Science Advisory Board
The SAB was established in 2004 to provide the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) with long-term, multi-disciplinary intelligence and perspective on the alignment, relevance and appropriateness of AAFC's science as well as strategic advice on the challenges and opportunities facing the sector regarding science, innovation and research.
Our members are recognized leaders from diverse fields across the public sector, industry and academia. They meet every year to ensure the alignment, relevancy and effectiveness of AAFC science policy, plans, programs and strategies.
If you have questions about AAFC's Science Advisory Board, please contact us at email@example.com.
Ted Bilyea (Chair)
Mr. Bilyea holds a B.A. (Hons.) and an M.A. in International Relations from York University. He is a member of the board of Paterson Global Foods Inc., Afexa Life Sciences Inc. and the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency. Ted chairs the Science Advisory Board of AAFC, and is a member of the Board of PrioNet Canada, the Canadian Agri-food Policy Institute and the George Morris Centre, where he also is a fellow. He is active with the Food Processors of Canada, an association he chaired for several years and is a former member of the Board of Governors of the University of Guelph. Mr. Bilyea was the 2010 recipient of the H.R. MacMillan Laureate in Agriculture from the University of Guelph.
Dr. Mary Buhr
In 2009, Dr. Mary M. Buhr was appointed Dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources of the University of Saskatchewan for a five-year term.
Before that appointment, she was interim dean of the Ontario Agriculture College at the University of Guelph. Buhr earned a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Waterloo in 1976. She went on to receive an M.Sc. and PhD, also in Biology and also from Waterloo, in 1978 and 1982 respectively.
Upon finishing her PhD, Buhr worked as a visiting scientist with Agriculture Canada in Brandon, Manitoba before taking a position in 1983 in the Dept. of Animal Science at the University of Manitoba. In 1988, she moved to the Dept. of Animal and Poultry Science at the Ontario Agricultural College of the University of Guelph as an assistant professor, reaching full professor status in 2000.
Buhr maintains an active research programme, examining how membrane structure influences the function of sperm, with particular emphasis on fertility mechanisms. She works extensively with the cattle, swine and artificial insemination industries, and has conducted research on species as diverse as elephants and honeybees.
In 2007, Mary Bush retired as the Director General of the Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion within the Health Products and Food Branch of Health Canada. As the focal point for nutrition within Health Canada, this office strives to promote the nutritional health and well-being of Canadians by collaboratively defining, promoting and implementing evidence-based nutrition policies and standards.
Previous to her role as Director General of the Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Mary led the policy review on nutrition labelling from March 1998 to October 2000. This work was an important component of Health Canada's implementation efforts related to Nutrition for Health: An Agenda for Action, Canada's national plan of action for nutrition. Mary provided co-ordination to the Joint Steering Committee during the development of this plan for action. Before beginning work on the Agenda in the fall of 1994, Mary worked on implementing programs related to Nutrition Recommendations for Canadians as well as developing educational strategies to promote knowledge and use of nutrition labelling and claims. She was involved in the development of the versions of Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating in 1992 as well as the previous guide.
Mary has been an active volunteer with several organizations involved in dietetics and health at the national, provincial, regional and community level. Over her career she has consulted on many aspects of nutrition, including nutrition education, nutrition labelling and food policy. She is a graduate of the University of Guelph with a Masters degree in nutrition.
Bruce Cran is the President of The Consumer's Association of Canada, a Non Profit Organization dedicated to advancing consumer protection. He was recently elected to his fourth term as National President and has previously served the CAC in many capacities.
Bruce is a native of Australia and was educated at The Scott's College, Gatton Agricultural College and The University of Queensland. He emigrated to Canada in 1962 bringing with him a sustained interest in Consumer Protection. Upon his retirement from a career in international trade in 1987 he has devoted himself to the Consumer cause in Canada.
A lifelong Rotarian, Bruce has acted as Club President on several occasions and is a Paul Harris Fellow. He resides in Delta, British Columbia not far from his five children and fourteen grand children.
Normand de Montigny
With over 30 years' experience as an executive in the private sector, Normand de Montigny has held senior management positions in several large organizations. After a 5-year career in international development, Normand de Montigny moved on to become a key player in the development of the Canadian dairy industry.
In 1996, Normand de Montigny embarked on a new career, taking up the management of the newly formed Québec Biotechnology Innovation Centre (QBIC). Under his leadership, QBIC saw its capacity double and self-generated revenues increase seven fold.
In 2002, QBIC won the highest international recognition for a business incubator, the M. Whaley Incubator of the Year. In 2010, the Centre entered Phase 5 of its development. More than 35 start-ups have benefited from the incubator's services since 1996, creating more than 750 jobs.
Normand de Montigny holds a Master's Degree in Management Sciences, major in International management from Montreal University. He also serves on board of directors of many organisations in Life sciences, Business incubation and International development.
Dr. Edna Einsiedel
Edna Einsiedel is a Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Calgary. Her research interests are in technology assessment and the role of publics and stakeholders in public policy deliberations and decision-making. Her work has focused on life science technologies including biotechnology and genomics. She has investigated dynamics of public perceptions and methodologies of public engagement on controversial technologies.
