Canadian Guyanese Congress
Chief Bryan Larkin is the President of the Canadian Chiefs of Police. Bryan was appointed as the 7th Chief of Police of the Waterloo Regional Police Service on August 31, 2014 by the Waterloo Regional Police Services Board.
Bryan began his policing career in 1991 as a member of the Waterloo Regional Police Service, working as a front-line Constable assigned to Division #1 in Kitchener. Over the course of his career, Bryan has held a number of progressively responsible positions including; Community and Media Relations, Special Assignments, Traffic Services, Human Resources, Recruiting Media Officer, Executive Officer to the Chief of Police and Superintendent of Central Division.
Chief Larkin is an active member of the Canadian and Ontario Associations of Chiefs of Police. He is currently serving as President of the CACP and also served as the OACP President for a term. He represents the OACP on the Ontario Police Memorial Foundation and is the Co-Chair of the Provincial Police Joint Health and Safety Committee. Prior to becoming CACP President, Bryan was a director on the CACP Board and also serves as the Co-Chair on the CACP Drug Advisory Committee. Bryan is a member of the Board for Nutrition for Learning, is a member of the United Way Board of Directors for Waterloo Region Communities and is a Governor of the Canadian Guyanese Congress.
Bryan is a strong believer of community volunteerism and is proud to support many causes including the United Way and Ontario Special Olympics. In 2013, Bryan was recognized for his longstanding commitment to community volunteerism and for his leadership within the OACP and awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. In September 2016, Bryan was invested as a Member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces by his Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston and, in July 2020, was advanced to Officer within the Order.
Chief Larkin is committed to enhancing the effectiveness of operational policing services while developing long-term strategies to build a strong, vibrant and healthy Waterloo Region.
Don Oliver retired as a member of the Senate of Canada in 2013 after 22 years of service. He now resides at his beloved farm in Pleasant River, Queens County, Nova Scotia, reading, writing, and meeting with friends.
Honourable Dr. Donald H. Oliver, Q.C. rose to serve with distinction as Speaker Pro Tempore (Deputy Speaker) in the Senate of Canada in Ottawa; as Chairman of six Standing Committees of Parliament; as Chairman or Deputy Chairman of seven Inter-parliamentary Associations; and as an ubiquitous spokesperson for Diversity, Pluralism, fairness and equality, for which he was awarded five Honorary Doctorate degrees from Canadian Universities.
Ever since he graduated from Acadia University in 1960 with a Bachelor Degree with Honours in History and a Law Degree as a Sir James Dunn Scholar from Dalhousie Law School in 1963, he excelled in many other activities including practicing and teaching Law. He was also a highly sought after lecturer and speaker throughout Scandinavia, London, South America, Canada and the United States on aspects of Diversity and Inclusiveness, stressing the urgency in their fostering diverse and inclusive cultures. With an appetite for the challenges of business, he was active in starting and running a variety of enterprises from Real Estate to farming Christmas Trees.
One of the crowning achievements of his career as an outspoken social activist for the four employment equity target groups in Canada (women, the disabled, Aboriginal and Visible Minorities) was his seminal work in 2004 on systemic barriers to the advancement of minorities in both the Public and Private sectors in Canada. He personally raised $500,000.00 to privately fund a research project he designed, in conjunction with the Conference Board of Canada, which final report comprised the most detailed, scientific, and comprehensive study ever conducted in Canada on employment equity in the workplace. The Conference Board report was used as a model around the globe and throughout Canada on “how to” institute the business case for diversity in the workplace.
A shy, often private person, he strongly believed in giving back to the community and helping those not as fortunate as he was in life. This included raising money and giving generously to various Canadian universities to fund Bursaries, Scholarships, and prizes. Throughout his career, he served on more than 30 major charitable Canadian organizations and Boards, having risen to be the Chairman or President of many of them. He continues, even in retirement, to reach out on a regular basis to the African-Canadian Community to provide encouragement, advice, guidance and mentoring particularly to African youth, to help them overcome the ravages of racism in Canada today. He loves Canada and is a proud, passionate third-generation Canadian who devoted his life to do all he could to make it a better place to live.
