Biographies of Members of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage

Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (CHpC)
43rd Parliament, 2nd Session

Scott Simms, LPC (Chair)

Portrait of Scott Simms

Biography (from the political party’s website)

Scott was first elected to the House of Commons in 2004 as the Member of Parliament for Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor. On October 19th, 2015 he was elected for the fifth time as the Member of Parliament for the new riding of Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame. Scott’s past roles include critic of both Fisheries and Oceans, and Democratic Reform, Canadian Heritage Committee and Chair of the Liberal Atlantic Caucus.

Before being elected to the House of Commons Scott delivered the National weather forecast on the Weather Network. He graduated from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick with a degree in commerce and went on to study broadcast journalism at Loyalist College. Scott was born and raised in Bishop’s Falls and to this day maintains a residence nearby with his son, Jackson.

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Lyne Bessette, LPC

Portrait of Lyne Bessette

Biography (from the political party’s website)

Lyne Bessette was born in Cowansville to dedicated, hard-working parents who instilled in her a sense of determination, altruism, generosity, compassion, as well as an environmental awareness and the importance of family.

After attending high school at Massey-Vanier, Lyne went on to study science at the Cégep de Sherbrooke. Around that time, she started a career as a professional cyclist, which opened doors to some of the most valuable experiences a person can have—meeting exceptional people; seeing all kinds of diversity, from extreme poverty to extreme wealth; and bearing witness to the love people feel for their region and country.

Her impressive record includes two Olympic Games, several world championships and one gold medal at the London Paralympic Games, racing in tandem with a blind cyclist. Lyne is a team player par excellence, and she is passionately devoted to Brome–Missisquoi.

She is a passionate advocate both for youth and for people with disabilities, and she also supports a number of foundations that are close to her heart. She is always open to hearing new ideas, and she is ready to do more for her community. Her passion for healthy living, sports and people is an integral part of her daily life.

Lyne is full of rallying ideas. She firmly believes that her concrete actions can make Brome–Missisquoi a more inclusive, flourishing place. Her priorities are the environment, seniors, youth, businesses and the local economy.

Lyne Bessette’s proverbial door is always open, and she will have her boots on the ground with Justin Trudeau and the Liberal team to steadfastly contribute to the Party’s positive politics.

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Shaun Chen, LPC

Portrait of Shaun Chen

Biography (from the political party’s website)

Shaun Chen has dedicated his life to public service and the people of Scarborough – a characteristic he continues as our Member of Parliament for Scarborough North. Elected in 2015, Shaun has served on the Standing Committees on Citizenship and Immigration, Public Accounts, and Veterans Affairs.

A lifelong advocate for children and youth, Shaun was first elected in 2006 and subsequently re-elected in 2010 and 2014 to the Toronto District School Board as Trustee for Ward 21, Scarborough–Rouge River. After serving as Vice-Chair for three years, he was elected in 2014 as Chair, the first Scarborough Trustee to hold the post.

As Chair of the TDSB, Shaun worked to increase transparency and accountability at Canada’s largest school board. He led the TDSB to approve a balanced $3 billion operating budget, enact a new whistle-blower policy and establish an integrity commissioner to ensure the highest standards of ethical conduct.

Shaun also served as Director of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association and member of the City of Toronto Children’s Services Advisory Committee, where he worked to support a multi-year strategy to expand Toronto’s child care system.

Named by Maclean’s as one of “100 young Canadians to watch,” Shaun grew up in Scarborough and graduated from Sir John A. Macdonald Collegiate Institute. He went on to the University of Toronto, where he received his BSc in Computer Science and Equity Studies and MA in Sociology in Education.

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Anthony Housefather, LPC

Portrait of Anthony Housefather

Biography (from the political party’s website)

Anthony Housefather was elected as Member of Parliament for Mount Royal on October 19, 2015. In February 2016, he was elected as Chairman of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which has the power to examine and to produce reports on the policies, programs and expenses of the Department of Justice.

Moreover, Anthony has two Law Degrees (B.C.L. and LL.B.) from McGill University and an MBA from Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business. Until he was elected an MP, he served as Executive Vice President Corporate Affairs and General Counsel at Dialogic Corporation.

Anthony was first elected to office in 1994. He was initially elected as a municipal councillor in Hampstead, then elected in Côte-Saint-Luc/Hampstead/Montreal West, and served as Mayor of Côte-Saint-Luc between 2005 and 2015.

