The Honourable Eleni Bakopanos, PC, is presently serving on the Executive committee and the Board of Directors of Equal Voice as well as a founding member and Co-chair of the Quebec chapter of Equal Voice/A Voix Egales, a national multi-partisan organization whose mission is to promote more women to elected office. She is past President of the McGill Women’s Alumnae Association. From 2009 to 2011 Ms. Bakopanos held the position of Senior Director for Government Relations at McGill University.
Ms. Bakopanos was the first Greek-born woman to be elected to the House of Commons as the Member of Parliament for Saint-Denis in 1993 and was re-elected for 3 more mandates in Ahuntsic from 1997 to 2006. Ms. Bakopanos has served as Assistant Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons (2001-2003); as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (2003-04) ; the Minister of Social Development with special emphasis on the Social Economy (2004-2006); and to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (1997-1999). In July 2004, Ms. Bakopanos was sworn-in by the Governor-General of Canada as a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada. From 2006 to 2008 Ms. Bakopanos was special advisor for caucus to the Honourable Stéphane Dion, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and worked in the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition of the House of Commons of Canada. She is the past President of the Women’s Commission of the Liberal Party of Canada (Quebec) that worked to ensure parity in the present federal Trudeau cabinet and is working to assure parity in all future government nominations.
Prior to entering politics at the federal level, Ms. Bakopanos had worked, for nearly 25 years, in provincial politics with the Liberal Party of Quebec as a political organizer for the ethnic communities and in government as policy advisor for the Quebec premier and the Quebec Minister of Immigration and Cultural communities. Prior to her election as an MP, she served as Vice-President of the Council of Cultural Communities and Immigration of Quebec. She was also a candidate in the provincial electoral district of Cremazie for the Liberal Party of Quebec in the 2012 Quebec election.
In addition, she serves on a number of non-governmental and not-for-profit Boards including the Basic Income Network of Canada, the YWCA Saint-Laurent-Cartierville, PINK In the City (raises funds for breast cancer), the Canadian Initiative for Lesbos-Smile of the Child( in aid of refugee children and Greek children at risk on the Greek island of Lesbos) and has served as Vice-President of the Montreal Council of Women, as well as a number of organizations in the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal.
Ms. Bakopanos has been recognized for her contributions both in Canada and internationally. She has received, to name a few, the Order of the Hellenic Republic, the Order of Portugal, the European Women’s Achievement Award, Community Service Award of the National Ethnic Press, the Women of the Year award of the Montreal Council of Women, the International Scouts’ medal and the Queen Elisabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal.
Ms. Bakopanos holds a Bachelor of Arts with honors in political science and history from McGill University, where she also studied law. She is married and is the mother of two daughters.