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Bios

Updated:  March 19, 2019

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Welcome & Opening

Elder Clayton (Clay) Shirt

Clayton Shirt is a Father, Husband and Knowledge Keeper. He is from the Wolf Clan of Saddle Lake Alberta, Treaty 6. Since 2017 Clayton is supporting spiritual, emotional, personal and knowledge journeys of students and health researchers at the Waakebiness-Bryce, Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Clay also offers traditional knowledge available to Indigenous community members. He had been working as a Knowledge Keeper for more than 15+ years in the Native and multi-cultural community in Canada. He was taught in the old way, working for many years with the guidance of a number of First Nation Elders in Canada and the USA, and was taught to do traditional ceremonies, teachings, circles, one to one work and to help all people to “walk in a good way” though life.

Presenters

Wolfram Aigner
Student Ombudsman at the Johannes Kepler University Linz, Linz, Upper Austria

Born 1955 in Grainbrunn, Lower Austria; graduate of English, History and Law of Vienna and Linz Universities; University Assistant at the University of Economics Vienna 1979-1985; Desk Officer at the Legal Department of the Federal Ministry of Science and Research 1991-1994; Director of Studies at the Faculty of Law at Johannes Kepler University Linz 1994-2016, responsible for the Faculty’s teaching and study programs (law degree, doctoral degree in law, bachelor degree in business law, master degree in law and business for technicians); since 2017 the first ombudsman for students at the University of Linz, Upper Austria.

Nouman Ashraf
Assistant Professor, Organizational Behavior area, Rotman School of Management

Nouman Ashraf is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream within the Organizational Behavior area at the Rotman School of Management.

He possesses a broad range of professional, academic and research interests, with a specialized focus on enabling inclusive and innovative practices within teams, organizations and boards. For the last decade and a half, he has held progressively senior roles at the University of Toronto. He is a recognized thought leader in governance, and has taught thousands of directors in the national Rotman program on Not for Profit Governance in partnership with the Institute for Corporate Directors since its inception in 2007.

Winner of numerous teaching awards, Nouman teaches Emancipatory Leadership within the OMNIUM GEMBA program, Leading Social Innovation with the 2 and 3 year MBA program and Leading Across Differences within the Rotman Commerce Program.

Nouman has advised numerous clients such as Shopper’s Drugmart, Tory’s, the Canada Pension Plan and Investment Board, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, United Way Toronto, and numerous post-secondary and healthcare institutions. Nouman serves as Teaching Fellow at the Institute for Gender + the Economy. He is also an Associate at Trinity College within the University of Toronto. At lunch time, he can be found at Massey College within the University of Toronto, where he mentors exceptional post-graduate students in his capacity as Senior Fellow Emeritus.

Rob Behrens
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, U.K

Rob Behrens has been Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, a Crown Appointment, since 2017. In this role he has modernised and professionalised a key national institution, making the UK Ombuds service more efficient, outward-facing, user-friendly, and better able to ‘speak truth unto power’. He has published landmark reports on Mental Health provision and Whistle-blowing in public life. Previously, Rob was Higher Education Ombuds in England and Wales, Complaints Commissioner to the Bar Standards Board in England and Wales, and Secretary to the Committee on Standards in Public Life.

As a UK civil servant Rob worked on technical assistance to the liberation movements in South Africa during the transition from apartheid. He gave evidence to the South African Constitutional Assembly in 1995. Rob is Visiting Professor at UCL, from where he published an international study of Ombuds in higher education. He is an elected member of the English and Irish Ombudsman Association Executive and a Board member of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman in England. Rob was made a CBE in the Queens New Year Honours List in 2016. He is married with two sons and is a lifetime supporter of Manchester City F.C.

Kamini Bernard
Manager, Investigations, Alberta Ombudsman

Kamini Bernard is the Manager of Investigations for the Calgary Office of the Alberta Ombudsman.  She has worked in the Alberta Government for 10 years, nine of those with the Office of the Alberta Ombudsman and one with Employment Standards.  Prior to moving to Alberta, Kamini worked as a Policy Analyst, Long Term Disability (LTD) Coordinator and finally as the Assistant Director for Pensions and LTD with WorkSafeNB.  Prior to that Kamini spent a number of years in South Carolina – first obtaining her Master’s degree in Criminal Justice and later with the South Carolina Department of Corrections as a Policy Analyst.

