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Biography

Ontario Senator Don Meredith is the fourth person of African descent, and the first ever Jamaican to serve in the Senate of Canada.

A businessman and community advocate, he is an ordained minister and volunteer pastor of Pentecostal Praise Centre Ministries in Vaughan, Ontario.

A passionate champion of youth empowerment, in 2002, he co-founded the Greater Toronto Faith Alliance Centre where he continues to serve as volunteer Executive Director to engage, encourage and empower marginalized youth, adults and newcomers.

Senator Meredith introduced Bill S-213 that was passed to nationally recognize January 21 as Lincoln Alexander Day – the first legislation of its kind to honour a person of African descent in Canada.

On the national level, he is steering the development of a National Youth Strategy and in 2014, delivered the first-ever Parliament Hill-based live-streamed online youth summit engaging young people and stakeholders from coast to coast on pressing issues.

His work in Ottawa also includes serving on the Fisheries and Scrutiny Committees; co-chairing the Canada-CARICOM Parliamentary Friendship Group; spearheading efforts to erect a national monument in honour of the military contributions of Black Canadians; and urging our Government of Canada and the international community to better respond to crisis-laden global hotspots.

Prior to his senate appointment, Don Meredith, an active community and anti-crime advocate worked to counter gun and youth violence.  He served as co-chair of the Black Community Police Consultative Committee; a member of the York Region Police Chief's Advisory Council; of the York Regional Community Police Liaison and of the RCMP Consultative Committee. He was also a member of the Toronto Police Service Chief’s Advisory Service and the B’Nai Brith Canada Special Advisory Council to the League for Human Rights.

He holds a Master’s degree from California State Christian University and a Honourary doctorate in Divinity from the Canadian Christian Clinical Counsellors’ Association. He is invested into the prestigious Order of St. John; and commissioned an Ambassador of Peace for the Universal Peace Federation. He is a recipient of the following awards:  The Nelson Mandela Humanitarian Award; The 2006 Urban Leadership Award from the Canadian Urban Institute; The Vaughn African Canadian Association Award of Excellence; The University of Toronto Advancement Achievement Award and The 2015 AroniAward for Youth Organization - GTA Faith Alliance.

He is married to Michelle, an educator and youth advocate who has a passion for those identified as special needs and at-risk. They have two young adult children.

Awards:

• Award of Excellence (Vaughn African Canadian Association, 2015)

• Advancement Achievement Award (University of Toronto, 2015)

• AroniAward Youth Organization - GTA Faith Alliance (Aroni Awards, 2015)

• Ambassador of Peace (Universal Peace Federation, 2014)

• Community Safety Award (Ontario Multifaith Council, 2014)

• Nelson Mandela Humanitarian Award (Planet Africa Awards, 2012)

• Chevalier Miles (Les Chevaliers de France, Commanderie générale d’Avignon, 2012)

• BBPA Harry Jerome Youth Advocacy Award (BBPA Harry Jerome Awards, 2012)

• Markham Community Service Award (City of Markham, 2011)

• Excellence in Religion citation (African Canadian Achievement Awards of Excellence, 2011)

• Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree (Canadian Christian Clinical Counsellors’ Association, 2011)

• Toronto Police Service 13 Division Community Service Award (Government of Ontario, 2008)

• Urban Leadership Award (Canadian Urban Institute, 2006)

Present Member of:

• Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans

• Standing Committee of Scrutiny of Regulations

• Canada-CARICOM Parliamentary Friendship Group (Co-Chair)

• All-Party Anti-Poverty Caucus (Treasurer)

• Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association                                    

• Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group                                                             

• Canada-United States Interparliamentary Group 

• Canada-Mongolia Interparliamentary Friendship Group (Senate Vice Chair)                        

• Canadian Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA)                                                                                       

• ParlAmericas

 

Past Member of: 

• Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs              

• Standing Committee on Transport and Communications             

• Standing Committee on the Library of Parliament

• Standing Committee on Human Rights

• Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples