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Economic Advisory Panel Members

Archived Backgrounder

Economic Advisory Panel Members

Ministry of Finance

Janet L. Ecker, ICD.D

Janet L. Ecker is president and CEO of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA), a growing public-private partnership dedicated to building Toronto as a global financial services centre. With government and industry support, she has also established the Global Risk Institute in Financial Services to leverage the sector's global reputation for stability, as well as the Centre of Excellence in Financial Services Education to capitalize on Toronto region's talent advantages. 

A former Ontario Finance Minister, Ms. Ecker also held the portfolios of Minister of Education, Minister of Community and Social Services and Government House Leader. Ms. Ecker currently sits on a number of corporate and non-profit boards and agencies.

A frequent public speaker and media commentator, she was recognized in 2010 as one of the "Most Influential People in the World's Financial Centres" by Financial Centres International and received a "Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award" from the Women's Executive Network and the Richard Ivey School of Business in 2003. She is also one of the founders of Equal Voice, a national, multi-partisan organization working to elect more women.

Janice Fukakusa

Ms. Fukakusa is the chief administrative officer and chief financial officer, RBC, responsible for enterprise oversight of technology and operations, while continuing to lead the enterprise finance function at Royal Bank of Canada. She serves as chief financial officer of RBC Financial Group at Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company. She joined RBC in 1985 and has held positions in retail and business banking, corporate banking, corporate finance, treasury, strategic development and internal audit.

She was previously executive vice-president of Finance at RBC. Her various roles and responsibilities included vice-president, portfolio management, senior vice-president, multinational banking, chief internal auditor, and executive vice-president, specialized services, RBC Banking. She also worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP where she obtained the professional designations of Chartered Accountant and Chartered Business Valuator. She serves as the chairman of RBC Venture Partners. 

Dominic Giroux

Mr. Giroux is president and vice-chancellor of Laurentian University.

Prior to his appointment at Laurentian, Mr. Giroux was assistant deputy minister with the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, after having served as CFO of two French-language school boards in southern and eastern Ontario.

Mr. Giroux serves as chair of the board of directors of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, national co-chair of the Consortium national de formation en santé, co-chair of the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer, and board member of the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation, the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation and the Greater Sudbury Food Bank. He also served as co-special advisor on the implementation of the Northern Policy Institute and was appointed to the province's Ring of Fire Advisory Council. In 2011-12, Mr. Giroux served as a commissioner for the Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services. 

Kunal Gupta

Mr. Gupta is the CEO of Polar, a Toronto-based technology company with an advertising platform used by major media companies around the world. Kunal is regarded as a rising young visionary shaping the future of media and advertising.

He is also the founder of Impact, an entrepreneurship group he started in his first year at the University of Waterloo. He has been recognized as a Shad Valley Alumnus of the Year and by the United Nations as a Global Citizen, featured in Marketing Magazine's Top 30 Under 30 and awarded Ernst and Young's Entrepreneur of the Year.

Alex Himelfarb

Mr. 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.

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

Jim Leech

Mr. Leech recently retired as President and CEO of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. Under his leadership, Teachers' became one of the world's leading investors and most respected pension plan organization. He is Chancellor-designate at Queen's University and will assume those duties in July, 2014.

Mr. Leech has gained recognition for his expertise and leadership in the private equity industry and as CEO of several public companies. He has a solid reputation for building businesses and strong management teams and has led large public companies operating and investing in the financial services, real estate and energy industries, as well as start-up technology businesses.

Ana P. Lopes, C.M.

Ana is a Toronto-based social innovator and entrepreneur who has led not-for-profit transformations. She has worked for 25 years in senior positions in both the private and public sectors and is director of the Tapscott Group - a privately held business strategy consulting firm. 

Ana is the chair of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation - Canada's largest mental health and addiction hospital. She is the former chair of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and a former director of many organizations including Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Foundation, Women's College Hospital Foundation, Trent University, Business for the Arts and is a leader and mentor in the Portuguese-Canadian community. Ana is a member of the Partnership Forum, Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, Ontario.

Ana has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Greater Toronto's Fundraising Volunteer of the Year in 2009. She was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2011.

Michael McCain

Mr. McCain is president and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods Inc., director of Maple Leaf Foods Inc., McCain Capital 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 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation, MaRS Discovery District and is a member and director 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.

Robert Prichard, OC, O.Ont.

Mr. Prichard is chairman of Torys LLP, a leading international business law firm with offices in Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and New York. He is also chair of Metrolinx, the regional transportation agency for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, and chairman of the Bank of Montreal.

Mr. Prichard served as dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto from 1984 to 1990 and as president of the University of Toronto from 1990 to 2000 and was appointed president emeritus in 2000.

He also has significant business experience, including serving from 2002 to 2009 as president and CEO of Torstar Corporation and, currently, serving as a director of Onex Corporation and George Weston Ltd. His community service includes serving as a trustee of the Hospital for Sick Children and as a member of Canada's Economic Advisory Council.

Saad Rafi

Mr. Rafi joined the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) as Chief Executive Officer in January 2014.

Between 2010 and 2014, Mr. Rafi served as deputy minister of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Mr. Rafi was previously the deputy minister at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Community Safety.

During his 25-year career, he also built a successful advisory practice in infrastructure and project finance and was a partner with Deloitte and Touche, LLP  

Jim Stanford

One of Canada's best-known economists, Mr. Stanford works for Unifor, who represent over 300,000 members in more than 20 economic sectors, and writes a regular economics column for the Globe and Mail.

Carol Stephenson, O.C.

Carol Stephenson served as the dean of the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, as well as the Lawrence G. Tapp Chair in Leadership.

Ms. Stephenson currently serves on several boards for top Canadian companies and on important government committees. She is a director of Intact Financial Services Corporation (formerly ING Canada) and Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. She is the former chair of the Ontario Research Fund Advisory Board, and of the federal government's Advisory Committee on Senior Level Retention and Compensation.

In 2011-12, Ms. Stephenson served as a commissioner for the Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services. She served as a Board of Directors member for GM Canada, until she was appointed by the governments of Canada and Ontario to serve as a board member for General Motors Company. In November 2006, she was appointed by the federal government to serve on the board of directors of the Vancouver Olympic Games Organizing Committee. She has earned significant recognition for her community work and industry involvement. Notably, in December 2009, Ms. Stephenson was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada.

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