Board of Directors
Don Mercer, President
Don Mercer has been involved in a variety of roles with the Council since he retired in April 2007 after a long career in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver with Competition Bureau Canada, which administers the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act, the Textiles Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act. These laws, intended by Parliament to foster healthy competition and a trust in the marketplace, interdict anti-competitive behaviour, such as price-fixing and abuse of dominance among marketplace players and help ensure trust in Canada’s marketplace by outlawing misleading advertising, misrepresentations, fraud and deception.
From 2014 to present, Don has been an active member of the Payments Canada Stakeholder Advisory Council, an Advisory Council mandated by the federal law governing Payments Canada which operates the core of the Canadian payments system and currently processes over 3 million dollars CAD in transactions per second ($51 trillion CAD per year). From 2010 and 2011, he was a Member of the External Stakeholder Advisory Committee with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. He is a current member of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada Consumer Protection Advisory Committee.
Don and spouse Susan are ardent boaters, walkers and global travellers. Don has held senior positions locally, regionally and nationally in Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons – volunteers focused on teaching boating skills. He is also Director, International Service, Rotary Club of Ladysmith, B.C., which has a long-term involvement in sustainable development projects with other Rotary Clubs with a Mayan Women’s group in Guatemala.
He resides in Ladysmith, B.C.
Julie Caissie, Vice President
Julie Caissie is president of the New Brunswick Home Economics Association, a professor in Family Studies at Université de Moncton and the owner of JC Research and Consultation. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in family studies and a doctorate in francophone minority education from the Université de Moncton. She has obtained the Newborn Behavioral Observation certification (level 1) from the Brazelton Institute located in Boston. She is a member of the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce, the International Federation for Home Economics, the New Brunswick Common Front for Social Justice and the New Brunswick Home Economics Association.
She resides in Dieppe, New Brunswick
Simon Wong, Secretary
Simon Wong is an information professional who focuses on the complex interplay between business needs and information systems. He has been involved in the design and implementation of a variety of information system projects, including the Public Policy and Governance Portal spearheaded by the University of Toronto, and the OCREB Online system under the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.
He resides in Markham, Ontario.
Trevor Shaw, Treasurer
Trevor Shaw is a professional auditor and accountant with designations of Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified Management Consultant (CMC), and Certified Quality Auditor (CQA). He is a member of various professional bodies including CPA Institute, the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES), the Institute of Certified Management Consultants, and the American Society for Quality. Trevor has more than 40 years of diverse audit experience in both public and private sectors. In approaching his work he is innovative and integrative and values both people and results. He is familiar with accounting, audit and evaluation standards, guidance, and functions as pronounced by various professional bodies. For 30 years (1984 to 2014) Trevor was a Director and then Principal (senior management) with the Office of the Auditor General of Canada. He conducted many performance audits to evaluate a wide range of government departments, agencies and Crown corporations at both the federal and provincial levels in Canada.
He resides in Ottawa.
Chris Ballard, Director
Chris Ballard is Chief Executive Officer of Passive House Canada, a national non-profit professional association advocating for the Passive House high-performance building standard. He is a former member of the Ontario Legislature and Ontario cabinet, serving as Minister of Housing, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy. Chris is an experienced communications and public affairs executive with a background that also includes strategic planning, business development and project management. Chris has been president of CSB Communications Inc., a small consulting firm, since 1989. He has worked with a wide variety of clients, including associations, small and medium sized businesses, governments and multi-national corporations. Chris has extensive expertise in facilitation, project management, quantitative and qualitative research and has conducted surveys, focus groups and workshops on behalf of a variety of corporate, government and not-for-profit organizations. Chris has a background in consumer advocacy and consumer affairs. He was a founding board member of the Consumers Council of Canada, a past executive director of the Consumer’s Association of Canada (Ontario), (and managed its transition into the Council), a member of the provincial Retail Sector Strategy. Chris is an honourary lifetime member of the Public Affairs Association of Canada and served in various capacities, including President. During the past 15 years Chris has worked closely with numerous First Nation communities across Canada’s far north, in business development, governance and sustainability. He is active in his community of Aurora, Ontario, where he served as a Town Councilor.
He resides in Aurora, Ontario.
