Mental Health Commission of Canada Announces Board of Directors and Advisory Committee Chairs

OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Aug. 31, 2007) – Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and The Honourable Michael Kirby, Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, today announced the inaugural members of the Board of Directors and Advisory Committee Chairs of the Commission.

The makeup of the Board reflects the diversity of Canadians who are involved with the issue of mental health: three members of the Board live with a mental illness; two represent Canada’s Aboriginal people – one First Nations and one Inuit; others are family caregivers, peer support workers, and service providers at the community level, in hospitals and in private clinical practice.Since the burden of caring for, and treating, people with a mental illness falls disproportionately on women, “I am particularly pleased that the non-government members of the Board consist of seven women and four men” said former Senator Michael Kirby, the Chair of the Commission’s Board.

The 11 non-government directors are:

1. Joan Edwards Karmazyn, Grand Bank, Newfoundland and Labrador

2. Andy Cox, Milford Station, Nova Scotia

3. Jeannette LeBlanc, Moncton, New Brunswick

4. Louise de Bellefeuille, Montreal, Quebec

5. Tony Boeckh, Montreal, Quebec

6. Mary May Simon, Nunavik, Quebec

7. David Goldbloom, Toronto, Ontario

8. Chris Summerville, Winnipeg, Manitoba

9. Fern Stockdale-Winder, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

10. Lorraine Breault, Edmonton, Alberta

11. Madeleine Dion Stout, Delta, British Columbia

The six government appointed directors are:

1. Greg Cummings, Assistant Deputy Minister Operational Support, NWT Health & Social Services, Government of Northwest Territories

2. Patrick Dion, Vice-President – Consulting, Summa Strategies Canada Inc.

3. Nora Kelly, Deputy Minister of Health, Government of New Brunswick

4. Paddy Meade, Deputy Minister of Health and Wellness, Government of Alberta

5. Morris Rosenberg, Deputy Minister of Health, Health Canada

6. John Wright, Deputy Minister of Health, Government of Saskatchewan

Two of the non-government directors, David Goldbloom, Senior Medical Advisor at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto and Madeleine Dion Stout, an Aboriginal health development consultant and a member of the Kehewin Band in Northern Alberta, were also name Vice-Chairs of the Commission.

The announcement of the Commission Board of Directors follows a comprehensive selection process in which nearly 500 Canadians applied to be a member of the Board.

The announcement also comes just five months after the federal government announced funding for the Commission in its March 19, 2007 Budget.

The Board will guide the overall development of the Commission as it undertakes three key initiatives:

– Facilitating development of the national mental health strategy;

– Conducting a 10-year anti-stigma campaign; and

– Building a knowledge exchange centre.

Also announced today were the Chairs of eight Advisory Committees. These Advisory Committees have been established to provide advice to the Board, as well as to support the Commission in remaining engaged with the broader stakeholder community.

The Advisory Committee Chairs are:

1. Children and Youth: Dr. Simon Davidson

2. Mental Health and the Law: Justice Edward (Ted) Ormston

3. Seniors: Dr. Marie-France Tourigny Rivard

4. Aboriginal: William (Bill) Mussell

5. Workplace : Bill Willkerson

6. Family Caregivers: Ella Amir

7. Service Systems: Steve Lurie

8. Science: Elliot Goldner

“The people who have agreed to serve as Chairs of the Commission’s eight Advisory Committees are truly outstanding,” Kirby said. “They and their Committee members will ensure that the Board of the Commission receives advice from the best Canadians in their field.”

Additional information and background on each member of the Board of Directors and the Advisory Committee Chairs can be found at:

or can be found on the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s website at:

About the Mental Health Commission of Canada

The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a non-profit organization created to focus attention on mental health issues and to work to improve the health and social outcomes of people living with mental illness. The Mental Health Commission of Canada is governed by a Board of Directors, consisting of 11 non-governmental directors, and seven who are appointed by Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments as well as the Chair – the Honourable Michael Kirby – who was appointed by the Government of Canada. The Board is assisted in its work by eight Advisory Committees.

For more information, please contact

Stephen Burega
(604) 623-3007 ext. 228


Heather Brown
(416) 979-1120 ext. 238

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