On a personal level, Anthony participates in numerous activities in his community. He is a member of the drama society and swim team. His performance in swimming earned him seven medals at the 2013 Maccabiah Games, in Israel. He has also been a volunteer for many years within a number of organizations serving the English speaking and Jewish communities.

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Tim Louis, LPC

Portrait of Tim Louis

Biography (from the political party’s website)

As a successful business owner, professional musician, and community charity volunteer, Tim Louis is a community leader who understands how to create well-paying new jobs for the families of Kitchener—Conestoga. Tim has lived in the Forest Heights area of Kitchener for the past 25 years, where he and his wife are raising their two children. His involvement in local community initiatives allows him to have an understanding of our communities and the families that work hard everyday to create a better life for everyone in Kitchener—Conestoga. As the Team Trudeau candidate for Kitchener—Conestoga, Tim is committed to working with Justin Trudeau to further grow our middle class and every every family working hard to join it, and support the diverse needs of our community.

Tim Louis has firsthand experience with the challenges that middle-class families face every day, right here. He understands the connections to the manufacturing sector, the arts, the tech sector, as well as farming and agriculture. Tim believes that together, we can prioritize infrastructure, jobs, protecting our farmlands through sustainability and local initiatives, and increasing services for our aging population and young families.

Kitchener—Conestoga needs a strong voice in Ottawa that understands that many of us are taking care of our parents and trying to save for our own retirement, while ensuring our children and the next generation have the opportunities and quality of life they deserve. Tim Louis will never stop working for our priorities and be the champion we need as our next Member of Parliament.

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Julie Dabrusin, LPC

Portrait of Julie Dabrusin

Biography (from the political party’s website)

Julie Dabrusin is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Toronto-Danforth, and is a Member of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying.

Born and raised in Montreal, Julie has lived in Toronto–Danforth since 1998. Fully bilingual and having degrees in Middle East Studies and Law, Julie spent thirteen years as a litigator at Rogers Partners LLP. Julie also spent one year as a commission counsel to the Toronto External Contracts Inquiry, which investigated government procurement of services and goods.

For the past four years, Julie has dedicated herself to being a mother and role model for her two daughters, and bringing real change to her local community.

A strong community leader, Julie serves on the Board of Directors of Park People, a Toronto alliance for better parks, and founded Friends of Withrow Park, an organization dedicated to encouraging the use of this public green space. Julie advocated on behalf of the community to save 7 local pools slated for closure as part of the City of Toronto’s 2012 budget debates and established and chaired the Frankland Community Advisory Committee to improve the use of the City’s recreational resources.

These and other volunteer efforts earned Julie the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for Community Service in 2013.

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Martin Shields, CPC

Portrait of Picture of Martin Sheld

Biography (from the political party’s website)

After a three-decade long career in education and 10 years of public service in local government, Martin Shields wishes to continue to serve his constituents, this time as Member of Parliament for the newly created Bow River riding.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Arts and prior to his career in politics, Martin served as a teacher and school administrator for 30 years. He was also a part time University instructor for 20 years.

Martin believes a life in politics is a natural extension from his career in education. In 2004 he was first elected to serve as councillor on City of Brooks council. In 2007 he was elected as Mayor of Brooks, a position he has easily held through succeeding municipal elections.

Martin has been living in Brooks with his family for 38 years and is committed to the success and quality of the community. His involvement through the years includes various organizations such as the Alberta Library Trustees Association (board member), the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (vice-president), the Shortgrass Regional Library System Board (vice-chair), Palliser Regional Health Board (vice-chair), Palliser Area Health Advisory Committee (vice-chair), and the Bow River Basin Council.

Martin serves as Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party’s Alberta Caucus, and as a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and Standing Joint Committee on the Scrutiny of Regulations.

In September 2018, Martin was appointed Deputy Shadow Minister of Canadian Heritage

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Alain Rayes, CPC (Vice-Chair)

Portrait of Alain Rayes

Biography (from the political party’s website)

Alain Rayes first entered politics as a candidate for the Action démocratique du Québec party, under the leadership of Mario Dumont, in 2003. Fuelled by his passion for politics and community service, he became mayor of Victoriaville in 2009. In October 2015, was elected as the member for Richmond-Arthabaska for the Conservative Party. Since then, he has taken on numerous roles in Parliament and, in June 2017, was named Quebec Political Lieutenant by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

He is very active on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. His accessibility and relevance quickly made him a point person for the national media for comment on a variety of issues. His communications skills and expertise have helped him gain recognition throughout Quebec.

Immediately following his election as a member of Parliament, Alain Rayes began drawing notice for his drive and enthusiasm. He was soon given key responsibilities in the party, including as Assistant Critic for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. In the role, Alain Rayes was responsible for addressing the legalization of marijuana, giving several interviews and statements in the House on the subject. He also publicly addressed electoral reform, as an official party critic for the issue, alongside Gérard Deltell. In July 2016, the interim leader of the Conservative Party named him Assistant Critic for Foreign Affairs, and, in September, he took on the role of Associate Critic for Infrastructure, Communities and Urban Affairs. Within his first year as an MP, he had already become a member of the party’s shadow cabinet. In that capacity, he has fought especially hard for infrastructure investment in regions with pressing needs. In June 2017, he was named the Conservative Party’s Quebec Political Lieutenant.

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Scott Aitchison, CPC

Portrait of Scott Aitchison

Biography (from the political party’s website)

Scott Aitchhison has a passion for politics and serving his community with a focus on economic development, youth retention, job creation, and affordable housing.

Over the last decade Scott has chaired the Organizing Committee of the 2010 Ontario Youth Games and led a number of capital fundraising campaigns for the construction of Chrysalis Women’s Shelter, Transitional Housing, and the Algonquin Residential Hospice. Scott has served on the Board for the Huntsville Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce in addition to chairing a number of other municipal and volunteer organizations.

In 2014, Scott was elected as the Mayor of Huntsville, a past host of the G8 Summit. In this role Scott has practiced fiscal responsibility by reducing debt, increasing reserves, and tripled spending on transportation infrastructure. Throughout his career he has created an extensive network of Federal, Provincial and Municipal contacts as well as business stakeholders in the riding

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Kevin Waugh, CPC

Portrait of Kevin Waugh

Biography (from the political party’s website)

Kevin Waugh was born in Saskatoon and has lived in the riding for most of his life. For nearly four decades, he has been an active community member of this city and enjoyed a wonderful career in communications.

Prior to running for Federal Office in 2015, Kevin served as a trustee with the Saskatoon Board of Education and was on the Saskatchewan School Boards Association Executive.

Kevin has been a big local supporter of many organizations and sat on many non-profit boards throughout the years.

He is the recipient of the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal for “long standing community involvement”. Kevin has helped many organizations over the years fundraise for childrens’ initiatives like the YMCA Strong Kids program, which allows children to experience summer camp.

He was elected as a Member of Parliament in October 2015, reelected in 2019, and was appointed Deputy Critic for Canadian Heritage and National Historic Sites. In September 2017 his role changed from Canadian Heritage as he was then asked to represent caucus as the Deputy Critic for the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Committee during the 42nd legislation.

Kevin is a strong voice for Saskatoon-Grasswood.

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Deputy Critic

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Martin Champoux, BQ (Vice-Chair)

Portrait of Martin Champoux

Biography (from the political party’s website)

A communications specialist, Martin Champoux has made a name for himself over a 30-year career in the Quebec media, notably at the helm of the culinary show Que-qui qui mijote? on TVA. Mr. Champoux has distinguished himself in the region as director of communications, marketing and development for the Village québécois d'antan. He was also involved in the organization of the Classic Soucy-UV Mutuelle, for the benefit of the Sainte-Croix / Heriot Foundation and the improvement of health care in the MRC of Drummond.

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Critic

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Heather Mcpherson, NDP

Portrait of Heather Mcpherson

Biography (from the political party’s website)

For 25 years, Heather has dedicated herself to building strong communities locally, nationally and internationally. Most recently, she was the executive director of an organization representing nonprofits in Alberta who work on poverty reduction, human rights, environmental protection and gender equality. She holds a master's degree in education from the University of Alberta and has taught internationally.

Heather is established and lives in Edmonton Strathcona and has chosen to live with her family in the community of Argyll. As a mother in the workforce, she understands the challenges that families in her community face as costs rise and life becomes less affordable.

Heather is fighting for real solutions for families in Edmonton Strathcona and across Canada, including universal drug coverage, affordable housing and decent pensions. She is committed to fighting the climate emergency thanks to the NDP's plan to create a future with zero net carbon emissions, to create at least 300,000 quality green jobs and ecological and affordable public transportation.

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