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GTA West Advisory Panel

Archived Backgrounder

GTA West Advisory Panel

Ministry of Transportation

Gail Beggs, Chair, is a former Deputy Minister with the Ontario Public Service, with extensive experience in environment and resource management public policy. Gail led the Ministry of the Environment from 2007 to 2013, the Ministry of Natural Resources from 2004 to 2007, and the Ontario Secretariat for Aboriginal Affairs from 2005 to 2007. Ms. Beggs is experienced in leading high profile public policy files, serving as the Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for coordinating the government response to SARS, as the Chair of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and as President and CEO of the Ontario Clean Water Agency.  Currently a member of the Board of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, Gail also serves on boards and committees of several not-for-profit agencies. A graduate of the University of Toronto, Gail holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees.

Rod Northey is an environmental lawyer and partner in the Toronto office of Gowling WLG. He is in his 27th year of private practice, focusing on project approvals tied to the environment.  Rod is an adjunct faculty member at Osgoode Hall Law School's Municipal Law LLM program for its course on environmental protection and is also certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in environmental law. He has authored two books on federal environmental assessment including a 2015 guide, and published articles on infrastructure planning, federalism and environmental law. Throughout his career, Mr. Northey has been active in environmental law reform including Ontario's 2004 Greenbelt Task Force and its 2005 advisory committee to reform environmental assessment for green energy, transit and waste management. He is currently on the federal panel to review Canada's environmental assessment process. Rod is the former Chair of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and the Greenbelt Fund.

Matthias Sweet is an Assistant Professor at Ryerson University, with research interests in transportation policy, land use planning and urban economics. His previous work includes investigating the role of transportation services in transportation-land use interactions, regional spatial structure and change and travel behaviour and services. Currently, he is exploring how big data analytics can be employed to better measure and manage road traffic congestion and how congestion influences economic and social outcomes. Mr. Sweet teaches courses in transportation planning, urban service planning and planning theory. He received his PhD in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012, and holds an MA and BA in Geography from the University of Georgia and Appalachian State University, respectively.

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