Task Force on Women in the Economy

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About the Task Force on Women in the Economy

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unequal impact on Canadians, particularly women, and the Government of Canada recognizes that a robust and inclusive recovery is necessarily a feminist recovery as well.

The Government of Canada has created a Task Force on Women in the Economy to advance gender equity and address systemic barriers and inequities faced by women.

The Task Force will harness the best ideas from a diverse group of experts to advise the government on a feminist, intersectional action plan that addresses issues of gender equality in the wake of the pandemic.

Their expertise from the worlds of business, health, not-for-profit, child care, labour, academia, and advocacy will inform the government's plan to create jobs and growth.

The Task Force will advise the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and the Associate Minister of Finance on policies and measures to support women's employment.


Morna Ballantyne

Morna Ballantyne is the Executive Director of Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada (known as Child Care Now), founded in 1982 when hundred of advocates from all provinces and territories came together to advocate for child care federally and across all regions of Canada.

Ms. Ballantyne has many years of experience as a child care advocate and a 30 year legacy in public policy, advocacy, and government relations. Ms. Ballantyne has led and managed several national organizations in Canada. Ms. Ballantyne is based in Ottawa.


Sophie Brochu

Sophie Brochu became President and Chief Executive Officer of Hydro-Québec in April 2020, the first woman in the company's history to hold that office on a permanent basis.

Ms. Brochu has over 30 years of experience in the energy sector. Ms. Brochu began her career as a financial analyst with Société québécoise d'initiatives pétrolières (SOQUIP), joining Énergir (formerly Gaz Métro) in 1997 as Vice President, Business Development, and becoming President and Chief Executive Officer in 2007, a position she held until the end of 2019.

Ms. Brochu holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Université Laval and sits on the board of BMO. Ms. Brochu has been involved with Centraide of Greater Montreal for many years and co-founded ruelle de l'avenir, a non-profit organization that encourages students in the Centre Sud and Hochelaga neighborhoods of Montréal to stay in school. Ms. Brochu chairs the board of Fondation Forces AVENIR, which supports activities designed to foster and celebrate community involvement by high school, college and university students. In addition, Ms. Brochu is a leader of L'effet A, an initiative whose aim is to promote the participation of women at all organizational levels. Ms. Brochu was awarded honorary doctorates by Université de Montréal (HEC Montréal) and Bishop's University. She is a member of the Order of Canada.

Geneviève Colverson

Geneviève is a proud queer, bilingual lawyer from Ottawa and the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Capital Pride. Ms. Colverson is dedicated to promoting access to justice and continues to fight for social change through her advocacy and volunteer work. Her commitment to community growth has led to many leadership and mentorship roles, especially among young feminists and queer women.



Frances Donald

Frances Donald is Global Chief Economist and Global Head of Macroeconomic Strategy, Multi-Asset Solutions Team for Manulife Investment Management. In her role, Ms. Donald forecasts global macroeconomic and financial trends, analyzes the economy and capital markets for potential opportunities and risks, and serves as a thought leader both within the firm and externally. As a senior member of the firm's multi-asset solutions team, Ms. Donald coordinates global macro research, assists in the team's return forecasting process, and contributes to portfolio positioning views.

Prior to joining Manulife, Ms. Donald worked as a financial economist for Scotiabank in Toronto, and before that as a global macro analyst for Pavilion Global Markets in Montreal. Earlier in her career, she held various positions at Deloitte, Roubini Global Economics, and the Bank of Canada. Frances is based in Toronto and Montreal.

Jocelyn Formsma

Jocelyn Formsma is the Executive Director of the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC). Ms. Formsma is a member of the Moose Cree First Nation in Northern Ontario. Ms. Formsma holds an Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Ottawa. Ms. Formsma has over 19 years of work and volunteer experience building strong relationships and advocacy on behalf of Indigenous peoples.

Ms. Formsma is called to the Bar of Ontario and has worked as a lawyer for a First Nations-owned law firm. Prior to this, Ms. Formsma worked for numerous national Aboriginal organizations and First Nations organizations. In addition, Ms. Formsma serves as the Chairperson of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Board Member of the National Indian Child Welfare Association, Treasurer of the Indigenous Bar Association Board, Founder of the Morningstar Fund and is an Advisor to the Ontario Indigenous Youth Partnership Project. As Executive Director, Ms. Formsma brings her legal training and passion for Access to Justice to her work with Indigenous peoples in urban environments and the Friendship Centre Movement towards innovative, positive and effective systemic change for Indigenous peoples.

Lorna Harnum

Lorna Harnum is the first female International Representative with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) and Chair of Newfoundland and Labrador's Provincial Apprenticeship and Certification Board. Previously, Ms. Harnum served as the first female IUOE Canadian Training Director. Ms. Harnum continues to support and coordinate training initiatives as an International Representative.