Julie Boncompain
Associate Ombudsperson, Concordia University / l’Ombudsman associé, université Concordia

Julie Boncompain is the Associate Ombudsperson of Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, member of the Quebec Bar since 2003, accredited mediator and arbitrator by the Quebec Mediation and Arbitration Institute (IMAQ). She co-chairs the Association des Ombudsman des Universités du Québec (AOUQ) since 2014 and chairs the International Committee of ACCUO. As a conference speaker, she has tackled issues related to conflict resolution, freedom of speech in HE.

Carolyn Brendon
University Ombuds, McMaster University

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

John Craig
Partner, FASKEN

John D.R. Craig practices exclusively in the areas of labour, employment and human rights law. Providing pro-active, strategic advice to employers, John works with clients throughout the collective bargaining process and before arbitrators, labour relations boards, human rights tribunals and the courts.

John works with Canadian, foreign and multinational employers on a range of cross-border and international labour matters. Assisting with labour aspects of corporate social responsibility, John has drafted and implemented workplace codes of conduct applicable to overseas and supply chain operations, and has managed projects for multinational clients involving multi-jurisdictional reviews of human resource policies.

As a delegate of the Canadian Employers Counsel (“CEC”), John regularly represents Canadian employers at meetings of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Bank, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labour (IACML).  John serves as a member of the Executive Committee of CEATAL, the hemispheric organization that represents employers within the OAS.  He is an official spokesperson of CEATAL.

The author of Privacy and Employment Law, a book that examines the transposition of human rights law into the workplace, John is also the co-editor of both Globalization and the Future of Labour Law and Federal Labour Law and Practice. Frequently writing for journals including Canadian Labour & Employment Law Journal, the Comparative Labour Law & Policy Journal, the Industrial Law Journal, and the European Human Rights Law Review, John has spoken at academic and practice-focused conferences on international labour law, anti-discrimination, privacy, constitutional law, and administrative law.

John began his career as a law clerk to Chief Justice Antonio Lamer and Justice Charles Gonthier of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1994. He holds masters and doctoral degrees in comparative and international labour law from the University of Oxford, has been an Assistant Professor with the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law since 1999, and is the Co-Director of Osgoode Hall Law School’s Professional LLM in Labour and Employment Law.

A recognized expert in the labour, employment and human rights law, John has been ranked in leading legal directories including the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, Best Lawyers in Canada, Who’s Who Legal and Chambers Canada.

Ron Crocker
Ombudsman’s representative and investigator, Nova Scotia Office of the Ombudsman

Ron Crocker has worked for the Nova Scotia Office of the Ombudsman for six years as an Ombudsman’s representative and investigator. Prior to that Ron worked for thirty-five years with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a journalist, program producer, and executive, in St. John’s, Toronto, and Halifax. Ron grew up in Heart’s Delight, Newfoundland. He holds degrees in English Literature from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Law from Osgoode Hall in Toronto.

Charles Cue
Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Veterans Ombudsman

Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Veterans Ombudsman. Charles Cue has served 32 years in Canadian Armed Forces as a search and rescue helicopter pilot retiring from the military as a Colonel.  He has been the Senior Policy Advisor the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman for the last ten years.

Craig Dalton
Veterans’ Ombudsman

Craig Dalton was appointed Veterans’ Ombudsman on 11 November 2018. Mr. Dalton was commissioned into the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery in 1990 and over the course of a twenty-five year career, had the distinct pleasure of serving alongside Canadian Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Airwomen, as well as whole-of-government partners, both here at home in Canada, and abroad on operations, in Cyprus, Bosnia-Herzegovina and, most recently, Afghanistan.  During his time in uniform, Mr. Dalton served in a wide variety of staff appointments and had the privilege to lead teams from the troop to formation level including command of the 2nd Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery and command of 5th Canadian Division Support Group/Canadian Forces Base Gagetown.

Following his release in 2014, Mr. Dalton joined the Government of New Brunswick serving initially as the Deputy Minister of Public Safety, with responsibility for Policing and Community Safety, Fire Services, Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Management, Corrections, Probation Services and Inspections and Enforcement, and subsequently as the Deputy Minister of Social Development with responsibility for Disability Support Services, Social Services, Child and Youth Services, Affordable Housing and Homelessness and Seniors and Long-Term Care. Most recently, Mr. Dalton had the pleasure of serving as the Deputy Minister of Family and Human Services with the Government of Prince Edward Island.

