The Council is made up of Chairperson and 12 Council Members
Council / Staff
The Council is made up of Chairperson and 12 Council Members
Front Row left to right: - Christyne Allain; Kara Reid (Fredericton); Andrew Daley (Green Mountain); Ken Walsh (Black River); Jeff Sparks (Quispamsis -Chairperson); Premier Brian Gallant; Linda Ferrier (Fredericton); Christine Evans Saint John); Noëlla Hébert (Saint-Louis-de-Kent); Mike George; Cheryl LeBlanc; Sandy Meikle (Fredericton). Missing from photo - John Wood (Oromocto)
Left to right: Linda Ferrier, Treasurer,Andrew Daley, Vice-Chair, Premier Brian Gallant, Christyne Allain, PCSDP Executive Director / DAW Co-Chair, Sheila Rogers and Michael George
Front Row left to right: Jeff Sparks, Chairperson, Randy Dickinson, DAW Co-Chair
Andrew Daley - Green Mountain
Andrew earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the university of New Brunswick. He is a Certified Assistive Technologist and Learning Strategist providing training and support for assistive technology and strategies that extend to students with disabilities at the University of New Brunswick (since 1999), and the New Brunswick Community College system (since 2007). Andrew coordinates the conversion of UNB libraries print materials to alternative formats for students who have print disabilities. He is Vice Chair of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind - NB (CNIB) and serves as a member of two National CNIB committees - the National Programs and Services Committee and the Youth Council. Andrew is a 2012 recipient of the CNIB Holly Award for volunteerism and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for distinguished volunteer service to community and country.
Council Member Biographies
Cheryl LeBlanc - Shediac
I am currently involved with the Children Wish Foundation Committee, Relay for Life, Greater Moncton Association for the Community Living. I do a lot of fundraising for the local food bank. I have been involved in the last five years, in my personal fundraising called the ELF project, we help numerous families, during the Christmas, and help them have a better Christmas.
I worked with the province for 9 years and then for the federal for 15 years. I love helping people, spending time with my family and camping. Hopefully with my personal experience having a child who is autistic, and my involvement with the Community, I will be able to help and be an asset to PCSDP.
Christine Evans - Rothesay
Christine is the President & CEO of Key Industries in Saint John, NB. She has been at Key Industries since 1986 and is proud to be a part of a team that empowers people with a disability to achieve social, community, and economic independence. Christine is also the President of NBASSE (New Brunswick Association for Supported Services and Employment), a member of SJAAC (Saint John Ability Advisory Committee), the Vice President of the Saint John Kiwanis Club, and a Member of the Key Industries Charitable Foundation. Christine was a member of the Employment Action Plan Working Group from 2010 – 2011. Christine has volunteered for Romero House, Safe Kids BBQ, charity events, and numerous community fundraisers. Having family members with a disability she lives through the challenges and is motivated to improve services to ensure a positive future for all.
Linda Ferrier - Fredericton
Linda was born and raised in Upper Woodstock New Brunswick. She studied at the University of New Brunswick, obtained degrees from York University and the University of Toronto and pursued a career in community healthcare in Ontario. She became responsible for advocacy and community-based client services for brain injury survivors. During that time she also served as a member of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute Community Advisory Group and various committees of the Toronto Acquired Brain Injury Network. Following her retirement, Ms. Ferrier returned to New Brunswick to be near family and now has the time to be reconnected to her home province and to work on community issues. She has direct personal involvement and experience through immediate family members dealing with long-term disabilities and the challenge they present. Amongst disability related concerns, she has a particular interest in cost effective community-based support services and issues around long-term care.
Michael George - Saint John
Michael has been an IT consultant for nearly 30 years. He is also a parent of three young adults, one of whom has complex physical and communication disabilities. He has been a fierce advocate for his son to ensure he receives the best possible care and education. Michael has worked with the Department of Education to bring world-class MOVE training to the province as well as an intensive workshop on augmentative and alternative communication. In October 2012, he presented at Inclusion International’s global forum in Washington, DC. He also recently published his first book, Third Time Lucky: How Ben shows us the way, which tells of his son’s amazing first five years and their determination to unleash the smart, social, loving boy who was trapped deep inside a spastic body.
