The Ottawa Police Services Board welcomes the Ottawa City Council appointment of Dr. Gail Beck as the Public Member to the Board for the 2022-2026 Term of Council. The appointment took place at the Council meeting of April 26, 2023. City Council has also recommended that the Board elect Dr. Beck as Chair.
“I am honoured to have been appointed to the Ottawa Police Services Board. I will work hard and take all the time needed to serve my community in this important role,” stated Dr. Beck. “I am also keenly interested in the ongoing dialogue taking place with respect to mental health supports in Ottawa, both as a Police Board member, but also because of my lifelong work in this field.”
The Board is planning to call a Special Meeting to hold an election for the position of Chair soon. In the interim, Vice Chair Fakirani will be the acting Chair.
Dr. Beck is replacing outgoing Chair, Suzanne Valiquet, who was reappointed to the Board in February of 2022. She previously served on the Board between 2015-2020.
“Chair Valiquet’s leadership has been instrumental in moving the Board’s business forward and her corporate knowledge from having served on the Board before has been extremely helpful to all of the Board members. She also brought a collaborative and inclusive approach to the role of Chair. She will be greatly missed,” stated Vice Chair Fakirani. “We are also excited to welcome Member Beck to our Board. Her depth and breadth of experience, both in terms of governance and the health field, will be a great asset.”
"I have greatly enjoyed my time serving on the Ottawa Police Services Board, both as a Board member and finally as a Chair over the last six months. It has been such a gratifying experience for me to work with such a committed group, both at the Board and the Service,” stated former Chair Suzanne Valiquet. “Both the Board and the Service have accomplished a lot over the last several months and I look forward to seeing the ongoing progression on important files such as the Equity Diversity and Inclusion Plan, the Safe Workplace Office, the Board’s new Strategic Plan, and the implementation of the Auditor General’s recommendations.”
Biography of Dr. Gail Beck
Dr. Gail Beck has built a career championing the health needs of women, children, and persons with disabilities. She is currently the Interim Chief of Staff and Psychiatrist-in-Chief at the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group and Clinical Director of Youth Psychiatry at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.
Dr. Beck has served on various boards and has extensive chairing and governance experience. She has served as a Governor at Algonquin College including as Vice-Chair and Chair of the Board of Governors. She also chaired the Governance Committee, among her other committee roles.
She has represented Eastern Ontario on the Board of the Ontario Medical Association, including serving as Chair of the Board. She represented Ontario on the Board of the Canadian Medical Association, where she was elected to the Executive Committee then as Vice-Chair.
Dr. Beck is a past President of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada and of the Academy of Medicine Ottawa. She was the Treasurer of Medical Women’s International Association and represented that organization as a delegate to the World Health Assembly and the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
As President of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada, Dr. Beck led the campaign to have the HPV vaccine funded in Canada. Through her efforts, the Canadian government pledged $300 million annually to vaccinate young women against human papillomavirus.
Dr. Beck has advised on various expert panels and committees, including health human resources, tax measures for persons with disabilities, and MAiD.
While her family was young, Dr. Beck was active in her community outside of medicine. For ten years she served on the Board of the National Museums of Science and Technology and was a founding member of that organization’s Foundation. She also sat on the board of her local opera company and eventually served on the Executive Committee of Opera Lyra Ottawa.
In 2002, Dr. Beck was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for Service to her community and in 2011, she was awarded the Order of Ontario, the Province of Ontario’s highest honour, in recognition of her contributions. In June 2012, she received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
The Ottawa Police Services Board is the civilian body responsible for governing the Ottawa Police Service. It is responsible for ensuring the provision of adequate and effective police services to the City of Ottawa’s residents.