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The Expert Panel

The members of the NEB Modernization Expert Panel are: David Besner, Wendy Grant-John, Brenda Kenny, Hélène Lauzon and Gary Merasty. Ms. Lauzon and Mr. Merasty will be co-chairs. The Panel will be guided by the Terms of Reference, which set out its mandate. The Terms of Reference reflect input received during the 30-day public comment period. 

Biographies of Expert Panel Members

Hélène Lauzon (co-chair)

Ms. Hélène Lauzon chairs the Quebec Business Council on the Environment / Conseil patronal de l’environnement du Québec (CPEQ), which presents the concerns and contributions of Quebec businesses to governments and other stakeholders in the areas of the environment and sustainable development. She is also co-chair of the Climate Change Advisory Committee in Québec’s Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques  as well as on the Board of Directors for the Association minière du Québec and the Société du Plan Nord.

Previously, Ms. Lauzon was a Partner on the Environmental Law Team at Lavery, de Billy where she advised companies on preventive and curative questions pertaining to prior authorizations for projects, the environmental impact assessment and review procedure, management of contaminated lands, control of surface water, groundwater and wastewater releases, management of residual and hazardous materials, control of atmospheric emissions, and transport of hazardous goods.

Ms. Lauzon also served as an ad hoc commissioner for the Montreal Public Consultation Bureau/ Office De La Consultation Publique De La Ville De Montréal.

Hélène holds a Bachelor of Laws degree and a Masters in Urban Planning.

Gary Merasty (co-chair)

Mr. Merasty is President and COO of Des Nedhe Developments LP and serves as a Director at the Canada West Foundation. A member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, Gary served two terms as grand chief of the Prince Albert Grand Council and as a Member of Parliament serving northern Saskatchewan.

The first status First Nations person from Saskatchewan to be elected to Parliament, Gary served on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development as well as the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. In the Liberal caucus, he acted as Indian Affairs associate critic and was a Special Advisor for Aboriginal Outreach.

Gary has served on a variety of boards including the Prince Albert Development Corporation, West Wind Aviation Limited Partnership, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies and Saskatoon Airport Authority. He was previously Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility at Cameco Corporation.

Merasty holds Bachelor and Master degrees in Education from the University of Saskatchewan. In 2005, he received an honorary diploma in Entrepreneurship and Small Business from the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology and in 2007 was named one of the 100 Alumni of Influence by the University of Saskatchewan. Gary was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal and the Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan.

David Besner

Dr. David Besner is the President of the New Brunswick Energy Institute, and Chairs its Scientific Advisory Council.  He has also chaired numerous air quality standard and air emission standard-setting committees in Canada, served on the International Joint Commission’s Air Quality Board as well as the Ontario Environment Minister’s Committee on Transboundary Science. 

Dr. Besner is a former Assistant Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and External Relations for the New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government.  His governmental career included responsibilities in industrial approvals, pesticide management, environmental assessment, environmental quality, and policy development. 

Dr. Besner developed the first Air Quality Regulation for the Province in 1972, as well as its first environmental impact assessment Regulation in the 1980’s.  In addition, he was responsible for a variety of public consultation programs, and managed program renewal within the Environment Department, and the integration of the Environment and Local Government Departments.

Following his retirement from government, in 2001, he formed his own consulting firm, D. Besner & Associates Inc.  He is currently a Senior Affiliate at Independent Environmental Consultants and the Manager of Planning, Marketing and Government Relations at Tire Recycling Atlantic Canada Corporation.

During both his Government career and his consulting work, he has facilitated numerous workshops and reorganization processes, including the development of New Brunswick’s Sustainable Development Strategy.

David holds a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from the University of New Brunswick and a PhD in environmental health engineering from the University of Texas.

Wendy Grant-John

Wendy Grant-John served three terms as Chief of the Musqueam and was the first woman elected Regional Chief to the Assembly of First Nations. As Musqueam Chief, she helped to negotiate one of the first Indigenous commercial fisheries in Canada, and played a major role in two important Indigenous rights cases decided by the Supreme Court of Canada: R. v. Guerin and R. v. Sparrow.

Mrs. Grant-John served as a lay bencher of the Law Society of British Columbia and as a Board Member with Canada Lands Company Limited. She has also served as a Commissioner on the Pacific Salmon Commission. Mrs. Grant-John was a founding member and director of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and a founder of the Musqueam Weavers. In 2006-2007, Mrs. Grant-John was the official Representative for the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada on the issue of Matrimonial Real Property on Reserve.  

She worked at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada as Associate Regional Director General of British Columbia.  Mrs. Grant-John is currently a Senior Aboriginal Advisor at Deloitte and a Musqueam First Nation Councillor.

Wendy is a recipient of the Order of British Columbia and has two Honourary Doctorates of Law from Royal Roads University and Simon Fraser University.

Brenda Kenny

Dr. Kenny has extensive experience in energy regulation, sustainability and strategy development.  She spent a number of years with the National Energy Board, where she provided executive leadership in policy, regulatory reviews and finance. 

From 2008-2016, Dr. Kenny served as President and CEO of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) where she worked with industry partners and key stakeholders to advance pipeline safety, operating excellence, environmental performance and sound policy. 

Dr. Kenny is an adjunct professor in the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary. She serves on the Board of Governors for the University of Calgary, and chairs that Board’s Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability Committee. She is also the co-chair for the Nature Canada initiative Women for Nature and the Vice Chair of the Board for Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA), an Alberta independent not-for-profit organization that invests in clean technology solutions.

Dr. Kenny sits on the Member Council of Sustainable Development Technology Canada, an independent government agency that funds Canadian clean tech projects.

Brenda is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering Fellow, a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors and has been active in a variety of boards and community groups including WaterSMART, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Sustainable Calgary and imagineCALGARY.

Brenda holds a Doctorate in Resources and the Environment, a Masters of Mechanical Engineering, and a Bachelor of Applied Science.