Presenters and Speakers

We are really excited to have some incredible speakers and professionals presenting the CEE awards.

Words of Greeting & Celebration:

Hon. Michael Coteau, MPP (Don Valley East)

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Michael Coteau was first elected to the legislature in 2011 as the MPP for Don Valley East. He was re-elected in 2014.

Coteau currently serves as Minister of Children and Youth Services, as well as Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism. He was previously Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, as well as Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, and before that Minister of Citizenship and Immigration in February 2013. Prior to entering government, Coteau served as a school board trustee for almost eight years.

As a trustee, Coteau worked to make schools more accessible to community groups that run after-school programs for children. He also served as the Vice-Chair of the Toronto District School Board and helped bring forward nutritional changes that increased awareness around student hunger and resulted in healthy food programs. In addition, he is a champion of the integration of technology in education.

Coteau is former CEO and Executive Director of a national literacy not-for-profit, Alpha Plus. He was also on the board of the Toronto Foundation for Student Success and on the board of the Toronto Lands Corporation. He has also worked as an ESL teacher and curriculum director.

Coteau and his wife, Lori, live in Toronto with their two daughters, Maren and Myla.

Patrick Brown, MPP (Simcoe North)

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Patrick Brown was elected Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario on May 9, 2015.  His interest in politics began while growing up in Toronto.  He served as a Vice President on the executive of the PC Party of Ontario and also served two terms as President of the Progressive Conservative Youth Federation (PCYF).

Patrick has worked hard to build partnerships with people, groups, corporations, governments and organizations – both at home and abroad – establishing connections that allow him to better serve his constituents and to rebuild Ontario as Premier.  As a result, Patrick was named an honorary citizen of Gujarat by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat. Patrick is also one of two honorary firefighters in the Province of Ontario, a testament to his commitment to working with the men and women who keep Ontarians safe.

Peter Tabuns, MPP Toronto-Danforth


As Toronto-Danforth MPP for a decade, Peter Tabuns has been the education critic, finance critic and now holds the roles of Climate Change, Environment and Energy critic for the Ontario NDP. Informed by his former roles as Greenpeace Canada’s Executive Director, and later Jack Layton’s climate change advisor continues to push for Canada to lead on International Climate Goals. Peter also served 7 years as a City Councillor in Toronto where among other positions chaired it Public Health Board.


 Commencement Speech:

Hon. Mitzie Hunter, MPP (Scarborough—Guildwood)


Mitzie Hunter is the Minister of Education, and the MPP for Scarborough-Guildwood. Prior to this post, she served as the Associate Minister of Finance, responsible for pension reform.

Mitzie Hunter understands our community and the power of working together. A lifelong citybuilder, she is passionate about unlocking the city’s potential by ensuring fair and inclusive access to employment and prosperity

As the former CEO of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, Mitzie worked to solve some of our toughest social, economic and environmental challenges. She was also previously the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, Vice-President with Goodwill Industries and a Regional Director at Bell Canada.

Mitzie and her family immigrated to Canada from Jamaica in 1975. She grew up in Scarborough, graduated from U of T (Scarborough Campus) with a BA, and recently completed her MBA from the Rotman School of Management.

As part of Kathleen Wynne’s team, Mitzie will bring people together to solve problems, and to create jobs and opportunity in our community.


Award Presenters:

Ginella Massa, City TV News Reporter

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Ginella Massa became Canada’s first hijab-wearing television news reporter in January 2015 when she was hired as a Video Journalist with CTV News Kitchener. Last year, she made the move back to her hometown, working as a reporter for CityNews in Toronto. She made history again this past November when she filled in as the late anchor, making her the first woman in hijab to ever anchor a major newscast in Canada.

Ginella graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from York University in Communications and Sociology. She also has a diploma in Broadcast from Seneca College. She has worked both behind-the-scenes and on-air for local and national Canadian news outlets and has been published in the Globe and Mail and the National Post. ​

Ginella frequently writes about issues affecting Muslims in North America, and has a passion for empowering Muslim community groups to better engage with news outlets on stories that affect them.


Tyler Downey, Director of Member Leadership & Development –  SEIU Healthcare Canada

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Raised in the Jane and Finch area of Toronto, Tyler Downey has always had a passion for the community. At a young age, Tyler thrived in his role as Executive Director of the Daystrom Foundation connecting with the likes of the late Dudley Laws and several other community leaders to put together mentoring programs for youth, advocate against local school closures and increase support programs for youth. Having been the executive director of the Foundation his love for knowledge led him to teach others about the need for youth to be involved in community and political engagement in Toronto. With Politics at the forefront, Tyler is using his current role as the Director of Member Leadership & Development for SEIU Healthcare Canada to educate union members on the importance of their participation in the political process to help achieve fairness and equality for all. Tyler has been with SEIU Healthcare for the past 10 years and has helped the organization transform into one of the strongest unions in Canada.

On a personal note, Tyler was a teenage father to his now 18 year old son whom he is most proud of.  His son is the founder of the Good Vibes Movement which aims to help create communities of positive people who strive to make our world a better place to live.  You can subscribe to the movement by checking out Tyler lives with his wife and partner of 20yrs along with their 18-year-old son in Etobicoke and loves to play and watch sports, read and stay in shape.


Shereen Ashman, Programs Manager – CEE

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Shereen Ashman is a survivor of gun violence turn Social Entrepreneur and self-described community champion. With over 10 years in the sector, her passion remains developing programs for youth, entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations in Toronto and the Caribbean.

Today, Shereen is the Programs Manager at CEE, after holding the position of Programs Facilitator and Programs Coordinator. Since spearheading the CEE pilot program in 2013, the programs and youth members have been featured in the Toronto Star, CBC and United Way of Toronto 2014 Campaign.

In 2016, Shereen was nominated CBC Torontonian of year and was featured on CBC Metro Morning show with Matt Galloway. Before that she appeared on Oprah’s Life Class with fellow members of SisterTalk Toronto, among other media platforms.

Kofi Frempong, Community Health Worker – Black Creek Community Health Centre

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