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Commissioner Biographies

The Niagara Escarpment Commission has 17 members (Commissioners) appointed by Order-in-Council.  Nine members, including the Chair, represent the public-at-large and eight municipally-elected members represent counties, cities and regions within the Niagara Escarpment Plan area.

Rob Nicholson


Rob Nicholson is a life long resident of Niagara Falls. He is married with three adult children. Before entering politics, he was a practicing lawyer and continues to be a member of the Ontario Law Society. Rob was first elected to Parliament in 1984. During his 9 years in Ottawa, he served as Minister responsible for Small Business and Minister of Science in 1993.   In 1997, Rob was elected to Niagara Regional Council. He sat on the Niagara Escarpment Commission from 1998-2003. Returning to Federal Politics in 2004, Rob served the Constituents of Niagara Falls, Fort Erie and Niagara- on- the-Lake, until 2019. During those years, he was appointed Government House Leader, Minister of Justice and Attorney General for 6 1/2 years, Minister of National Defence for 2 years and Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2015. 

Laurie Golden

Municipal Representative - Bruce County

Laurie Golden is an Office Manager for Miller Lake Rona. Her community involvement includes serving as a committee member for St. Edmunds Recreation Committee, St. Edmunds Museum, and National Park Advisory Committee.

Paul McQueen

Municipal Representative - Grey County

Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of Grey Highlands and Grey County Warden, Paul McQueen runs a cow/calf operation on a fourth generation family farm and owns a contracting business in home renovations and construction, excavations and farm related custom work. A Grey County Councillor for two terms, from 2003-2010, Paul is Chair of the Grey Highlands Committee of Adjustment and the Grey Highlands Road Committee. He also served a full 12 year term on the Collingwood G & M Hospital Board from 1995 – 2007 and is a member of the Grey Highlands Heritage Committee.

Johanna Downey

Municipal Representative - Peel Region

Born and raised in Caledon, Johanna Downey was elected to Peel Regional Council in 2014. With a degree in Interior Design and Architecture, Johanna is self-employed as a freelance design consultant and is co-owner of Stone House Masonry. Her many boards and committees serving Caledon and Peel include: Credit Valley Conservation; Caledon Community Service; Peel Region Growth Management; Heritage Caledon; Peel Internet Safety; Peel Housing; and Cheltenham Badlands Management Team.

Gordon Krantz

Municipal Representative - Halton Region

Gordan Krantz has been serving the Milton community continuously since 1960. Elected as a Local Councillor to Milton Town Council in 1965 and as Mayor and Head of Milton Town Council in 1980. Also, Mayor Krantz has been an essential contributor to the Region of Halton’s growth plan, by serving on the Regional Municipality of Halton Town Council since 1980, Conservation Halton Board of Directors since 1973, the Niagara Escarpment Commission for three terms and various Ad-Hoc and Standing Committees. Mayor Krantz is a founding member and strong supporter of the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance.

Albert Witteveen

Municipal Representative - Niagara Region

Albert Witteveen has been sitting as a volunteer on boards within the community and on committees at the Niagara Region. His list of involvement includes, Waste Management Advisory and Steering Committees, Chair of the Agriculture Policy Action Committee, Chairman of the Ontario Hop Growers Association, Chairman of the Niagara North Federation of Agriculture. Member of the Industry Advisory Committee at Niagara College.

Janet Horner

Municipal Representative - Dufferin County

Janet Horner is the Executive Director of the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance and Greater Toronto Area Agricultural Action Committee, a Consultant with Whitfield Consultants, a leadership, fundraising, communications firm, as well as a Councillor, with the Township of Mulmur and is Mayor of Mulmur Township.  Mrs. Horner’s community involvement includes serving as a founding board member and Chair of the Rural Ontario Institute, a steering committee member and board chair of Sustain Ontario and member of Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance and Toronto Food Policy Council. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Sciences from the University of Guelph and lives on a field crop farm in Mulmur.

Brad Clark

Municipal Representative - City of Hamilton

Brad Clark has over twenty five years of experience in executive management, public affairs, communications, government relations, resource development and community relations. Brad owned and operated his own Public Affairs Firm, where he assisted organizations in navigating the halls of government. He provided in depth research services, drafted new public policies, wrote discussion papers, provided insightful analysis and advice on municipal, provincial and federal public affairs. Brad served in the 37th parliament as MPP for the Riding of Stoney Creek, Minister of Labour, Commissioner Board of Internal Economy, Minister of Transportation, Vice Chair Management (Treasury) Board,  Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and Assistant Deputy Government Whip. Brad is serving his third term as Councillor for Ward 9  in  the City of Hamilton. 

Barry Burton

Municipal Representative - Simcoe County

Barry Burton is Deputy Warden for the County of Simcoe and Deputy Mayor for Clearview Township. He is currently the Chair of the Simcoe County Governance Committee and Member of the Simcoe Country Museum Board. He is also past Chair of the Clearview Township Committee of Adjustment. Mr. Burton’s community involvement includes being a member of the Creemore Community Centre, Chair of the Clearview Youth Committee. Through his history working with Scouts Canada youth, Mr. Burton received his Warrant of Appointment and Long Service Award. In his professional career, Mr. Burton is highly regarded in the lighting industry for providing lighting solutions on many projects locally and internationally. He is a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.