Shortly after retirement, he was diagnosed with a rare, debilitating heart disease for which there is no known cure. It is called cardiac Amyloidosis that produced Congestive Heart Failure and, notwithstanding treatment by participating in a Clinical Trial at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, he later developed polyneuropathy in his feet, legs and hands making any form of mobility possible only with the aid of a cane, walker or wheelchair.
But this fatal disease has not prevented him from continuing to give back to the community, where he still provides private assistance and encouragement to young students to continue their post-secondary education. He and his wife continue to provide financial and other assistance to various local Church and community organizations, and health institutions by, for example, purchasing much-needed equipment to assist elderly disabled people.
During his years as a practicing lawyer, and as an active politician, which took him to dozens of countries around the globe, he established countless invaluable personal contacts, which he cherishes even in retirement. As a former financial consultant to corporations, individuals and countries, Don continues, often with the help of his global contacts in Europe, Africa and the United States, to provide strategic advice and open doors to help a variety of start-up enterprises mature to the next stage.
But his was certainly not only a life of work and community contribution. He loved billiards, international travel, and skiing. As a former jazz musician (trumpeter), whenever possible he sought out the great jazz clubs in Paris and New York for an evening of enjoyment and inspiration. He had a lifelong love of great food and wine, building an enviable wine cellar, which was sold in New York shortly after the diagnosis of the fatal heart disease.
He loved great food so much that he studied cooking techniques with private instructors, chefs, and friends, and attended the Cordon Bleu School in London, England, studied at a Tuscany cooking school outside Florence, and published a successful cookbook. But most of all, he loved cooking and entertaining friends at his farm in the 700 sq foot kitchen he and his wife specially designed for such occasions.
His CV, (available here), outlines in more detail some of his activities and achievements that produced such an interesting life.
Professor Morse was Dean of Law at the Faculty of Law, Thompson Rivers University, from 2015-2019, after serving as Dean and Professor of Law from September 2009 until December 2014 at the University of Waikato, New Zealand.
He remains as a Professor of Law at Te Piringa – Faculty of Law, University of Waikato, New Zealand, on a part-time basis, and is an Adjunct Professor of Beijing Jiaotong University.
Morse is Professor Emeritus and was previously Professor of Law, at the University of Ottawa where he served in the past as Vice-Dean and Director of Graduate Studies, among a variety of other administrative duties since joining the Faculty in 1976. He has taught a wide variety of courses concerning Canadian and comparative Indigenous law issues, as well as labour law, trusts, property and civil liberties among others. His career includes appointments as Executive Director of the Native Legal Task Force of British Columbia (1974-75); Research Director of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba (1988-91); and Chief of Staff to the Hon. Ronald A. Irwin, Canadian Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (1993-1996).
He has served as legal advisor to many First Nations in Canada as well as national and regional Aboriginal organizations since 1974 in a broad range of constitutional, land claim, governance, economic and treaty issues. He was General Counsel to the Native Council of Canada from 1984-93 during which time he was directly involved in the First Ministers Constitutional Conference Process (1984-87), Meech Lake Accord Constitutional proposals (1987-90) and Charlottetown Constitutional Accord proposals (1990-92). He was previously advising the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians during the development of the Canadian Constitution Act 1982, (1979-82).
Professor Morse has been a consultant to various royal commissions, government departments and Indigenous peoples’ organizations in Canada, Australia and New Zealand (including the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the Australian Law Reform Commission and the Waitangi Tribunal) and as a Chief Federal Negotiator on several land claims and treaty issues in Canada. Brad has been a visiting scholar to a number of law schools over his career, including the Universities of New South Wales, Auckland, Melbourne, Queensland, Monash, Hong Kong, and Victoria University of Wellington, as well as Senior Fulbright Scholar at the Native American Legal Research Center at Oklahoma City University. He has authored over 100 articles, books, book chapters and commission reports.
Maria is the Executive Director of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada, a non-profit organization that works with and for diverse communities across Canada to advocate free speech, equality and human rights by working with all levels of government and private sector partners. Maria works with 800 member independent ethnic media partners to ensure that Canada’s diversity is celebrated. Prior to this role, Maria worked in the financial services sector as a relationship manager.
