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March 2024: Judith Leblanc

Judith was nominated for her bravery in advocating to shed light on an important issue. She played a big role in developing Scientific Integrity policies at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which has improved evidence-informed decision-making and working conditions for scientists. Judith is the National Steward Officer at the Professional Institute of Public Service Canada, and Science Advisor at Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

About Judith:

Since January 2023, Judith Leblanc has been on unpaid leave from her Science Advisor position for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to help develop a steward framework as the first National Steward Officer for the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, a union representing scientists and professionals employed at the federal and some provincial and territorial levels of government.

Judith Leblanc holds a Bachelor’s degree in biology and a Master’s degree in Oceanography and has been a biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada since 1996. She began her union involvement by becoming a steward in 2012, at the time of the Harper government cuts. Since then, she has represented members at the local, regional, and national levels, and has also served on the PIPSC’s Applied Science and Patent Examination Group’s national executive as well as the bargaining team. From 2016 to 2023, she was the President of the Fisheries and Oceans Canada National Consultation Team. In this role, she has discussed issues of importance to her members with the senior management of her department, such as defending the right of her members to a healthy workplace free from harassment and violence, but also advocating for scientific integrity in an environment in which scientists can do their work for the benefit of Canadians, free from constraints.

Evidence for Democracy’s Evidence Advocates celebrates individuals who demonstrate dedication to promoting evidence-informed decision-making in their communities and beyond. Whether they’re advocating for science, debunking misinformation, or engaging in meaningful dialogue about pressing issues, we want to shine a spotlight on their outstanding efforts.