Introducing the 2013 Everyday Political Citizen Jury

Introducing the 2013 Everyday Political Citizen Jury

The deadline for 2013's Everyday Political Citizen project has now passed. Over the next few weeks our panel of amazing Canadians will comb through more than 200 nominations to name two Everyday Political Citizens of 2013. Winners will receive a mini-iPad stocked with Canadian books and music as well as a personal chat with Canadian icon Rick Mercer! The judges have a hard task ahead of them. You can browse through all the nominees here.

Everyday Political Citizen 2013 Jury Members

Akosua Matthews is a Rhodes Scholar beginning her legal career as an articling student in civil litigation in Toronto. Akosua was born in Edmonton and raised in Winnipeg. She served with the Canadian Armed Forces as a Reservist with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles Regiment and as a policy analyst with the Manitoba civil service. She has actively encouraged civic participation through her former roles as House Leader and Deputy Speaker with the Youth Parliament of Manitoba, as the Vice-President of Oxford Women in Politics and as the co-founder of the Rhodes Women’s Network.


Chima Nkemdirim recently began his second term serving as Chief of Staff to Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi. Mr. Nkemdirim practiced securities law for 13 years as a partner at Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP. He is the former President of Sage Theatre Society and Chair of the Calgary Foundation’s Culture and Heritage Advisory Committee. Chima holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary and a law degree from the University of Ottawa.


Danny Graham has had over 20 years of experience in business, law, public policy, and politics. He spearheaded the development of the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program and has worked to advance Restorative Justice programs around the world. He was formerly the Leader of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party and MLA for Halifax Citadel. Currently he is the Chief Negotiator for the Province of Nova Scotia in aboriginal rights and title negotiations. As a volunteer, he has been the founding chair of two grassroots citizen engagement initiatives - Envision Halifax and Engage Nova Scotia.


Deon Ramgoolam is the founder and owner of EOCI Pharmacomm, a medical and scientific communications agency based in Montréal. In his spare time, Deon is Co-Director of the Salon Speaker Series “Série 357C” which brings leading intellectuals, statespeople and thought leaders from around the world to Montréal.  Deon is also on the board of the Historica-Dominion Institute,  McGill University’s McCord Museum Foundation and  Equitas (International Centre for Human Rights Education).


Hugh MacKinnon is the Chairman and CEO of Bennett Jones law firm. Mr. MacKinnon is active on many boards across the country including acting as Chairman of the Collegium of the University of St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto, as Co-Chair of the Canada Institute Advisory Board of the Woodrow Wilson Institute in Washington D.C., as Vice-Chair of the Board of the C.D. Howe Institute, and as a member of the Advisory Council of the Walrus Magazine Foundation.


Kathleen Monk is Senior Advisor at the Broadbent Institute and was the Institute’s founding Executive Director. Prior to this, Ms. Monk worked on Parliament Hill as Director of Strategic Communications for Jack Layton. She is a frequent media commentator on CBC The National’s Insiders Panel and was hailed the "The New Voice of Canada's Political Left" by the Hill Times. Before entering politics, Ms. Monk worked in newsrooms in Toronto, Ottawa and Washington. She is a champion for Equal Voice, which works to elect more women to political office.


Mark Heyck is the mayor of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. He was first elected as a Yellowknife City Councillor in 2003, serving three terms over nine years. Mark served as Yellowknife’s Deputy Mayor from 2006 to 2012. During his time on Council, Mark chaired the City’s Heritage Committee and Community Energy Planning Committee. Since 2007, he has also been a member of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund Council.


Maxwell A. Cameron (PhD Berkeley, 1989) teaches at the University of British Columbia in the Department of Political Science where he directs the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions.  His research and teaching focuses on problems of democracy and constitutionalism, with a focus on the separation of powers. At the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Cameron is working on constitutional reform and citizen engagement. He helped organize the first-ever Summer Institute for Future Legislators in 2013. In 2013 Cameron won a UBC Killam Teaching Prize.


Michael MacMillan i s the co-founder of Samara and was previously the Executive Chairman and CEO of Alliance Atlantis. Michael co-founded Atlantis Films in 1978, winning an Oscar in 1984 for its short film "Boys and Girls" and an Emmy in 1992 for "Lost in the Barrens." In 2011, Michael co-founded and became CEO of Blue Ant Media, a new Canadian media company. He is also involved with Open Roof Films, Human Rights Watch, The Stop Community Food Centre and the Toronto East General Hospital.


Miriam Fahmy is Director of research and publications at the Institut du Nouveau Monde (INM), a non-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to stimulating citizen participation and public debate in Québec. Miriam holds an MA in French Language and Literature from McGill University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from HEC Montréal. She has been involved in municipal politics as well as international development projects. She lectures on democracy, engagement and youth, and she has facilitated dozens of public debates and deliberation activities. She is a member of the Collectif pour le renouvellement de la social-démocratie and on the editorial board of Nouveau Projet magazine.


Miriam Lapp is Assistant Director, Outreach and Research, at Elections Canada. She is responsible for developing and managing outreach programs and research, with a particular focus on electoral participation and youth engagement. Prior to joining Elections Canada in 2002, she was an assistant professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from the Université de Montréal, with a specialization in electoral participation.


Preston Manning is the founder of the Manning Centre for Building Democracy. Mr. Manning served as a member of Parliament from 1993 to 2001. He founded two new political parties – the Reform Party of Canada and the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance – both of which became the official Opposition in the Canadian Parliament, and laid the foundation for the new Conservative Party of Canada. Mr. Manning served as Leader of the Opposition from 1997 to 2000. In 2007 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada and in 2013 was appointed to the Privy Council.


Rick Mercer is the creator and host of the top-rated, award-winning Rick Mercer Report.   Currently in its 11th season, the show features his trademark rants, fake newscasts, and comic encounters across Canada. Born in St. John's, Newfoundland, Mercer has won over 25 Gemini Awards and is the author of three national bestsellers, Streeters, Rick Mercer Report: The Book, and 2012's A Nation Worth Ranting About.


Shauna Sylvester is a Fellow at the Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue and the Executive Director of two initiatives – Carbon Talks and the SFU Public Square. For over 25 years, Shauna Sylvester has worked in environment and democratic development initiatives in Canada and around the world. In 2010 Shauna was named as a Simons Foundation Peace Leader. She has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in the Globe and Mail and in Business in Vancouver Magazine.