Matt Triemstra

Chair – Currently on leave

Matt is the General Manager of Ottawa public affairs firm Ensight and has over a decade of experience in government relations and advocacy. He helps clients navigate Parliament Hill to advance their interests with the federal government. He was named by Maclean’s as the busiest lobbyist in 2014.

Born and raised in Ottawa, Matt and his wife Shayla have three children. He plays an active role in his community, having served on the boards of his Community Association, Church Board of Elders and local Electoral District Associations. Matt is committed to living out his faith by partnering with The Ottawa Mission to meet the needs of people who are homeless and also work to restore their dignity and hope.

Shaun Baron

Vice-Chair – Interim Chair

Shaun is an international Policy Advisor with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. He has been an active member of the Ottawa Mission Board of Directors since 2017, including his current roles of Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Governance and HR Committee. Before his work at The Mission, he served for over six years on the Board of Directors of Ottawa Community Housing. Shaun is a graduate of Queens University (BA Hons, MA).

Dr. Robert Cushman


Rob joined The Ottawa Mission Board of Directors in November of 2016. Rob has also served as the Senior Medical Advisor at Health Canada and the Director General of the Biologics and Genetic Therapies Directorate from 2012-2015. Prior to this, he was the inaugural CEO of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network from 2005-2011, and before this as Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health. Rob has also worked as a primary care physician in a variety of health-care settings in Canada and abroad.

He received his undergraduate degree in economics at Harvard University and his medical degree at McMaster University. He also earned an MBA from the University of Ottawa.

Peter Saunders


Peter is the Associate Director of National Operations at Canadian Blood Services, where he is responsible for managing daily operations and key manufacturing agreements supplying fractionated blood products for all CBS sites and hospitals in Canada (excluding Quebec). Prior to this he held senior positions at General Dynamics and Nortel Networks. He has also worked with the federal and provincial governments in various capacities, as well as Indigenous populations.

Volunteer work has always been an important part of Peter’s life, particularly his involvement with various Christian ministry groups such as church boards and committees. It is very rewarding for him to provide a smile or a ray of hope to a person who is at the darkest point in their lives by stepping into this gap and advocating.

Members of the Board

Jack Murta

Since 2003, Jack has coordinated the National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast, a non-partisan group of Members of Parliament, Senators, Ambassadors, business and community leaders. Jack serves on the Boards of The Ottawa Mission and previously served on the Board of its Foundation as well. He is past President of the Board of Directors of the Mission and has also served as its Executive Director and Chaplin.

Jack leads and teaches meditation and contemplation, leading groups at Saint Patrick’s Basilica and the Mission. He is also National Coordinator for Christian Meditation in Canada. In 2016, he was appointed to the role of President of the Korean War Veterans of Canada Foundation.

Jack spent 18 years in Federal Politics, including 4 years in the cabinet of the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney. He and his wife Lyn have three grown children.

Rev. Dr. Anthony Bailey

Anthony is the Lead Minister at Parkdale United Church, a position he has held since 1999. The congregation is known for its spiritual vitality and its community outreach, advocacy and justice work.

Originally from Barbados, Anthony has lived in various parts of Canada and the world. With a background in social work, international community development, ministry and teaching at a university level, Anthony brings experience and commitment to advocating for vulnerable people. He also serves on the Board of the Parkdale Food Centre, is the Spiritual Advisor for Urban Christian Outreach and works with schools, churches and agencies around the issues of racial reconciliation, diversity and intercultural competence.

Anthony is a husband and a father of four children. He loves supporting the work and ministry of the Mission and prays that God would inspire more people in Ottawa to support its work.

Gord Lorimer

Since his graduation from Carleton University’s School of Architecture in 1977, Gord has participated in a variety of residential, commercial and institutional projects with a number of architectural firms. He is currently partner at Hobin Architecture Inc. and continues to be involved in mixed-use and residential projects. His achievements include the Bethany Hope Centre, Woodvale Pentecostal Church Addition, Beaver Barracks Redevelopment and The Glebe Community Centre Redevelopment.

