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Economic Advisory Committee Members

Archived Backgrounder

Economic Advisory Committee Members

Ministry of Finance

Floyd Laughren

Floyd Laughren serves as Laurentian University's Chair of the Board of Governors.

Laughren spent more than 27 years as a member of the Ontario Legislative Assembly, including five years as deputy premier and minister of finance. He later served as chair of the Ontario Energy Board. He received an honorary doctorate of law from Laurentian in 2000, and has served on its board since 2001.

Laughren was educated at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute and York University. Before entering politics, he taught economics at Cambrian College in Sudbury.

J. Robert S. Prichard

J. Robert S. Prichard is chairman of Torys LLP, a leading international business law firm with offices in Toronto, Calgary and New York. He is also chair of Metrolinx, the regional transportation agency for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area, and a corporate director.

Prior to joining Torys in 2010, Mr. Prichard had careers as a law professor, academic leader and business leader. He was a professor of law at the University of Toronto from 1976 to 2001, specializing in law and economics, and served as dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto from 1984 to 1990. Mr. Prichard served as president of the University of Toronto from 1990 to 2000 and was appointed president emeritus in 2000.

Mr. Prichard's business experience includes serving from 2002 to 2009 as president and CEO of Torstar Corporation, a leading Canadian media company with newspaper and book publishing businesses. He currently serves as a director of the Bank of Montreal, Onex Corporation and George Weston Ltd. and as chairman of Penguin Canada.

In the volunteer sector, Mr. Prichard serves as a trustee of the Hospital for Sick Children, Vice Chair of Canada's Science, Technology and Innovation Council, a director of the Toronto Community Foundation, chair of the Visiting Committee for Harvard Law School and a trustee of the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award Foundation.

Mr. Prichard studied honours economics at Swarthmore College, received his MBA (Dean's List) in finance and international business from the University of Chicago and earned law degrees from the University of Toronto (Gold Medallist) and Yale University (Viscount Bennett Fellow).

Mr. Prichard has been recognized by appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Member of the Order of Ontario and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He has received honorary degrees from ten colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. He also received the David Smith Award for contributions to public policy in higher education in Canada and the Champion of Public Education Award from the Learning Partnership.

Eoin Callan

Eoin Callan is the former Economics Correspondent for the Financial Times, and has covered global markets and business affairs from London, New York, Hong Kong and Washington. He has been a regular guest analyst on the BBC, CNBC, CNN, NBC and Fox News, and also covered the international banking crisis for the National Post.

Mr. Callan has also provided input to US President Barack Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

He lives with his wife and two boys in rural Ontario and advises the Service Employees International Union, Canada's fastest-growing labour organization on health policy. He also serves as a director of SEIU Capital Stewardship, which works with more than 70 pension funds with combined assets of more than $1-trillion to promote sustainable investment strategies.

Dr. Alex Himelfarb

Dr. Alex Himelfarb is the Director of the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs, at York University. He guides the expansion of the School's research capacity and its professional development programming and seeks to strengthen the relationship between the School and the public sector.

Dr. Himelfarb also leads the Centre for Global Challenges which, stressing the interplay of domestic and global issues, brings together decision makers, researchers, practitioners, and students to explore challenges confronting Canada in a changing world.

Dr. Himelfarb was a Professor of Sociology at the University of New Brunswick from 1972 to 1981. During this period, he undertook an Executive Interchange with the Department of Justice as Head of the Unified Family Court Project from 1979 to 1981.

In 1981, he joined the Public Service with the Department of the Solicitor General of Canada. He has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility since that time, including Director General, Planning and Systems Group, Planning and Management Branch with the Department of the Solicitor General of Canada; Executive Director of the National Parole Board; Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Social Policy Development with the Privy Council Office; and Associate Secretary of the Treasury Board. While serving as Associate Secretary of the Treasury Board, he also headed the federal Task Force on the Social Union. In June 1999, Dr. Himelfarb became Deputy Minister of Canadian Heritage.

He then served as Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet from May 2002 until March 2006 when he was nominated as Ambassador of Canada to the Italian Republic with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Albania and the Republic of San Marino, and as High Commissioner for Canada to the Republic of Malta.

Alex Himelfarb is a graduate of the University of Toronto where he obtained a Ph.D. in Sociology. He also serves on a number of Boards including the Trudeau Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund, and Canada 2020.

Michael H. McCain

Michael McCain is President and Chief Executive Officer of Maple Leaf Foods. He and his team have led the transformation of Maple Leaf Foods into Canada's leading food processor and exporter, with approximately 24,000 employees, sales of $5.2 billion in 2008 and flagship brands including Maple Leaf, Schneiders and Dempster's. Mr. McCain joined Maple Leaf Foods as President and Chief Operating Officer in April 1995 and was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer in January 1999.

Prior to joining Maple Leaf Foods, Mr. McCain spent 16 years with McCain Foods Limited in Canada and the United States and was, at the time of leaving in March 1995, President and Chief Executive Officer of McCain Foods USA Inc. He began his career with McCain Foods after graduating from university and held progressive positions in sales, sales management, marketing management and information systems management. In 1986, he assumed the role of President of McCain Citrus Inc., and was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of McCain Foods USA Inc. in 1990.

Mr. McCain is a director of Maple Leaf Foods Inc., McCain Capital Corporation and McCain Foods Group Inc., and Chairman of Canada Bread Company, Limited. He is a member of the board of the Royal Bank of Canada, the American Meat Institute, the Richard Ivey School of Business Advisory Board, the CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) Foundation and a member of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. He is a past member of the Board of Trustees of The Hospital for Sick Children and a past director of the American Frozen Food Institute and Bombardier Inc.

Born in Florenceville, New Brunswick, Michael McCain was educated at Mount Allison University and received an Honours Business Administration degree from the University of Western Ontario. He and his wife Chris reside in Toronto, Ontario with their five children.

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