Jean-Michel Blais has over twenty-nine years of policing experience, having served with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the United Nations and now with Halifax Regional Police (HRP). He began his policing career in 1988 in the RCMP which saw him work in Québec, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia in the areas of municipal, provincial, aboriginal and federal policing. He also worked in the RCMP’s disciplinary tribunal as a chief adjudicator and a chief prosecutor.
He was also seconded to the United Nations in Haiti as a frontline police officer in 1995 and as the Deputy Police Commissioner in charge of operations in 2008. In January 2010, following the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti, he returned there to personally lead the recovery of two Canadian police officers and the senior management of the United Nations mission who had perished in the collapse of the UN headquarters. In October 2012, after twenty-five years in the RCMP, Jean-Michel retired from the RCMP at the rank of Chief Superintendent to become the fourth chief of HRP where he works currently.
Since his arrival in HRP, he has reoriented the senior ranks of the organisation and spearheaded a new 10-year Strategic Plan. He has also been heavily engaged in the community on The Salvation Army Advisory Board and on the Board of Directors of United Way Halifax. In 2014 and 2015, he was the co-chair for the United Way’s Charitable Workplace Campaign, helping to raise more than $12 million dollars.
He has two degrees, one in political science and economics from McGill University and another in law from Université Laval in Québec City. He has published several works on international and national police-related topics, including organised crime, Internet child pornography, human rights, the rule of law in Haiti, aboriginal law and the use of human sources in policing. He has also lectured extensively on leadership and modern police management, with emphasis on dealing with problem employees, unexpected events, the legal obligations of the employer, sustainability of policing in Canada and mental health in policing.
Jean-Michel’s interests vary from reading and writing to cycling and hockey as a hockey Canada Level III referee. He resides in Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia and is married with three children aged 31, 24 and 14 as well as two dogs.
Cheyenne Jones is a multi-faceted woman – strong in her convictions and always ready to stand up for people who are being mistreated or abused. Cheyenne is a survivor of childhood trauma and sexual abuse. She was led into the world of prostitution in her early 20’s and months later walked out of the sex industry forever, and moved to Toronto to begin a new life.
Her life experience drives her to help the most vulnerable of people. This passion has resulted in many years as a committed volunteer serving people who have been affected by trauma, abuse and severe personal difficulties.
Cheyenne is a survivor, and through her determination and dedication to Jesus Christ she has conquered many obstacles in life. Her professional career has ranged from Property Management, Retail Banking, to Corporate Sales Management, enabling her to relate and engage with many people of diverse backgrounds. Cheyenne is passionate about helping girls and women recognize their self-worth. She has made her mission in life to help vulnerable youth break free from the physical and mental chains of human trafficking.
Her passion has led her to become an advocate for youth, where she helps those affected by sexual exploitation or those being groomed for trafficking find safety, hope and restoration. dedicated mother and mentor. Her greatest joy comes from laughing with her children and coaching a mini-girls basketball team in the inner city.
Reverend Neale Bennet is an Anglican priest with a background in post-secondary education, strategic organizational leadership, organizational learning, and leadership development. Since July 1, 2015 Reverend Bennet has served as President of Atlantic School of Theology (AST), one of Nova Scotia’s ten universities.
Neale was ordained in 2004 and before that enjoyed a successful career in marketing and communications. In 1994 he took a leave of absence from his business to serve as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Premier of Nova Scotia.
Prior to taking up his appointment at AST Neale was Director of Organizational Learning at Nova Scotia Community College and previously was Director of Organizational Development and Transformation at Capital District Health Authority where he served as a member of the executive team with responsibility for the implementation of Capital Health’s strategic plan.
For several years Neale co-led the Vision, Strategy and Support Team on Building Healthy Leadership for the Anglican Diocese of Nova Scotia and PEI and was a conference leader at the annual diocesan gathering for those discerning a call to ordained ministry.
An Honourary Assistant at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Halifax, Neale has served on the Capital Health Research Ethics Board and the boards of the Maritime Conservatory of Music, the Metropolitan Non-Profit Housing Association, and L’Arche Halifax. He is currently a member of the board executive of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs, and is a member of the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents and the Nova Scotia Committee on Post-Secondary Student Health & Wellness.
Reverend Bennet has a Master of Business Administration degree from Dalhousie University and a Master of Divinity degree from Atlantic School of Theology.
A native of Halifax, Neale lives in the city with his wife Sharon and their grown children, Jack and Claire. He is a distance runner and enjoys woodworking, sailing, and hiking.