Pierre Béland has been appointed as Chair of the Canadian Section of the International Joint Commission (IJC). Merrell-Ann Phare and Henry Lickers have been appointed as Canadian Commissioners of IJC. All three commissioners have been appointed by Her Majesty, on the recommendation of the Governor-in-Council, for a four-year term that’s effective May 9, 2019.

The International Joint Commission prevents and resolves disputes between the United States of America and Canada under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty. It also pursues the common good of both countries as an independent and objective advisor to the two governments.

Pierre Béland is a scientist in environmental biology and toxicology, best known as an expert on the conservation of beluga whales. He was a founder and research scientist with the St. Lawrence National Institute of Ecotoxicology, a non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to research and education on toxic compounds in estuarine ecosystems. Béland has published three books, numerous scientific, and popular articles. He has also hosted a TV series on the environment, and participated in several documentary films.

Merrell-Ann Phare is a lawyer, writer, strategist, negotiator, and relationship-builder who worked extensively in and with indigenous organizations on environmental, land, water, rights, and governance issues. She, along with 10 First Nation Chiefs, was the founding executive director of the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER), a national First Nation charitable environmental organisation. As chief negotiator for the Government of the Northwest Territories, Phare lead the negotiation of transboundary water agreements in the Mackenzie River Basin and the creation of Thaidene Nene, a national and territorial park in the east arm of Great Slave Lake.

Henry Lickers is a Haudenosaunee citizen of the Seneca Nation, Turtle Clan. He has been director of the Mohawk Council for 32 years. Currently, he is the environmental science officer, a role he has held for the past six years. Throughout his career, Lickers has been instrumental in incorporating First Nation’s people and knowledge into environmental planning and decision making. Prior to his appointment as IJC Commissioner, Lickers was a member of the IJC’s current Great Lakes Science Advisory Board (SAB) since 2014.

The three new Canadian IJC Commissioners are pictures
Image Credit: International Joint Commission (IJC)



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