Maria is a regular contributor and serves as an editor for a Greek Canadian Monthly where she writes about contemporary cultural issues.
In her spare time, she served on the board of the Diabetes Hope Foundation Scholarship review committee and is a fundraiser for various charities. Maria is also the Co-Founder of the Danforth Social Club which brings together local bands in her community, including The Nite Owlz, where Maria is the lead vocalist, to raise money for various charitable causes.
During the school year, Maria is an active volunteer at the schools her children attend and is a member of the Parent Council Executive. She currently is the Co-Chair of her son’s High School Parent Advisory Council.
Maria ran a dynamic campaign during the 2014 Toronto Municipal Election as a candidate for TDSB School Board Trustee in her home ward of Toronto-Danforth.
Maria holds a Specialized Honours BA in Political Science from York University (Glendon College).
Mark S. Bonham is the Executive Director of The Veritas Foundation, a non-profit charitable public foundation whose mission is to be Canada’s authoritative source for individuals, groups and companies to participate in the country’s charitable sector and evaluate its effectiveness and impact.
Mark is a Senior Fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada. An LGBTQ educator and activist, Mark was included in the Financial Times of London (UK) Outstanding LGBT Global Business Leaders list in 2017 and was named the 2018 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Mark has had an extensive career in the Canadian financial industry, having founded two public mutual fund companies in Canada.
Mark is the author or editor of six books to date: Trade-Offs: The History of Canada-U.S. Trade Negotiations (2019), Becoming 150: 150 Years of Canadian Business History (2018), A Path to Diversity: LGBTQ Participation in the Working World (2017), Notables: 101 Global LGBTQ People who Changed the World (2015), and Champions: Biographies of Global LGBTQ Pioneers 2014).
As an LGBTQ activist, Mark is Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the online biographical encyclopedia QueerBio.Com, a source of biographical information on over 17,000 international LGBTQ individuals and recognized by the U.S. Library of Congress as a site of material archival and research significance.
Mark is also a contributor to The Canadian Encyclopedia on the financial industry. A Co-Founder and Member of the Board of the Canadian Business History Association, Mark is the past Board Chair of the Toronto Botanical Garden and has endowed the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity studies at the University of Toronto.
At the University’s Rotman School of Management, Mark has endowed the Bonham Chair in International Finance and created the Bonham Scholarship for MBA students. Among his many community projects, Mark has co-chaired the capital campaign for Toronto’s new LGBTQI2S youth homeless shelter and was the co-Chair and Lead Donor of the Casey House Hospital Capital Campaign.
He is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including the inaugural Alumni of Influence Award from the University of Toronto (2012), the Clarkson Laureateship in Public Service (2016), and is a Member of the Group of 175, being the 175 most influential graduates of the University of Toronto (2002). Visit www.marksbonham.ca for a more detailed biography.
Vijay Thomas is the President of the Indo Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Vijay is the Founder & CEO of Tangentia, an agile digital transformation company, headquartered in Toronto, with operations globally but primarily Canada, India and the USA. Vijay is also the Founder and CEO of Tangentia Ventures, which invests in early stage companies in global technology services, ‘make local’ manufacturing and niche e-commerce services in Canada and India. Vijay has a B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering from Karnatak University and a MBA from the Goa Institute of Management.
Vijay was elected the 32nd President of the Indo Canadian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) in early January 2021. Vijay is also on the board of TiE Toronto, Willowdale BIA and he is also active in multiple local and global business organizations. He grew up in Goa, India and subsequently lived in Chennai, Boston, Montreal and now calls Toronto home for the last fifteen years.
Chief Superintendent (retd) David Beer, B.A., M.A. served thirty-five years with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in a variety of operational and command roles. He acquired a unique depth and breadth of operational and international policing experience that included counter terrorism, intelligence, major crime, organized crime, and proceeds of crime investigation. At the time of retirement in 2009 he served as Director General of International Policing, with responsibility for International Operations, Interpol Canada, Peacekeeping Operations, and International Policy Development. His particular experience in the field of criminal and security intelligence dates back over 30 years. In recent years he had a key role initiating joint mission analysis in UN missions (MINUSTAH/Haiti), advised UN DPKO / Police Division on standards and development of intelligence capacity for international police operations, and led the RCMP development of intelligence and investigation of Terror Financing in the post 9-11 era.
