The Government of Canada Announces the Appointment of New Members to the National Council of Welfare

Media Appearances, Think Tanks, Frontier Centre

The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today announced the appointment of Rev. Larry Gregan and Mr. David S. Pankratz of Manitoba, Colonel Glen Shepherd of Quebec and Mr. Calvin D. Helin of British Columbia to the National Council of Welfare.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of these individuals to the National Council of Welfare,” said Minister Solberg. “Their combined experience in various areas will be a valuable asset to the Council.”

Rev. Larry Gregan is ordained in the North American Baptist Conference and began serving as Associate Pastor at New Life Ministries in Winnipeg in 1994. His ministry helps others deal with situations of family violence, addiction, crime, and medical crisis.

Through Lazarus Housing, New Life Ministries has renovated and sold 26 derelict houses to low- and middle-income families, and it has renovated 100 emergency and transitional rental units. New Life Ministries also founded the Ellice Café and Theater, a sustainable community economic development initiative that promotes diversity and integration in the community.

From 2001 to 2003 Rev. Gregan served as board chair for Pregnancy and Family Support Services, the Family Community Center, and the Spence Street Thrift Shop; and he recently joined the Police Advisory Board for the City of Winnipeg.

Rev. Gregan holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Divinity degree from Providence Seminary in Otterburne, Manitoba.

Mr. David Pankratz is an accountant from Winnipeg with a significant interest in global issues affecting quality of life for all. He is currently the Director of the Institute for Community Peacebuilding at Canadian Mennonite University. In that role he looks at the impact of better public policy on entire communities.

Mr. Pankratz started his career in 1981 as an accountant with Janzen, Knowles and Warkentin, and with Providence College and Seminary in Manitoba. In 1990, he became Financial Controller for the Mennonite Central Committee Canada in Winnipeg, where he developed tax-related policies for overseas workers. Mr. Pankratz has also worked as a business manager for the Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation in Zambia, and for the Westgate Mennonite Collegiate in Winnipeg.

Mr. Pankratz authored a study entitled Which Best Helps the Poor? Minimum wages, Tax Credits or Tax Exemptions?, which was released in January 2008 for the Frontier Centre for Public Policy‘s Anti-Poverty Project.

Mr. Pankratz holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Winnipeg and a Masters of Business Administration from Laurentian University in Sudbury.

Colonel Glen Shepherd has been Chief Secretary of The Salvation Army, Canada and Bermuda, since 2003, serving as chief operating officer for this organization in Canada and Bermuda. Colonel Shepherd began his career with this organization in 1981, working as Pastor of The Salvation Army community church in Lethbridge, Alberta. He later earned senior positions including Director of Youth Programs for Quebec, in 1983; National Youth Program Director for France, in 1987; Director of Finance of the The Salvation Army, Canada and Bermuda, in 1994; and Divisional Commander of the Quebec Division.

The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that gives hope and support to vulnerable people in 400 communities across Canada and 113 countries around the world. It offers practical assistance for children and families, shelter to the homeless, and rehabilitation support to people who suffer from addictions.

In October 2007, Colonel Shepherd received an honorary doctorate degree of Humanities from Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), majoring in Economics and Sociology, and a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of McGill in Montréal. In 2004, the Government of France admitted Colonel Shepherd as Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honour.

Mr. Calvin Helin has an extensive background in law, business, and community service. A lawyer by trade, he was admitted to the Law Society of British Columbia in 1992. He then was co-chair of Ferguson Gifford’s First Nations Law Group and Chair of Asia Pacific Law Group until 1997. At the same time, he led the initial all-First Nations trade delegation to China in 1994; he was selected to participate in the United States International Visitor Program in 1995; and he was leader of the Aboriginal trade mission to New Zealand in 1997.

Mr. Helin has also helped create several businesses and not-for-profit organizations including the Pan Pacific Aboriginal Trade Company Inc. in 1998, the Aboriginal Global Investment Management Ltd. in 1999, the Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association in 2000, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network in 2001, the National Aboriginal Business Association in 2005, and the BC Oil and Gas Association in 2007. In addition, he was Director of the National Board, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, in 1997, and Chair of the Working Committee, Canadian Aboriginal Business and Trade Corporation, in 1999.

Mr. Helin holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of British Columbia. He has published numerous papers, written columns on Aboriginal issues and a book entitled Dances With Dependency: Indigenous Success Through Self-reliance. He is President and Chief Executive Officer of Orca Spirit Publishing and Communications Inc. and President of Calvin Helin Law Corporation.

The National Council of Welfare, which was created in 1969, advises the Minister on the needs and problems of low-income Canadians, and on social and related programs and policies that affect their welfare. To this end, the Council communicates directly with the Minister, informs and influences public opinion through widely disseminated reports, and provides a vehicle through which people concerned with the problems of low-income Canadians can make their views known to the Government.

For more information on the Council, please visit