Appointments to VIA Rail Canada

Jun 18, 2014, 14:30 ET from Transport Canada

Three-year mandates for Ms. Melissa Sonberg and Ms. Deborah Robinson

OTTAWA, June 18, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, today announced the appointments of Ms. Melissa Sonberg of Montreal, and Ms. Deborah Robinson, of Toronto, to the board of directors of VIA Rail Canada, each for a three-year term.

During Ms. Sonberg's 30 years as an executive, she has specialized in managing organizational change, balancing operational priorities with effective governance, and handling communications in a range of business, not-for-profit and academic environments. Ms. Sonberg is Chair of the board of directors of Equitas - International Centre for Human Rights Education, as well as serving on several other boards, and is also Adjunct Professor at McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management. Prior to this, Ms. Sonberg held senior management positions at Aimia (formerly Groupe Aeroplan) as Senior Vice-President of Global Brand, Communications and External Affairs, and at Air Canada as Director and Senior Business Advisor during its transition from government ownership to becoming a commercial corporation.

Ms. Robinson's career in human resources over the past 25 years has involved working in dynamic, changing environments on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and start-up companies, and serving on both not-for-profit and corporate boards. Since 2004, she has been chair of the HR and Governance Committee of Best Buddies/Vrais Copains, a national charitable organization. Ms. Robinson was also chair of the Human Resources Committee at Frontline Technologies Inc., and previously held senior positions at CIBC World Markets, at Fidelity Investments, and at American Express. Mrs. Robinson completed the Directors' Education Program of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) and holds the ICD.D designation. In addition, she is the founder and president of Bay Street HR, a company that provides human resources services to small and mid-sized financial and professional service firms.

Quick Facts

VIA Rail Canada Inc., a Crown corporation, was created in 1977 and operates Canada's national passenger rail service. The board of directors is responsible for overseeing the business activities and other affairs of the corporation.


"I am pleased that VIA Rail will benefit from Ms. Sonberg's and Ms. Robinson's impressive knowledge of corporation governance and outstanding work in their respective fields of organizational management and human resources."

The Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport

Associated Link

VIA Rail Canada       

SOURCE Transport Canada