Meet the Council of Canadians’ Board of Directors

The Council of Canadians is governed by an exceptional volunteer board of directors. The Board is composed of a purposeful mix of the various voices in Canada who are committed to the protection of the commons, mother earth and social justice, and therefore along with Chapter activists, represents a mix of Indigenous, labour, environmentalist, student and human rights activists.

Current by-laws

Morna Ballantyne

Treasurer, is a skilled leader with an extensive background in progressive movements, both in the labour movement and in the broader, community-based movement for social and economic justice.

John Cartwright

Chairperson, dedicated to building the strength of the Council of Canadians in every region while engaging Canada’s many diverse communities. Cartwright is the President of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council, representing 200,000 union members who work in every sector of the economy. Read more.

David Condon

Chapter representative, retired postal worker and union activist for 34 years, serving in executive and educational capacities. Condon helped to organize the Medicine Hat Chapter in 2016 to become a strong voice for progressive change across the country.

Justine De Jaegher

Education Officer for the Canadian Association of University Teachers, the national voice for academic staff representing 72,000 teachers, librarians, researchers, general staff and other academic professionals at some 125 universities and colleges across the country. Previously, she served as Executive Director of the Canadian Federation of Students. 

Ron East

Has a PhD in Theatre Studies, is a playwright, director, choreographer, and a teacher. He specializes in creative approaches to activism with a theatrical flair. East is the Chair of the Council of Canadians Guelph Chapter and is the Ontario-Quebec-Nunavut Regional Chapter Representative to the Board.

Nita Grass

A Tsilhqot'in, is an activist who is passionate about water and food safety issues. Nita is a long-time member of the Council of Canadians and a strong advocate for Indigenous rights.

Joey Hartman

Secretary, retired as president of the Vancouver & District Labour Council in 2018.  She has spent 40 years as a labour, community and social justice activist, including many years on staff of the Hospital Employees’ Union. In addition to the Council of Canadians, Joey is on the boards of the BC Labour Heritage Centre, Vancouver Community College and Pacific Blue Cross. She also serves on the Labour Studies Advisory Committee at Simon Fraser University.

Marilyn Keddy

Chapter representative, co-chair of the South Shore Chapter and helped lead the Campaign to Protect Offshore Nova Scotia (CPONS) and the NS Offshore Alliance, a coalition of fishers, environment, social justice, and community groups. Keddy is committed to broadening the work of Chapters and campaigns across the country from the grassroots to the Board.

Laila Malik

An expert in communications and fundraising with over 20 years of experience working within social movements. She has a background in gender justice and equity.

Diwa Marcelino

Through volunteer work as an organizer for Migrante, national committee member for United for Mining Justice, steering committee member for KAIROS and several other organizations, Marcelino has worked at the grassroots level to promote migrant and indigenous rights, and support ecological and social justice initiatives.

Joe Mihevc

Active on a host of global and local social justice and environmental issues, Joe facilitates strategies to build more socially just and sustainable communities.

Julian Riddell

Lawyer and grassroots activist advocating for environmental justice, migrant justice and Indigenous sovereignty. A long-time supporter of the Council of Canadians, Riddell brings skills as a lawyer and campaigner to support the Council's overall work and vision.


Navjeet Sidhu

A labour and migrant justice activist and currently works as a researcher with Unifor. He has been involved with a number of grassroots activists groups and has served as a board member for several non-profit organizations.

Deedee Slye

A communications expert with campaigns and coalition-building skills. Based in Halifax, she brings a deep knowledge of the political landscape and issues facing the Atlantic provinces.

Steven Staples

A Canadian policy analyst and president of Public Response, a digital agency that services non-profit organizations and trade unions in the fields of online engagement and government relations. He also founded the Rideau Institute.