Indigenous health-care leader will chair Hamilton's police services board

Pat Mandy is the new chair of Hamilton's police services board.

Pat Mandy was previously the first Indigenous president of the College of Nurses of Ontario

Pat Mandy is the new chair of the Hamilton Police Services board. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

An Indigenous woman, Pat Mandy, is the new chair of Hamilton's police services board.

Mandy, who's a member of Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, was elected Thursday after Mayor Fred Eisenberger stepped down from the post and nominated her.

The vote to put Mandy at the helm was unanimous, and Hamilton Police Services board members even changed a procedural rule to allow it. The previous rules said all board members had to be present for the election, and one member was missing.

Mandy didn't give a speech. "Yes," she said when asked if she'd let her name stand for election. Then she recused herself from the procedural vote.

Mandy is "a wise, compassionate and skilled leader," Eisenberger said afterward. He cited "her commitment to building strong relationships with community partners to improve the quality of life and safety for Hamilton citizens."

It's not Mandy's first time at the helm of an organization. A retired health-care administrator, she was a founding member of the Registered Nurses of Canadian Indian Ancestry (now the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada). Her bio also says she was the first Indigenous president of the College of Nurses of Ontario.

She also served as vice-president of patient services at Hamilton Health Sciences, and was the first CEO of the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network.

She also chairs the De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre board in Hamilton. 

Eisenberger has chaired the police board since 2018, but said this month he's stepping down altogether to make room for diversity. Former councillor Chad Collins has also become MP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, which meant vacating his seat on the board. 

Councillors Judi Partridge and Jason Farr have been appointed as new members.