In 2007 Chief Superintendent Beer was elected to the executive of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), serving as Vice President and Chair of the International Division until 2011. He continues to serve on the International Steering Committee of the IACP (www.iacp.com) and serves the Global Policing Policy Community for the Police Division of the United Nations, and is an Associate at the Security Governance Group (www.securitygovernancegroup.com), a private research and consulting firm. Until 2014 he served as the Director of the Ottawa Bureau of MediaBadger (www.mediabadger.com), a social media intelligence and consulting firm, and international policing advisor to the NGO, the Pearson Centre.
Chief Superintendent Beer deployed to conflict and post conflict areas representing governments and international agencies alike in a variety of command, evaluation, assessment and development roles. This experience included deployments of varying duration and executive responsibilities to Iraq, Central African Republic, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and an extensive experience in Haiti, including bilateral deployments dating back to the 1990s, and command of the UN Police Mission in Haiti 2004-2005. More recent programs have included development and evaluation projects with the African Union, NATO, European Union, UN DPKO Police Division, the Norwegian Refugee Council, and training programs and publications for the US Institute of Peace and the US National Defense University (publications pending on the existence and impact of illicit power structures in conflict environments).
He holds a variety of board positions with not for profit organizations including the Black North Initiative, Policing Sub-Committee, the Second Chance Foundation and the Toronto Children Breakfast Clubs.
Chief Superintendent Beer holds a Master of Arts in Political Science and International Relations, from the University of Windsor (Windsor, Canada), and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada).
David Vaver CM, BA, LLB (Hons) (Auckland), JD (Chicago), MA (Oxon), FRSC is a member of IP Osgoode and Emeritus Professor of Intellectual Property & Information Technology Law in the University of Oxford, Emeritus Fellow of St Peter’s College, Oxford, and former Director of the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre. He was previously a faculty member at Osgoode (1985-98), UBC (1978-85), and the University of Auckland (1972-78). He rejoined Osgoode in 2009.
Professor Vaver’s main field is intellectual property law and policy. Besides authoring Intellectual Property Law: Copyright, Patents, Trade-marks (2nd ed. 2011), Copyright Law (2000), and (as co-editor) Competition Policy and Intellectual Property Law (2009), all published by Irwin Law, he has edited a five-volume compilation, Intellectual Property Rights: Critical Concepts in Law (Routledge, 2006). He founded the Intellectual Property Journal in 1984, from which he retired as editor-in-chief in 2016 but remains on the advisory board.
Professor Vaver is an associate member of the Chambers of Iain Purvis QC (11 South Square, Gray’s Inn), a former board member of the Intellectual Property Institute (London), and a former member of the UK government’s IP Advisory Committee. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and was appointed in 2016 to the Order of Canada for his “leadership in intellectual property law as a scholar and mentor.”
The Honourable Barry Leon, a Canadian, is an independent arbitrator and mediator with Arbitration Place (Canada), 33 Bedford Row Chambers (London), and Caribbean Arbitrators. He was the Presiding Judge of the BVI Commercial Court for a three-year term from 2015 to 2018.
Barry is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb) and an International Mediation Institute (IMI) Certified Mediator. He is past Chair of the Arbitration Committee of ICC Canada. Also, Barry is a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.
From 2009–2015, Barry was a Partner and Head of the International Arbitration Group at Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall LLP, a leading international arbitration practice based in Ottawa, Canada. Until 2009 he was a Partner with Torys LLP in its Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice in Toronto, Canada, and for many years was Coordinator of the Practice.
He is Chair of Arbitration Place’s Advisory Board and is on the Organizing Committee Executive for the Canadian Arbitration Week, CanArbWeek. Barry is a founding member of the BVI Arbitration Group, and of its governing Committee. He is an Executive Editor of the Canadian Journal of Commercial Arbitration, an OGEMID Co-Moderator, and member of the Arbitration Act Review Committee of the Toronto Commercial Arbitration Society. Also he is a member of the North America Sub-Committee of the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations.
