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Biography

Ontario Senator Don Meredith is only 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 evangelical minister and volunteer pastor of Pentecostal Praise Centre Ministries in Maple, 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 help deliver solutions to local youth crime and violence.

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

His work in Ottawa also includes serving on the Aboriginal Affairs Committee; 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 was an active community and anti-crime advocate working 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; a member of the York Regional Community Police Liaison and as a member 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 an Honourary doctorate in Divinity from the Canadian Christian Clinical Counsellors’ Association. He was recently invested into the prestigious Order of St. John; and commissioned an Ambassador of Peace for the Universal Peace Federation. He also holds a Nelson Mandela Humanitarian Award for his contributions to the promotion of diversity; and the 2006 Urban Leadership Award from the Canadian Urban Institute.

He is married to Michelle, a special education teacher in York Region. They have two young adult children.

Awards:

• 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                          

• Canadian Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association(CPA)                                                                                       

•ParlAmericas

• Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples

Past Member of: 

• Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs              

• Standing Committee on Transport and Communications             

• Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament

• Standing Joint Committee on Human Rights

• Standing Joint Committee on Aboriginal Peoples