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Green Line LRT Project announces inaugural board

The City is pleased to introduce the Green Line Board members who will govern and oversee the successful delivery of this infrastructure megaproject as we move forward into 2021.

The Board will report to the Standing Policy Committee on Priorities and Finance on a quarterly basis or more frequently as needed. The bylaw establishing the governance model and creation of the Green Line Board, delegation of authority from Council to The Board and the appointment of Don Fairbairn as the inaugural chair was approved by Council in July 2020.

The Board is comprised of nine members including:

  • Don Fairbairn, Chair
  • David Duckworth, City Manager
  • Janet Annesley
  • Larry Beasley
  • Ian Bourne
  • Fred Cummings
  • Bharat Mahajan
  • Patricia McLeod
  • Marcia Nelson

Fairbairn says the board members bring an outstanding and diverse mix of knowledge and experience. “The new board will improve Green Line decision making, govern the speed at which the project is moving and bring in experts that will review and provide guidance to Administration on delivering megaprojects.”

The board members were selected for their knowledge in key areas of expertise associated with infrastructure megaprojects and functional skills including governance, leadership and financial literacy. Their backgrounds include expertise in economics, engineering, government and institutional relations, planning and development, finance and banking, human resources, law and social issues.

The Green Line Board

Don Fairbairn, Chair

Don has over 35 years of infrastructure development and financing experience and has held leadership positions in the development, implementation, operation and governance of transportation, electricity generation and transmission, water and wastewater treatment and accommodation projects. He has led acquisitions on behalf of corporate and pension fund investors and led the creation of Streetohome, a successful non-profit initiative to develop supportive housing in the City of Vancouver. He has governance experience in public, non-profit and private sector organizations, currently chairing the Capital Regional District Wastewater Treatment Project Board, the Board of Houle Electric Ltd. and is an Advisory Board Member of Norland Ltd. Formerly, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Canada Line Inc., Advisor to Partnerships B.C. and Board Chair of the Transportation Investment Corporation and Vancouver Community College.

David Duckworth, City Manager

David was named the City Manager in August 2019 after serving as the General Manager of Utilities and Environmental Protection. In his current role, David oversees all City departments and works closely with the Mayor and Council on matters of interest to Calgarians. David brings close to 30 years of local government experience with extensive experience managing capital construction and project management, information technology, legislative services and protective services. David has held various senior leadership roles where he was responsible for large-scale and successful initiatives such as: the design, construction and maintenance of municipal infrastructure assets including transportation and facility infrastructure; design and implementation of one of B.C.’s most advanced and successful residential waste and recycling collection programs; and design and implementation of Vancouver’s multi-family recycling program.

Janet Annesley

Janet currently serves on several boards including the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. She is currently the Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Human Resources for Husky Energy and is the former Chief of Staff to the Minister of Natural Resources Canada and Director of Government and Institutional Relations for Queen’s University.

Larry Beasley, C.M.

Larry’s current board appointments include the National Capital Commission in Ottawa, TransLink in Greater Vancouver, and the International Advisory Board for economic development in Rotterdam. He is the ‘Distinguished Practice’ Professor of Planning at the University of British Columbia, and the Founding Principal of Beasley & Associates, a wide-ranging planning consultancy. He is an urban author, with his books “Ecodesign for Cities and Suburbs” and “Vancouverism.” He was the long-serving Chief Planner of Vancouver, and founded the Planning Agency in Abu Dhabi in the U.A.E. and the Civic Urban Design Studio in Dallas in the U.S. He has been a developer and on-line educator. He also sits on non-profit service boards in Vancouver, his home community.

Ian Bourne

Ian has served as a director and chair of many Canadian companies, including Ballard Power, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Canadian Oil Sands, Hydro One, SNC Lavalin, TransAlta Power and Wajax. He is currently Chair of Teine Energy and Vice Chair of the Canadian Public Accountability Board. He served as Chief Financial Officer of TransAlta, Canada Post and GE Canada. He was chair of the Glenbow Museum and served as a director of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Calgary Foundation and Discovery House. He was recognized as a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors in 2011.

Fred Cummings

Fred recently served on the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies, BC and has served on the Canada Line Rapid Transit Project, the Evergreen Line SkyTrain Extension Project and the Transportation Association of Canada. His experience includes Global Director, Transit, Hatch Ltd., Vancouver and Regional Director, Infrastructure, Western North America, Hatch Ltd.; Vice President, Infrastructure And Engineering, TransLink; President And General Manager, BC Rapid Transit Company; and key position on projects completed by TransLink.

Bharat Mahajan

Bharat brings over 28 years of senior and executive-level finance and accounting leadership in multiple industries, currently serves as board member and chairs the Audit and Finance Committee for the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments and previously served on the board for NavNet Inc. He is Vice-President, Finance, Canada for Parkland Corporation and has previously served as the chief financial officer (CFO) for Daseke, Inc. and Aveda Transportation and Energy Services Inc.; as CFO and Vice President, Finance for WellPoint Systems Inc. and Norex Exploration Services Inc.; and as General Manager and Vice President of Operations for TravelCLICK Canada Company.

Patricia McLeod, Q.C.

Patricia McLeod, Q.C. brings expertise in strategy, capital project development, regulatory and governance oversight, human resources, compliance, risk management and corporate social responsibility.

She has been General Counsel and Vice President of regulated Alberta utilities and regulated financial corporations. Her extensive board experience includes chair, vice chair and committee chair roles with private, crown and not-for-profit corporations including being the current chair of the boards of Calgary Cooperative Association, the Real Estate Council of Alberta and the Calgary Film Centre. Patricia currently serves on both the Alberta Innovates and the Beverage Container Management Boards. She previously served on the boards of Bradley Air Services Ltd. (operating as First Air), Calgary Economic Development, cSPACE Projects, Vibrant Communities Calgary and the YWCA of Calgary.

She holds business and law degrees from the University of Alberta, an MBA from Queen’s University, is a Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional, and attained the Institute of Corporate Directors designation (ICD.D). She was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in Alberta in January 2014.

Marcia Nelson

Marcia is currently a Senior Strategic Advisor with Pricewaterhouse Coopers, advising on public policy issues, government operations and decision-making, and government relations. She sits on the Alberta Blue Cross Board, and previously served on the Government of Alberta Affordable Housing Review Panel, the Institute for Health Economics and the Edmonton Region Institute of Public Administration of Canada. She is also an Executive Fellow at the School of Public Policy, University of Calgary. She brings a wealth of government relations experience to the board having served as the Deputy Minister of Executive Council, Cabinet secretary, and head of the Alberta Public Service, in addition to holding several Alberta deputy minister roles, in the ministries of Innovation and Advanced Education, Infrastructure, Health, and Housing and Urban Affairs.

“The board will be an important part of the Green Line LRT project as it will govern the successful delivery of the program while ensuring it meets the interests of all stakeholders and funding partners,” says Fairbairn.

Board recruitment was led by an external recruitment firm from August to October 2020 using a rigorous, transparent and open process that complied with City policies for procurement and board selection, including unconscious bias training for panel members and a diversity and inclusion specialist. Candidates with varied backgrounds and experience were encouraged to apply with postings shared through a number of platforms, such as Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, Institute of Corporate Directors and Women on Boards. More than 300 potential candidates were evaluated

Onboarding of board members will begin in January with the first official Green Line Board meeting expected in February.