With twenty-seven years of experience working in the labour movement, and twenty-three years in adult education union training, Ms. Harnum has a proven track record as a strong advocate for women working in the trades. Ms. Harnum has assisted many women through the apprenticeship system and provided guidance as they progressed to journey-person certification. Among her accomplishments, Ms. Harnum led a partnership with Government, ExxonMobil, and Operating Engineers Local 904 to train tower crane operators for a mega oil and gas project that resulted in the first female Red Seal tower crane operator in Canada.

Lorna resides in Green's Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador, and is a graduate of Memorial University's Post-Secondary Education Program.

Dr. Carla Hilario

Dr. Carla Hilario is an Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. Dr. Hilario's program of research is on the integration of equity and inclusion in health programs and policy, with a focus on improving mental health outcomes of diverse youth. Dr. Hilario is currently leading studies on youth mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic and on engaging newcomer youth in the work of reconciliation in Canada. Dr. Hilario's research is informed by an intersectional lens and the social determinants of health framework. Dr. Hilario served on the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development's working group on Youth and Gender Equality (the Young Men in Gender Equality Task Force) and on the board of directors for Next Gen Men, an organization aimed at educating boys and men around gender and equity.

Carole James

Carole James is a Canadian politician and former public administrator, who was the former Leader of the Opposition in British Columbia and former leader of the British Columbia New Democratic Party (NDP).

Ms. James served as the 14th Deputy Premier of British Columbia and Minister of Finance under Premier John Horgan. Ms. James was born in Dukinfield, Cheshire, England, and raised in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, and in Victoria, BC. Ms. James worked with those with diverse disabilities in Alberta and British Columbia, and served as Director of Child Care for the province of BC. As a mother of young children, Ms. James became involved in a parents' group in Victoria, which led to her first foray into politics, as an elected member of the Greater Victoria Board of Education, sharing her leadership in education at the provincial and national levels. Ms. James resides in Victoria with her husband, Albert Gerow, a First Nations artist, former Burns Lake municipal councillor and Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer. Gerow is a former chief of the Ts'il Kaz Koh First Nation in Burns Lake. Ms. James was also a foster parent for over twenty years.

Nancy Karetak-Lindell

Nancy Karetak-Lindell was the first Member of Parliament for Nunavut and served as the first female Member of Parliament for the Eastern Arctic. Ms. Karetak-Lindell was an MP from 1997 until 2008, during which time she was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources in 2003, and served on the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. Ms. Karetak-Lindell was also a member of the Liaison Committee, an associate member of both the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and the Standing Committee on Human Resources, and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. Prior to her service in the House of Commons, Ms. Karetak-Lindell was a key player in negotiations to establish Nunavut as a political jurisdiction in Canada.

Ms. Karetak-Lindell is a member of Polar Knowledge Canada Board of Directors. From 2009 until 2012, Ms. Karetak-Lindell was director of the Jane Glassco Arctic Fellowship Program. Ms. Karetak-Lindell chaired the Indigenous Knowledge Program with the International Polar Year conference in Montreal 2012. 

Ms. Karetak-Lindell was born and raised in Arviat (formerly Eskimo Point) on the west coast of Hudson Bay, in the Kivalliq Region of Nunavut. She is a mother to four and grandmother to fourteen.

Claudette McGowan

Claudette McGowan is a global information technology leader with more than 20 years of experience. Ms. McGowan has worked in the technology industry for Deloitte, Metropolitan Toronto Police Services, North York General Hospital, Bank of Montreal and TD Bank. Ms. McGowan held multiple senior leadership roles at BMO, including Chief Information Officer for Enterprise Technology Employee Experience. In 2020, Ms. McGowan joined TD Bank as Global Executive Officer for Cyber Security. Ms. McGowan also hosts the C Suite cyber literacy podcast and is the founder of the Black Arts & Innovation Expo. Ms. McGowan holds a Bachelor of Arts from Lakehead University and a Master of Business Administration from Athabasca University.

Andrée-Lise Méthot

Andrée-Lise Méthot is founder and managing partner of Cycle Capital Management, a Canadian cleantech venture capital platform and the founder and chair of the board of directors of the Ecofuel Accelerator. Ms. Méthot is a member of the board of directors of Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), where she is also acting as a member of the investment committee. Ms. Méthot is the vice chairperson of the board of directors of the Société québécoise des infrastructures (SQI), serving as the engineering representative, where she also chairs the human resources committee and is a member of the governance committee. Ms. Méthot co-founded Écotech Québec and SWITCH, the Alliance for a Green Economy. Ms. Méthot also serves as a member of the Cleantech Group's North American advisory board and Bloomberg New Energy Finance's New Energy Pioneers.