Professionally, Gord is a Fellow with the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada, a Member of the Ontario Association of Architects and an Associate Member of the American Institute of Architects. Since 2002, he has been involved with the Habitat for Humanity National Capital Region, and joined The Ottawa Mission board of directors in 2015.

Carl DeJong

Carl is a Sergeant with the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) and a graduate of the Police Foundations and American Sign Language programs at Algonquin College. He is also a committed volunteer, having served with the Shepherds of Good Hope, the Children’s Aid Society, Citizen Advocacy and now Celebration! Church as a member of its Pastoral Team and Chair of its Board of Directors. Beginning as a patrol officer in 2008, as a dedicated OPS officer, Carl has maintained a steadfast devotion to those who are homeless through his work with OPS, his volunteer commitments, and his faith in Jesus.

Scott Hannant

Scott is the Communications Director at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, and a professor at Carleton University who teaches classes in television journalism. Scott first became involved with The Ottawa Mission when he worked as a CTV Ottawa News Director. Since he began volunteering at The Mission, Scott has also joined the boards of the Youth Services Bureau Foundation and Peace Camp Ottawa. He has previously served on the board of United Way Ottawa and is an honorary lifetime member of the Vanier Institute of the Family.

Kaite Burkholder Harris

Kaite is the Executive Director for the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa. Previously she was a Policy Analyst with the Homelessness Policy Directorate for the Government of Canada. Prior to this she worked as a Community Systems Planner for the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, an organization that supports communities with research in best practice and technical expertise to end homelessness, and the Alliance to End Homelessness as a Project Manager focusing on youth homelessness in Ottawa. Her years as a community mental health worker in combination with her Master’s in Public Health provide a foundation to tackle the systemic barriers of homelessness, while also understanding how systems impact people experiencing homelessness in everyday life. She is passionate about finding ways for the broader community to join the movement of ending homelessness, both locally, and across the country.

Kaite joined the Mission board in 2018. She has an evangelical background and has worked in Ministry directly. Katie currently attends the Ottawa Mennonite Church.

Alan McCafferty

Alan is a successful Strategic Consultant with more than 20 years of experience working at senior levels in both start-ups and multi-national organizations. Alan is the founder of The Strategic Consulting Group, a consultancy and advisory firm that develops strategic business solutions for their clients. A sought after strategic thinker, speaker and writer, he is a trusted advisor for The Bridge in Kanata Youth Centre, a Board Member of Saint Patrick’s Home of Ottawa and other non-profit organizations. He joined The Ottawa Mission Board in 2018.

Educated in Canada, the USA and Europe, Alan’s international business experience gives him a global perspective and understanding of how to execute high-performance strategic solutions that deliver sustainable returns for his clients. Since 2012, his focus has been to develop strategies for private and public healthcare clients in Canada and USA.

Anthony Bennett

Tony is an Ottawa native and has spent the majority of his working career in the nation’s capital.  Prior to retirement in January 2019, Tony was the President and CEO of BMO Private Investment Counsel Inc. in Toronto.

He is currently the President of the Board of the Ottawa Mission Foundation. In addition to volunteering with The Ottawa Mission, Tony has been a team leader for Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village program for 14 years.  Tony is married to Carolyn and has 3 adult children and 3 grandchildren.

Elie Labaky

Elie is a bilingual Ottawa-based lawyer whose private practice covers the majority of Eastern and Southern Ontario. Focussing on the representation of law enforcement professionals and high-profile cases, his practice areas are centered on labour/employment law, human rights, regulatory matters and professional discipline in policing. Having previously worked for the Department of Justice, Ministry of the Attorney General, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and the Office of the Chief Justice of Ontario, Elie brings with him over a decade of experience in the field of law, executive organisational governance, policing, courts administration, and strategic business intelligence. Public safety is everyone’s responsibility, starting with fostering strong community-police relationships, hence why Elie’s leisure time is spent volunteering on numerous boards in the city.

Certified Third-Party Neutral, Elie holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) degree in criminology (B.S.Sc.), Master of Arts in criminology (M.A.), Juris Doctor (common law – J.D.), Licentiate in Law (civil law – LL.L.), Master of Laws (LL.M.), and is currently completing his Doctorate of Laws (LL.D./Ph.D.). Elie is also a former recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Service Award.