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Banking on experience

Queen’s Chancellor to serve as Special Advisor on Canada Infrastructure Bank.

Queen’s Chancellor Jim Leech (MBA’73) has been appointed the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on the Canada Infrastructure Bank. In making the announcement on Friday, Feb. 10, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cited Chancellor Leech’s decades of managerial experience in business and the not-for-profit sectors.

[Jim Leech]
In this new role, Chancellor Leech will work in collaboration with the Privy Council Office, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and the Minister of Finance to expedite the creation of the Canada Infrastructure Bank. 

“The renewal of aging infrastructure and creation of new infrastructure is a hot topic around the world – governments of all stripes and at all levels are seeking to modernize their economic backbones,” Chancellor Leech says. “I believe that, if done right, an Infrastructure Bank will give Canada a competitive advantage in the global quest for infrastructure funding and development. I am honoured that the prime minister has asked me to contribute to moving the bank from concept to reality.”

After graduating from the Queen’s Masters of Business Administration program in 1973, at the top of his class, Chancellor Leech entered the financial services and real estate industry. In 2001, he was selected to establish the private investment arm of the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan before being appointed president and CEO in 2007. During his term, he oversaw the plan’s growth to become the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada, responsible for investing $150 billion for 310,000 teachers before retiring in 2014.

“During his term as chancellor, Jim Leech has worked tirelessly as an advocate for and representative of Queen’s,” says Michael Fraser, Vice-Principal (University Relations). “We are certain that he will bring this same unflagging effort to this new role. Queen’s offers Chancellor Leech our most sincere congratulations as he takes on this new responsibility.”

Chancellor Leech also serves in leadership roles with the MasterCard Foundation, the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation and 32 Signal Regiment.

“Mr. Leech brings with him immense knowledge and experience, and I am confident that he will help ensure a smooth and successful launch of the Canada Infrastructure Bank,” says Prime Minister Trudeau. “This is about making sure our public dollars go farther and are used smarter, as we make historic investments in infrastructure to create middle class jobs today and sustained economic growth for years to come.”

In his new role, Chancellor Leech will be tasked with guiding an implementation team, engaging with stakeholders, providing strategic advice, and overseeing the recruitment of board members for the Canada Infrastructure Bank. The bank, announced in the 2016 Fall Economic Statement, will be responsible for investing at least $35 billion from the federal government in large infrastructure projects across Canada.

For more information on the announcement and the Canada Infrastructure Bank, visit the website.