca MacDonald
  • Janice MacKinnon, Chair
  • Jack Mintz
  • Andrew Oland
  • Jim Pattison
  • Dani Reiss
  • H. Sanford Riley
  • Nancy Southern
  • Rob Wildeboer

Quick Facts

  • Council members have agreed to a salary of $1, with their expenses being reimbursed by the Government.
  • The Council was established on December 18, 2008 to provide economic advice to the Minister of Finance in the wake of the global financial crisis and recession.
  • Since the Government introduced the Economic Action Plan to respond to the global recession, Canada has performed better than most developed countries.
  • Real GDP is significantly above pre-recession levels—the best performance in the G-7.
  • The Canadian economy posted one of the strongest job creation records in the G-7 over the recovery, with more than 1 million jobs created since July 2009.


"As we return to balanced budgets in 2015 it is important we listen to Canada's leading business and economic innovators. Balanced budgets will provide a host of benefits and opportunities. It means we can lower taxes and invest in the priorities of Canadian families. I look forward to working with the Council members and hearing their ideas as we move toward a new era of fiscal sustainability and prosperity for our country."

- Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance

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Biographical Notes

John Bradlow

Mr. John Bradlow is the managing partner of Penfund, a leading Canadian private equity firm specializing in providing junior capital to middle market companies throughout North America. He has almost 40 years of broad-based financial experience.

After beginning his career as an investment banker, he joined Bank of Montreal where he became a senior executive. Later, Mr. Bradlow was one of the founders of Private Equity Management Corporation, an institutional money management firm, ultimately acquired by Penfund in 1998.

Mr. Bradlow has an M.B.A. from Harvard University and is a Chartered Professional Accountant (Ontario). He is a director of several federal and private sector corporations and was for many years a director of the Canadian Venture Capital Association.

Bonnie Brooks

Ms. Bonnie Brooks was appointed Vice Chairman of Hudson’s Bay Company in February 2014. She joined Canada’s pioneering retailer, Hudson’s Bay, as President and CEO in 2008 and was appointed to President of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 2012 when Lord & Taylor (USA) joined with the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Before joining HBC in 2008, Ms. Brooks was based in Hong Kong for 11 years, as President of Lane Crawford Joyce Group with more than 500 stores in nine Asian countries, and previously served as Executive Vice President for Holt Renfrew in Canada.

Ms. Brooks holds an M.B.A. from the University of Western Ontario. She was named one of the Top 25 Retailers worldwide by Monocle magazine and was recognized by Fast Company magazine (USA) as one of the world’s “100 Most Creative People in Business.”

Peter M. Brown

Mr. Peter M. Brown is the Founder of Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. which he established in 1968. Mr. Brown retired from the firm in June 2014 and is currently serving as Chairman of the Board for the Fraser Institute, Chairman of the Vancouver Police Foundation and is Chair Emeritus of the Investment Industry Association of Canada. He is also British Columbia’s representative on the Advisory Committee to the Canadian Securities Transition Office.

Mr. Brown is a previous member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Federal Minister of Finance, and recently, the Business Council of British Columbia appointed Mr. Brown to their Board of Governors.

Mr. Brown has received many awards including the Pacific Entrepreneur of the Year, Her Majesty’s Commemorative Golden Jubilee Medal, the Order of British Columbia and was recently inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.

Paul Desmarais, Jr.

Mr. Paul Desmarais, Jr. is Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Power Corporation of Canada and Co-Chairman of Power Financial Corporation. Prior to attaining his current position he was President and Chief Operating Officer of Power Financial from 1986 to 1989, Vice-Chairman from 1989 to 1990, and was Chairman of the Board from 1990 to 2005.

Mr. Desmarais is Chairman of the Board of Governors of The International Economic Forum of the Americas, Founder and member of the International Advisory Board of l’École des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC), an Honourary Member of the Desautels Faculty of Management Advisory Board, and a member of the Principal’s International Advisory Board of McGill University.

In 2006 Mr. Desmarais received a doctorate honoris causa from Université Laval, in 2008 from the Université de Montréal, and in 2012 from McGill University. In 2012, he was named Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur in France.

