Board of Directors


Basic Income Canada Network is governed by a volunteer board of directors, who together bring a vast amount of knowledge to the table. Directors may also participate actively in the work of BICN and/or in promoting basic income in their own spheres. They come from across Canada, and bring different perspectives and expertise from mental health, technology and taxation to lived experience of poverty, public service, international development and entrepreneurship.

Sheila is a founding member of the Basic Income Canada Network and former Executive Director of the National Council of Welfare. Her 29 years of federal public service spanned front-line work, policy analysis and development, international relations and senior management, with a focus on improving fairness and equality, and on gender and race in particular. She has policy expertise in areas of income security and taxation, such as child tax benefits, child support, maternity/parental benefits, pensions and social assistance. Her insight also comes from experiencing poverty as a young parent. Sheila is grateful, in her retirement, to have resources, time and health to do volunteer work and help care for twin grandsons.

Pierre grew up in the Netherlands where he benefited from a government-funded post-secondary education that would not have been possible otherwise. In Canada since 1973, he taught for 33 years, primarily as a Senior Instructor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Dalhousie University. He has been active in the Faculty Association, serving as an executive member, as treasurer and on the negotiation team. Pierre is guided by his belief that every human being has the right to a fair standard of living, and that as a society, as a community, we have an obligation to make this possible for all. As treasurer, he wants to support the Basic Income Canada Network in achieving its goals, especially eradicating poverty and securing fair income redistribution.

Brian is a passionate advocate for the elimination of poverty after having lived and worked in some of Canada’s most vulnerable and impoverished communities. A University of Manitoba graduate, Brian went on to a career with the RCMP and became one of the force’s first certified CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) practitioners. As a certified mediator, Brian applied his skills to developing the force’s Restorative Justice program. Following his retirement from the RCMP, Brian went on to work with “at-risk” youth in the public school system and on a variety of social issues in the social planning department with the city of Red Deer. Brian draws on his these experiences to help move the needle on improving the standard of living for Canada’s most vulnerable citizens.

Enrique is a practicing psychotherapist working with marginalized populations and has a background in poverty alleviation, development, intergovernmental affairs, and community building. Growing up in Mexico, Enrique studied languages and international relations. He continued his education with a Master’s degree in intergovernmental affairs from Columbia University, going on to work for the United Nations Development Programme where he designed sustainable development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. In Canada he has worked for the Ontario government in different capacities at the ministries of Environment; Training, Colleges and Universities; and Education. In 2012 Enrique moved to Spain and later the UK and Germany, branching out to study human behaviour and specializing in psychotherapy. His understanding of the political landscape, governmental processes, and the individual experience of poverty have led him to become an advocate for the principles and objectives of the Basic Income Canada Network.

Hannah has been working in mental health since 1993, in several settings including government,  academia, and the not-for-profit sector. She received her doctorate in Neuroscience in 2004, from the University of Alberta. Hannah works with Little Warriors, an organization providing mental health services to survivors of child sexual abuse. She is also an Adjunct Professor with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta. Her research interests include factors influencing the ability to build resiliency following trauma. She was struck by the need for a Basic Income when engaged in research studying the mental health impacts of the Ft. McMurray wildfire, as it became evident that the ensuing economic devastation made residents’ return to mental wellness far more challenging.

John has been active in social justice areas since 2012. In his youth, he lived in all three westernmost provinces. After spending 30 years in Toronto, he made Hamilton his home in 2011 and moved to Barrie in 2022. His lived experience of poverty prompted him to become involved in working on behalf of the underprivileged in his community. He is an active volunteer serving with the Ontario Basic Income Network as Co-Facilitator, on the Steering Committee of Basic Income Hamilton, on the Governance Committee for the Board of Directors of the Hamilton Legal Clinic, and as Vice-Chair with the Income Security Advocacy Centre. He speaks and writes about the effects resulting from poverty including social isolation, mental health issues, housing precarity, transportation difficulties, and costs to society. He is also able to address basic income through all of these lenses and more.

John is founding director of the Canadian Poverty Institute at Ambrose University in Calgary and currently is President of John Rook Consulting. He is past President and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, was previously CEO of Potential Place, Co-Executive Director of The Alex Community Health Centre, CEO of The Salvation Army Community Services and Director of Programs & Strategic Initiatives at The Mustard Seed. John was an Associate Professor at McMaster, holds an adjunct faculty position at the University of Calgary, and lectures primarily in areas of poverty, mental illness and homelessness. He brought this experience and knowledge to his role as Chair of the National Council of Welfare (2007-2012) and the Alberta Interagency Council on Homelessness (2013-

Shari is a child and youth mental health nurse/health promoter, co-operator (member of several co operatives and the B.C. Co-op Association’s Co-op Champions Network), and a faculty member in the  nursing program, School of Health Sciences at Vancouver Community College. Shari is passionate about  co-creating healthy communities in collaboration with nursing students, Indigenous citizens and leaders,  co-ops, and diverse community groups. Part of Shari’s interest in a basic income policy arose from her  dissertation research, which was awarded the Ilona Kickbusch award from Health Promotion  International: The contradictions of Canadian capitalist processes and youth mental health: Implications for mental health promotion. This research shows the potential of universalist policies like a universal  basic livable income as foundational to enabling young people to thrive and engage in economic  systems/processes in synergistic ways.

Sid Frankel is an associate professor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba. He teaches in the areas of social policy, research methods, management of social service organizations and critical social work practice. His areas of research interest are anti-poverty policy (including basic income) and the non-profit sector. Recent publications include: Frankel, Sid (forthcoming) Poverty, the pandemic and human rights (forthcoming). Canadian Yearbook of Human Rights and Frankel, Sid. “Basic Income Advocacy in Canada: Multiple Streams, Experiments and the Road Ahead.” In Political Activism and Basic Income Guarantee, 139–162. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2020. Dr, Frankel is a founding and current board member of Basic Income Manitoba and a member of Coalition Canada. He is also a long time member of the national steering committee of Campaign 2000 to End Child Poverty and is a member of the board of directors of the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg.

The roots of Sameer’s interest in basic income emerged from his education in economics at both Cornell University and the University of Toronto. In law school, this led him to tax law and tax policy as a vehicle for prosperity and equality. He currently practices tax litigation. In 2018, Sameer presented on a UBI-FIT funding model to the North American Basic Income Congress (NABIG). He also continues to work on modeling a basic income that capitalizes on UBI-FIT efficiencies in order to make virtually every Canadian better off. In addition to his current role as a director of BICN, Sameer has previously served as the co-chair of Basic Income Toronto.