Einsiedel has received research support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR), Genome Canada, and the Stem Cell Network. She served as editor of the journal Public understanding of science until 2009 and she was a member of the Board of Governors of the Council of Canadian Academies of Science until 2010. She received her PhD from Indiana University in Communication Studies.
Mr. Emmett began his career in the Public Service with Environment Canada in 1973, in the Office of the Science Advisor. From 1979 to 1989, he worked with the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources (now Natural Resources Canada) in the analysis of energy policy issues. Mr. Emmett was promoted to Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Policy Group in 1991. He played a key role in the development of Canada's Green Plan. He also represented Environment Canada and the Canadian government nationally and internationally on environmental issues and was involved in the negotiation of international agreements, protocols and conventions. Mr. Emmett was appointed as Canada's first Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development in 1996. In 2000, he joined the Canadian International Development Agency as Vice President, Policy, working primarily on approaches to improve the efficiency of Canadian assistance to poor countries.
In September 2003, Brian Emmett became Assistant Deputy Minister of the Canadian Forest Service, at Natural Resources Canada. Mr. Emmett chaired the North American Forest Commission, represented Canada on the Committee on Forestry of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and was a director on the board of several organizations. In September 2006, Mr Emmett became the Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy Sector. Mr Emmett joined Sussex Circle in 2007 as a principal.
Brian Emmett studied economics at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. He holds a master's degree in economics from the University of Essex in England and did postgraduate work at the University of Western Ontario.
Jacques Laforge (Co-Chair)
Jacques Laforge and his wife Patricia operate a 1,000-acre mixed farming operation in Saint-André near Grand Falls. They bought the family farm in 1980 from his father and today they farm with their children Rock (as part owner) and his wife Melany as well as daughter Louise making it a fourth generation family farm.
The Laforge family farms around 1000 acres of cash crops and forages and operates a 200-hundred head of purebred Holstein cattle.
In 2009, Jacques and his son invested in a bio-digester to produce biogas with dairy manure and off-farm organic waste. The biogas is then used to run a co-gen unit which produces electricity at an average of 500kw/hour.
Jacques has always been involved in general farm organizations and commodity boards. At the provincial level, he is the past chairman of the NB Milk Marketing Board and represented the North West Region of NB from 1985 until 2008. In 1994 he became chairman of the board serving until 2004. He also founded the Atlantic Dairy and Forage Institute (ADFI) to ensure the dairy producers in the Atlantic Provinces had access to regionally adapted research and technology. He served as Director and Chair from 1997 to 2003.
At national level, Jacques was the NB representative on Dairy Farmers of Canada and served on the Executive from 1999-2011. He was first elected chairman of DFC in 2004, a position he held until 2011. Jacques has also served on the Canadian Dairy Network (genetic evaluation).
He also serves on the Science Advisory Board reporting to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture. He is presently vice chair of that board.
As part of his responsibilities at DFC Jacques has also been heavily involved in international trade discussions including bilateral trade agreements. He has also represented Canadian dairy farmers at national and international farm organizations as well as international agriculture meetings.
In recognition of his contributions on behalf of agriculture organizations and his vision for Canadian agriculture, he will receive the honor of the Order of NB in the fall of 2011.
Richard S. Gray
Richard Gray is a Professor at the University of Saskatchewan and a Fellow of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society. He has studied and published on many aspects of crop innovation and currently leads CAIRN the Canadian Agricultural Innovation and Regulation Network.
Gray's career began in 1981 working as a market analyst with the provincial government while he also operated the family farm at Indian Head. He joined the University in 1990 after receiving a Ph.D from the University of California Berkeley. Since then, Dr. Gray has supervised over thirty graduate students and has studied a wide range of agricultural policy issues. Dr. Gray has also served as Department Head and President for the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society.
Professor Gray's research has focused on international trade, land use, risk and production economics, food safety, economics of nutrition, and agricultural marketing. More recently, his research has focused on role of the public, producer and private sectors, in research funding, in research governance, and in intellectual property management. He is particularly interested in how joint ventures and partnerships can improve innovation in the crop sector. Richard has been involved in his son's grain farming operation since 2008, which has reacquainted him with some of the more practical aspects of agricultural innovation.
Dr. Xin Zhao
Dr. Zhao is a professor in the Department of Animal Science at McGill University. He is an animal physiologist and his research is focused on the interaction between pathogenic bacteria and host.
Zhao began his agricultural career in China, obtaining a bachelor degree in Animal Science in 1982 and a Master Degree in Nutritional Physiology and Biochemistry in 1985 from Nanjing Agricultural University. After completing his Ph.D in 1989 at Cornell University, he came to Canada for his postdoctoral study first in the University of Guelph and then in the University of Toronto. He has worked at McGill University since 1993.
Zhao was awarded the William Dawson Scholar and James McGill Professorship in 2002 and 2007 by McGill, respectively. He was a recipient of Canadian Society of Animal Science's 2006 award for Technical Innovation in Enhancing Production of Safe Affordable Food. In 2011, he received the Canadian Society of Animal Science Fellowships Award.
From 1999-2007, Zhao served as Chair of the Department of Animal Science. He also served as the Chair for Animal Science Review Panel for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in 2006 and has been a member of the Research Committee, Dairy Cattle Genetics and Research (DairyGen) Council of Canadian Dairy Network since 2008. Dr. Zhao is well recognized globally for his professional and scientific expertise.