Biographical notes

Backgrounder

Joseph John (Joe) Comartin (BA [Political Science], University of Windsor, 1968; LLB, University of Windsor, 1971) began his career as a civil litigation lawyer in Windsor, Ontario, before joining federal politics in 2000 as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Windsor-Tecumseh for the New Democratic Party. Mr. Comartin helped found the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) Legal Services Plan and served as the plan’s managing director for the Windsor-Essex region. He also helped to establish co-operative housing and the CAW Child Care Centre. As an MP for 15 years, he served as Opposition house leader (2011 to 2012), and as deputy speaker of the House of Commons (2012 to 2015). In 2015, he retired from politics. In 2016, Mr. Comartin became distinguished political scientist in residence at the University of Windsor, where he taught ethics and reform in Canadian Parliament and a Constitutional law course on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

 Zaib Shaikh (BA [Theatre, Acting and English], University of Toronto, 1997; MFA [Directing], University of British Columbia, 2001) has had a long career in the Canadian and international media and entertainment industries, working as an actor and producer in theatre, film and television. His work includes acting roles in Deepa Mehta’s film Midnight’s Children, as well as in Little Mosque on the Prairie. He co‐produced the special Long Story Short: CBC Turns 75 and co‐wrote, directed and co‐produced the film Othello: The Tragedy of the Moor. In 2014, Mr. Shaikh became film commissioner and director of entertainment industries for the City of Toronto, where he oversaw the screen, music, live festivals & sports events support and tourism teams and portfolios. Mr. Shaikh is currently on the board of AFC (formerly the Actors Fund of Canada) and has served on juries and committees for the Gemini Awards, ACTRA Awards, Ontario Arts Council and Theatre Ontario Youth Program. He has served as a board member for the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion and as an ambassador for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Amnesty International Canada. He also co-founded and served as an artistic producer of the Whistler Theatre Project in British Columbia.

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