Mr. Dalton is a graduate of the Army Command and Staff College, the United States Army Command and General Staff College and the Australian Defence College. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Royal Military College of Canada and Masters Degrees from Central Michigan University, the United States Army Command and General Staff College and, from Deakin University, Australia.

Ian Darling
Chair, Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT)

Ian Darling is the Chair of the Condominium Authority Tribunal, Ontario’s first online Tribunal. The Condominium Authority Tribunal (CAT), is a new online tribunal that helps to settle and decide condominium-related disputes in Ontario.  The CAT is an online dispute resolution system (CAT-ODR) which helps people resolve their disputes conveniently, quickly and affordably, while encouraging everyone to work together in healthy condominium communities.

Prior to joining the Condominium Authority, Ian was the Ombudsperson at Tarion Warranty Corporation. Ian joined Tarion in January 2009 to establish the New Homebuyer Ombudsperson Office. Tarion is the regulator of Ontario’s new home building industry, and oversees a mandatory warranty program for new homes. The role of the Ombudsperson office was to receive, investigate and seek to resolve complaints from new home buyers regarding Tarion’s decisions or actions.

Prior to joining Tarion, he served eight years as the Ombudsperson for Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. From 2005-7 Ian was the Chair of the Standards of Practice committee for the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons (ACCUO).  In April 2009, Ian received the Special Contribution Award from the ACCUO in recognition of his contributions to Academic Ombudsmanship.

Previously, Ian developed a wide range of experience in the dispute resolution field including experience in community development, dispute resolution systems design, and teaching and coaching courses in dispute resolution and negotiation. Ian also worked as an author and researcher for the Peace Research Institute – Dundas.

Ian Darling attended McMaster University, and obtained an Honours Bachelor’s Degree in History, with a minor in International Justice and Human Rights. He also holds a Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution from Antioch University.

Ian served on the board of directors of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman from 2003-13. During this time, Ian held a number of executive positions (including President (2009-2011), and has chaired a number of planning committees for conferences and courses.

Ian is also active in his community having previously been a member of London Pro Music Choir and has coached youth soccer. Ian currently serves as a member of Heritage Markham.  Heritage Markham is a volunteer-based, advisory committee on heritage properties. Its job is to advise and assist Markham City Council on all heritage matters affecting the community of Markham.

Paul Dubé
Federal Taxpayers’ Ombudsman

Born in Calgary, Alberta, Mr. Paul Dubé spent his adolescence in Dalhousie, New Brunswick, where he was valedictorian of his high school graduating class. After high school he attended the University of Ottawa and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science (B.A.). Mr. Dubé went on to earn a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, followed by a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in law at the University of Windsor in Ontario.

While at the University of Windsor, Mr. Dubé was awarded the Cassels Brock and Blackwell Centennial Prize for Legal Practice Skills for his clinical work at Legal Assistance of Windsor (1991).

Following his admissions to the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Law Society of New Brunswick in 1992, Mr. Dubé began his legal career in private practice in New Brunswick. He specialized in criminal litigation and demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the protection of rights conferred by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the promotion of procedural fairness. Over the course of his legal career, Mr. Dubé gained a reputation as an effective advocate for all people, especially the economically disadvantaged.

A passion to promote access to justice motivated Mr. Dubé to be actively involved in the legal community, serving as President of the Restigouche Barristers Association (1993-2004), and as ad-hoc member of the Council of the Law Society of New Brunswick (1993-1998). He also served on the New Brunswick Legal Aid Committee (1992-2004) and participated in the establishment of the New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission (2004). Mr. Dubé taught the French section of the New Brunswick Bar Admission course on Criminal Procedure from 1997 to 2005.

As a result of his work with Legal Aid New Brunswick, Mr. Dubé was a co-recipient of the Canadian Bar Association Pro Bono Award in 2003. From 2000-2004, Mr. Dubé served as Vice-Chair and Alternate Chairperson of the New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board, where he conducted quasi-judicial hearings under that province’s Industrial Relations Act, Employment Standards Act, and Human Rights Act. His strong sense of fairness and impartiality were important assets in that role.

