Summary of affiliations and interests: External advisory panel

In accordance with the Health Canada Policy on External Advisory Bodies (2011), all members were asked to disclose affiliations and interests relevant to the Expert Task Force on Substance Use mandate.

Before every meeting, the Co-Chairs and Executive Secretary will review each member's declarations in light of the various items on the agenda. Based on this review, they will decide, if necessary, to limit a member's participation in all or part of the meeting agenda. They will inform the member of this decision.

As well, upon receipt of the meeting agenda, members are expected to review their own affiliations and interests against agenda items and advise the Co-Chairs and Secretariat if they see a potential cause for concern regarding the integrity and objectivity of their participation.

Summaries are provided for each of the Task Force members based on the following questions.

  1. Direct financial interests
    Do you, your spouse/partner, or dependent minor child have any current direct financial interests (i.e., current employment, investments in companies, partnerships, equity, royalties, joint ventures, trusts, real property, stocks, shares or bonds) that are of relevance to the mandate of the advisory body?
  2. Indirect financial interests
    1. Within the past five years, have you or your spouse/partner received payment for work done or being done, or financial support, from a private sector organization that has an interest in the mandate of the advisory body? Include past employment, contracts or consulting, research support, personal education grants, contributions, fellowships, sponsorships, and honoraria for teaching, speaking, or writing engagements.
    2. Within the past five years, have you or your spouse/partner received materials, discounted products, gifts, or other benefits, or attended conferences or meetings where all or part of the travel and accommodation costs were provided by a private sector organization that has an interest in the mandate of the advisory body?
    3. Within the past five years, have any of the organizations where you or your spouse/partner are currently employed or where you or your spouse/partner participate in internal decision making (that is, as a board member or as an executive or non-executive director), received grants or other funding from a private sector organization that has an interest in the mandate of the advisory body?
  3. Intellectual interests
    1. Within the past five years, provided any formal advice or opinion to industry; a Canadian federal, provincial, or municipal government; a foreign government; or a non-government organization on a matter of relevance to the mandate of the advisory body. Include expert testimony or acting as witness (full or part-time), participation on an advisory body, etc.
    2. Made public a statement (speeches, lobbying, etc.) or publicly stated a point of view (including in scientific papers, articles, journals, or other publications, or on websites) on issues of relevance to the advisory body's mandate.
    3. Current professional or volunteer affiliations (such as membership in professional/scientific societies, trade associations, and lobbying, public interest, or advocacy groups) that may have an interest in the mandate and work of this advisory body.
  4. Other
    Additional affiliations and interests, or potential circumstances that might give a well-informed member of the public reasonable apprehension or grounds for concern regarding the integrity and objectivity of participation in this advisory body.
Name/Province Summary of Responses
Direct financial interests Indirect financial interests Intellectual interests Others

Carol Hopkins

Ontario

1a. Yes 2a. Yes 2b. Yes 2c. Yes 3a. Yes 3b. Yes 3c. No 4a. No
Comments
  • Employer has received funding through grants or contribution agreements from Health Canada, the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indigenous Nations, Alberta Health, and the Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia.
  • Received travel and accommodation support from Health Canada, Ontario's Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, the Assembly of First Nations, and the Chiefs of Ontario for presentations or committee participation on topics related to the opioid crisis, mental health and addictions, methadone treatment and services, and the Health Accord.
  • Provided formal advice or opinions to, or as a member of, various federal, provincial, Indigenous, and non-governmental committees (e.g., the Assembly of First Nations, Health Canada, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, etc.) on topics ranging from mental health wellness for First Nations, safer supply, pain management, drug policy, etc.
  • Made public statements or publicly stated a point of view on various issues related to drug policy, the opioid crisis, and addressing addictions amongst First Nations.

Kwame McKenzie

Ontario

1a. No 2a. No 2b. No 2c. No 3a. Yes 3b. Yes 3c. No 4a. No
Comments
  • Provided formal advice or opinions through his participation on various federal and provincial committees (e.g. the National Advisory Council on Poverty, the Advisory Committee for Mental Health and COVID-19, the Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel, Ontario's Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council) on topics related to mental health, poverty and people with substance misuse disorders.
  • Made public statements or publically stated a point of view through news media on the need for mental health services and positive mental health during COVID-19.
  • Professionally affiliated with an organization publicly calling for a new social contract for mental health and addictions.

Mike Serr

British Columbia

1a. No 2a. No 2b. Yes 2c. No 3a. Yes 3b. Yes 3c. Yes 4a. No
Comments
  • Received travel and accommodation support from Health Canada to attend the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime conferment (UNGASS 2020) as a guest of the Community Addictions Peer Support Association.
  • Provided formal advice on behalf of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) as an expert witness to Health and Senate Committees on the decriminalization of cannabis, and as participant of an expert committee for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime on the issue of role of law enforcement and pre-arrest diversion for people with drug use disorders in contact with the criminal justice system into health and social services.
  • Has made public statements through various forms of media, in his role as Co-Chair of the CACP Special Purpose Committee on the Decriminalization of Illicit Drugs, that align with recommendations from the CACP's report on decriminalization.
  • Also affiliated with the Advisory Board for Drug Free Kids Canada.

Natasha Touesnard

Nova Scotia
(stepped down April 2021)

1a. No 2a. Yes 2b. Yes 2c. Yes 3a. Yes 3b. Yes 3c. No 4a. No
Comments
  • Employer has received funding through grants or contribution agreements from Health Canada's Substance Use and Addictions Program, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the University of Toronto.
  • Received travel and accommodation support from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, to attend the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs and to speak at various panels and conferences in Canada.
  • Provided formal advice or opinions, from the perspective of people who use drugs, through advisory committees at Health Canada and the Canadian Center on Substance Use and Addictions, as well as a board member of the Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs.
  • Has made public statements or publicly stated a point of view on various issues related to drug policy, the opioid crisis, addressing addictions, the impact of COVID-19 among people who use drugs, decriminalization and safe supply.

Serge Brochu

Québec

1a. No 2a. Yes 2b. No 2c. No 3a. No 3b. Yes 3c. No 4. No
Comments
  • Previously employed by the Institut universitaire sur les dépendances, whose mandate is to advance knowledge on the best interventions for people with substance use disorders.
  • Has made public statements or publicly expressed a view on the issue of decriminalization for public health, and is currently working on an article regarding the limits of drug decriminalization.

Deirdre Freiheit

Ontario

1a. No 2a. No 2b. No 2c. No 3a. No 3b. Yes 3c. Yes 4a. No
Comments
  • Made public statements or publicly stated a point of view on various issues related to decriminalization and substance use disorders.
  • Affiliated with the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa and the Community Addictions Peer Support Association.

Gord Garner

Ontario

1a. No 2a. No 2b. No 2c. No 3a. Yes 3b. No 3c. Yes 4a. No
Comments
  • Provides formal advice or opinions to Health Canada as a member of an advisory committee of people with lived and living experience.
  • Professionally affiliated with the Community Addictions Peer Support Association.

Charles Gauthier

British Columbia

1a. No 2a. No 2b. No 2c. No 3a. Yes 3b. Yes 3c. No 4a. No
Comments
  • Provided formal advice or opinions, as President and CEO of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, to Vancouver's City Council in support of the establishment of an overdose prevention site.
  • Made public statements or publicly stated a point of view on various issues related to the opioid crisis, safer supply of drugs, and the establishment of overdose prevention sites.

Cheyenne Johnson

British Columbia

1a. Yes 2a. No 2b. No 2c. Yes 3a. Yes 3b. Yes 3c. Yes 4a. No
Comments
  • Employed by the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU), which receives funding from Health Canada's Substance Use and Addictions Program.
  • Provided formal advice or opinions to Health Canada as a member of an external advisory group on the issue of safer supply.
  • Made public statements or publicly stated a point of view on various issues related to drug policy and evidence-based substance use systems.
  • Affiliated with the Portland Hotel Community Services Society and the Association for Multidisciplinary Education and Research in Substance Use and Addiction.

Harold R. Johnson

Saskatchewan

1a. No 2a. No 2b. No 2c. No 3a. No 3b. No 3c. No 4. No
Comments
  • Provided formal advice or opinions in regards to alcohol-related harms as a member of an Expert panel on Low Risk Drinking Guidelines, and the Ontario Public Health Organization's Expert Roundtable on Marketing and Advertising Alcoholic Beverages in Canada. Has also been invited to particiapte in a national community of practice for mobilizing knowledge among policy stakeholders to address alcohol-related harms in Canada.

Damon Johnston

Manitoba

1a. No 2a. No 2b. No 2c. No 3a. Yes 3b. No 3c. Yes 4a. No
Comments
  • Provided formal advice or opinions to the Government of Canada/ Manitoba/City of Winnipeg as a member of the Illicit Drug Task Force.
  • Affiliated with the Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg and the Public Interest Law Centre - Legal Aid Manitoba.