Dorothy Buchanan, Director
Dorothy Buchanan is Coordinator, Professional Development for Students, Recruitment and Retention (Faculty of Education) for Brock University. Her career also included eight years at FirstOntario Credit Union as Director, Marketing Strategy, and 11 years as an instructor at Ryerson University, including in Consumer Studies, Research Methods. She has a Bachelor of Education from Brock University, a Bachelor of Applied Science from Guelph University in Consumer Behaviour and a Masters of Science, Consumer Studies, from Guelph University. She is a former board member of Advertising Standards Canada.
She resides in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Evan Leibovitch, Director
Evan Leibovitch is Director of Community Relations for Linux Professional Institute, a former Senior Consultant and Partner with Xunil Corporation, a Community Technology Access Coordinator for UNHCR, a co-founder and a former President of the Canadian Chapter of the Internet Society. He has BAs from Ryerson and York Universities. He volunteers as Director of the Greater Toronto Area Linux User Group and is Director and Chair of the Governance Committee of the Linux Professional Institute. He has had various roles within ICANN At-Large.
He is a resident of Toronto.
Marshall Leslie, Director
Marshall Leslie is the owner and principal of M. Leslie Inc., a consulting firm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Since 1985 – employing a project based business model – the firm has helped integrate the market plans, competitive analyses, market research, forecasts, and distribution plans of manufacturers, and other organizations, that serve the construction industry. Clients include some of North America’s largest manufacturers of building products, Canadian and American trade associations, independent power generators, First Nations, and standards development organizations.
He resides in Toronto.
Tracy MacCharles, Director
Tracy MacCharles is a former politician in Ontario, Canada. She was a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 2011 to 2018 who represented the riding of Pickering— Scarborough East. She was a member of cabinet in the government of Kathleen Wynne. MacCharles was born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario. She went to Brock University where she obtained a degree in Business and Public Administration. She worked in human resources management in various roles including Vice President of Human Resources at Manulife Financial. She was chair of the Ontario Accessibility Standards Advisory Council and was a member of the Durham Board of Education’s Special Education Advisory Committee. MacCharles ran successfully in the 2011 provincial election as the Liberal candidate in the riding of Pickering—Scarborough East. She was easily re-elected in the 2014 election defeating Gaudet again, this time by 10,505 votes.
On November 10, 2011, MacCharles was appointed as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Children and Youth Services. On February 11, 2013 she was sworn in as Minister of Consumer Services. On June 24, 2014 she was appointed Minister of Children and Youth Services as well as Minister responsible for Women’s Issues.
MacCharles moved to the role of Minister without portfolio, responsible for accessibility and women’s issues in Ontario. On January 12, 2017, she was promoted to the position of Minister of Government and Consumer Services.
MacCharles announced her retirement from provincial politics in April 2018, before the most recent Ontario election.
She resides in Pickering, Ontario.
Larry Swartz, Director
Larry Swartz is a professional leader, award-winning lawyer, CFA Charterholder, in-house counsel. He has expertise in independent financial, regulatory compliance, pensions, corporate governance practice. He is a member of the adjunct Faculty at Osgoode Hall Law School, with an emphasis on investments and insurance, administration and risk management, contracts and drafting, restructuring and insolvency, mergers and acquisitions, negotiation and litigation, benefits and tax. He has worked for Canada’s largest firm administering pensions and fastest growing administrator of retirement savings plans. Experience includes public sector, financial institutions, and international law.
He resides in Toronto.
Christine Simpson, Director
Christine Simpson is an experienced consultant with extensive knowledge of consumer product safety issues. She developed her experience based on her many years of public service as a Consumer Product Safety Officer at Health Canada. She has specialized knowledge about toys, children’s products, textiles and consumer chemical products and has more than 35 years of experience working with manufacturers, importers and third-party test labs in Asia and the U.S. related to ensuring compliance with Canadian requirements.
She resides in Waterdown, Ontario.
Ken Whitehurst, Executive Director
Ken Whitehurst has served as Director of Research and Communications and then Executive Director of the Consumers Council of Canada since 2008. He has 30 years of senior-level general and project management experience in consumer representation and research; news media; sales, marketing and regulated disclosure communications; business information systems; management consulting; and financial services.
He has served as manager for Canada of news agency United Press International, vice president and general manager of broadcast news network Standard Broadcast News, director of media services for Global Strategy Financial Inc., and editor-in-chief of Metroland North Media.
He resides in Aurora, Ontario.