Meet the Board

Meet the Board

Johanne Savard (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 Savard is the first Ombudsman of Ville de Montréal: she was appointed in 2003. The OMBUDSMAN de MONTRÉAL (OdM) offers an impartial and caring recourse to citizens likely to be adversely affected by a decision or action of Ville de Montréal. The OdM office currently has 10 employees.

Over and above the investigation of complaints, the OdM also launches own motion inquiries in order to resolve systemic issues, prevent problems and promote greater transparency, fairness and good governance. Improving the universal accessibility of municipal services, infrastructures and buildings is one of the Ombudsman’s ongoing concerns.  Her team and her have recently published a Guide on fair decision-making processes (Guide pratique sur l’équité décisionnelle).

Ms Johanne Savard studied political science at Concordia University, then law at Université de Montréal. She has also completed numerous trainings at Montréal’s École nationale d’administration publique (ENAP). She is a Certified Mediator in civil, commercial and employment related issues; she is also a Certified Mediator in linguistic rights.

Before her appointment as Ombudsman, Ms Savard practiced law for more than 20 years. She was partner in two major law firms of Montréal. She headed the Employment and Labour law group and sat on the Board of Directors of one of these firms. She also sat on the BOD and on the Executive committee of Lex Mundi, the largest association of independent law firms, worldwide.

Ms Savard has always been involved in her community. She was a member of the BOD of numerous non-profit organisations providing assistance and support to children with a handicap, underprivileged families, people with Alzheimer, potential drop-outs and new immigrants. She was president of the BOD of the Old-Montreal Rotary club.

Ms Savard received numerous awards in recognition of her social implication.  Amongst others : the Commemorative medal of the 150e Anniversary of the Canadian Senate (2017), the Order of Merit of Brossard (2018), la Médaille des arts et métiers du multiculturalisme (2005) and the Paul Harris Fellowship Award from the Rotary International.

Ms Savard has been the president of the FCO BOD since 2017. For many years, she has also been involved with the Association des ombudsmans et médiateurs de la Francophonie (AOMF), as member of the BOD and of the Membership Committee.

Nadine Mailloux (Vice President)

City of Laval
Telephone: (450) 978-3699

Ms. Nadine Mailloux has a law degree and has been a member of the Barreau du Québec since 1999. She 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.

Ms. Mailloux practiced civil litigation and has been an ombudsman for 19 years, in Montreal hospitals and university institutes and in her current position.

Me Mailloux set up the Office of the Ombudsman of the City of Laval in its present form in 2013. She was appointed under the authority of the municipal guardianship of the City at that time. The Office of the Ombudsman is now a serious recourse for citizens and gives them trust through its rigorous and solution-oriented approach. The ombudsman is independent of the municipal administration and serves as a Legislative Ombudsman.

Ms. Mailloux is Vice-President of the Forum of canadian ombudsman and provides regular training on the ombudsman role. Ms. Mailloux has coordinated a volunteer legal clinic in a disadvantaged environment. She is also a pro bono ombudsman at Lighthouse Children and Families, a non-profit organization providing respite and support to families of children with complex medical conditions. She has focused most of her career on alternative dispute resolution and has puts all her expertise in this field at the service of the citizens of Laval.

Sandra Morrison (Treasurer)

Staff Ombudsman

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.

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.

Carolyn Brendon

University Ombuds
McMaster University
210 MUSC, 1280 Main St West
Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1
Telephone: (905) 525-9140 ext. 24151

Carolyn Brendon is the University Ombuds for McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Prior to beginning this role in a jointly-held position in 2003, Carolyn was an Employee Ombudsperson and Harassment Advisor at Brock University in St Catharines.

She holds a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, an M.A. from McMaster University, and an Honours B.A. from York University. She has several certifications including the FCO-Osgoode Certificate in “Essentials for Ombuds”, as well as ones in Adjudication for Administrative Boards, Agencies and Tribunals; Advanced Investigations; and Human Rights: Theory and Practice.

She is the Eastern Representative on the Executive for the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons

Lori Ciani

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

Lori Ciani is the 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 very much enjoying being a member of the FCO Board of Directors.

Barbara Finlay

Deputy Ombudsman
Ombudsman Ontario

Ms. Finlay has been with the Office of the Ombudsman since 2005 as Deputy Ombudsman and Director of Operations. She was appointed Acting Ombudsman from September 15, 2015 to April 1, 2016. As Deputy Ombudsman, she is responsible for the daily operations of the Ombudsman’s Office, including the investigation and resolution of more than 21,000 complaints per year from members of the Ontario public about provincial government services.

Prior to joining the Ontario Ombudsman’s office, Ms. Finlay served as the Director General of Operations for Canada’s first military Ombudsman. She was one of the original team members involved in the creation of the National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman in 1998, and was directly involved in the setup and running of that office’s operations and the investigation of complaints concerning the treatment of Canada’s military personnel, veterans and their families.

Ms. Finlay graduated from the University of Ottawa Common Law Program in 1992 and was called to the bar in 1994. She has worked as an Assistant Crown Attorney and a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, and has also lectured in criminal and civil law at the Algonquin College Police Foundations Program.

W.A. (Bill) Smith

Province of Nova Scotia
Telephone: 902-424-6780

Mr. Smith was appointed to the position of Ombudsman on June 1st,2016.

He was born and raised in Sydney, Nova Scotia and began his career with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1979.

Mr. Smith retired from the RCMP in 2012 at the rank of Assistant Commissioner and the position of Commanding Officer of “B” Division (Province of NL) after having served for 33 years with the Force. Over the course of his varied career, Mr. Smith served in 6 different provinces and 7 divisions within the Force. His duties included several years as a general duty member, as well as in units including Major Crimes, Traffic Services/Highway Patrol, First Nations Policing, Finance, Administration, Training, Criminal Operations, and VIP Duties including a posting as the Officer in Charge of Security for then Governor General – His Excellency Romeo LeBlanc.

In February, 2012 Mr. Smith accepted the position of Executive Director of Correctional Services for the Province of Nova Scotia, overseeing both Custodial and Community Corrections for over 4 years.

Mr. Smith has received certificates in General and Advanced Police Studies from the Canadian Police College, a certificate in Criminology from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and a Bachelor of Arts (Major Sociology) from Saint Mary’s University, Halifax. He has also completed the International Police Executive Officers’ Course at Melbourne, Australia, and the Queen’s University Executive Program.

Mr. Smith is a recipient of the Commanding Officer’s Commendation, the RCMP Long Service Medal, RCMP Bronze Clasp, RCMP Silver Clasp, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Merit of Police Forces in May, 2009 by then Governor General – Her Excellency Michaëlle Jean, and was awarded the National Defense Medal of France – Gold level in 2011 during a ceremony at St. Pierre et Miquelon.

Nora Farrell (Past-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.

Fax: 613-236-2727

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