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Northern Policy Institute Welcomes New Executive & Directors

by pmnationtalk on February 20, 2019319 Views

February 15, 2019 – Northern Policy Institute (NPI) is pleased to announce the appointment of our Officers for 2018-2019 as well as the addition of two new Directors to our Board.

Dawn Madahbee Leach was appointed Chair of NPI at our AGM held in Thunder Bay on December 11, 2018. Madahbee Leach, Executive Director of Waubetek Business Development Corporation, and recently recognised as one of Canada’s most powerful women, has been a member of the NPI Board for four years and most recently chaired its Governance & Nominating Committee.

Dr. Heather Murchison is our new Vice Chair for the Northwest and Louise Paquette is our new Vice Chair for the Northeast. Dr. Murchison is Vice-Provost, Institutional Planning and Analysis at Lakehead University and a newcomer to the NPI Board. Paquette is recently retired after a long career in the federal and provincial public service and remains active in multiple volunteer roles having, for example, just joined the NPI Board less than a year ago.

Pierre Bélanger has accepted the role of Treasurer and Dr. Brian Tucker remains as the Board Secretary. Bélanger, a successful entrepreneur and Bison Farmer from Northeastern Ontario, is one of the longest serving members of the NPI Board and Dr. Tucker, Manager of Métis Traditional Knowledge and Land Use for the Métis Nation of Ontario, is serving his third term as Board Secretary.

NPI is also pleased to announce the addition of two new directors to our team, Asima Vezina and David Canfield. These new directors add to an already diverse and knowledgeable board, whose role is to set the strategic direction of NPI.

“Northern Policy Institute is thrilled to have Asima Vezina and David Canfield join our Board of Directors,” stated NPI Chair Madahbee Leach. “Their unique experiences, vast knowledge, and dedication to northern communities will be sure to energize our organization.”

Vezina currently serves as Algoma University’s President and Vice Chancellor. Prior to this position, she has worked in various educational administrative roles within communities across Northern Ontario, including 15 years as a Superintendent of Education with the Timmins and Algoma District School Boards.

Canfield was involved in municipal politics for 27 years and is the former long-time Mayor of Kenora. Prior to his entrance into politics, he was crane operator and heavy equipment trainer with Boise Cascade and Abitibi Consolidated for 30 years. Having retired from politics he is still eager to contribute to pursuing a better future for the people of Northern Ontario and is looking forward to his time on NPI’s Board.

Northern Policy Institute considers new director applications annually. If you would like to volunteer for a position on NPI’s Board, please fill out the form at and we will contact you with more information.

Membership on the Board of Directors is for renewable three year terms. Selection is made by the members of Northern Policy Institute on the recommendation of the organization’s Directors. The Governance and Nominating Committee review applicants annually and put forward recommendations to fill vacancies according to the limits and criteria outlined in Northern Policy Institute’s Bylaws.

For complete bios on all our volunteers, please visit


Media Interviews: NPI’s Chair, Dawn Madahbee Leach or our President and CEO, Charles Cirtwill are available for comment. To arrange an interview, please contact:

Christine St-Pierre
Communications Coordinator

About Northern Policy Institute:

Northern Policy Institute is Northern Ontario’s independent think tank. We perform research, collect and disseminate evidence, and identify policy opportunities to support the growth of sustainable Northern communities. Our operations are located in Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury. We seek to enhance Northern Ontario’s capacity to take the lead position on socio-economic policy that impacts Northern Ontario, Ontario, and Canada as a whole.


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