HealthCareCAN’s Board of Directors confers Honourary Life Membership on exceptional individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the health system and have demonstrated significant and sustained commitment toward the enhancement of the health of Canadians.
The Honourable Monique Bégin
A sociologist by training, Mme Bégin is an international expert on health systems, especially Canada’s. She was the first woman from Québec elected to the House of Commons. She was re-elected three times, and served as Minister of National Revenue and Minister of National Health and Welfare. Since leaving politics in 1984, Mme Bégin has been a university professor and remains active on social issues. She remains best known for the Canada Health Act.
HealthCareCAN has a long-standing history with Mme Bégin. In her official capacity as Federal Health Minister, she officially opened the building at 17 York Street in the Byward Market in Ottawa, Ontario, on April 12, 1983, where the association still resides 30 years later!
The Honourable Michael Kirby
Mike Kirby first entered government in 1970 as Chief of Staff to the Premier of Nova Scotia. Four years later he became Deputy Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Trudeau.
From 1977 to 1980, he was President of the Institute for Research and Public Policy.
Mike was Secretary to the Cabinet for Federal-Provincial Relations and Deputy Clerk of the Privy Council from 1980 to 1983. In this capacity, he was deeply involved in the negotiations that led to the patriation of the Canadian Constitution and the adoption of the Charter of Rights in the Constitution.
From 1982-1984 Mike Kirby was Chair of the Task Force on Atlantic Fisheries, which was responsible for restructuring Canada’s deep sea fishing industry.
Mike was summoned to the Senate of Canada in 1984 and retired in 2006, after 22 years of service.
From 1988-1993, he was chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce.
From 1999-2006, he chaired the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. Under his leadership, the Committee produced 11 health care reports, including the first-ever national report on mental health, mental illness and addiction. That report, “Out of the Shadows at Last”, was released in May 2006. One of the key recommendations of the report was the creation of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
In March 2007, Prime Minister Harper asked him to create the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and become its inaugural Chair. During his time as Chair, Canada’s first national mental health strategy was produced.
He resigned as Chair of the Commission in March 2012 to become the first Chair of Partners for Mental Health, Canada’s first national social movement in support of mental health, an organization he created in order to mobilize thousands of Canadians in support of improving mental health services.
In December 2008, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for his contributions to public policy and good governance in Canada, and more recently, for his leadership of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.