The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (Vancouver Granville)
Jody Wilson-Raybould is a lawyer, advocate, and leader among British Columbia’s First Nations. As Regional Chief of the BC Assembly of First Nations, Jody brings extensive experience in law, public service, and First Nations governance to the Liberal team.
After being called to the Bar in 2000, Jody began her legal career working as a provincial crown prosecutor in Vancouver. She later served as an advisor at the BC Treaty Commission, a body established to oversee treaty negotiations between First Nations and the Crown. In 2004, Jody was elected as Commissioner by the Chiefs of the First Nations Summit.
Since being elected Regional Chief of the BC Assembly of First Nations in 2009, Jody has devoted herself to the advancement of First Nations governance, fair access to land and resources, as well as improved education and healthcare services. She was re-elected as Regional Chief in 2012 and holds responsibilities on the Assembly of First Nations executive for Governance and Nation building. She has previously been involved with the Chiefs Committee on Claims and chaired the Comprehensive Claims joint working group.
An active volunteer in her community, Jody has served as a Director for Capilano College, the Minerva Foundation for BC Women, the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre, and the National Centre for First Nations Governance. She is also a director on the First Nations Lands Advisory Board and Chair of the First Nations Finance Authority. She is the recipient of the alumni award from the Minerva Foundation and the University of Victoria.
Jody is a descendant of the Musgamagw Tsawataineuk and Laich-Kwil-Tach peoples, which are part of the Kwakwaka’wakw and also known as the Kwak’wala speaking peoples. She is a member of the We Wai Kai Nation and is married to Dr. Tim Raybould.
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs (Toronto-St. Paul’s)
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett was first elected to the House of Commons in 1997 and was re-elected in 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2015, representing Toronto– St. Paul’s.
Dr. Bennett has previously served as the Critic for Public Health, Seniors, Persons with Disabilities, the Social Economy, and Aboriginal Affairs. In 2003, she was named Minister of State for Public Health.
Prior to her election, Dr. Bennett was a family physician and a founding partner of Bedford Medical Associates in downtown Toronto. She was also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Her fight to save the Women’s College Hospital of Toronto inspired her to enter politics.
Carolyn is an active representative of Toronto–St. Paul’s. She has organized over 75 town halls, quarterly meetings, information sessions on parliamentary affairs, and special activities for her constituents since 2000. She and her office have assisted hundreds of constituents with their immigration, tax, pension or employment insurance concerns.
She speaks passionately about Canada and citizens’ participation in the democratic process. She advocates for health, the environment, women’s involvement in politics and persons with disabilities; She is also known for her strong support of Israel.
In 1986, Dr. Bennett received the Royal Life Saving Society Cross – a Commonwealth award recognizing her more than 20 years of distinguished service. In 2002, she was the recipient of the coveted EVE Award for contributing to the advancement of women in politics and in 2003 received the first ever CAMIMH Mental Health Champion Award. Carolyn was the first recipient of the National Award of Excellence for Outstanding Leadership and Dedication to Injury Prevention and Safety promotion in Canada.
Carolyn is the co-author of Kill or Cure? How Canadians Can Remake Their Health Care System.
She and her husband, Peter O’Brian, a successful Canadian producer, have two sons, Jack and Ben.
Niagara Centre (ON)
Local business owner, community advocate, and former mayor of Port Colborne, Vance Badawey has spent his life creating change that is inclusive of all. He is now dedicated to being the local voice that defends the riding of Niagara Centre.
In 1994, Vance began his career in public service as a Port Colborne City Councillor. Soon after, residents elected him Mayor, a role which he later reclaimed in 2006. During this term, Vance served on the Niagara Regional Council and was Chair of the Health Services Task Force and the Economic & Tourism Development Corporation, while Vice Chair of the Niagara Region Police Services Board.
Vance was a founding member of the Wellspring Niagara Cancer Support Centre – an organization dedicated to providing free social, emotional, psychological, informational and spiritual support to individuals living with cancer, their families, and close supporters. Vance is married to Lisa, and they have two teenage daughters, Logan and Jordan. Vance and his extended family have lived and operated their family business in Port Colborne for over 50 years.
Northwest Territories (NT)
Born and raised in Fort Providence, Michael McLeod served Northwest Territories residents as a member of the Legislative Assembly from 1999-2011, and now advises clients in the tourism industry as Tourism Development Officer for the government of the Northwest Territories. Prior to this, Michael served as Mayor of Fort Providence, president of his Métis Local, and vice-president of Deh Cho Regional Council. He began his career as a self-employed contractor, and understands the needs of small business owners and their families.
A Major Corporal with the Canadian Junior Rangers, Michael has been an active and dedicated member of his community. He is a member of the Northwest Territories Tourism, NWT Public Utilities, and Mackenzie Valley Environment Impact Review Boards – whose mission is to conduct fair and timely environmental impact assessments in the Mackenzie Valley that protect the environment, social, economic, and cultural well-being of its residents.
Michael earned his diploma in Management Studies from Arctic College, and enjoys spending his free time outdoors going hunting and fishing. Michael comes from a family dedicated to public service – his brother currently serves as the Premier of the Northwest Territories.
Thunder Bay-Rainy River (ON)
Born and raised in Northwestern Ontario, Don Rusnak has deep roots in Thunder Bay–Rainy River, and as the proud son of Ukrainian and Anishinaabe (Ojibway) parents, he understands the diverse and pressing issues facing his community.