El Jones

Nova Scotia

1a. No 2a. No 2b. No 2c. No 3a. Yes 3b. Yes 3c. Yes 4a. No
Comments
  • Provided formal advice or opinions through the Board of Police Commissioners Defunding Committee and the Senate Committee on Human Rights, which looked at prisoners rights.
  • Made public statements or publicly stated a point of view on various issues related to drug policy, decriminalization (of drugs) and related legislation.
  • Affiliated with Wellness Within and the Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia, both of which advocate against the criminalization of women.

Mae Katt

Ontario

1a. No 2a. No 2b. No 2c. No 3a. Yes 3b. No 3c. No 4a. No
Comments
  • Has made public statements or publicly stated a point of view in support of drug decriminalization and advocacy for safer supply to prevent overdoses.

Robert Kucheran

Ontario

1a. No 2a. No 2b. No 2c. No 3a. No 3b. No 3c. Yes 4a. No
Comments
  • Professionally affiliated with the Canadian Building Trades Unions, an organization who previously partnered with Health Canada to increase awareness, reduce stigma and educate its members about the dangers of opioids through a social media campaign and online resources.
Frankie Lambert

Quebec

1a. No 2a. No 2b. No 2c. No 3a. Yes 3b. No 3c. No 4a. No
Comments
  • Has made public statements, on behalf of the Association québécoise pour la promotion de la santé des personnes utilisatrices de drogues (AQPSUD), on issues related to decriminalization of drugs, safer supply, and the overdose crisis in the context of the pandemic.

Anne Elizabeth Lapointe

Québec

1a. No 2a. No 2b. No 2c. Yes 3a. No 3b. No 3c. No 4a. No
Comments
  • Sits on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction which is funded in part by Health Canada.

Shaohua Lu

British Columbia

1a. No 2a. No 2b. No 2c. No 3a. No 3b. No 3c. Yes 4a. No
Comments
  • Affiliated with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia's Prescription Review Panel and advises on physician prescription patterns.

Donald MacPherson

British Columbia

1a. No 2a. No 2b. No 2c. No 3a. No 3b. Yes 3c. Yes 4a. No
Comments
  • Made public statements or publicly stated a point of view on various issues related to drug policy and substance use through journal and media articles, books, letters to various levels of governments, etc.
  • Professionally affiliated with the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition.

Akwasi Owusu-Bempah

Ontario

1a. Yes 2a. No 2b. No 2c. No 3a. No 3b. Yes 3c. Yes 4a. No
Comments
  • Has direct financial interests in companies that support and commercialize psychedelic therapies for mental health disorders.
  • Made public statements or publicly stated a point of view on various issues related to drug policy, legalization of recreational drugs, harms caused by prohibition (of drugs), and the impact of prohibition on racialized, Indigenous and marginalized populations in public meetings, and the media.
  • Published papers on the topics of drugs, specifically cannabis.
  • Affiliated with the Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty, Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Hawkfeather Peterson

British Columbia

1a. No 2a. No 2b. No 2c. No 3a. Yes 3b. Yes 3c. Yes 4a. No
Comments
  • Provided formal advice or opinion and participated in numerous advocacy and liaison work as a person with lived and living experience.
  • Has made public statements or publicly stated a point of view through multiple advocacy based media engagements, speeches, and panels, on various topics including the overdose crisis, safe consumption sites, the rights of youth who have experienced an overdose, decriminalization of drugs and safe supply.
  • Professionally affiliated with the BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors (BCYADWS).

Dan Werb

Ontario

1a. Yes 2a. Yes 2b. No 2c. No 3a. Yes 3b. Yes 3c. Yes 4a. No
Comments
  • Co-founder and director of DoseCheck Technologies, a privately held corporation developing a consumer-priced drug checking technology.
  • Received funding from Health Canada, St. Michael's Hospital Foundation, the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Open Societies Foundation, and the MAC AIDS Fund for various pilot projects, programs, evaluation frameworks, systemic reviews, assessments, and research, on issues related to harm reduction, drug policy, drug checking technology, etc.
  • Provided formal advice or opinions to federal and provincial government committees on cannabis regulation, and to Health Canada on measurement approaches for evaluating Canadian drug policy.
  • Made public statements or publicly stated a point of view through peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, professional publications, conference presentations, and invited talks, on various topics related to drug policy, drug checking, supervised consumption sites, drug treatment and recovery services, decriminalization and legal regulation of drugs, safer supply, cannabis regulation, etc.
  • Affiliated with the Toronto Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research Consortium, the Toronto Public Health Steering Committee for Community Dialogue on Drug Policy Reform, the Society for Epidemiologic Research, the Canadian Association of HIV Research, and the International AIDS Society.
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