N. Murray Edwards

Mr. N. Murray Edwards is President and owner of Edco Financial Holdings Ltd., a Calgary based management company. He is a leading investor in and a managing director and executive chairman of numerous publicly traded companies including Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Ensign Energy Services Inc., and Magellan Aerospace Corporation. Mr. Edwards is also a director, chairman and co-owner of the Calgary Flames Hockey Club.

At a community level, Mr. Edwards is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the C.D. Howe Institute.

Mr. Edwards graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan with Great Distinction and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Toronto with Honours. After moving to Calgary in 1983 he became a lawyer and later a Partner with Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer, a Calgary based law firm.

Monique F. Leroux

Ms. Monique F. Leroux is the Chair of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group, a leading cooperative financial group in Canada. A member of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Founders' Council of the Quebec Global 100 network, she also chairs the Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité and is a member of the Board of Directors of Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada.

Ms. Leroux is also a member of the Board of Directors of the International Co-operative Alliance, the European Association of Co-operative Banks and the International Confederation of Popular Banks and of Crédit Mutuel’s subsidiary CIC (Crédit industriel et commercial). In addition, she is a member of the Governing Board of Finance Montréal, and the Advisory Committee on the Canadian Public Service.

Ms. Leroux is a member of the Order of Canada and an officer of l’Ordre national du Québec. She has received the title of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, the Woodrow Wilson Award and the Outstanding Achievement Award from l’Ordre des CPA.

Donald R. Lindsay

Mr. Donald R. Lindsay was appointed President of Teck Resources Limited in January 2005 and assumed the additional responsibility of Chief Executive Officer in April 2005. Before joining Teck, he was President of CIBC World Markets and led the bank’s Investment and Corporate Banking Division as well as the Asia Pacific Region. Earlier in his career he was responsible for CIBC’s Global Mining Group.

Mr. Lindsay is a member of the Board of Directors of Manulife Financial Corporation and the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. He is Chair of the Board of Governors for Mining and Metals for the World Economic Forum, serves on the Executive Committee for the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, and previously served as a Member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Federal Minister of Finance.

Mr. Lindsay has a B.Sc. (Honours) in Mining Engineering from Queen’s University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Rebecca MacDonald

Ms. Rebecca MacDonald is a founder and current Executive Chair of Just Energy Group, a Toronto based marketer of deregulated electricity and natural gas.  Just Energy currently supplies more than 2 million customers across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

In 1988, Ms. MacDonald founded Energy Marketing Inc., the first company which targeted small customers under Canadian natural gas deregulation. Following the sale of that business, in 1995 she founded a new company which aggregated customers within the UK natural gas deregulation. This company was sold and the proceeds were used to create her current company.

Ms. MacDonald was named Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year for 2002 by the Rotman School of Business, and was named Canada’s top woman CEO for 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 by Profit magazine.  She is also the founder of the Rebecca MacDonald Centre for Arthritis and Autoimmune Disease at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.

In 2003, Ms. MacDonald was named Ontario Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, and in 2009 she won the International Horatio Alger Award. She sits on the Board of Governors of the Royal Ontario Museum, is Vice Chair of the Board of Mount Sinai Hospital, and sits on the Board of Canadian Pacific Railway. In 2009 she received an Honourary Ph.D. from the University of Victoria.

Janice MacKinnon

Dr. Janice MacKinnon is a professor of fiscal policy at the University of Saskatchewan, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a former Saskatchewan Finance Minister. Between 1991 and 2001 she was a cabinet minister in Saskatchewan and held various portfolios including Minister of Finance, Minister of Social Services, Minister of Economic Development, and Government House leader.

In 2009 Dr. MacKinnon was appointed to the National Task Force on Financial Literacy, and previously served as a Member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Federal Minister of Finance. In 2012 she was appointed to the Order of Canada and in September 2013 she was chosen as one of Canada’s top 25 Women of Influence.

Ms. MacKinnon has an Honours B.A. from the University of Western Ontario and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Queen’s University.

Jack Mintz

Dr. Jack M. Mintz is the Palmer Chair in Public Policy at the University of Calgary and Director of the School of Public Policy.

Dr. Mintz previously held the position of Professor of Business Economics at the Rotman School of Business from 1989 to 2007 and Department of Economics at Queen’s University, Kingston, 1978 to 1989.  He was a Visiting Professor, New York University Law School, 2007; President and CEO of the C. D. Howe Institute, 1999 to 2006; Clifford Clark Visiting Economist at the Department of Finance; and Associate Dean (Academic) of the Faculty of Management, University of Toronto, 1993 to 1995.

