The Pointer Niagara Editorial Board




The Pointer Niagara is led by a citizen advisory editorial board that works directly with The Pointer to execute the daily journalism.

 

MEMBERS

 

Liz Benneian

Liz Benneian is a former journalist and newspaper editor, with a degree in Science from the University of Toronto, who started her career in 1985 working for Der Kanadier, the newspaper of the Canadian Forces in Germany. She subsequently worked for The London Free Press and the Windsor Star. She retired from journalism following a four-year stint as editor of the community weekly, Oakville Today. Since 2004, Liz has been leading environmental advocacy and educational organizations. Currently, Liz is Executive Director and Manager of Environmental Education for Ontariogreen Conservation Association, a charity dedicated to providing environmental education in classrooms and communities.

Liz is also the founder of the Ontario Zero Waste Coalition and the spokesperson for the Trumpeter Swan Coalition. As a director of A Better Niagara, an organization dedicated to good local governance, Liz helped develop and implement a successful strategy to remove a group of questionable politicians from Niagara’s regional Council in 2018 and get better people elected. Liz has received local, Provincial and National awards for her community work.


Ed Smith

Ed Smith was born and raised in St Catharines. A career military officer, he retired in 2011 with 25 years of service and a diversity of training including working with the United Nations in South Sudan where he continued to lead development initiatives until 2014. He is a recipient of the Order of Military Merit, a Paul Harris Fellowship, an Honorary PhD. from Nipissing University and other awards for his work in the development field. He is currently a board member of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority. 

He is dedicated to the issues of social justice, international development and environmental stewardship. In 2018, Ed was sued by a Regional government agency for his work to expose malfeasance by local government officials. While dismissing the case and handing him a complete victory the Superior Court Justice remarked that while governments in other nations may try to silence citizens who speak against them, the judge had no intention of letting that happen "in my beloved Dominion". Since then Ed has remained active in local governance and environmental issues and volunteers for many causes throughout Niagara.

 

Debbie Elliott

After completing her degree in business administration, Debbie Elliott gained over 30 years of experience in municipal (city and region) government, post-secondary education, policing and hospital sectors, holding a range of HR and other organizational management leadership roles. 

She led the delivery of finance, HR, IT, legal, and facility services at the Regional Municipality of Niagara and similar services with Niagara Regional Police. She worked on municipal service amalgamations, collective bargaining, facility builds, the annual Regional budget of $1 billion and shared-HR services to the 12 Niagara municipalities, Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority and Niagara Regional Housing. She has taught post-secondary HR courses and currently has her own company providing HR consulting services to private sector companies.
Debbie is the past Board VP for Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre Niagara, volunteers with The Owl Foundation and is active in environmental advocacy.