Noëlla Hébert - Saint-Louis-de-Kent
Sheila Rogers - Bathurst
Brent has been a long-time advocate for persons with learning disabilities. Previously he sat on the board of directors for the Learning Disabilities Association of New Brunswick from 1989-1999. He continues to advocate the improvement of the lives and changes needed in legislation, laws and services to make this happen. He was also previously on board for the Alzheimer Society of New Brunswick from 2006-2008, and was former founding board member of Science East in Fredericton. He has also participated as a public spokesperson on disability topics with newspapers, radio interviews and TV trade shows. Brent has met with government officials on various occasions over the years encouraging service improvements for the lives of persons with learning disabilities as well as ADHD. He is also seeking changes for persons living with mental illnesses. Being very sensitive towards the challenges presented towards individuals with a disability, he strives towards improving processes. As a member of PCSDP, Brent looks forward to pushing for legislation and contributing towards the goals of improving lives for citizens of New Brunswick living with a disability.
Dawn Stevens has lived in Fredericton for most of her life. She attended Dalhousie University to obtain her Bachelor of Arts degree, with a Major in Psychology. During her time at university, she also worked in an Animal Cognitive Learning Laboratory & a Molecular Psychiatry Laboratory.
Dawn has also volunteered & been on the Board of Directors for D.O.T.S. NB, a non-profit aiming to improve access to treatment services for youth with mental health issues through family & community empowerment.
Dawn is a Mental Health Advocate, and has over 25 years of lived experience with mental health disorders. She became a Certified CAN Life Coach in 2011 with the Centre for Applied Neuroscience in Toronto in hopes of helping others in the areas of mental health & overall wellbeing. Dawn founded her own private Life Coaching business in 2011.
Michèle Ouellette - Edmundston
Originally from the Edmundston area, Michèle has a Bachelor of Nursing degree from the Edmundston Campus of the Université de Moncton. Her nursing career was spent mainly in the area of community nursing. She worked for Health Canada on an Indian reservation in Quebec, in public health in the Edmundston area, and for the past 28 years with special needs children and their families as an employee of the Department of Social Development in the northwest.
She has been retired since December 2014, and continues to offer her time as a volunteer in several organizations. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Mouvement Acadien des communautés en santé (MACS-NB) as Past President. She is the President of the Madawaska Centre team of the Réseau Mieux-Être du Nord-Ouest (northwest wellness network). She is a member of the CHIC group (Collectif hôte de l’inclusion communautaire) of the Réseau mieux-être. She was president of the Network Inclusion Community North-West (NICNW) from 2012 to 2015 and a member of the board of directors of the Association pour l’intégration communautaire Edmundston-Madawaska – AICEM (Edmundston-Madawaska association for community living) from 2009 to 2015.
The past 28 years with special needs children and their families have enabled her to discover these extraordinary individuals, and it is a pleasure for her to now work with people living with a disability and include them in all activities of daily living.
Annie Chiasson Doiron - Petit-Tracadie
Annie Chiasson Doiron is the Executive Director of Vie Autonome Péninsule Acadienne (VAPA). VAPA’s mission is to promote and foster the progressive responsibility of persons in the community with permanent disabilities to help them develop and manage their personal and community resources. The mother of two children, Ms. Chiasson Doiron has a diploma in Business Technology - Administration and e-commerce options. Her experience at VAPA and in the Department of Education, at the Centre de Bénévolat de la Péninsule Acadienne, her studies, and her participations in many regional and provincial committees, and the fact that she has a disability herself, have enriched her knowledge for her duties on the Council.
She has a passion for and is dedicated to improving the well-being and integration of all people living in our beautiful community.
The Council provides a support and referral service to individuals for services available in the community.
