The security of critical minerals and materials supply has become a significant concern for governments in light of disruptions to global supply chains caused by COVID-19. For Canada, this is a matter of national, economic and technological importance.
With Northern Ontario's vast mineral wealth, opportunity is knocking for the province to demonstrate significant leadership and position itself as a high-tech and clean energy manufacturing hub. Since many of these minerals and associated industrial capacity are vital for renewable energy and electric vehicle technology, a cohesive strategy will strongly support Ontario’s post-COVID economic recovery efforts.
With opening remarks from the Honourable Greg Rickford, join Canadian Club Toronto on March 17 for a discussion on Ontario’s role in this important debate, and how active equity participation in critical minerals development projects by Indigenous businesses and communities and sound fiscal and regulatory policy are building the path to prosperity in Northern Ontario. This expert panel will be moderated by the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Vice-Chair, Global Investment Banking, CIBC Capital Markets and will feature:
- Donald Bubar – President and CEO, Avalon Advanced Materials Inc.
- Chris Hodgson – President, Ontario Mining Association
- Dawn Madahbee Leach – Vice Chair, National Indigenous Economic Development Board & General Manager, Waubetek Business Development Corporation
- The Honourable Greg Rickford – Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines & Minister of Indigenous Affairs
President, Ontario Mining Association
Chris leads all OMA activities and represents the association publicly. He is a member of OMA's Board of Directors and its Executive Committee and provides broad policy guidance to the OMA Chair. Chris joined the OMA following a distinguished career in government. He entered the Legislature following a by-election in 1994 and he won general elections in 1995 and 1999 representing the riding of Haliburton-Victoria-Brock. While in government, Chris served in several positions including Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Minister of Natural Resources, Chairman of Management Board and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
Dawn Madahbee Leach
Vice-Chair - National Indigenous Economic Development Board, General Manager of the Waubetek Business Development Corporation
Dawn Madahbee Leach is a proud member of the Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation on Manitoulin Island in Central Canada where she has served as a member of her community’s Council. Since 1988, she has been General Manager of the Waubetek Business Development Corporation, an Aboriginal Financial Institution that provides financing and economic services to Aboriginal entrepreneurs and First Nation communities throughout North-East Ontario and Southern Ontario. Under her leadership, Waubetek has proudly invested more than $100 million in 3,500 Aboriginal businesses who experience a business success rate of 94%. Dawn was instrumental in the development of the OECD’s first-ever international Indigenous report on “Linking Indigenous Peoples to Regional Development”. She also led the development of the National Aboriginal Economic Benchmark Report (2012) and the follow-up National Aboriginal Economic Progress Reports 2015 and 2019.
Dawn is a graduate of the University of Waterloo Economic Developers Program. She also studied at York University and Laurentian University where she earned a degree in Political Science with a minor in Law. Dawn serves on various Boards and committees including the Boards of Peace Hills Trust Company, NioBay Metals Inc. and the National Indigenous Economic Development Board where she serves as Vice-Chair. She has been recognized with numerous national awards and has been a speaker at international forums in Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Paris, Germany, the US and the UN on Indigenous economic development.
President and CEO, Avalon Advanced Materials Inc.
Donald Bubar has been President and CEO of Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. since 1995: a Canadian mineral development company specializing in sustainably-produced materials for clean technology. Its extensive experience with critical minerals and long-standing commitment to sustainability and social responsibility puts the company in a unique position to utilize its strategic resource inventory to create North American supply chains for critical minerals. A professional geologist, Mr. Bubar is a graduate of McGill University (B.Sc.) and Queen’s University (M.Sc.).
Mr. Bubar served as a Director of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) for nine years and Chair of its Aboriginal Affairs Committee from its creation in 2004 until retiring from the PDAC Board in 2013. Throughout his career, Mr. Bubar has been an advocate for increased Indigenous participation in the mineral industry, mainly through PDAC but also a number of other not-for-profit organizations. Mr. Bubar currently serves on the Advisory Board to the Faculty of Science of McGill University and two other not-for-profit Boards related to earth science education.
The Honourable Greg Rickford
Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs
The Honourable Greg Rickford was elected to the Ontario Legislature as the MPP for Kenora—Rainy River on June 7th, 2018, and currently serves as the Minister of Energy, Northern Development, and Mines, as well as Minister of Indigenous Affairs Ontario.
Before coming to Queen’s Park, Minister Rickford represented the people of Kenora—Rainy River in Ottawa as the Member of Parliament. During his seven year federal term, he was appointed to Cabinet where he served as Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, Minister of Natural Resources, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. Among other positions and committee memberships, Minister Rickford belonged to the Aboriginal Affairs andNorthern Development Committee and the Special Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women.
At both the federal and provincial levels, Minister Rickford has served the people of Ontario and Canada by building relationships with Indigenous communities and leaders—listening and giving voice to their concerns.
Greg, his wife Janet and their two young daughters, live in Keewatin Ontario. He has lived and worked in many capacities in northern Ontario throughout his professional career. He has owned his own business, and holds degrees in common and civil law from McGill University and an MBA from Université Laval.
Today, Minister Rickford is keen on delivering on the commitment to make life more affordable and businesses more prosperous through the ministries he oversees.
Vice-Chair, Global Investment Banking, CIBC Capital Markets
The Honourable Lisa Raitt joined CIBC Capital Markets in January 2020, having previously worked in both the public and private sectors. Ms. Raitt’s current focus is on senior client coverage and business development with clients in the energy, infrastructure and industrial sectors, which align closely with her deep expertise.
Prior to her current role, Ms. Raitt was the President and CEO of the Toronto Port Authority. She was elected into the House of Commons in 2008, where she went on to hold three senior portfolios serving as Minister of Natural Resources, Minister of Labour, and Minister of Transport. Most recently, Ms. Raitt was the Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition and the Conservative Party of Canada.
Ms. Raitt holds a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Francis Xavier University and a master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Guelph. She possesses an LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Ontario bar in 1998. In 2020 Ms. Raitt was named a Woodrow Wilson Center Global Fellow of the Canada Institute.