April 11,2005

Canadian leaders named to WUF III advisory committee

Thirty-six high-profile Canadians have been appointed to a National Advisory Committee whose collective expertise will guide Canada's preparations to host the UN-Habitat World Urban Forum III (WUF) in Vancouver in 2006. Members of the committee represent the provinces of British Columbia and Quebec, Canada's First Nations, labour as well as private, public, municipal and NGO sectors.

The Committee is co-chaired by federal Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Michael Harcourt and University of Ottawa chancellor Huguette Labelle. It was created to provide advice and support to federal Labour and Housing Minister Joe Fontana, who is also Canada's lead Minister responsible for the preparations for the WUF. The committee will contribute to Canada's recommendations to UN-Habitat on themes, program content and events to support the Forum.

The World Urban Forum will be held from June 19 to 23, 2006 in Vancouver and is expected to attract more than 6,000 delegates from over 150 countries, including representatives from least developed countries. The 2006 event will also mark the 30th anniversary of the first UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat I), which took place in Vancouver in 1976. That milestone conference was notable for raising international awareness of the importance of human settlement development and sustainability. It led to the creation of the Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) by the United Nations General Assembly.

UN-Habitat launched the biennial World Urban Forum in 2002; the most recent Forum was held in Barcelona, Spain. It is quickly becoming a key international event devoted to sharing information on the critical issues of cities and communities, shelter, sustainability, and other issues related to globalization and urbanization. More information is available on the UN-Habitat Web site, www.unhabitat.org/wuf/2006.

Among those appointed to the committee are:

Louise Comeau, of Fuel Cells Canada;

RenÈ Daoust, of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada;

Barry Pinsky, of Rooftops Canada;

David Crombie, of the Canadian Urban Institute;

Ron Shishido, of the Canadian Institute of Planners;

Nola-Kate Seymoar, of the International Centre for Sustainable Cities;

David Hughes, of Habitat for Humanity Canada;

Pierre Beauchamp, of the Canadian Real Estate Association;

Mary Lawson, of the Canadian Home Builders' Association;

Nancy Gordon, of the United Nations Association in Canada;

Hugh Porteous, of Alcan;

Beverly Jacobs, of the Native Women's Association of Canada;

Normand Morin, of SNC-Lavalin Group;

David Chartrand, of the Métis National Council;

Vancouver councillor Jim Green;

Mayor Yves Ducharme, representing the Federation of Canadian Municipalities;

Johnny Carline, of the Greater Vancouver Regional District;

Ken Georgetti, of the Canadian Labour Congress;

Yves Morency, of the Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec; and

Alberta Cefis, of Scotiabank.

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