Media Releases Feb 16, 2021

Canadian Chamber of Commerce announces leading Canadian CEOs to form COVID-19 Recovery Leadership Council

(OTTAWA) – February 16, 2021 – As pandemic restrictions approach one year and Canada faces new variants and vaccine delays, Canada’s business community is coming together to help our nation recover from its health and economic crisis.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has brought together 19 CEOs and senior executives from leading companies to contribute their entrepreneurial skills and experience in delivering projects at scale. The group will help accelerate the deployment of COVID-19 mitigation tools on the ground by connecting companies creating vaccines, delivering testing, tracing and other support programs for the businesses requiring these services.

The new COVID-19 Recovery Leadership Council will help develop practical solutions to reduce and ultimately eliminate COVID-19 in Canada and pave the way for a business-led economic recovery. The council members will also draw upon their experiences with managing COVID-19 at their respective companies to develop best practices businesses and other organizations can adopt.

“We are literally in a race against time as new and more dangerous variants of COVID-19 spread. Countries like Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan have had much greater success at managing the virus by applying overlapping layers of protection and mitigation. Our new COVID-19 Recovery Leadership Council will bring together a cross-section of Canada’s foremost business leaders to focus on how to protect our physical and economic health,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

The council will be comprised of the following business leaders:

  • CAE – Marc Parent – President and CEO (Council Co-Chair)
  • Pfizer Canada – Cole Pinnow – President (Council Co-Chair)
  • T&T Supermarkets – Tina Lee – CEO (Council Co-Chair)
  • ATCO Frontec – Jim Landon, President
  • Akawe Technologies – Leanne Bellegarde – President
  • BFL Canada – Barry Lorenzetti – CEO and Founder
  • BlackBerry – Marjorie Dickman – Chief Government Affairs and Public Policy Officer
  • Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec – Charles Emond – President and CEO
  • Canada Life – Jeff Macoun – President and COO, Canada
  • Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Mario Thériault – Chair, Board of Directors
  • Cogeco – Philippe Jetté – President and CEO
  • Franchise Management Inc. – Arlene Dore – Chief Financial Officer
  • Franco Nevada – Paul Brink – President and CEO
  • Get Ready – Scott Ashley – President and CEO
  • Greater Toronto Airports Authority – Deborah Flint – President and CEO
  • Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies (Canada) – James Brodie – General Manager
  • Mosaic Forest Management – Jeffery Zweig – President and CEO
  • Paramount Fine Foods – Mohamad Fakih – President and CEO
  • Providence Therapeutics – Brad Sorenson – CEO
  • RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust – Ed Sonshine – CEO
  • Rio Tinto (Diavik Diamond Mines) – Richard Storrie – President & COO
  • Shoppers Drug Mart – Jeff Leger – President
  • WestJet – Edward Sims – President and CEO

The council will also be supported by special advisors:

  • Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • Monique Leroux, Vice Chair, Fiera Holdings Inc.
  • Sonia Sennik, Executive Director, Creative Destruction Lab Rapid Screening Consortium

Additional Quotes

“Canadian businesses have invaluable resources and insights that can help Canada prepare the post-COVID years. The business community is ready to put all hands on deck to lay the groundwork for the ‘new normal’ and to put everything in place for a rapid economic recovery – for the benefit of all Canadians.” – Marc Parent, President and CEO, CAE (Council Co-Chair)

“As an essential business, T&T brings the tactical experience of operating stores, warehouses, and offices, while minimizing Covid-19 transmission amongst staff and customers.  I look forward to sharing our perspective on what works, what doesn’t, and what needs to get done to keep businesses open and co-existing with this pandemic.”  Tina Lee, CEO, T&T Supermarkets (Council Co-Chair)

“BlackBerry is proud to be collaborating with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and fellow industry leaders to pave the way for Canada to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Just as we answered the Government’s call to provide our world-leading security and privacy expertise in the development of the Canadian COVID Alert app, BlackBerry will mobilize our technology and talent to help accelerate Canada’s ability to combat COVID-19 and position our communities and businesses for a strong economic recovery.” – Marjorie Dickman, Chief Government Affairs and Public Policy Officer, BlackBerry

“Collaboration between governments, businesses and investors is key to ensuring the recovery of the different sectors of our economy in a sustainable and safe way. Our growth has to be based on ideas, partnerships and actions that lead to performance and progress.” Charles Emond, CEO, CDPQ

“I am honoured to be part of this important initiative and look forward to working with all the business leaders of the Council to help prepare the recovery and build a strong, innovative, inclusive and sustainable economy. I commend the Canadian Chamber of Commerce for its continued leadership at this unprecedented time for our economy.” Philippe Jetté, President and CEO, Cogeco

We look forward to providing input on cloud-based, certifiable, and scalable Workplace Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) programs for businesses across Canada.” – Scott Ashley, President and CEO, Get Ready

“Canada can and should build capacity to produce the vaccines needed to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Once we have met our needs as Canadians, we can and should export that capability to the world. I look forward to working with the other leaders on the Council to accomplish this goal.” – Brad Sorenson, CEO, Providence Therapeutics

“As the leader of the remaining 10,000 WestJetters, of whom more than 5,000 remain on layoff, WestJet is heavily invested in working with The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Advisory Council. Together with other Canadian leaders we are dedicated to collaborating and partnering to address the significant and disruptive downturn from COVID to ensure that the hundreds of thousands of Canadians impacted in not only aviation, travel and tourism but in many industries across the country are able to recover. I am proud to be a part of this Council as we confront this lengthened crisis to help turn the corner towards a stable Canadian economy.” Ed Sims, President and CEO, WestJet

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.


For more information, please contact:

Phil Taylor