The federal government has announced the members of its Industry Strategy Council, the initiative aimed to help with Canada’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The council, which was first announced in May, will act as an advisory board to assess the pandemic’s impact on industries and broaden the government’s understanding of specific sectoral pressures. The council is composed of senior business leaders who will communicate with the government as it assesses economic policy.
Mona Nemer, Canada’s chief scientific advisor, is joining the council to provide a science and research perspective.
“Ministers and departments across government will be engaged as we work with the Industry Strategy Council to continue our whole-of-government approach to confronting COVID-19,” said Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry Navdeep Bains. “I look forward to working hand in hand with businesses toward a recovery that makes Canadian industry more prosperous, equitable, and dynamic than ever.”
The members are tasked with sharing challenges faced by different sectors across Canada’s economy during the pandemic. Each member represents a different economic sector: advanced manufacturing, health and biosciences, agri-food, cleantech, digital industries, tourism, transportation, retail, or resources. The new members include:
- Digital industries: John Baker, president and CEO of Desire2Learn
- Health and biosciences: Karimah Es Sabar, CEO and partner at Quark Venture
- Clean technology: Karen Hamberg, vice president of external affairs and sustainability at Westport Fuel Systems
- Retail: Paviter Binning, president of Wittington Investments
- Advanced manufacturing: Rhonda Barnet, president and COO of AVIT Manufacturing
- Tourism and hospitality: Ben Cowan-Dewar, co-founder and CEO of Cabot Links
- Agri-food: Murad Al-Katib, president and CEO of AGT Food and Ingredients
- Resources: Mark Little, president and CEO Suncor Energy
- Transportation: Sylvie Vachon, president and CEO of Montreal Port Authority
The council is expected to build on the federal government’s existing model for collaboration between industry and government, known as the Economic Strategy Tables, which was first used in 2017.
RELATED: Government launches hotline offering small businesses financial planning, COVID-19 recovery advice
Monique Leroux, former president of Desjardins, will chair the council. The government has announced that Mona Nemer, Canada’s chief scientific advisor, is also joining as an ex-officio member to provide a perspective on science and research. An ex-officio member describes a position someone automatically gains because of another role that person already holds.
“It is both a great honour and a tremendous responsibility to be asked to chair the council, and I look forward to working with all members to build a starting point for Canada’s economic recovery in this new global context,” said Leroux. “The council will be a partnership between the private sector and the Government of Canada to help gain an understanding of industry challenges.”
Additional members of the council are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Image source Navdeep Bains via Facebook.