Board of Directors

VIA Rail’s Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction and management of the Corporation, and reports on VIA Rail’s operations to the Canadian federal government. In order to ensure the Board of Directors’ maximum efficiency, the Board of Directors is comprised of the following individuals who possess a strong mix and balance of skills, knowledge and experience to support the achievement of VIA Rail’s vision and strategic objectives:

 

FRANÇOISE BERTRAND

Chairperson of the Board of Directors
Ex officio member of all Committees

Following a 40-year career trajectory culminating in her role as President and Chief Executive Officer at Federation of Quebec Chambers of Commerce, Françoise Bertrand now dedicates her time to acting as a director at various corporate and civil society organizations. She is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of Proaction International and serves on the Board of Directors of Osisko Gold Royalties Company. Ms. Bertrand is a Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of Concordia University.

Her career path as senior executive began as the Dean of Resources Management at the Université du Québec à Montréal. She later took on the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Société de radio-télévision du Québec, known today as Télé-Québec. In 1996, Ms. Bertrand became the first woman to Chair the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). From 2003 to 2016 she was the chief executive officer of the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ) She holds a Baccalauréat ès arts in Sociology from the Université de Montréal and a Master's degree in Environmental Studies from York University. She completed her training as a Director at the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D) and received a PhD honoris causa from Concordia University.

Throughout her career, Ms. Bertrand has earned several significant honours, most notably as an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Knight of the National Order of Québec, and a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour of France.

Françoise Bertrand

 

Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, President and Chief Executive Officer

YVES DESJARDINS-SICILIANO

President and Chief Executive Officer
Ex officio member of all Committees, except the Audit & Pension Investment Committee

Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano joined VIA Rail in 2010 and was appointed President and CEO in May 2014. Prior to his appointment, he was the Corporation's Chief Corporate & Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary. A seasoned executive, Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano leads with passion, respect and transparency. He is known for embracing innovation and encouraging creative ideas. A natural communicator, he is in high demand as a keynote speaker at conferences, business events and universities. He prides himself on being an accessible CEO, and values every opportunity to meet and converse with both travellers and employees.

Prior to VIA Rail, Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano held several senior positions in legal, regulatory and government relations, business and corporate development, marketing communications and finance. In Montreal and Toronto, he worked for private and publicly held companies, in the information technology, telecommunications, marketing and entertainment industries. Past President of the Canadian Bar Association, Quebec Division, Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano was also Chief of Staff to the federal Minister of Labour and Minister of State for Transport.

Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano holds a law degree (LL.L.) from l'Université de Montréal and he completed Graduate Studies in Law (GSD) at McGill University. He also has a designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D) and is a member of the Barreau du Québec.

In 2016, Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano received the Business Achievement Award from the Quebec General Counsel Awards, presented by ZSA Legal Recruitment. He was rewarded for his achievement in developing and implementing the business strategy that has led to VIA Rail's success since his appointment as President and CEO. His customer-focused vision has persuaded more travellers to come onboard, expanding the company’s client base and boosting its revenue for the first time in several years. He was also honoured by Women and Board in the CEO category for his outstanding contributions to advancing the role of women in corporate governance as the President and CEO of VIA Rail.

Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano was appointed Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of the Régiment de Maisonneuve in November 2016.

Follow Yves on Twitter: @VIARailPrez
Email: Yves_Desjardins-Siciliano@viarail.ca

Meet Yves Desjardins-Siciliano (video)

 

KATHY BAIG, Laval (Quebec)

Board member since June 2017
Member of the Communication & Stakeholders’ Relations Committee, and of the Major Projects Committee

Ms. Baig is the President of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. She previously worked as an Infrastructure and Construction Project Manager at Aéroports de Montréal, and an Engineer and ISO 9001 Quality Coordinator for Pyrogenesis Canada Inc. She is a board member of Engineers Canada and the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Montréal. Ms. Baig holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from École Polytechnique de Montréal and a Master of Business Administration from HEC Montréal.

KATHY BAIG

 

DANIEL GALLIVAN

DANIEL GALLIVAN, Halifax (Nova Scotia)

Board member since June 2017
Chairperson of the Communication & Stakeholders’ Relations Committee, and member of the Audit & Pension Investment Committee

Mr. Gallivan is a Senior Partner in the Atlantic Canada law firm of Cox & Palmer. He has been the Chief Executive Officer of Cox & Palmer since 2003 and was Managing Partner of the Halifax office from 2003 to 2012. Mr. Gallivan is a member of the Bar Societies for Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1997. Throughout his career he has held leadership roles for a variety of organizations including the Bank of Canada, the Nova Scotia Securities Commission, and BrightPath Early Learning Inc. Mr. Gallivan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola College, and LLB from Dalhousie University Law School, and an MBA from the Ivey School of Business at Western University. He is also a certified corporate director (ICD.D).

