Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

August 04, 2008 21:30 ET

Minister of Health Names Michael Sabia Chair of Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative Implementation Advisory Board

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO--(Marketwire - Aug. 4, 2008) - Canada's Minister of Health, the Honourable Tony Clement, named Michael Sabia, former CEO of Bell Canada Enterprises, as the chair for the new Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative (CHVI) Implementation Advisory Board today. The purpose of the CHVI is to make a significant contribution to the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, whose mission is to accelerate the global development of preventative HIV vaccines.

Addressing a crowd of Canadian delegates at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, Minister Clement announced that Mr. Sabia will chair the board, made up of Canadian leaders in the business, philanthropy, public policy, scientific and non-governmental sectors. The CHVI Implementation Advisory Board will provide advice to the Minister of Health, the Minister of International Cooperation, and the Minister of Industry on how to raise the profile and promote the sustainability of the CHVI through expanded partnerships and linkages both in Canada and around the world. Additional board members will be named as their commitments are finalized.

"I am honoured to say that Mr. Michael Sabia has agreed to take on this role," said Minister Clement, "I am confident that with his successful career in Canadian business, his participation will open doors for the CHVI that will allow the Government of Canada to continue to be a leader in HIV vaccine development until we have reached our global goal."

"The CHVI is a great example of creative public policy," said Mr. Sabia, "By bringing together the public resources of the Government of Canada and the private capabilities of the Gates Foundation, this initiative can accelerate progress being made in the global fight against HIV. Our goal, as the Implementation Advisory Board, will be to leverage the strengths and ideas of the public, private and philanthropic sectors to ensure that this initiative moves quickly and has the maximum possible impact."

The Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative was launched in February 2007, and is dedicated to accelerating worldwide efforts towards the development of safe, effective, affordable, and globally accessible HIV vaccines that are essential to ultimately overcoming the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Through the CHVI, the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have dedicated, over 5 years, $111 million and $28 million respectively, to support the global fight against HIV and AIDS.

The CHVI will strengthen global capacity to manufacture HIV vaccines for high quality clinical trials. Its ultimate aim is that an affordable, safe, effective and globally accessible vaccine will be made available to those who most need it but can least afford it, particularly those in low-and-middle income countries.

The Canadian International Development Agency, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Industry Canada, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and Health Canada all partner in this global collaboration, which involves developed and developing countries, researchers, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and governments.

For more information on the CHVI, please visit:

Egalement disponible en francais


Michael J. Sabia Biography

Michael J. Sabia was President and Chief Executive Officer of BCE Inc. and Chief Executive Officer of Bell Canada from 2002 to 2008. Most recently, he has concluded final agreement to complete the privatization of the Company - the largest transaction of its kind in the world. Mr. Sabia joined the BCE group in October 1999.

Before joining BCE, Mr. Sabia was Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of the Canadian National Railway Company (CN). He was instrumental in taking CN public in 1995 and in acquisitions to position the Company as a North American carrier. He joined CN in 1993
Prior to joining CN, Mr. Sabia held a number of senior positions in the Canadian Federal Public Service, including Director-General of Tax Policy in the Department of Finance and Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Plans) in the Privy Council Office.

Mr. Sabia is a member of Board of Trustees of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. In 2006, he co-chaired the Campaign for Centraide of Greater Montreal.

Born in St. Catharines, Ontario in 1953, Mr. Sabia was educated in economics and politics at Trinity College, University of Toronto (B.A.) and at Yale University (M.A., M. Phil).

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health
    Laryssa Waler
    Public Health Agency of Canada
    Philippe Brideau
    Onsite at AIDS 2008
    Public Health Agency of Canada
    Ryan Baker