Don has extensive professional experience drawing from his work in the forestry industry, public sector, and from his own legal practice. While working with Manitoba Health, Don helped to improve the delivery of healthcare services for Northern Manitobans, and as a Crown Prosecutor in Eastern Alberta, he prosecuted criminal and regulatory offences. Don has long demonstrated strong leadership skills, having served as the interim Executive Director for Grand Council Treaty #3 in Kenora.
Don has volunteered his time with many organizations, such as the Ontario Justice Education Network and the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative – a group which improves elementary and secondary school education outcomes for Aboriginal Canadians through the implementation of specific programs and the application of appropriate research.
Don studied Political Science and Integrated Forest Resource Management at Lakehead University. In 2001, Don attended the University of Manitoba, Robson Hall Faculty of Law, and during his final year, attended Osgoode Hall Law School to study in the Intensive Program in Aboriginal Lands, Resources and Governments.
After earning much respect and admiration during his 2014 Winnipeg mayoral campaign, Robert-Falcon Ouellette is ready to bring real change to his community as the Liberal candidate in the riding of Winnipeg Centre.
Coming from Red Pheasant First Nation in Saskatchewan and raised in Calgary, Robert-Falcon moved to Winnipeg in 2010 and quickly earned a reputation as a diligent community advocate working to bridge racial and economic divides. Robert-Falcon is currently a Program Director for the Aboriginal Focus Programs at the University of Manitoba, where he is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council funded researcher on education and Métis issues of identity. He is passionate about addressing and solving inner-city issues, city planning, and transit.
Robert-Falcon spent 19 years with the Canadian Armed Forces, retiring from full-time service as Petty Officer 2nd class with the appointment of Sergeant at Arms in 5th Field Ambulance in Valcartier, Quebec. He also has worked as a professional musician with La Fanfarniente della Strada Gypsy Band in Quebec City. Robert-Falcon holds a PhD from Université Laval where he published his thesis, “Evaluating Aboriginal Curricula Using a Cree-Métis Perspective With a Regard Towards Indigenous Knowledge.
Yvonne Jones is the Liberal candidate and current Member of Parliament for Labrador. Yvonne began her professional life as a journalist and a small business owner in Newfoundland and Labrador. Her first foray into the public service was in 1991, when she became Mayor of her hometown, Mary’s Harbour, Labrador.
Between 1996 and 2013, Yvonne represented the district of Cartwright-L’Anse au Clair in the House of Assembly, before later becoming the Leader of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Yvonne is an active volunteer with a number of local and provincial organizations, including the Battle Harbour Development Corporation, the Combined Councils of Labrador, and the NunatuKavut.
Upon her entry into federal politics in 2013, Yvonne became the Liberal Critic responsible for Northern Development and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, as well as Search and Rescue. She has since also become the Liberal Critic for the Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency (ACOA). Yvonne also serves as the Vice-Chair of the Public Accounts Committee.
Saint Boniface-Saint Vital (MB)
Since 1995, Dan Vandal has served as the representative for St. Boniface on Winnipeg’s City Council for all but two years. As a City Councillor, he has occupied a number of leadership roles including that of Deputy Mayor.Prior to his entry into municipal politics, Dan dedicated himself to a career in social work, working with organizations that sought to support Winnipeg’s youth. He also competed as a professional boxer and at one time was the top Canadian in his weight class.
Currently he serves as a board member of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and is the chairperson of the Manitoba Combative Sports Commission.
Nickel Belt (ON)
Marc Serré is currently the Chair of the Northern Ontario Liberal Caucus as well as member of the Liberal Indigenous Caucus, The Standing Committee on Natural Resources, The Canada-China Legislative Association, The Association interparlementaire Canada-France, The Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group and The Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie.
M. Serré is an award-winning telecom technologies researcher and developer whose presentations have taken him across Canada and the US. He is the proud recipient of the Canadian IWAY Award in recognition for his innovation and outstanding achievements in Internet adaptive technology.
Driven by a desire to invest in future generations, Marc served as a school board trustee. He was also a Municipal Counsellor in West Nipissing, a Hospital board member, and Chair of the West Nipissing Planning Committee. He is a proud recipient of the Ontario Community Action Award for his work in both the non-profit and disability sectors.
Marc earned an Honours Bachelor of Commerce B. Com. with a specialization in Human Resources and Marketing from Laurentian University. Marc’s personal achievements also include the completion of marathons and triathlons.
Born and raised in Nickel Belt, Marc comes from a long line of community volunteers and politicians; his father Gaetan and Uncle Ben Serré both served as MPs and were dedicated to facilitating change and growth in their community. Marc is also a Citizen of the Mattawa/North Bay/Algonquin First Nation.
Edmonton Centre (AB)
Randy Boissonnault is the Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
Prior to his election, Randy was a successful entrepreneur, community leader, and philanthropist. He has a strong record of leadership in business, in public service, and in the not-for-profit sector.
Randy discovered his passion for leadership and public service at the University of Alberta, where he served as President of the Students’ Union. Since studying at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, Randy has worked as a lecturer at the University of Alberta’s Campus Saint-Jean, and as a journalist and political commentator for CBC Radio-Canada and Les Affaires. Randy also owned and led a consulting business that helped small- and medium-sized businesses overcome their strategy and management challenges.
A proud Rotarian, Randy has a long history of charitable work, both locally in Edmonton and abroad. He founded Literacy Without Borders, an international NGO devoted to promoting literacy for both children and adults in the developing world and in Canada. He has also served as Vice Chair of TEDx Edmonton and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Francophone Economic Council of Alberta, the Francophone Sport Federation of Alberta, and the Canadian Francophone Games. He was one of the 50 founders of Startup Edmonton and was a finisher of the Ironman Canada Triathlon.