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Special Session: Updates from the Breakfast Club of Canada

About the Session:

Updates from Breakfast Club of Canada

In this session, the Breakfast Club of Canada and their partners provide news and updates on their progress to establish a national school meal program since they hosted the 2017 Global Child Nutrition Forum.

The Speakers:

  • Moderated by: Jackie Choquette, Vice President, Crestview Strategy
  • The Honourable Maria-Claude Bibeau, Minister, Agriculture and Agri-Food, Canada
  • The Honourable Jean-François Roberge, Minister, Ministry of Education, Quebec, Canada
  • Arlene Mitchell, Executive Director, Global Child Nutrition Foundation
  • Judith Barry, Co-Founder and Director, Impact & Sustainable Solutions, Breakfast Club of Canada
  • Daniel Germain, Founding President, C.M., C.Q., M.S.M., Breakfast Club of Canada
  • Byron Beardy, Program Manager, Kimeechiminan, Four Arrows Regional Health Authority
  • Celina Stoyles, Executive Director, Kids Eat Smart Foundation, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
  • Catherine Parsonage, Executive Director and CEO, Toronto Foundation for Student Success [TFSS], Ontario

The Highlights:

  • “We need to ensure a national school food program in Canada now. This means NGOs, private and public sector and government agencies of all levels must unite. Only then can we create a society centered around our children’s wellbeing and transform their insecurity into hope and smiles.”
    • Daniel Germain, Founding President, C.M., C.Q., M.S.M., Breakfast Club of Canada
  • “Together, with a national school food program, we will make direct impact on school age children, not just here in our province, but across Canada.”
    • Celina Stoyles, Executive Director, Kids Eat Smart Foundation, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
  • “I witnessed how quickly communities can creatively mobilize to meet the needs of their children. I am so grateful that the Breakfast Club of Canada approach recognizes local communities understand local needs the best.”
    • Catherine Parsonage, Executive Director and CEO, Toronto Foundation for Student Success [TFSS], Ontario

Read a summary of this special session at this link.

About The Speakers

Jackie Choquette, Moderator

Vice President
Crestview Strategy

Jackie Choquette is a Vice President with Crestview Strategy, based out of Ottawa. Jackie has nearly twenty years of public affairs experience working with governments of all levels across Canada on a range of public policy issues. She provides thoughtful, strategic advice and insights to clients to help navigate the complex environment in which decision makers must now operate. Jackie has worked with clients of all sizes, from multinational corporations to sole proprietor enterprises, in the manufacturing, energy, transportation, infrastructure, technology, immigration, health care, cannabis and finance sectors. She also has a strong background in public safety and justice. Jackie’s senior government experience gives her expert knowledge of how to navigate the complex machinery of government and influence decision makers. Jackie understands both the politics and the procedure in government, giving her the insights and knowledge to build integrated advocacy campaigns that have helped her clients secure tens of millions in government investments. Prior to consulting, Jackie spent over ten years working in government in various roles, most recently as Chief of Staff to the Ontario Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. During her time in government she led the development of several key initiatives, including a comprehensive strategy to end human trafficking, the transformation of corrections and the modernization of police services. She also served as Chief of Staff to the Government House Leader where she developed and executed the government’s legislative agenda, oversaw the Select Committee on Sexual Violence and Harassment and the development of Ontario’s first ever e-petition policy for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Jackie holds a Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management from Carleton University where she specialized in Communication and Information Technology Policy and minored in Political Science. She currently serves as the Executive Vice President of the Ontario Liberal Party and sits on the Board of Directors for the Carlington Community Health Centre.

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Compton—Stanstead in 2015. Minister Bibeau was a manager of international projects and an entrepreneur in the tourism sector prior to being elected to the House of Commons. She served as Minister of International Development and La Francophonie where under her leadership, Canada adopted a Feminist International Assistance Policy. Her commitment to the empowerment of women and girls internationally earned her the World Vision Voice of Children Award in 2019 and the CARE Global Leaders Network Humanitarian Award in 2018. In March 2019, she became the first woman in Canadian history to be appointed federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. In this role, Minister Bibeau works with provinces, territories, and agricultural stakeholders to ensure the well-being of farming families, the prosperity of rural Canada, and the protection of our environment. She is committed to ensuring that women and youth are better represented in the functions and decision-making processes of the various agricultural sectors. She also works with international partners to grow agricultural exports, while protecting supply management. In June 2019, Minister Bibeau launched the first-ever Food Policy for Canada, which aims to strengthen food security for Canadians, and to promote a thriving and sustainable food system in Canada. Minister Bibeau is an experienced businesswoman, and co-owned a successful tourism business that won numerous awards. She was also the Director of Accreditation for the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, and the Executive Director of the Sherbrooke Museum of Nature and Science. Active in her community, Minister Bibeau was the founder and coordinator of the Regroupement des institutions muséales des Cantons-de-l’Est, an association of museums in the Eastern Townships. She was a former board member of Commerce Sherbrooke, Destination Sherbrooke, Animation Centre-ville, and the Société des musées du Québec. She also served as the secretary of the Compton revitalization committee, a member of a strategic planning committee for the regional county municipality of Coaticook, and Chair of the governing board of the Louis-St-Laurent school in Compton. Minister Bibeau was born, raised, and educated in Sherbrooke. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a graduate diploma in Environmental Management from the Université de Sherbrooke.