 

JONATHAN GOLDBLOOM, Montreal (Quebec)

Board member since June 2017
Member of the Communication & Stakeholders’ Relations Committee, and of the Audit & Pension Investment Committee

Mr. Goldbloom is the Founder and President of Jonathan Goldbloom & Associates Inc. Strategic Communications, which specializes in crisis management and stakeholder outreach. He was previously the Vice President and General Manager of Optimum Public Relations at Cossette Communications and a Senior Partner at Columbia Communications. He is currently the Chair of the Board of Governors of Selwyn House School, a member of the Board of Directors of Montreal Medical International, Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Quebec Association of Independent Schools, and Member of the Board of Directors of Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. Mr. Goldbloom earned a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from Harvard University, and Master of Arts Degree from Carleton University, and a Masters of Business Administration from Western University.

JONATHAN GOLDBLOOM

 

S. ROSS GOLDSWORTHY

S. ROSS GOLDSWORTHY, Calgary (Alberta)

Board member since June 2017
Member of the Communication & Stakeholders’ Relations Committee, and of the Major Projects Committee

Mr. Goldsworthy has been the President of RGoldsworthy Consulting Ltd. since 2007. Previous to that, he started his 25 year career at CN as an accountant and progressed through a number of increasingly senior management positions. He spent 10 years at the Vice President and Assistant Vice President level overseeing the bulk commodities business unit. He currently serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors of the Alberta Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation. Mr. Goldsworthy had a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Newfoundland and is a certified corporate director (ICD.D). He holds the following accounting designations: Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Certified General Accountant (CGA) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA Delaware, USA).

 

RAMONA MATERI, Vancouver (British Columbia)

Board member since October 2012
Member of the Human Resources Committee, and of the Major Projects Committee

Ms. Materi is the Principal of Ingenia Consulting, which undertakes labour market research to help communities and natural resources firms plan for and address their workforce needs. Under her leadership, Ingenia has completed assignments across Canada and in the United States and Vietnam. Ms. Materi serves on the SME Advisory Board to the Minister of International Trade, as well as Connecting Environmental Professionals, Vancouver. She is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, and and has served on the boards of numerous non-profits and business associations. Ms. Materi is the author of two books, one on business in Northern British Columbia and a second on sustainable businesses in Canada. Ms. Materi holds a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Education from Athabasca University and a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Environmental Science from Capilano University. She completed graduate studies in economics at the Institut de Hautes Études Internationales et du Développement in Geneva.

Ramona Materi

 

Jane Mowat

JANE MOWAT, Toronto (Ontario)

Board member since September 2013
Chairperson of the Audit & Pension Investment Committee, and member of the Major Projects Committee

Ms. Mowat is a Corporate Director and a former information technology executive who, since 2003, has worked as an independent consultant, advising clients on acquisitions in the software industry, as well as providing advice on corporate finance, borrowings and business valuations. She previously served as Chief Financial Officer of Centrinity, a TSX-listed software company, from 2001 to 2003 General Manager of IBM’s financing business in Canada and the United States, from 1996 to 2000, and as Chief Financial Officer of ISM Information System Management Corporation from 1990 to 1995. Ms. Mowat has considerable governance experience, having served on the boards of both private and public companies, including Allstream, Coventree Inc. and Centrinity. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto and earned her Chartered Accountant designation while employed with Price Waterhouse.

 

GLENN RAINBIRD, Belleville (Ontario)

Board member since June 2017
Member of the Communication & Stakeholders’ Relations Committee, and of the Audit & Pension Investment Committee

Mr. Rainbird is retired from corporate life where he held CEO and senior executive positions in the information and communications technology and energy sectors. He was the President and Chief Executive Officer of TRLabs, Vice President at Nortel Networks and held a variety of senior positions at Imperial Oil. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of IESO, the Board of Governors of the Royal Military College of Canada, is a member of the RCAF Commander’s Council and is an RCAF Honorary Colonel. Mr. Rainbird was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of his leadership role in developing Canada's capabilities in the Internet age. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Masters of Business Administration from Queen’s University and an Honorary Diploma in Applied Arts and Technology from Loyalist College.

GLENN RAINBIRD

 

GAIL LOUISE STEPHENS

GAIL STEPHENS, Victoria (British-Columbia)

Board member since June 2017
Chairperson of the Human Resources Committee, and member of the Audit & Pension Investment Committee

Ms. Stephens is the President of Gail Stephens Consulting. She has over 20 years of experience leading large, complex organizations including City Manager of Victoria, CEO of the BC Pension Corporation, and Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Winnipeg. Most recently she was the start-up Chief Operating Officer, then Interim President and Chief Executive Officer for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. She has sat on numerous boards including Coast Capital Savings, the David Foster Foundation and the BC Training Authority. Ms. Stephens holds a teaching certificate from the University of Manitoba and completed the Executive Management program at Harvard Kennedy School. She is a Certified Public Accountant (FCPA) and a certified corporate director (ICD.D).

