Dr. Ivar Mendez — Chairman

mendezDr. Ivar Mendez is the Fred H. Wigmore Professor of Surgery and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Saskatchewan and Saskatoon Health Region, Canada.

Dr. Mendez is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American College of Surgeons. As a Clinician/Scientist, Dr. Mendez is world-renown for his work in the area of brain repair, stem cells, functional neurosurgery and robotics. He has pioneered the use of remote presence devices to deliver health care to underserviced populations in remote regions of the world.

Dr. Mendez was recognized for his humanitarian activities by receiving the Paul Harris Fellowship Award, the Dr. Gerald and Gale Archibald Medical Humanities Award and the Dr. John Savage Award in International Health.

In 2010, Dr. Mendez received the Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year award and in 2011, the Health Canada Award for Contribution to the Improvement of the Health of Canadians. Dr. Mendez was named one of 10 most Influential Hispanic Canadians for his clinical research and humanitarian contributions and in 2012 was awarded The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal.


Lorne Ferguson — Executive Director

Lorne Ferguson brings over 38 years of experience in academic, government and private sector business environments. He began his career in the federal government. In 1981 he moved to Dalhousie University where his roles included University administrative operations, the President’s Office, and Senior Administrative Officer for the Faculty of Medicine. He was appointed Director of Analysis and Planning for the Nova Scotia Government Policy Board. InNOVAcorp, the Province’s technology commercialization crown corporation, recruited him as Executive Director, Corporate Planning and Evaluation. Lorne has also worked as an independent management consultant, specializing in life science, environmental and information technology business development for international markets. As a volunteer in the community, he serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Film Festival Association, and is a mentor to new small businesses with Entrepreneurs Forum. He is currently the Executive Director of the Brain Repair Centre, Dalhousie University.


Dennis Touesnard — Treasurer

Dennis J. Touesnard obtained his Chartered Accountant designation in 1975 while working at Doane Raymond in Halifax. In 1981 Dennis and his colleague A. Randall Smith created Smith & Touesnard Chartered Accountants and he is presently the Executive Vice President of the firm.

Dennis was a founding director and past treasurer of ‘Homes for Independent Living’ in Halifax, Nova Scotia, former treasurer of St. Michael’s Parish Council, and former director and treasurer of Birthright Inc. He is presently active in community activities namely: Liaison officer for the Spiegelburg Trust re: YMCA Halifax, Nova Scotia; Member of the audit committee of Chalice; Present Chairman of the Board of Birthright of Halifax/Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Currently Dennis is a member of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia and the New Brunswick Institute of Chartered Accountants, and he also acts as President of ST Holdings Ltd and Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of various investment corporations.


Mark Parent — Trustee

Mark Parent was born in Halifax. He was brought up in Bolivia, South America before returning to Canada for post Secondary studies where he earned his Bachelor of Arts, York University; Master’s Degree of Divinity, Acadia Divinity College; Doctor of Philosophy, McGill University.

Mark served in Ontario, New Brunswick returning to Kings County in 1994 to become pastor of the Pereaux United Baptist Church. Dr Parent taught at Queens, Mount Allison and Mount Saint Vincent Universities.

He was first elected to the House of Assembly in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada in July 1999; re-elected in August 2003 and June 2006. He has served as Minister of Environment and Labour where he has been instrumental in bringing forward one of the most innovative bills on economic and environmental sustainability. Mark has also served the province of Nova Scotia, Canada as the Minister of Agriculture.

Currently, Mark is working as co-minster of the Pereaux Baptist Church, sits on the National Roundtable of the Environment as a member of the Executive Committee and is working on two books.


Desmond Leddin — Trustee

Desmond Leddin graduated in medicine from Trinity College, Dublin in 1978. He trained in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at Queens University in Ontario and at the University of Toronto before completing a Masters in Physiology at Queens.

He is a past President of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology, and former chair of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada examination board in Gastroenterology.

He is currently Professor of Medicine at Dalhousie, and heads the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology policy committees on patient access to care and colon cancer screening. He is head of the World Congress of Gastroenterology training committee with responsibility for international training center liaison.

Academically his interests are in colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and patient access to care. He has published and presented nationally and internationally in these areas. In the humanities his main interest is in the visual arts, ethics and history.


Edwin Harris — Trustee

Ed is Counsel at the Halifax office of McInnes Cooper who practices tax law. Ed gives tax opinions, offers tax and estate planning, drafting contracts, wills and trusts, designs corporate structures and advises clients on general issues of corporate law. He frequently conducts tax litigation and has represented a wide variety of clients in negotiations with the Canada Revenue Agency and before the Tax Courts. Ed’s skills as a corporate and tax litigator and trusts and estates lawyer are recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada and Lexpert lists Ed as a Leading Practitioner of Corporate, Estate and Personal Tax law. He also has an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Ed is former teacher at Dalhousie Law School and has spoken and written extensively on tax and related matters for many professional and governmental bodies. He is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and the Canadian Tax Foundation. He is a Fellow Chartered Accountant and a Fellow Certified Management Accountant. He is a Member of Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee for the Tax Court of Canada. Ed also acts as Chair of the Dalhousie Planned Giving Advisory Board.


Ronald Stewart — Trustee

Dr. Ronald Stewart, Officer of the Order of Canada, Member of the Order of Nova Scotia, Member of the Executive Council of Nova Scotia, former Minister of Health for the Province of Nova Scotia and member of the provincial parliament, was born in North Sydney and raised in Sydney Mines. Following graduation from Acadia he studied Medicine at Dalhousie University and then took up general practice in a northern coastal fishing village on the island of Cape Breton. From there he entered the residency program in emergency medicine at the University of Southern California, was appointed professor and head of emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and later at the University of Toronto before returning to Dalhousie in 1989. He served in the government of Nova Scotia as Minister of Health and Registrar General from 1993 to 1996 and as a member of the Legislature until September of 1997. He has been active in overseas projects in Niger, Cuba and the Caribbean area, and beginning in 1996 his involvement in the campaign to ban antipersonnel landmines carried him to the UN, the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, London, Berlin and other world capitals as well as remote areas of countries affected by these weapons. Dr. Stewart recently held the position of Professor and Director of Medical Humanities at Dalhousie and currently holds joint appointments as Professor in the departments of Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesia, as well as Professor Emeritus in the Faculties of Medicine and of Health Professions.