January 02, 2014
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Profile of Commissioners

Members of Governing Board

Elmer Buchanan, Havelock
Appointed Chair 2013

Mr. Buchanan was appointed Chair of the ORC on November 6, 2013.

Following graduation from Queen's University, and subsequently Teacher's College in Peterborough County, he worked as a high-school teacher and vice-principal in Hastings County.  A noted advocate for the concerns of rural Ontario and the agricultural community, he served as Ontario Minister of Agriculture from 1990 to 1995 and represented the riding of Hastings-Peterborough as a Member of Provincial Parliament.

Mr. Buchanan has also served on the board of the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission and has maintained his agricultural base, raising alpacas and angora goats on the family farm. From 2012 to 2013, he served as a member of the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel, which met with industry participants and worked to develop a vision for the future of horse racing.

Mr. Buchanan’s current appointment expires in November 2014.


Anthony Williams, Caledon
Appointed Vice Chair 2012

Mr. Williams has represented the Ministry of the Attorney General on criminal prosecutions since 1974, including over 20 years as the Crown Attorney for the County of Dufferin at Orangeville.  Since 2007, he acted as senior litigation counsel for the Ontario Racing Commission, representing the Administration in hearings and other proceedings

He studied sociology and psychology at Glendon and Winters Colleges, York University at Toronto. He then received a law degree from Queen’s University at Kingston, was called to the Ontario Bar in 1974.  Mr. Williams has served as a Board member of numerous community groups including the Big Brothers, Alton Grange Association, Caledon Ratepayers Association, and the Criminal Law Advisory Committee for Legal Aid. Since 1998, he has served a Director with Caledon Dufferin Victim Services.

His current appointment expires on November 7, 2014


John W. Macdonald, Q.C., Toronto
Appointed 2009


Mr. Macdonald is a lawyer with experience in general practice, primarily of a corporate and commercial nature. He was called to the bar in 1962 and began his career with a major law firm in Toronto, and after 10 years of service went on to establish and be a member of his own partnership. Mr. Macdonald was awarded the distinction of a Queen’s Counsel in 1979. Born in Montreal, as a teenager he moved from the Quebec Eastern Townships to Brampton, Ontario – the “capital” of standardbred breeding in Canada. In 1974 Mr. Macdonald became a standardbred owner and licensee.  He is proud of the fact that, with friends, he was part owner of the Excellent Stable which raced Frugal Gourmet, the 1987 Canadian standardbred horse of the year. Based on this experience, as well as working with clients that race, breed and sell horses, he has first-hand knowledge of horse racing. Mr. Macdonald is still active in his current law firm partnership – Macdonald, Porter, Drees – which was established in 1996. His current appointment expires on November 30, 2014.


Sandra J. Meyrick, MSc, LLB, Toronto
Appointed 2013

Ms. Meyrick is an experienced lawyer, adjudicator, community volunteer, and advocate for vulnerable members of the community. She served as an adjudicator with the Health Services Appeal and Review Board, as well as the Consent and Capacity Board, and acted as child counsel to the Office of the Childrens' Lawyer. Ms. Meyrick was also appointed as a Dispute Resolution Officer at the Ontario Superior Court and continues to serve on the panel of the Public Guardian and Trustee. With an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Western Ontario, Ms. Meyrick received her Masters of Science degree from Oxford University and The London School of Economics. She then completed her Ontario Bachelor of Laws at the University of Windsor, having studied law at Western and the University of Michigan.  She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1990. Ms. Meyrick has been on various Boards including the Board of York University and Kingsway College School. She has been an elected member of the Canadian Bar Association Executive since 1992. Her current appointment expires on August 7, 2015.


Dan Nixon, Toronto
Appointed 2010


Mr. Nixon has been an owner of both standardbreds and thoroughbreds for over 10 years and an avid fan for 50. He was a member of the Canadian Forces for three years and after serving with the United Nation Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus, he was awarded the United Nations Medal.He then embarked on a successful career in finance and banking, with over 35 years of experience with chartered banks, trusts, and securities firms. Mr. Nixon held various senior management positions before retiring in 2006. He is an active volunteer in his community, having worked in areas supporting children in need, minor hockey organizations, and Habitat for Humanity. Mr. Nixon is now focused on giving back to an industry he has always loved, and has dedicated himself to the well-being of both the people and horses involved in racing. His current appointment expires on May 28, 2014.


Anne Walker, DVM, JD, Beamsville
Appointed 2012


Dr. Walker is a practising civil litigation lawyer and veterinarian.  She obtained a Bachelor of Science (Honours), Biology, First Class, from York University, followed by a Master of Science in Clinical Pathology and a DVM, with Honours, from the Ontario Veterinary College.  Following graduation, Dr. Walker practised small animal medicine for several years in Mississauga and Oakville.  Concern for the welfare of laboratory animals led her to a career in laboratory animal medicine, initially as the Director of Veterinary Services for the Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals, and later as the clinical veterinarian for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.  After working for a number of years, Dr. Walker returned to the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto where she obtained a law degree in 2000.  In January 2011, she established a boutique civil litigation law firm where she practises personal injury, transportation, insurance and employment law.  Dr. Walker has owned, bred and raced Thoroughbreds for many years.  From 2010 to 2012, she served as the pro bono lawyer and a member of the Board of Directors of LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society.  Her current appointment expires on September 11, 2014.

Brenda Walker, Owen Sound
Appointed 2003


Born in Brampton, Ontario, Mrs. Walker followed a love of horses into the standardbred industry. Along with her husband Paul, Mrs. Walker has been involved in the industry for over 28 years. Since 1994, Mrs. Walker has served as a Director of the Ontario Harness Horse Association for District 9, responsible for Hanover and Clinton Raceways. During that time she also served a number of years as a member of the Executive. In her capacity at OHHA, Mrs. Walker has been heavily involved in the Ontario Sires Stakes Program and the Horse Improvement Program, serving on the OSS Publicity and Promotion Committee, the Standardbred Review Committee and the OSS Date Scheduling Committee. As part of OHHA, Mrs. Walker also was involved with the Lasix Committee, with a mandate to encourage the expansion of the Lasix program to all Ontario racetracks. Leveraging her experiences as a 4-H Leader, Mrs. Walker worked extensively to ensure the development and operation of the Harness Horse Youth Camp, which took place at Mohawk and Woodbine Racetracks during the summer of 2002. Mrs. Walker has also spearheaded “4-H Night at the Races”, organizing the initial event at Hanover Raceway and working with other OSS Publicity and Promotion members to develop these interactive events at other locations across the province. Her current appointment expires on February 3, 2014.