Meet the Board

Meet the Board

Nora Farrell (President)

Ryerson University Office of the Ombudsman
63 Gould St Rm. 215/216
Toronto, Ontario
M5B 1E9
Telephone: (416) 979-5000 x 7451
Fax: (416) 979-5170

Nora has been active in the ombuds field in a number of areas: Ombudsperson for Ryerson University since 2000; Ombudsman for the Canadian Franchise Association and International Franchise Association (on a contract basis) for four years; Manager of Investigations/Complaint Resolution for Ombudsman Ontario for five years.

Nora earned a Ph.D. as well as a LL.M. (Master of Laws degree) from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University and a M.Ed. (Master of Education) in Adult, Administrative and Higher Education from the University of British Columbia. Nora also has extensive training and experience in mediation and in the design and delivery of training in effective conflict resolution. She has been active as a volunteer in the literacy field for many years both as an individual tutor and as a board member and Chair of the Foundation for Frontier College, a national literacy organization.

Johanne Savard (Vice President)

Ombudsman de Montréal
275, rue Notre-Dame Est
Suite R-100
Montréal (Québec) H2Y 1C6
Telephone: 514 872-8999
Fax: 514 872-2379

Ms Johanne Savard is a Lawyer and a duly certified Mediator. She has been involved in mediation, arbitration and negotiation for more than 25 years. She is a member of the Québec and Canadian Institutes of mediation and arbitration.

After her 20+ years in the private practice of law, Mss Savard became, in 2003, the first Ombudsman of Ville de Montréal: her mandate was renewed by unanimous vote of City Council in 2007 and 2011. The OMBUDSMAN DE MONTRÉAL is a legislative ombudsman, independent from the City’s administration and elected officials. She offers a free last resort recourse to citizens who believe they are adversely affected by a decision, action or inaction of Ville de Montréal. Her fair and balanced approach focuses on mediation and collaboration as an effective means to resolve conflict.

Ms Savard is Vice-Chair on the Board of Directors of the FCO (Forum of Canadian Ombudsman) and a Director on the Board of the AOMF (Association des ombudsmans et médiateurs de la francophonie). She is also a member of the International Ombudsmans’ Association and of the International Ombudsmans’ Institute. She often gives conferences and trainings on Alternative Dispute Resolution modes as well as on the role and attributes of ombudsmans mandated to ensure the respect of citizens’ rights through a simple and non-judiciary process.

Sandra Morrison (Vice President)

Staff Ombudsman
1107-40 King Street West, Toronto ON M5H 1H1
Telephone 416-866-3501
Facsimile 416-866-7535

Sandra Morrison joined Scotiabank in January of 2004 as Senior Manager, Employee Relations, after spending 17 years as a senior HR Generalist in the automotive manufacturing industry. Sandra became the Staff Ombudsman in April 2007. She leads a team of three Assistant to the Ombudsmans, providing ombuds service to Scotiabank employees globally.

Sandra grew up in Saskatchewan and ventured East to attend Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She graduated with an honours BA in psychology and has her CHRP (Certified Human Resources Professional) designation. Sandra is a member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) and the Forum of Canadian Ombudsmen (FCO). Sandra is an Associate Editor for the Journal of the International Ombuds Association. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Conservation Halton. In her spare time, Sandra enjoys gardening, photography, hiking and the company of her husband, daughter and two dogs.

Barry Fleming (Treasurer)

Barry Fleming, Q.C., was appointed the Citizens’ Representative for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador by a unanimous resolution of the House of Assembly on December 6, 2006. His appointment was for a six-year term. He was re-appointed for a second six-year term in December 2012.

Prior to assuming the role of Citizens’ Representative, Barry worked for twelve years with the Human Rights Commission as its first legal counsel. From January 2005 to December 2006 he was also the Commission’s Executive Director. During his time with the Commission Barry had the opportunity to advance many human rights causes including; shortening the wait lists for services for autistic children; fighting discrimination against older workers; litigating on behalf of widows facing different treatment with respect to workers’ compensation claims; and numerous and complex disability issues.

In 1982, Barry graduated from Memorial University with a Bachelor of Arts (Gold Medal Economics). In 1986, he graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Laws and a Masters in Business Administration.

From 1987 to 1995 Barry practiced law in the private sector. From 1989 to 1995 his focus was on assisting those fleeing communist dictatorships in Cuba, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union in obtaining immigration and refugee status in Canada.

Barry taught Business Law part-time at the Faculty of Business, Memorial University from 1987 to 1992. On June 26, 2007, he was appointed Queen’s Counsel. He is the past president of the Canadian Council of Parliamentary Ombudsman and is currently on the Board of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman. Barry is an elected member of the Benchers of the Law Society of Newfoundland & Labrador.