Michael Curley

Public at Large

Michael Curley is a Business Owner operating a Project and Construction Management Company in Grimsby, Ontario. Mr. Curley has a Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) designation. Michael’s career highlights include projects for IBM Canada, Microsoft, the Government of Ontario, local school boards, library design and construction and community centers. His financial background provides extensive training and experience with projects and cost controls and management, treasury management and financial and stakeholder reporting.

Gordon Driedger

Public at Large

Gordon Driedger is the President of Skyline Retail Asset Management Inc. and is accountable for all aspects of Skyline’s growing retail real estate portfolio across Canada.  Gord has over 30 years of experience in Canadian and international real estate markets. Gord holds membership and is active in many industry organizations including Corenet Global, International Council of Shopping Centres, and the Canadian Institute of Planners/Ontario Professional Planners Institute.  Gord is also active in his community as Board member of a not-for profit seniors housing corporation and non-profit children’s charity.  Gord is currently Chair, of the Halton Hills Committee of Adjustment. Gord Driedger received a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in the School of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Waterloo and a Masters of Corporate Real Estate from the Corenet Global organization.

Ron Gibson

Public at Large

As project manager, and later project director of a joint initiative between municipal Chief Administrators and the Province of Ontario, Ron oversaw the planning and implementation of a series of innovative pilot projects to advance accounting, asset management, and performance reporting in the municipal sector. This required coordinating, collaborating and consolidating the work of over 600 members on 35 project teams from 15 municipalities, 42 professional associations, and 5 Ontario Ministries. Best practices and lessons learned were shared through workshops across Ontario. As a consultant to the Asia Productivity Organization, Ron trained representatives from 21 countries on advanced business improvement methodologies. Prior to this, he held management positions at the Region of Niagara, in Community Planning (Special Projects) and Community Services (Quality Assurance and Program Evaluation). Born and raised in Grimsby on a farm near the Bruce Trail, Ron is committed to balancing conservation and development per the NEPDA.

David Hutcheon

Public at Large

David Hutcheon teaches Municipal Government at Humber College, Toronto.  A long time environmental advocate he served as a volunteer on the Humber Watershed Task Force and Alliance, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.  For his work on the Humber River, David received the S. George Rich Award for Planning Excellence Grand Prize, Canadian Institute of Planners.  He has served as Vice Chair of the Environmental Review Tribunal and a Hearing Officer for appeals and hearings related to the Niagara Escarpment.  Prior to this he was a Toronto City Councillor, Budget Chief and Commissioner of the Toronto Harbour Commission.  David has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Western Ontario.  He is a recipient of the Confederation Medal of Canada.

Ken Lucyshyn

Public at Large

Ken is an Executive Vice President operating an aggregate and road building business in Southern Ontario for over 20 years. Ken brings to his position an extensive background serving on numerous industry organization boards including The Ontario Stone Sand & Gravel Association (OSSGA), The Ontario Aggregate Resources Corporation (TOARC) and the Cornerstone Standards Council.  For several years, Ken served on the Niagara Escarpment Commission’s Public Interest Advisory Committee (PIAC) as well as the St Catharines Rodman Hall Arts Centre.   Ken is a large supporter of research and development supporting sustainable forward thinking land rehabilitation and stewardship. 

Bruce Mackenzie

Public at Large

Bruce Mackenzie recently completed his career, managing conservation areas with the Hamilton Conservation Authority, as Director of Customer Services. His career centered on managing the Fifty Point Conservation Area Marina and he is a Past President of the Ontario Marina Operators Association. His work with the association culminated with receiving the WJ Robertson Award, a life time achievement award. Bruce is an active naturalist and is a Past President of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club and is presently a Director of its Bird Studies Group and a founding director of the Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch. He frequently leads outings, contributes to monthly periodicals and speaks to groups throughout Niagara and Hamilton. He is actively involved in environmental projects in Hamilton/Niagara including the Grimsby Wetlands and Save the Woodlot. He has won numerous distinctions for his environmental work including the 2016 Rt. Hon. John Turner Environmental Leadership Award. Bruce graduated from the University of Guelph Hons. B.Sc./76 in Fish and Wildlife Biology. He enjoys his life in Grimsby with his wife, Laurie, and is passionate about kayaking and biking the Bruce and Niagara.

Duncan McKinlay

Public at Large

Duncan McKinlay brings a passion for environmental stewardship, sustainable land use planning and progressive rural communities, as seen through his work as a municipal councillor, county councillor and Grey County Warden.  He has worked in agriculture as a farm manager and as a farm specialist in a rural mental health facility for children. Currently, he is a beef farmer at Farview Farm in Ravenna, Ontario with his wife Susan. Enjoyment of the outdoors is shared with their three children and ten grandchildren.  Duncan believes strongly in our duty to leave our environment and our communities better than we found them.

Jennifer Vida

Public at Large

Born and raised in the Niagara Region, Jennifer Vida left the area to pursue education and career development. Jennifer ultimately ended up settling back in Niagara to continue her passion in development. Jennifer is a mother of one. For 18 years, Jennifer has been working as a planner to facilitate wise land development and construction throughout the province in cities that included Ottawa, Toronto, Oakville and the entire Niagara Region. Jennifer has a passion for building and has developed a deep and abiding respect for the beautiful landscape we are so lucky to be blessed with in the Niagara Region. Jennifer received a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning from Ryerson University and she maintains professional memberships as a Registered Professional Planner (RPP) with the Ontario Professional Planners Institute and is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners (MCIP). Jennifer also sits on the Government Liaison Committee for the Niagara Home Builders Association (NHBA). Jennifer is passionate about her industry and strives to play a role in how it progresses.

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