Dr. Mintz has consulted widely with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the governments of Canada, Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan, and various businesses and non-profit organizations.

Andrew Oland

Mr. Andrew Oland has been President of Moosehead Breweries Limited since 2008. In 2013, he became CEO as well. As President and CEO of Moosehead, he has direct responsibility for the performance of the company and its subsidiary operations.

Mr. Oland currently serves as a board member with the Conference Board of Canada, Beer Canada, and is a member of the New Brunswick Business Council. He has a wide range of concerns and interests outside of the brewing industry.

Mr. Oland received his business degree in 1989 from Old Dominion University in Norfolk Virginia, and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1997.

Jim Pattison

Mr. Jim Pattison is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and sole owner of The Jim Pattison Group, one of the largest privately held companies in Canada.

Mr. Pattison serves as a director on various boards, including Canadian Forest Products (Canfor Corporation) and Brookfield Asset Management, and serves as a Trustee on the Board of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

Mr. Pattison was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1987 and the Order of British Columbia in 1990.  He is also the recipient of the Governor General’s Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canada. Mr. Pattison is an inductee of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame and the Canadian Professional Sales Association Hall of Fame.

Dani Reiss

Dani Reiss is President and CEO of Canada Goose Inc., one of the world's leading manufacturers of outdoor luxury apparel.

In addition to his role at Canada Goose, Mr. Reiss serves as Chairman of Polar Bears International, is a member of the Board of Directors of Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation, and sits on the Advisory Board of Queen’s University School of Business Centre for Responsible Leadership. In 2011, he was named Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young.

Mr. Reiss has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Toronto.

H. Sanford Riley

Mr. Sanford Riley is President & Chief Executive Officer of Richardson Financial Group Limited, Canada’s largest independent wealth management firm. Before joining Richardson Financial Group, Mr. Riley was President and CEO of Investors Group Inc., a position he held for nearly 10 years. He was appointed Chairman in 2001.

Mr. Riley is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the University of Winnipeg Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the North West Company Fund. He serves as a Director of Molson Coors Brewing Company, the Canada West Foundation and the Canadian Western Bank Group.

Mr. Riley was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in 2002 and the Order of Manitoba in 2013. He is a graduate of Queen’s University in Political Science and of Osgoode Hall Law School.

Nancy Southern

Ms. Nancy Southern is Chair, President & Chief Executive Officer of ATCO Ltd. and Canadian Utilities Limited, an ATCO company. After joining the ATCO Board of Directors in 1989, she served as Co-Chair of ATCO for 16 years prior to being elected Chair in December 2012. Ms. Southern has been President & CEO of both ATCO Ltd. and Canadian Utilities Limited since 2003.

Ms. Southern is a member of The U.S. Business Council, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, the American Society of Corporate Executives, the C.D. Howe Institute, and a Canadian Member of the Trilateral Commission. In 2013, she was appointed by the Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women to an advisory council to promote the participation of women on public and private corporate boards. She has previously served as a Member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Federal Minister of Finance.

In 2013, Ms. Southern received the T. Patrick Boyle Founder’s Award from the Fraser Institute for her entrepreneurial achievements and recognized accomplishments in the promotion of freedom and free markets. She was also included in Fortune’s list of the “50 Most Powerful Women In Business: The Global 50” and named as one of “The 50 Most Important People in Canada” in Maclean’s. She is an honorary Chief of the Kainai (Blood Tribe of Alberta) and in June 2014, Ms. Southern was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Calgary.

Rob Wildeboer

Mr. Rob Wildeboer is the Executive Chairman and co-founder of Martinrea International Inc., a global leader in automotive parts manufacturing and product development. Previously, he was a partner of Wildeboer Dellece LLP, a law firm that practises corporate, securities and tax law, which he co-founded in 1993.

Mr. Wildeboer is a director and Vice Chair of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA), a director of the Canadian Automotive Partnership Counsel (CAPC), a past member of the Science, Technology and Innovation Council of Canada, a member of the Ontario Manufacturing Council, Chair of the CEO Manufacturing Advisory Council of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Chair of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, and a Member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Federal Minister of Finance.

Mr. Wildeboer holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Guelph, a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, an M.B.A. from York University and an LL.M. from Harvard University.