Staff - The Samara Centre for Democracy

Staff



Janet Yale

Janet Yale

Interim Executive Director

Janet is an accomplished leader and senior executive with management experience in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. Most recently, she served as the President and CEO of the Arthritis Society, after a long career in the telecommunications and broadcast sectors. In 2018, she was appointed by the federal Ministers of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Canadian Heritage to serve as Chair of The Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel. Previously, she served as President and CEO of the Canadian Cable Television Association and, later, as the Executive Vice President of External Affairs at TELUS. Janet also served as a Director General at the CRTC and as General Counsel at the Consumers Association of Canada. A long-time volunteer, she currently serves on the boards of the Samara Centre for Democracy and Salus.

During her distinguished career, Janet has received a number of awards and recognitions, including both the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals. A lawyer and economist by training, she is fluent in English and French, a keen marathon runner, and passionate about health, the arts, and business.



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Adelina Petit-Vouriot

Research Manager

Adelina helps produce the Samara Centre’s illuminating research on politics, parliament, and civic engagement. She is committed to demystifying government and making Canadian politics more inclusive, approachable, and appealing. These broad interests led her to formally study politics in her hometown at the University of Winnipeg and, more recently, at the University of Toronto, where she completed her MA. Since then, she has been involved in Toronto’s non-profit sector, managing and developing civic engagement programming and resources for youth. She has found that participating in politics doesn’t mean knowing all the answers; it's more about asking the right questions. When such questioning occasionally becomes overwhelming, Adelina turns to knitting and walking other people’s dogs to refocus her priorities.

Adelina recommends reading Real House Lives, the Samara Centre’s most recent book, which makes the case for a new kind of public leadership. 



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José Ramón Martí

Communications Manager

Raised in London, ON, the son of Mexican immigrants, José has been a strong champion of everyday democracy. His concern for the state of democracy in Canada and abroad led him to study political science and mass communications at Western University, including work placements in Toronto, New York City, and Kuala Lumpur. He then completed a master’s degree in public policy at New York University, where he conducted outreach, facilitation, and research into the city's participatory budgeting process. At the Samara Centre, José is responsible for overseeing all external communications and media relations. In his spare time, he volunteers with his local community land trust, throws parties for charity, and takes his dog on long walks through the city.

José is interested in all the ways we can make our democracy better. For a good place to start, he invites you to explore 50 Ways to Redesign Parliament.

José Ramón Martí
José Ramón Mart


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Christine Latimer

Operations Manager

Christine is a senior-level administrator and governance expert with over a decade of experience in the non-profit sector. At Samara, she provides cross-disciplinary strategic support to the staff and Board of Directors. Prior to joining the Samara Centre, Christine held governance and executive support roles with an array of non-profit and public sector institutions, including the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, OCAD University, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the Government of Ontario. She has also served in Board governance executive roles with several non-profit arts organizations. Christine graduated from OCAD University with a double-major in Photography and Integrated Media. She is an internationally recognized visual artist, having exhibited work at over 250 galleries and film festivals across five continents. In her spare time, you can find her making things, fixing broken technologies, and watching movies.

Christine is passionate about active citizenship, and how the arts in particular can generate inclusive, intentional spaces for community building and critical discourse. She recommends reading the report Investing in Canadians' Civic Literacy.


Co-founders

 

Alison Loat

Co-founder

Alison is co-founder of the Samara Centre for Democracy, was the executive director from 2008 to 2015, and continues to serve on the Advisory Board. She is co-author of the #1 best-selling book Tragedy in the Commons. The Samara Centre’s early work was used to develop federal legislation on democratic reform, improve politics curricula, the orientation of newly elected MPs, and initiatives to improve citizens’ participation in politics. 

Alison is a member of the Premier of Ontario’s Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel, and is on the board of the Banff Forum. She was also a fellow and instructor at the University of Toronto from 2007-2014, and served as the past president of the Canadian Club of Toronto, a director of the Toronto Community Foundation, and a member of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Alumni Board.

Alison received several awards for her public service leadership, including the Queen’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medals. She is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, where she co-leads a disability rights initiative, and was named one of the WXN 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. She has degrees from Queen’s University (BAH) and the Harvard Kennedy School (MPP).

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Michael MacMillan

Co-founder and Board Chair

In 2007, Michael co-founded the Samara Centre for Democracy, and continues to serve as Chair of the Board of Directors.

In 2011, he co-founded and is CEO of Blue Ant Media, a company that produces, distributes, and broadcasts television programming internationally.

In 1978, Michael co-founded Atlantis Films Limited with fellow Queen’s University grads Seaton McLean and Janice Platt. He was Chairman and CEO of Atlantis (which later became Alliance Atlantis) for almost 30 years.

Michael is also the co-founder and co-owner of Closson Chase Vineyard and Winery in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

A member of the Order of Canada, Michael has volunteered with numerous community and industry organizations over many years. He is a Senior Fellow at Massey College and co-author of the book Tragedy in the Commons.

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  • Thursday, February 18, 2021

    Watch our discussion on online harm

    Last week, the Samara Centre welcomed MPs Charlie Angus, Iqra Khalid, and Bob Zimmer for an urgent discussion on the impacts of online harm in Canadian politics. Stream the entire event on YouTube and Facebook.
  • Wednesday, February 03, 2021

    Confronting Online Harm

    Join us on February 11th for a critical and timely discussion about how online harm impacts Canadian politics, featuring MPs Charlie Angus, Iqra Khalid, and Bob Zimmer.
  • Thursday, January 28, 2021

    New Report: Locally Grown

    Today, we bring you the results of the first Canadian Municipal Barometer survey in "Locally Grown: A survey of municipal politicians in Canada."