Kim Novak

Kim Novak is a dedicated union leader who has spent her entire career fighting for fairness for workers. Ms. Novak has a long history with UFCW 1518, first as a clerk and member at Safeway. After completing a degree at the University of British Columbia, Ms. Novak became a summer student at UFCW 1518, where she recognized the potential for creating a more just society through building worker power.

Ms. Novak has taken on several leadership roles at UFCW 1518, working in communications, as a union representative, director, and Secretary-Treasurer before being unanimously elected as President by the Executive Board in 2019. Ms. Novak became Vice-President of UFCW International in 2020.

Kim lives in Coquitlam with her husband and sons.

Maya Roy

Maya Roy is a seasoned policy maker and trilingual non-profit leader with over 20 years of experience in a range of sectors including child care, employment and workforce development, health care, immigration and settlement and the women's sector. Maya speaks English, French & Bengali.
Ms. Roy is currently the CEO of YWCA Canada, the nation's largest and oldest gender equity organization.

Experienced in Canadian public policy development and global diplomacy, Ms. Roy has served on a range of committees and taskforces providing expert council to decision makers and elected officials. Ms. Roy served on the 2018 Gender Equality Advisory Council during Canada's G7 Presidency and was the Co-Chair of the Future of Jobs Working Group. In 2019, Ms. Roy was a member of Canada's official delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Ms. Roy currently serves on the board of Women's College Hospital and is a member of Canada's Expert Data Panel on Early Learning and Child Care.

Maya has also worked internationally in Brazil, India, Thailand and the UK in human rights and violence prevention. Ms. Roy holds a Masters degree in Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics, a Bachelors degree in Social Work from Ryerson University and has completed the 2019 European Union's Cultural Diplomacy Leadership Program.

Kirsten Sutton

Kristen Sutton is an accessibility champion. Ms. Sutton is currently Chief Technology and Information Officer at Vancity, where she oversees all of Vancity's technology operations and drives the organization's digital strategy linking technology, members and community.

Before her appointment at Vancity, Ms. Sutton spent 25 years in software development, most recent at SAP as Managing Director for SAP Labs Canada.

Ms. Sutton is a highly engaged community leader: member of the Government of BC's Presidents Group, which champions accessible and inclusive workplaces, Senior Vice-Chair of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, and director of BC Tech and Science World. Ms. Sutton holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours in Linguistics and English (creative writing) having attended Western Washington University and the University of California at Irvine.

Dr. Lindsay Tedds

Dr. Lindsay Tedds is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics and Scientific Director, Fiscal and Economic Policy, School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. Dr. Tedds' primary research fields are in tax policy, public economics, and Canadian public policy and her approach to research is multidisciplinary. Dr. Tedds' approach harnesses the strengths of economics, law, and public administration in the study of public policy problems, making both an academic contribution, and having an impact on Canadian policy-making and policy-implementation.


Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed

Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed is the Assistant Dean of Serving and Engaging Society for Dalhousie University's Faculty of Medicine, and Chair of the Board of Engage Nova Scotia. Dr. Watson-Creed is a public health specialist physician with 16 years' experience, having served as the former Medical Officer of Health for the Halifax area and Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health for Nova Scotia. Dr. Watson-Creed served as a member of the One Nova Scotia Coalition economic strategy table in Nova Scotia. Dr. Watson-Creed has an MD from Dalhousie University, an MSc from the University of Guelph and a BSc from the University of Prince Edward Island. Dr. Watson-Creed also sits as chair or member of several national population health councils and boards, and is a passionate advocate for high-quality public health services in Canada.

Raylene Whitford

Raylene Whitford is Métis and the founder of Canative Energy, a social enterprise dedicated to economically empowering Indigenous communities that have been impacted by the extractive industries.

Ms. Whitford spent nearly ten years working in finance in the oil and gas industry in London before moving to Latin America where she worked directly with Indigenous communities to support the commercialization of their existing businesses. Ms. Whitford was once the youngest CFO for a company listed on the London Stock Exchange and also spent six months as the only female roughneck on a drilling rig in Northern Alberta.

A Chartered Accountant with an MBA in Oil and Gas Management, Ms. Whitford is currently a PhD student in Indigenous Studies at the University of Alberta.

Armine Yalnizyan

Armine Yalnizyan is the Atkinson Foundation's Fellow on the Future of Workers. Ms. Yalnizyan served as Senior Economic Policy Advisor for the Deputy Minister at Employment and Social Development Canada from 2018 to 2019. Ms. Yalnizyan helped lead the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' Inequality Project from 2006 to 2016, and provided weekly business commentaries on CBC radio and CBC TV from 2011 to 2018. Ms. Yalnizyan is past President of the Canadian Association for Business Economics. Ms. Yalnizyan obtained her MA in Industrial Relations from University of Toronto and has a bilingual BA in economics from Glendon College, York University and the Université de Bordeaux, France.

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