The Honourable Jean-François Roberge

Minister of Education
Quebec, Canada

Arlene Mitchell

Executive Director
Global Child Nutrition Foundation

Arlene Mitchell is the Executive Director of the Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF), working with partners to ensure that schoolchildren around the world have nutritious, locally-sourced meals. Among her many activities, Arlene leads GCNF’s Global Survey of School Meal Programs©. Arlene worked in the Agricultural Development program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2008-2013) and in the United Nations World Food Programme (1997-2007). She led WFP’s school feeding program from 2000 to 2005. Arlene also worked for U.S. Department of agriculture, as a volunteer and as a staff member of the U.S. Peace Corps, ran a restaurant, and managed a small snack machine company. She is a graduate of Michigan State University


Judith Barry

Co-Founder and Director
Impact & Sustainable Solutions
Breakfast Club of Canada

Since the very beginnings of Breakfast Club of Canada in 1994, Judith Barry has been a model of innovation, always on the lookout for new ways to go the extra mile. Motivated by her great sensitivity and a desire to leave her mark on this planet, she doesn’t hesitate to take on new roles, seeing her various positions within the organization over the years as opportunities to learn and to give back. Today, she seeks to deepen the Club’s impact on children and families, as well as on volunteers, school teams and partners. While non traditional, her approach requires good listening and adaptation skills that are rooted in the realities and the needs of the communities. In order to adapt to the different environments in which it operates and to move from a reactive to a proactive model, the Club gathers stakeholder feedback through surveys, with the goal to constantly improve at serving children. If measuring its impact helps the Club refine its activities, the data it collects is what convinces a growing number of people of its legitimacy and of supporting its mission. In fact, Judith Barry sees the Club’s pan-Canadian impact study as one of her greatest achievements. It provides essential insight on the Club’s key components so it can continue unlocking children’s unlimited potential with even greater influence and making them the leaders of tomorrow. The Club’s benefits can be observed with even greater acuity in the various indigenous communities in which it operates, largely because of the co-founder’s ability to mobilize. Not only are children more food secure due to the variety of healthy foods they are offered, they have access to culturally-appropriate options that contribute to improving their capacities and those of the school community. Such programs prevent students from dropping out while promoting a healthy lifestyle. Judith Barry cherishes the flexibility that characterizes Breakfast Club of Canada. At the Club, everyone, no matter their situation, are welcomed with open arms, respect and dignity.



Daniel Germain

Founding President, C.M., C.Q., M.S.M.,
Breakfast Club of Canada

When Daniel Germain launched Breakfast Club of Canada with his associate Judith Barry in 1994, it seemed like he had spent his whole life preparing for this moment. But for someone who dreamt of generating lasting change, it was a visit to a Mexico landfill populated with some 50,000 youth that triggered everything. Given Daniel’s thirst for justice, strong will, profound desire to give back and difficult childhood of his own, the cause of children became an obvious choice. He understood what these young people were going through and knew he could help them. On the advice of a friend who informed him that one little Quebecer out of five didn’t have enough to eat, he decided to focus his activities there, though it didn’t prevent him to travel back to Mexico and Haiti on numerous occasions, loyal to those who had opened his eyes. In fact, those experiences abroad drove him to organize, in 2006, the Montreal Millennium Summit, an international forum dedicated to poverty alleviation and attended by social change actors and personalities from around the world. For Daniel Germain, the Club acts as a space where youth can express themselves, improve their self-esteem and be part of the solution. Each child, no matter his or her situation, has the potential to accomplish great things. But in order to achieve this, everyone needs to get involved. This is why he encourages individuals and businesses alike to not only make financial contributions, but to become active leaders. Daniel Germain’s vision and commitment make him a natural leader. People are easily convinced by his enthusiasm and his determination, which is why he has mobilized so many partners in taking action to realize the unlimited potential of children. Twenty-five years advocating for the well-being of children haven’t weakened a passion that still inspires those he encounters. Over the years, Daniel Germain has received many awards and distinctions, including Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Peace Medal of The YMCAs of Quebec. He is also a Member of the Order of Canada and a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec. Today, Daniel Germain sees himself as the Club’s “DNA transmitter” and the guardian of a vision he will always believe in.


Byron Beardy

Program Manager
Kimeechiminan, Four Arrows Regional Health Authority

Celina Stoyles

Executive Director
Kids Eat Smart Foundation, Newfoundland and Labrador

Catherine Parsonage

Executive Director and CEO
Toronto Foundation for Student Success [TFSS], Ontario

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