National Energy Board Temporary Members' Biographies

Backgrounder

Damien Côté

Damien Côté is a senior executive and lawyer with extensive experience in regulatory and Indigenous law. He brings many years of involvement with environmental assessments for large resource projects.

Recently, Damien has served as Chief Operating Officer for the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, where he directed people, policy and program development to ensure the principles and commitments of the local land claim agreement were upheld and reflected in all operational matters. He has also served as Executive Director and Chief Administrative Officer for the Nunavut Water Board, where he oversaw the technical, legal and operational aspects of the regulatory permitting process for the world’s fifth-largest freshwater resource (by surface area).

Previously with both the Department of Justice Canada and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, he advised the Government of Canada on regulatory law matters in the resource sector and with respect to land claims agreements.

Damien holds a Juris Doctor and Licentiate of Laws from the University of Ottawa, a Masters of Arts in Economics from the University of Toronto, as well as a Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental) and Bachelor of Arts (Economics) from Carleton University. He serves as a volunteer judge annually and also as occasional coach at the International Commercial Mediation Advocacy Competition.

Ronald Durelle

Ronald Durelle is an experienced senior manager with a long record of service to the people of New Brunswick. He is a former Assistant Deputy Minister of the Department of Wellness, Culture and Sports and of the Department of Tourism and Parks for the Province of New Brunswick.

During his time as a senior manager, Ronald led large, complex departments, building strong relationships with a wide range of stakeholders across the province. He was directly involved in a number of government reorganization and efficiency initiatives.

He has served as Chair of the Canada Parks Council, Chair of Kings Landing Historical Settlement Board and the government representative on New Brunswick pension committees.

Ronald holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with Distinction from the University of New Brunswick. He is also a designated Chartered Professional Accountant and a Certified General Accountant. 

Wilma Jacknife

Wilma Jacknife is an Indigenous lawyer, from Cold Lake First Nations in East-Central Alberta. Her work concentrates on Indigenous and First Nations Law, First Nations Governance and negotiating Impact Benefit Agreements.

Upon completion of her law degree and call to the Alberta Bar, she returned to the community of Cold Lake First Nations to work as In-House Legal Counsel, a position she held for 11 years. During that time she worked on various large economic and business development projects, including settlement of the Cold Lake First Nations’ long-outstanding land claim; designation of a parcel of reserve land for business and economic purposes; and the development of the Casino Dene as its anchor tenant. 

She also negotiated impact benefit agreements with major resource operators in the Cold Lake region that resulted in economic and social development of community members and the development of First Nation–owned businesses, including Primco Dene LLP and its business divisions, which currently employ about 800 people, 80 percent of whom are First Nations, in camp servicing and related commercial enterprises in the Cold Lake area.

Wilma holds a Doctor of Juridical Science from the University of Arizona, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of British Columbia and two Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta. She is a Member of the Indigenous Bar Association and Member of the Law Society of Alberta.

Alain Jolicoeur

Alain Jolicoeur is the President of AMPRAX Inc. As a consultant since 2008, he has worked with international organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund as well as national organizations

Mr. Jolicoeur is currently the Chair of the Audit Committee, Canadian Space Agency; the Chair of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Pay Council; and past member of the Board of Directors of the Institute on Governance.

Alain has more than 30 years’ experience as an executive in the federal public service. He is a former President of the Canada Border Services Agency, Deputy Minister of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, Deputy Commissioner of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Associate Deputy Minister of National Revenue and Chief Human Resources Officer of the Government of Canada.

As part of his work with the RCMP and as Deputy Minister of Northern and Indian Affairs, he travelled extensively through remote First Nation communities in northern Ontario, in the north of all western provinces and in the three Territories.

Mr. Jolicoeur holds a Master’s degree in International Law and Customs Administration from Canberra University, Australia; is a graduate of Université Laval in Physics Engineering; was a member of Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec and is a professional meteorologist. He also holds certification in the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Media may contact:

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Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources
343-292-6837

Media Relations
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Ottawa
343-292-6100

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