Ministerial Advisory Board
The mandate of the Ministerial Advisory Board is to advise the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food on:
- issues relevant to Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) activities, and
- the Minister's responsibilities for the overall direction of the CFIA.
The Board will focus on discussing a variety of topics, including:
- the strategic direction and priorities of the CFIA as reflected in its key planning documents,
- the policy and program frameworks that govern CFIA operations,
- the effects of developments in science and testing methods, and
- the systems for communicating and consulting with stakeholders.
The Board will consider issues requested by the Minister, and the Minister may direct the Board to consider and provide advice on any issue consistent with the mandate of the Board.
The current membership of the Ministerial Advisory Board is:
- Dr. David Chalack, Interim Chair
- Dr. Rob McLaughlin
- Brooke Taylor
- Dr. Harold Bjarnason
- Dr. Keith Downey
- Marcel Groleau
- Dr. Brian Evans (ex-officio)
Dr. Chalack is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan. Since 2008 he has been a member of the University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine Deans Advisory Council and he is currently Chairman of the Board of Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency. Dr. Chalack was honoured in February 2012 with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal and was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2011. His other numerous accreditations include being Director of the Canadian Livestock Genetics Exporters Association from 2000 to 2008; Board member of Horse Racing Alberta from July 2009 to present; and Gentec Alberta since July 2009. He has also worked with the Calgary Stampede since 1978 in various capacities including as President and Chairman of the Board (a role that ended in April 2011). Since 2001, he has also been Canadian Sales and Marketing Director for Alta Genetics Inc.
Dr. McLaughlin holds a doctorate degree in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Guelph. Dr. McLaughlin has led many different academic and government organizations throughout his career, with the University of Guelph, the Ontario Agricultural College and the Government of Ontario. He has held executive memberships on many boards including the Confederation of Canadian Faculties of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, the Ontario Agricultural Leadership Trust and the Ontario Agricultural College Alumni Foundation.
Dr. McLaughlin is currently the sole proprietor of Agrifood Innovations, a consultancy focused on building networks and partnerships among stakeholders in the agrifood value chain.
Mr. Taylor is a past serving Member of the Legislative Assembly from Colchester-Musquotoboit Valley, Nova Scotia. During his long career in Nova Scotia politics, Mr. Taylor held the position of Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal in the Executive Council of Nova Scotia. Mr. Taylor retired from politics in 2009.
Dr. Bjarnason is a past Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the University of Manitoba. He was also Associate Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada during the period 1987-1997.Dr. Bjarnason holds a Doctorate of Philosophy degree (in economics) from the University of Wisconsin. He currently sits on the board of the Canada Science and Technology Museum.
Dr. Downey obtained his his PhD from Cornell University in 1981 majoring in plant breeding and genetics. He has received numerous awards including Officer in the Order of Canada. He has earned his rightful place in both the Saskatchewan and Canadian Agriculture Halls of fame for his research in the development of canola, Canada's most valuable grain crop. Dr. Downey has published over 200 scientific and technical papers relating to oilseeds and breeding techniques. He is a Senior Research Scientist Emeritus with Agriculture and Agri Food Canada and is President of his consulting company Canoglobe Consulting Inc.
Mr. Groleau has been president of the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) since December 2011. A dairy producer from Thetford Mines, Quebec, he co-owns the dairy farm D.M. Groleau Inc. with his brother Denis. The 223-hectare farm includes 150 hectares of cropland used to meet the needs of the 225-head purebred Holstein herd, which includes 125 lactating cows. Mr. Groleau was president of the Fédération des producteurs de lait du Québec from 2004 to 2011, after serving as first vice-president from 2000 to 2004 and second vice-president from 1994 to 1996. He has been an executive member of the Dairy Farmers of Canada since 2004 and has served on its board of directors since 1994.
Dr. Evans is currently a special advisor to the President at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), as well as the delegate of the Government of Canada to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Dr. Evans was appointed as Canada's Chief Veterinary Officer in 1997 and Chief Food Safety Officer in 2010 and served in these roles until September 2012. From 2007 to 2010, Dr. Evans served as Executive Vice-President of the CFIA. Before the creation of the CFIA, Dr. Evans held senior-level positions within Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and spent several years in private practice, focusing on reproductive herd health.
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