News Release

John Leggat to Serve as Chair of Expert Panel on Prioritizing Climate Change Risks

The Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) is pleased to announce Dr. L. John Leggat, FCAE, as Chair of the newly appointed Expert Panel on Prioritizing Climate Change Risks. Dr. Leggat is the Former Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Technology, at the Department of National Defence.

As Chair, Dr. Leggat will lead the multidisciplinary, multisectoral panel composed of individuals with expertise, experience, and demonstrated leadership in the natural sciences, social sciences, health sciences, engineering, government and policy, and economics and industry. The Expert Panel will address the following assessment question: What are the top climate change risks facing both Canada and the federal government, and their relative significance, and which have the most potential to be minimized by adaptation measures?

This project was referred to the CCA by the Treasury Board Secretariat. The final report will be released in 2019.

The Expert Panel on Prioritizing Climate Change Risks:

L. John Leggat, FCAE (Chair), Former Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Technology, Department of National Defence; Elizabeth Beale, former President and CEO, Atlantic Provinces Economic Council; Commissioner, Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission; and Associate, Harris Centre for Regional Policy, Memorial University; Pierre Gosselin, Consulting Physician, Quebec National Public Health Institute; Clinical Professor, Université Laval and Institut national de la recherche scientifique; Coordinator Health, Ouranos; Bronwyn Hancock, Associate Vice-President Research Development, Yukon College; Deborah Harford, Executive Director, ACT (the Adaptation to Climate Change Team), Simon Fraser University; Paul Kovacs, Executive Director, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction; Barry Smit, O.Ont., FRSC, Professor Emeritus, Geography, University of Guelph; and Roger B. Street, Research Fellow, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford.


“I am delighted to be chairing this Panel of eminent experts and tackling such an important and cross-cutting issue. I look forward to working with the Panel to develop an evidence base that will help to inform an effective response to the most significant risks posed by climate change.”

-L. John Leggat, FCAE, Chair of the Expert Panel on Prioritizing Climate Change Risks

“We are delighted Dr. Leggat has accepted the role of Chair for this assessment. We look forward to drawing on his vast wealth of knowledge and leadership experience to develop a comprehensive report on the top climate change risks for Canada.”

– Eric M. Meslin, PhD, FCAHS, President and CEO of the CCA

Additional Information

  • In addition to the main assessment question, the Panel will also address the following sub-questions:
    • What criteria should be used to assess the relative impact of the risks from a changing climate?
    • How should the risks be categorized in order to support effective decision-making and action?
    • More information about this project can be found here.


Samantha Rae Ayoub
Communications and Publishing Director
Council of Canadian Academies
613.567.5000 x 256