 

KENNETH TAN, Richmond (British-Columbia)

Board member since June 2017
Chairperson of the Major Projects Committee, and member of the Human Resources Committee

Mr. Tan is currently managing education innovation for the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia and consults through Sweetwater Advisors Inc. He previously held positions at the University of Saskatchewan including Director, Strategic Initiatives where he spearheaded programs in cost containment and revenue enhancement. Mr. Tan also served as the CFO of the Transportation Investment Corporation, Executive Director of the Crown Agencies Secretariat, and the Finance Director of Octopus Cards Limited, a subsidiary of major public transport providers in Hong Kong. He was a government-appointed trustee of the BC College Pension Plan and has served on the Board of Directors of several non-profit organizations. Mr. Tan holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta, and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Saskatchewan, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers.

KENNETH TAN

 

GENEVIÈVE TANGUAY

GENEVIÈVE TANGUAY, Montreal (Quebec)

Board member since August 2017
Member of the Audit & Pension Investment Committee, and of the Human Resources Committee

With over 15 years’ experience in Investment, Geneviève Tanguay has been instrumental to numerous transactions in many sectors including metal products, transportation equipment, machinery and life sciences equipment. From 2008 to 2017, Ms. Tanguay held the position of Director of investments at the Fonds de Solidatiré, the largest Quebec development and risk capital fund. She has served on Boards of Directors for several private companies, and contributed to their strategy and development. Ms. Tanguay is also very involved in her community, and has sat on several Boards for non-profit organizations. She is currently on the Boards of Directors of both Leucan and the Institute of Corporate Directors. Ms. Tanguay holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from HEC Montreal.

 

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Committees of the Board of Directors

The following committees have been established to help the Board perform its duties:

Human Resources Committee

The Board of Directors (“Board”) has delegated to the Human Resources Committee the responsibility for oversight and monitoring of the following:

  • the performance evaluation and compensation of the President & Chief Executive Officer;
  • the performance evaluation and compensation of Executive Officers;
  • the design and implementation of employee compensation, incentives, benefits and retirement plans;
  • the effectiveness of the organizational structure;
  • the design and implementation of management’s development and succession plans;
  • the management of employee and labour relations, including negotiation mandates for unionized employees;
  • the occupational health & safety framework;
  • the design and implementation of the human resources strategic plan; and
  • the risk identification, evaluation and treatment related to each topic listed above.

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Communication & Stakeholders’ Relations Committee

The Board of Directors (“Board”) has delegated to the Communication & Stakeholders’ Relations Committee the responsibility for oversight and monitoring of the following:

  • the Corporation’s communication strategy to ensure that it supports the strategic and commercial objectives of the Corporation and to maintain positive and productive relationships with all the Corporation’s stakeholders;
  • the Corporation’s value proposition statement in support of its strategic objectives;
  • any modifications to the service offering which may have a material impact on the Corporation’s value proposition; and
  • the risk identification, evaluation and treatment related to the topics listed above.

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Major Projects Committee

The Board of Directors (“Board”) has delegated to the Major Projects Committee the responsibility for oversight and monitoring of the following:

  • the major projects & programs identified as such by the Major Projects Committee;
  • the business cases for major projects & programs requiring expenses in capital or considered out of “normal course of business” exceeding $5M, the whole in accordance with the Corporation’s Authority Matrix;
  • the Corporation’s policies, practices and procedures regarding management of major projects & programs;
  • the monitoring of capital spending;
  • the management of capital assets; and
  • the risk identification, evaluation and treatment related to each topic listed above.

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Audit & Pension Investment Committee

The Board of Directors (“Board”) has delegated to the Audit & Pension Investment Committee the responsibility for oversight and monitoring of the following:

  • the Corporation’s financial reporting and disclosure such as the quarterly and annual reports, the financial statements, the MD&A and the related press release;
  • the five (5) year Corporate Plans along with the annual operating and capital budgets;
  • the Corporation’s internal control practices, including the internal audit process;
  • the Corporation’s external audit process, including any special examination launched by the Corporation’s external auditors;
  • the legal & regulatory compliance framework applicable to the Corporation;
  • the standards of integrity and behaviour adopted by the Corporation;
  • the pension plans and supplemental retirement plans investment performances, policies and related matters thereto; and
  • the risk identification, evaluation and treatment related to each topic listed above.

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Other Governance Documents

The Corporation and its Board of Directors are committed to implementing principles and best practices of good governance. In 2014, VIA Rail has been committed to increase transparency of Board governance practices now easily accessible through the following groupings:

 

1. Board of Directors’ Governance Practices:
These documents set out the form, manner and procedure in which VIA Rail should be run and describe the responsibilities of main positions amongst the Board:

 

2. Directors’ Ethics:
All members of the Board sign a code of conduct and ethics reflecting the spirit and intent of the Accountability Act, which sets out standards of transparency and accountability for the officers and directors of Crown corporations. All members of the Board are also asked to comply with VIA Rail’s Directors’ Political Activities Policy based on Privy Council Office’s Guidelines for the Political Activities of Public Office Holders.

 

3. Directors’ Compensation, Expenses and Training:
These policies set out the right of Directors to receive the compensation (annual retainer and per diem) established by the Privy Council Office and to be reimbursed for reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred while in the execution of their functions of Directors of VIA Rail including while attending authorized training sessions.