Advisory Board

The Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions is fortunate to have the following people as members of its Advisory Board

George Abbott
George Abbott served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, representing Shuswap from 1996 until 2013. He is presently a graduate student at the University of Victoria. Mr. Abbott began his political career in local government, and ended it after serving in multiple cabinet posts. Most notably, he served as Minister of Health, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and Minister of Education. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia and was a BC Legislative Intern.

Jennifer Clarke
Jennifer Clarke is President of JPC Strategies Ltd. in Vancouver. Ms. Clarke provides project management, communications and policy advice to a diverse range of clients focusing on infrastructure development and local government issues. She is currently the project manager for the proposed National Maritime Centre for the Pacific and the Arctic in North Vancouver. Ms. Clarke also teaches local government in the political science department at the University of British Columbia. Ms. Clarke was a three term member of Vancouver City Council from 1993 to 2002 and a candidate for mayor in the 2002 Vancouver civic election. She was also a member of the Greater Vancouver Regional District and Translink Boards.  During her political career, Ms. Clarke sat on and chaired numerous committees of city council and the regional district. Her community work now includes serving on the Advisory Board of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions at UBC, on the Executive of the Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. as a lay member, as vice chair of the board of the Canadian Women’s Voters Congress and its Women’s Campaign School, and on the Board of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation recently co-chairing its Breast Cancer Summit. Prior to her election, Ms. Clarke was the proprietor of three successful small businesses, a producer/journalist for public and commercial television in the U.S. and Canada, a U.S. vice-presidential candidate’s press secretary and a community volunteer sitting on a variety of non-profit boards. She and her husband, Doug Clarke, have three children in high school and university.

Gordon Gibson
Gordon Gibson is a Senior Fellow in Canadian Studies at The Fraser Institute. He received his BA (Honours) in Mathematics & Physics from the University of British Columbia and his MBA from Harvard Business School followed by research work at the London School of Economics. His current areas of study include federalism, governance, and aboriginal/non-aboriginal relations. Mr. Gibson has also written Fraser Institute books and monographs that include Plan B: The Future of the Rest of Canada, Thirty Million Musketeers, Fixing Canadian Democracy, Comments on the Draft Nisga’a Treaty, A Principled Analysis of the Nisga’a Treaty, Principles for Treaties, and his most recent study Challenges in Senate Reform: Conflicts of Interest, Unintended Consequences, New Possibilities. In 2002, he was commissioned by the BC Government to design the Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform. His report was substantially adopted (with amendments as to size) and the Assembly process is now successfully completed. The Assembly architecture is currently the subject of extensive world-wide study as an innovative technique in tackling difficult public policy problems. His columns appear frequently in the Vancouver Sun, Winnipeg Free Press and the Globe & Mail. He has served as Assistant to the Minister of Northern Affairs, then Executive and later Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, and then ran in three federal elections. In addition, he was elected twice to the BC Legislature and served as both MLA and Leader of the British Columbia Liberal Party. He is currently on the Board and Chair of the Audit Committee of the Westshore Terminals Income Fund.

Stephen Jarislowsky
Stephen A. Jarislowsky was born in Berlin, Germany in September 1925.  He attended public and high school in the Netherlands and France and then immigrated to the United States in 1941.  He attended preparatory school in Asheville, North Carolina, studied mechanical engineering at Cornell University and then served in the US Army.  He finished basic training and studied Japanese at the University of Chicago prior to serving in Counter-Intelligence in Japan after the War. On return to the United States in 1946, he returned to the University of Chicago, graduating with an MA and Phi Beta Kappa Honours.  He followed this with MBA studies at Harvard Business School, graduating in 1949. He worked three years with Alcan Aluminium in Montreal and briefly returned to the United States prior to starting Jarislowsky, Fraser Limited in June of 1955 in Montreal. Now Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and former president of the firm, for 50 years he has directed the growth of the company to become one of the largest and most successful investment management firms in Canada. Mr. Jarislowsky has been active in other corporations, participated in educational, cultural and charitable activities of many kinds, has endowed twenty University Chairs and contributes frequently to television, radio, magazines and newspapers. His hobbies are his family, gardening, tennis, walking, good wines, art and literature. He is a recipient of the Order of Canada, L’Ordre National du Québec, Honorary LL.D from Queens, University of Alberta, Université de Montréal, McMaster University, Concordia University, Assumption University as well as from L’Université Laval.

