Task force to boost B.C. agriculture through tech, innovation

Task force to boost B.C. agriculture through tech, innovation


 BC, News, Politics
 Thursday July 11, 2019
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More bike lanes, paths coming to northern B.C.

Peter Dhillon, chair

Peter Dhillon is active in several business enterprises, including serving as the CEO of the Richberry Group of Companies, an agribusiness enterprise with operations in British Columbia and Quebec.

The Richberry Group consists of cranberry companies, which combined, are one of Ocean Spray Cranberries Ltd.’s largest shareholders and suppliers. Dhillon is chairman of the board of directors of Ocean Spray Cranberries Ltd. He is the youngest and the first Canadian to hold this position. Most recently, Dhillon was appointed to the board of directors of the Bank of Canada. 

Dhillon is known for giving back to the community with his philanthropic and charitable service, which spans a wide variety of areas, including health care, child humanitarian support, education and sport. In 2009, he was honoured with the Order of British Columbia in recognition of his achievements and services. Recently, in a partnership with the University of British Columbia’s Sauder school of business, the Peter P. Dhillon centre for business ethics was established. 

In addition to his current business and philanthropic activities, Dhillon has held many other board positions, including:

  • vice-chairman, British Columbia Ferry Corporation;
  • vice-chairman, Agriculture Land Commission, which oversees all agriculture lands in British Columbia;
  • board director, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency;
  • board director, Vancouver Airport Authority;
  • board governor, Simon Fraser University;
  • board director, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation;
  • board director, Seacor Environmental; and
  • board director, Canwel Building Materials.

Lenore Newman

Lenore Newman is the director of the Food and Agriculture Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) where she holds a Canada Research Chair in food security and environment. She is an associate professor in the department of geography and the environment at UFV and a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s New College of Scholars.

Newman researches agricultural land-use policy, bioengineering in the food system, and the role of food and agriculture in the creation of place. Newman sat on the B.C. Minister of Agriculture’s Advisory Committee on Revitalizing the Agricultural Land Reserve and regularly speaks to government and community groups.

She has published over 40 academic journal articles and book chapters, and her opinion pieces on the future of farmland use and other food-related issues have been published in the Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun and Georgia Straight.

Her first book, Speaking in Cod Tongues, was published to wide acclaim in January 2017 and won a Saskatchewan Book Award. Her second book, Lost Feast, will be published by ECW Press in 2019. She holds a PhD in environmental studies from Toronto’s York University and lives in Vancouver. 

Arvind Gupta

Arvind Gupta is a professor of computer science at the University of Toronto and at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He has served as president and vice-chancellor of UBC, and as the CEO and scientific director of Mitacs Inc.

Gupta has published extensively on computational genomics and national innovation, and industrial strategies. As the founder and CEO of Mitacs Inc., Gupta achieved international success for interweaving graduate education with business and socio-economic needs by bringing together 60 universities with more than 1,000 industrial partners.

He serves as a regular contributor to research, innovation and advanced skills policies, with more than 100 national and international appearances. He is a senior fellow of the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and serves on the boards of the India-Canada Research Centre of Excellence, the Banff International Research Station, the Fields Institute as chair, the Canadian Statistical Society Institute as vice-chair, Palette Inc. as chair, and the Structural Innovation and Monitoring Technologies Resource Centre.

He obtained his B.Sc. from McMaster University, and his M.Sc. and PhD from the University of Toronto.

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