Patrons Council

Richard W. Ivey

Chairman, Lawyer, Philanthropist — Member, DWDC PATRONS COUNCIL

Richard W. Ivey is Chairman of Ivest Properties Ltd., a real estate development and management company, and MaRS EXCITE (Excellence in Clinical Innovation and Technology Evaluation). 

Mr. Ivey currently serves on the boards of MaRS Discovery District, EXCITE International and the Ivey Foundation. He also serves on the Advisory Boards of Social Capital Partners and the Ivey Business School. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2005.

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Margaret Atwood

Writer — Member, DWDC Patrons Council

Margaret Atwood is an internationally celebrated poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist.

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Maude Barlow

Social Activist — Member, DWDC Patrons Council

Maude Barlow is national chair of the Council of Canadians, and chair of Washington-based Food and Water Watch. She is a board member of the International Forum on Globalization and a councillor with the World Future Council. Maude is the recipient of eleven honorary doctorates and many other awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the “Alternative Nobel”), the 2009 Earth Day Canada Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award, and the 2011 EarthCare Award, the highest international honour of the Sierra Club.

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Lee Carter

Plaintiff in Carter V. Canada — Member, DWDC PATRONS COUNCIL

Lee worked with Air Canada for 41 years as a flight attendant while raising four boys on an acreage outside Fort Langley, BC.

She now resides on the Sunshine Coast in BC with her husband Hollis Johnson.

Both Lee and Hollis were plaintiffs in the Carter vs. Canada constitutional challenge that eventually struck down the laws that absolutely prohibited medically assisted dying in Canada.

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Bill Cunningham and Agi Gabor

Media and Communications — Members, DWDC PATRONS COUNCIL

Bill Cunningham is a Canadian pioneer whose successful career in television journalism spanned more than 50 years. For the CBC he was a foreign correspondent in Vietnam and in London England, and executive producer of The National. He was a host of W5, and also a founder of the flagship Global News. He received the Gordon Sinclair Award for Life Achievement and an honorary doctorate from the Ryerson School of Journalism.

Agota Gabor is founder and president of The Gabor Group, a boutique communications agency that she established in 1980. Before then, Agota was a reporter, producer and director for the CBC, working in Canada, Europe and the Far and Middle East.  She worked on many radio and TV programs including Take 30, The Public Eye and As It Happens.

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Hon. David Crombie

Politician, Consultant — Member, DWDC Patrons Council

David Crombie has been a politician, professor and consultant. A popular mayor of Toronto from 1972 to 1978, he was affectionately referred to as ‘the tiny perfect mayor.’ In federal politics from 1978 to 1988, he served as the PC member for Rosedale and held several cabinet positions, including Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs and Secretary of State and Minister of Multiculturalism. He subsequently chaired the Royal Commission on the Future of the Toronto Waterfront, and from 2001 to 2007 served as president and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute. More recently, he has served in various advisory capacities to city and provincial governments.

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Atom Egoyan

Film Director — Member, DWDC PATRONS COUNCIL

Atom Egoyan is a critically acclaimed Canadian stage and film director, perhaps best-known for his films Chloe (2009) and The Sweet Hereafter (1997), for which he was nominated for two Academy Awards in the best director and best adapted screenplay categories. He was won several Genies, plus awards at the Cannes and Toronto international film festivals. He lives in Toronto with his wife, actress Arsinée Khanjian.

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Charlotte Gray


Charlotte Gray was born in the United Kingdom. She came to Canada in 1979 and worked as a political commentator, book reviewer and magazine columnist before turning to biography and popular history. Today she is one of Canada’s best-known writers, the author of nine acclaimed works of literary non-fiction, including her most recent The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and The Trial that Shocked a Country. She has been awarded five honorary doctorates, and among many other honours, received the Pierre Berton Award for distinguished achievement in popularizing Canadian history.

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Al Hancock

Adventurist, Mountaineer — Member, DWDC Patrons Council

Over the past several years, Al has been quietly making Canadian history by climbing many of world’s tallest mountains, including Everest twice. Along with Quebec climber Monique Richard, he made Canadian history by ascending the peak of Mount Makalu, which ranks 5th in the world. He followed that up two months later with a successful climb of the extremely challenging K2, the world’s second highest peak.
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Nancy Ruth

Social activist and former senator — Member, DWDC Patrons Council

Nancy Ruth was a United Church minister, a feminist activist, an equality rights/Charter advocate, a senator and now a civic activist on gender-based budgeting.

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Ann-Marie MacDonald

Writer and actor — Member, DWDC Patrons Council

Ann-Marie MacDonald is an internationally acclaimed Canadian playwright, novelist, actor, and broadcast journalist.

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Hon. Joan Bissett Neiman

Senator (retired) — Member, DWDC PATRONS COUNCIL

Joan Bissett Neiman was born in Winnipeg in 1920. She served in the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service during World War II, retiring as a Lieutenant Commander. A lawyer called to the Ontario bar, she was summoned to the Senate in 1972. She chaired the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs and the Special Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide. She served in the Senate until her mandatory retirement in 1995. During that time, she was the first Canadian to Chair the Human Rights Committee of the Interparliamentary Union consisting of members representing over 100 countries.

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Clayton Ruby


Clayton C. Ruby is one of Canada's leading lawyers, an outspoken proponent of freedom of the press, and a prominent member of the environmental community. He received his LL.B. from the University of Toronto and his LL.M. from the University of California (Berkeley) and is the author of several legal textbooks. He specializes in criminal, constitutional, administrative and civil rights law, devoting his professional career to ensuring that those who are underprivileged or facing discrimination are given equal access to our legal system. In 1994 Mr. Ruby represented Svend Robinson who had been present at the unlawful medically-assisted death of Sue Rodriguez, but who in the end was not charged.

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David Wilson

Former chair of the Ontario Securities Commission — Member, DWDC Patrons Council

David Wilson spent most of his career in the financial services industry. From 1968 until 2005, he was involved in various banking activities while employed by the Toronto-Dominion Bank, Dominion Securities Corporation and the Bank of Nova Scotia. Before he left Scotiabank in 2005, he was its vice-chair, responsible for overseeing and leading the global wholesale activities of the bank.

In 2005, he was appointed by the Government of Ontario as chair and CEO of its crown agency, the Ontario Securities Commission, for a five-year term.

During the past 30 years, he has been involved in a number of corporate boards and community organizations. 

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Moses Znaimer

President ZoomerMedia Ltd. — Founding Patron, DWDC Patrons Council

Moses Znaimer is head of Zoomermedia and president of CARP. He is a media innovator and channel and station creator. He is the co-founder and former head of Citytv. Ideacity is a project of Mr. Znaimer.

In 2006, he was made a member of the Order of Ontario.

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