Joy MacPhail
Joy MacPhail is a former Canadian politician in British Columbia. A longtime member of the British Columbia New Democratic Party, she served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from 1991 to 2005 and as a Minister of the Crown from 1993–1999, and 2000-2001. She studied economics at the University of Western Ontario, and later earned a degree in labour studies at the London School of Economics. MacPhail was first elected to the British Columbia Legislature in 1991 as the MLA for Vancouver-Hastings, and served in the cabinets of three NDP premiers. Under Premier Mike Harcourt, she served as Minister of Social Services from 1993 to 1996. Under Premier Glen Clark she served a short stint as Minister of Social Services, then as Minister of Health from 1996 to 1998. MacPhail’s final cabinet position in the Clark government was as Minister of Finance from 1998 to 1999. Under Ujjal Dosanjh, she was the Deputy Premier and served as Minister of Labour and later, Minister of Education. In 2001 MacPhail was appointed as the NDP’s interim leader. She was a harsh critic of the new BC Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell, often fueled by the Premier’s refusal to grant MacPhail the status of Leader of the Official Opposition. Although the NDP was the only other party in the legislature, it was four seats short of official party status. MacPhail stepped down as leader in 2003 and was succeeded by Carole James. She is a member of the board of OUTtv, a Canadian cable television station owned by Shavick Entertainment, and focused on the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities. She has also appeared as a member of political panels on “As It Happens” on CBC Radio.

Anne McLellan
The Honourable A. Anne McLellan, P.C. joined Bennett Jones LLP as Counsel in its Edmonton office July 4, 2006. Ms McLellan provides strategic advice to the firm and its clients. On May 12, 2006, she was appointed Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the University of Alberta in the newly established Institute for United States Policy Studies. She serves on the Board of Directors of Nexen, an independent, Canadian-based global energy company, Agrium, a global producer and marketer of agricultural nutrients and industrial products and a major retail supplier of agricultural products and services, and Cameco Corporation, the world’s largest uranium producer. She also sits on the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, the Community Outreach Committee for the Lois Hole Hospital for Women and is Chair of the Friends of the Legal Resource Centre, an organization that promotes access to justice. Ms. McLellan served four terms as the Liberal Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre from October 25, 1993 – January 23, 2006. She served as Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and as the first Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness in the government of the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin (December 2003 – January 2006). In addition to her ministerial duties, she chaired two Cabinet committees: the Operations Committee and the Public Health, Security and Emergency Preparedness Committee. Ms. McLellan served as Minister of Health (January 2002 – December 2003), Minister of Justice (June 1997 – January 2002) and Minister of Natural Resources and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians (November 1993 – June 1997). From 1976 to 1980, Ms. McLellan was an assistant professor of law at the University of New Brunswick. In 1980, she was appointed associate professor of law at the University of Alberta. She served as associate dean of the Faculty of Law between 1985 and 1987 and was acting dean from July 1991 to June 1992. Ms. McLellan has also served on the board of directors of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Alberta Legal Aid and was Vice-President of the University of Alberta’s Faculty Association. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Law degree from Dalhousie University and a Master of Laws degree from King’s College, University of London. Ms. McLellan was admitted to the Bar of Nova Scotia in 1976.

Peter Meekison
Dr. J. Peter Meekison is University Professor Emeritus of Political Science of the University of Alberta having retired from the university in June 1996. From July 1974, for ten years, he served with Alberta Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs, seven and a half of those years as Deputy Minister. During the 1978-81 constitutional negotiations, Dr. Meekison developed and prepared the formula, tabled by Alberta, which ultimately became the amending formula in the Constitution Act, 1982. As constitutional adviser to the Alberta government, he was actively involved in the Meech Lake Accord discussions and the discussions leading to the 1992 Charlottetown Accord. Currently, Dr. Meekison serves on the boards of Canadian Policy Research Network Inc. and the Advisory Council of the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations at Queen’s University. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the 125th Anniversary of Canada Medal and the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Excellence in Public Administration for the Province of Alberta. Dr. Meekison received his undergraduate education at the University of British Columbia and his graduate education at the University of Western Ontario and Duke University.

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