The Walkerton Inquiry

Advisory Panel

The Inquiry’s Research Advisory Panel will offer scientific and practical advice for the Commission’s recommendations on the future safety of Ontario’s drinking water. The panel will assist in selecting research topics and their authors, will review the resulting papers, and will play a key role in the expert and public meetings that will be part of Part II of the Inquiry.

The panel members are:

Prof. George E. Connell, OC, FCIC, FRSC, a biochemist who became one Canada’s leading academic administrators and, from 1991 to 1995, was chairman of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. Prof. Connell also served, from 1990 to 1993, as Vice Chair of the Environmental Assessment Board of Ontario. He has served on numerous boards, inquiries and public policy bodies including the Corporate Higher Education Forum; as Chair of the Task Force on Human Resource Management and the Status of Higher Education; as Senior Policy Advisor, Canada Foundation for Innovation; and as Chair of the 1995 Ontario Task Force on Funding and Delivery of Medical Care. His administrative posts included terms as President of both the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto.

Steve E. Hrudey is Professor of Environmental Health in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta and a member of the Alberta Environmental Appeal Board. A specialist in public health engineering, Prof. Hrudey chaired the 1985 inquiry into the safety and quality of Edmonton’s drinking water. Recently he has been collaborating with the Australian Health and Medical Research Council in revising the framework of the Australian drinking water guidelines. The author of numerous scientific contributions to environmental quality, health risk assessment and management, he holds an MSc and PhD from Imperial College, University of London, in public health engineering. His awards include the Alberta Emerald Award from the Alberta Foundation for Environmental Excellence.

Prof. William Leiss, President of the Royal Society of Canada, has a wide-ranging background in the social sciences, public policy and environmental risk issues. He is Professor in the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University and also currently holds the NSERC/SSHRC*/ Industry Research Chair in Risk Communication and Public Policy at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Management. He has taught political science, environmental studies and sociology at the University of Regina, York University and the University of Toronto. He has served as Vice-President, Research, at Simon Fraser University where he also served as department chair in at the School of Communications. In 1994, he was awarded the Eco-Research Chair in Environmental Policy at the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University. He has written extensively. He co-authored Mad Cows and Mother’s Milk, containing seven case studies of failure in risk communication. His latest book, Vagaries of Risk Management, will be published next year. For the past 15 years, Dr. Leiss has worked as a consultant, mostly with the federal government, on health and environmental risk issues.

(*Natural Science and Engineering Research Council/Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council)

Douglas Macdonald, PhD, is a Lecturer in the Environmental Studies Program, Innis College, University of Toronto. His area of speciality is Canadian environmental politics and policy. He has been active in a number of non-governmental environmental organizations and from 1982-1988 served as Executive Director of the Canadian Institute of Environmental Law and Policy. Scholarly and professional publications include The Politics of Pollution (1991), an examination of the environmental regulatory system, and a number of articles and applied research studies on different aspects of environmental policy. He is currently writing a book on the role of business in environmental policy.

Dr. Allison J. McGeer is a specialist in infectious diseases, public health and internal medicine. She is a staff microbiologist and Director of Infection Control at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and is Associate Professor in the departments of pathobiology and laboratory medicine and public health sciences at the University of Toronto. She has published extensively in the scientific literature on disease prevention and public health. Her many honours include the Louis Weinstein Award for best paper on clinical infectious diseases and the Family and Community Medicine Research Award.

Prof. Miche Prost is an internationally recognized expert in environmental engineering whose career spans academic research and executive assignments in the private sector. She is a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique de Montr嶧l, where she holds the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada Industrial Chair on Drinking Water. Prof. Pr憝ost also advises Vivendi Water, North America on its research and development program. Her past projects include directing a study on internal corrosion of drinking water distribution systems, a collaborative effort with the Universit Libre de Bruxelles, funded by the Quec and federal governments as well as the City of Laval. She has also served on numerous advisory committees, including the technical advisory committee for the Greater Vancouver Regional District drinking water program.

The panel’s chairman is Harry Swain, a partner in the consulting firm Sussex Circle and a former deputy minister in the federal government. As Deputy Minister of Industry, he was responsible for science policy advice for the government of Canada. Educated in urban and economic geography, Mr. Swain taught at the Universities of Toronto and British Columbia and was a project leader at the International Institute for Applied Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria. He holds a doctorate from Minnesota and was awarded an honourary degree by the University of Victoria. From 1996 to 1998 he was a director of Hambros Bank Limited, a UK merchant bank, and CEO of its Canadian subsidiary.

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