Joëlle Thibault (Secretary)

Joëlle is an experienced ombudsperson and mediator with 20 years of recognized experience in effective and fair conflict resolution. She uses her excellent listening skills and highly developed creativity to resolve various conflicts. What sets her apart are her analysis skills to optimize processes and reduce costs. She is also an outstanding educator and coach when it comes to preventing and settling conflicts.

Currently, she is engaged in mandates on mediation, facilitates training in negotiations and conflict resolution and consults on optimization of complaint processes for various organizations. She also holds the position of Employee Ombudsman for Hydro Québec.

Joëlle is an attorney at law since 1989 and holds a diploma of advanced studies in international trade law as well as a Doctor of Law with specialization in alternative dispute resolution from Université Paris II (France). She also completed a certificate of international contract law at Cambridge University (Great Britain).

She articled at the Court of International Arbitration of the Paris International Chamber of Commerce and worked with various arbitrators and mediators in Europe. She held the position of vice-president with eResolution, a company specializing in managing Web-based negotiation, mediation and arbitration services to settle conflicts in the consumption, insurance and business transaction sectors.

With the National Bank of Canada for a 12-year period, she held the positions of ombudsman for clients and vice-president of human resources. During this period, she negotiated a variety of agreements and solved multiple conflicts involving employees and clients.

Lori Ciani

Deputy Ombudsman, Complaints Officer, Accessibility Officer
Amex Bank of Canada
Telephone: (647) 297-3262

Lori Ciani is the Deputy Ombudsman, Complaints Officer and Accessibility Officer for Amex Bank of Canada / Amex Canada Inc.

Mrs. Ciani has been in the banking industry since 1983 and held varying management positions prior to joining the Ombudsman’s Office at Amex Bank of Canada in 2004. The varying roles and experiences allowed her to develop a vast array of business knowledge, leadership, negotiation and mediation skills.

In her current role, she is responsible for managing the Amex Bank of Canada Ombudsman’s Office, representing the bank on various Canadian Banking Association committees, and managing relationships with the Canadian banking regulator – the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) and the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI).

The Amex Bank of Canada Ombudsman’s Office provides customers an impartial intermediary to assist in resolving concerns or issues with bank products or services with a mandate that focuses on reaching fair and appropriate solutions.

Mrs. Ciani is the present co-leader of the SALT employee Network and past co-leader of the Women’s Interest Network at American Express and an active volunteer at her church where she holds a leadership role in their Celebrate Recovery Program. As a veteran in the Ombudsman industry and multi-year member of the forum of Canadian Ombudsmen, she is excited to now be a member of the FCO Board of Directors.

Tom Irvine


Tom Irvine is the former Fair Practices Commissioner for the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) of Ontario.  The Commission is the organizational ombudsman for the WSIB.

Tom started with the Commission at its inception in 2003 and has served in a variety of roles including Deputy Commissioner.  He was the manager of the ombudsman program at Ontario Power Generation and a team leader and investigator at Ombudsman Ontario. Tom has a Masters degree from the University of Waterloo and has completed additional training at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto and the Banff School of Management.

The Commission inquires into and resolves complaints from workers, employers and service providers about the fairness of services or treatment they receive from the WSIB. The Commission is also responsible for identifying and resolving system-wide issues.

Nadine Mailloux

City of Laval
Telephone: (450) 978-3699

Nadine Mailloux was appointed City of Laval’s Ombudsman in September 2013. She has a law degree and has been a member of the Barreau du Québec since 1999.Nadine is a Certified Mediator of the Barreau du Québec and the Institut de Médiation et d’arbitrage du Québec. She is also a member of the Arbitration and Mediation Institute of Canada.

At the beginning of her career, Nadine practiced civil litigation before becoming ombudsman for the health network of the Régie régionale de la santé et des services sociaux, of a hospital centre and a health and social services centre, both university-affiliated in Montréal. She concentrated most of her professional career on alternative types of conflict resolution.
Nadine is also a pro-bono ombudsman with the organisation The Lighthouse, Children and Families, which provides respite services and help to families with children needing complex health care.

Howard Sapers

On January 1, 2017 Howard Sapers was appointed Independent Advisor on Corrections Reform for the province of Ontario. Between 2004 and 2016 Howard Sapers was the Correctional Investigator of Canada. Previously, Mr. Sapers has been the Executive Director of the John Howard Society of Alberta, an elected member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta representing Edmonton Glenora, Director of the National Crime Prevention Centre Investment Fund and Vice Chairperson (Prairie Region) of the Parole Board Canada. Currently, he serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and between 2012 and 2016 served as a North American Regional representative to the International Ombudsman Institute; represented the community of small federal departments and agencies on the Government of Canada Small Department Audit Committee and was Chairman of the Department of National Defence/Canadian Forces Ombudsman Advisory Committee. Mr. Sapers is an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University’s School of Criminology, and has been awarded with an Honourary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Ottawa.


Fax: 613-236-2727

Top of Page

Forum of Canadian Ombudsman Forum of Canadian Ombudsman