Christyne Allain, Executive Director
Christyne Allain is the Executive Director of the Premier's Council on Disabilities in New Brunswick. Christyne joined the Premier’s Council in March 2008 as Program Officer. Prior to joining the Premier’s Council staff she worked with the Department of Health, Provincial Epidemiology Services, the Commission on Legislative Democracy, Literacy NB and the Department of Finance. Christyne was hired as Executive Director of the Premier’s Council in November 2009.
Christyne graduated from St. Thomas University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts and a double major in Psychology and Gerontology. In addition, she has completed courses in effective communication through the University of Sherbrooke.
Christyne sits on a number of committees related to employment, education, housing, transportation and various public policy issues connected to the disability community. She is also co-chair of the N.B. Disability Awareness Week.
Brian Saunders, Policy Advisor
Brian comes to PCSDP from the Department of Healthy and Inclusive Communities. His responsibilities there had included the Disabilities portfolio, the Action Plan and the Employment Action Plan. Brian also spent time working with the Criminal Justice system, Public Safety and has worked in the Ukraine.
His background also includes work with the John Howard Society. Further, his eldest son has a disability which provided him with the opportunity to learn first-hand what resources were and were not available to his family, how the system works and the challenges a family faces on a daily basis caring for a loved one.
Brian will be with PCSDP for the next 5 years (2015-2020) and his responsibilities will focus primarily on policy development and research for the Premier’s Council.
Chelsee MacLeod, Project Coordinator
Chelsee joined the Premier’s Council in July, 2013. Chelsee is a graduate of St. Thomas University, completing her Bachelor of Arts 2011 with a major in Criminology and her Bachelor of Social Work in January, 2013. Chelsee began her work in the disability field with Jobs Unlimited and was an active volunteer with Best Buddies during her time at St. Thomas.
The disability field was the basis for Chelsee entering the Bachelor of Social Work program. During her Bachelor of Social Work education Chelsee completed her clinical field placement with The Department of Social Development in the programs of Long Term Care, Disability Support and Community Based Services for Children with Special Needs.
Rachel Thiboutot, Information Services Navigator
Rachel earned a Special Care Counselling Diploma at Cégep de Jonquière (Quebec) in 1995. Her career was spent mainly with people experiencing adjustment difficulties such as those with a physical disability and delinquents, to enable their social integration and facilitate their rehabilitation. She worked with several organizations and agencies such as youth rehabilitation centers, special education schools and long-term care facilities in Quebec, Ontario, Nunavik, Nunavut and New-Brunswick.
Rachel has a bilateral hearing loss since childhood and it enable her to understand the daily challenges of living with a disability. Her hearing loss did not deter her to reach her goals and to master two languages, French and English. Furthermore, Rachel is a Reserve Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces and pursue a Bachelor of Military Arts and Science at the Royal Military College of Canada. She is also an active volunteer with the York Sunbury Search and Rescue and with the Canadian Cadets Organizations.
Maggie Lyons-MacFarlane, Project Manager
Prior to joining the Premier’s Council on Disabilities to manage the Disability Awareness Week campaign in 2018, Maggie has returned to New Brunswick from Halifax NS. Maggie has been a part of diverse disability related academic, employment and volunteer experiences. Maggie received a BA from UNB Fredericton in 2011 Sociology which focused on minority groups, human rights and policy based study.
In 2013 Maggie worked for Autism Nova Scotia as a research coordinator managing several different tasks and expectations. In the late fall of 2017 Maggie graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax NS with a Master of Arts in Education. The basis of master degree required a thesis which used Universal Design for learning to create a job search strategy tool for individuals with disabilities.
As a person who lives with a couple of “invisible” disabilities Maggie remains active as Provinical director for the National Educational Association for Disabled Students.
Kristin Colwell, Office Manager
Kristin joined the Premier’s Council in April 2003. Prior to joining the PCSDP staff she worked with Easter Seals NB (formerly known as NB Easter Seals March of Dimes), a not-for profit organization that helps children and adults with physical disabilities.
Graduated from CompuCollege in 2002, Kristin majored in Business, Accounting and Computer Applications. Outside of the office she is an active volunteer with local emergency services such as the Upper Kingsclear Fire Department as well as York Sunbury Search and Rescue.