Ministerial Advisory Panel on Canada's Defence Policy Review


The Government of Canada has established a Ministerial Advisory Panel to support the Minister of National Defence during the review of Canada’s defence policy. A formal policy document detailing the results of these consultations will be published in early 2017.

The Ministerial Advisory Panel is comprised of four eminent Canadians with expertise in defence, security, foreign affairs, and legal matters. They will add considerable value to the review process by testing ideas and approaching issues from their own unique perspectives to provide a critical voice.

Ministerial Advisory Panel Members 

  • The Honourable Louise Arbour, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and a member of the Advisory Board of The Coalition for the International Criminal Court
  • The Honourable Bill Graham, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, and former Minister of National Defence
  • General (Ret’d) Raymond R. Henault, former Chief of the Defence Staff, and past Chairman of the NATO Military Committee (CMC)
  • Margaret Purdy, former Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Security and Intelligence) in the Privy Council Office, and former Associate Deputy Minister of National Defence

The Honourable Louise Arbour is a jurist in residence at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. In this capacity, she provides strategic advice to lawyers of the International Trade and Arbitration Group, in particular on issues pertaining to international disputes.

Madam Arbour sat as a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1999 to 2004 after serving on the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Ontario.

She has held senior positions at the United Nations, including that of High Commissioner for Human Rights, and is a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy and of the International Commission Against the Death Penalty. Madam Arbour is also a member of the Advisory Board of The Coalition for the International Criminal Court. She chaired an inquiry commission that investigated certain events at the Prison for Women in Kingston, Ontario, and has also served as a member of the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security.

Madam Arbour graduated from Collège Régina Assumpta (Bachelor of Arts), with distinction from the Faculté de droit de l’Université de Montréal (Bachelor of Laws, LL.L) after which she was admitted to the Barreau du Québec and subsequently to the Ontario bar. Madam Arbour has received 44 Honourary Doctorates, been a Companion of the Order of Canada since 2007 and a Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec since 2009, as well as a Commander of the Légion d'honneur, and has been decorated by Spain, Colombia and Belgium.

The Honourable Bill Graham is currently Chancellor of Trinity College at the University of Toronto, as well as Chair of the Canadian International Council, and Honorary Colonel of the Governor General's Horse Guards. He has taught at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and practiced general litigation and international commercial transactions as a Partner with the firm of Fasken and Calvin. In 1993 he was elected Member of Parliament for Toronto-Centre-Rosedale, and from 1995-2002 served as Chairman of the Standing Committee of the House of Commons on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2002-2004, and Minister of National Defence from 2004-2006. From February to December 2006, he was Leader of the Official Opposition and Interim Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

The Hon. Bill Graham was educated at the University of Toronto (Bachelor of Arts, Honours; Bachelor of Laws LL.B ) and the Université de Paris (Doctorat en Sciences Juridiques). Among other awards and decorations, he is a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur of  France, has received the Golden Jubilee Medal and been appointed into the Order of Canada. 

General (Ret’d) Raymond R. Henault, who retired from the Canadian Forces in August 2008, is the longest-serving 4-star General in Canadian history. He is now the Strategic Executive Advisor and Chairman of the Strategic Advisory Board for the ADGA Group of Companies in Ottawa, ON. General Henault’s military career began in 1968 as a fighter pilot, and has included a wide variety of command and staff positions including Commander of 444 Tac Hel Squadron in Germany, Base Commander CFB Portage la Prairie, Commander of 10 Tactical Air Group, Chief of Staff Operations at Air Command Headquarters in Winnipeg, and Deputy Chief of the Air Staff and Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff in Ottawa, ON. In June 2001, he was appointed Chief of the Defence Staff and was in command of the Canadian Forces on 9/11.

In 2004, General Henault was elected by his peers as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee (CMC) at NATO HQ in Brussels, Belgium, a position he assumed in June 2005. Representing all NATO Chiefs of Defence, he acted as the Senior Military Advisor to the North Atlantic Council and held the highest military position in the North Atlantic Alliance.

General Henault is a graduate of the University of Manitoba (Bachelor of Arts), Canada’s National Defence College and the École supérieure de guerre aérienne in Paris, France. He holds an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Manitoba, an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal Military College (Military Science) and holds the position of Honorary Professor of the University of Pecs, Hungary.

Margaret Purdy is President of Margaret Purdy Consulting Inc., a Nova Scotia-based firm providing strategic advice to public sector clients on national security, public safety and emergency management.  Her entire 28-year federal government career was spent in the areas of policing, security, intelligence and defence and included assignments as Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Security and Intelligence) in the Privy Council Office and as Associate Deputy Minister of National Defence. In recent years, Ms. Purdy has served as interim Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority and as the Chair of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Audit Committee. She is currently a member of the Communications Security Establishment and National Defence Audit Committees. 

Margaret Purdy has published and lectured on the root causes of terrorism, cyber security, critical infrastructure protection, the security of trade and transportation gateways, and Canada’s counter-terrorism policy. At the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia, she led a major research project focusing on the national security, public safety and international security implications of climate change for Canada.  Ms. Purdy is a graduate of Carleton University (Bachelor of Journalism Honours), Dalhousie University (Bachelor of Education) and the National Defence College of Canada.

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