Barry is a recipient of the “Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity in ADR” from the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR).
He is experienced in arbitrating and mediating corporate and commercial, contract, shareholder and business breakup, intellectual property and technology, natural resources, and construction disputes.
Barry was admitted to Bar in Ontario, Canada (now a non-practicing member, Law Society of Ontario). He holds a law degree (University of Toronto), an MBA (Richard Ivey School of Business, Western University), and a BA (Political Science; Economics) (University of Alberta).
Dr. Allan G. Reitzes, BS, MA, Ph.D. is a volunteer consultant to nonprofit organizations in Strategic Planning, Governance, Fundraising and Coaching.
He is the former President and CEO of the UJA of Greater Toronto. Following a 30 year career in Jewish communal service, he established Allan Reitzes Consulting serving non-profits organizations in North America and Israel.
Allan joined Management Advisory Services ( masadvice.org ) in August, 2015 in the Strategic Planning, Governance, Fundraising and HR Practices.
He has a BS in Psychology and Masters and Doctoral degrees in Social Work.
Sengkee Ahn is a strategic advisor in corporate and investment banking, business strategy, and investor relations. Sengkee has almost 30 years of experience advising and working with some of the wealthiest organizations and individuals in Canada. Sengkee currently serves as Managing Director at the Royal Bank of Canada’s Enterprise Strategic Group. Previously, Sengkee was Managing Director and Head of Private Banking, National Client Group, Central & Western Canada for National Bank. Prior to that role, he was the CFO for one of the largest alternative nicotine companies in North America and before that he was Senior Vice President of Corporate Development for a large cannabis company in Southwestern Ontario.
Sengkee spent his banking career holding various senior positions in Wealth Management, Capital Markets and Commercial Banking. He completed the Family Enterprise Advisor (FEA) Program at UBC’s Sauder School of Business. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Western Ontario and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Sengkee currently serves as an advisory board member on a NASDAQ traded automotive parts manufacturing company.
Steve is the Deputy Mayor for the Town of Shelburne and a Regional Councillor for the County of Dufferin. In addition, Steve is a Senior practicing litigation lawyer with over 17 years of experience with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) where he has received several awards for his distinguished service.
Steve has extensive community experience that includes serving as the former Vice-President for the Ontario College of Kinesiology, Board Member for Community Care Access Centre (CCAC), Citizen Appointment for the City of Brampton Task Force. Steve currently serves as a Board Member for the County of Dufferin and the Town of Shelburne’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He also serves as Director for Defence Construction Canada.
Regarding his personal accomplishments, Steve was proud to be named by the Toronto Star as one of the Top 50 Jamaicans in the GTA in 2013 and equally proud of his acknowledgement by the House of Commons for his community service. Steve has recently added the title of Author with the highly anticipated release of his first book “Driven to Succeed.”Steve is a strong believer in family and is a proud father of two children Asia and Devante.
Imam Dr. Hamid Slimi is an Academic Canadian Muslim scholar and a Community Developer. He is:
(1) The chairman and professor at the Canadian Centre for Deen Studies and a visiting lecturer at different universities and colleges around the world.
(2) The Resident Scholar, Imam and Founder of Sayeda Khadija Centre in Mississauga, Ontario since 2009. He has been serving as an Educator, Imam, Chaplain and Counselor in North America for more than 26 years and in Canada since 1997 in different religious and educational institutions.
(3) The Founder and President of Faith of Life Network (A Charitable organization focused on providing spiritual and educational programs as well as bridge building with other faiths for peace building and harmony).
(4) The Chairman of the Muslim Council of Peel (An organization working for all the Muslims and Muslim organizations in the region of Peel).
He is also:
* The President of the Centre For Halal Accreditation, Research & Training
* The head Coach at the International Academy for Human Resource & Community Development
* The Former Chairman of the Canadian Council of Imams (2006-2013)
* Board member of different Interfaith and Community bodies/groups
From 2009 to 2019, Dr. Hamid Slimi was featured by the US Georgetown University as one of the 500 Most influential Muslims in the World for his community development and building and his Spiritual Leadership for Muslims and Non-Muslims.