In 2008, Mr. Dubé was appointed federal Taxpayers’ Ombudsman and tasked with the creation of a new office to uphold the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and promote fairness in the Canada Revenue Agency’s treatment of, and service to, taxpayers. As an independent and impartial Taxpayers’ Ombudsman, Mr. Dubé oversaw the review of thousands of taxpayer complaints with a view to resolving them at the lowest level possible. He published five Annual Reports as well as eight Special Reports on systemic issues of fairness and service. All of his recommendations were accepted and implemented.
Mr. Dubé’s recommendation to the Minister of National Revenue also led to an amendment of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and the addition of Article 16 (protection from reprisal) in June 2013.

Mr. Dubé continues to be actively involved in the ombudsman community. He served two terms as a member of the Board of Directors of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and in November of 2016 was acclaimed as President of the North American chapter of the International Ombudsman Institute. He was sworn in as Ontario’s seventh Ombudsman on April 1, 2016.

Claude Dussault
Quebec Ombudsman / Protecteur du citoyen du Québec

Mr. Dussault has a degree in psychology as well as a Master degree in Business Administration (MBA). He has been working for more than twenty-five years in public services. He has worked in the government and administration of both the health and social services ministry and network.

On June 23, 2009, upon the recommendation of the Protectrice du citoyen (the Quebec Ombudsman), the Council of Ministers appointed him Vice-Protecteur (Deputy Ombudsman). In this capacity, he is responsible for the conduct of investigations by the Quebec Ombudsman. On July 9, 2014, he was reappointed for a second 5-year term.

Nora Farrell
Ombudsperson, Ryerson University

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.

Amy Fish
Ombudsperson, Concordia University

Amy Fish is the Ombudsperson at Concordia University, Montreal, QC and the author of The Art of Complaining Effectively (Avmor 2013). She teaches workshops on a variety of topics such as How to Complain Effectively, How to Resolve Complaints, and Complaint Prevention. Amy has a Master’s Degree in Health Science from the University of Toronto and a BA in Psychology and American Studies from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA, USA.

Rebecca Graham
Prevention Initiatives Team, Office of the BC Ombudsperson

Rebecca Graham is a member of the Prevention Initiatives Team at the Office of the Ombudsperson. Before joining the Office, Rebecca was in private practice as a civil litigation lawyer and mediator. When Rebecca accepted a position at the Office of the Ombudsperson, she had just recently moved to Victoria from New York after completing an LL.M. at Columbia University. In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys volunteering as a facilitator for restorative justice dialogues.

Richard Hart, J.D., C.Arb, AWI-CH
Founding Director of ProActive ReSolutions

Richard is a lawyer, arbitrator, mediator, and founding director of ProActive ReSolutions, a boutique consultancy that helps organizations deal with behavioural culture, conflict, and workplace relationship issues, by leveraging a wide range of processes that include workplace investigations, workgroup assessments, restorative/relational justice processes, and threat assessments. ProActive has worked with organizations in over 32 countries, including Global 500 and Fortune 500 companies, as well as local, state and national government agencies and higher learning institutions. Richard has led some of ProActive’s largest engagements, and has developed a particular expertise in dealing with high conflict dynamics involving harassment, bullying, threats, violence, and trauma. He presents frequently on these topics internationally.

Dr. Katy Kamkar, Ph.D., C. Psych
Clinical Psychologist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) / Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto

Dr. Katy Kamkar, Ph.D., C. Psych., is a Clinical Psychologist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). She is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. Dr. Kamkar is Director – Badge of Life Canada (BOLC) which is a peer-led national charitable organization for Police and Corrections/First Responders across Canada who are dealing with psychological injuries suffered in the line of duty. Dr. Kamkar is Director – Operation Lifesaver Canada – Funded by the Railway Association of Canada and Transport Canada focusing on National Action Plan for Suicide Prevention on the railway. She is the Provincial Mental Health Advisor to St. John Ambulance Ontario’s Council. Dr. Kamkar is a Member of the Collaborative Centre for Justice and Safety (CCJS) Advisory Council. She is also serving on the CIPSRT (Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment) National Policing Research Committee.

She is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Community Safety & Well-Being (CSWB); part of the Scientific Advisory Committee – Anxiety Canada; a Founding & Credentialed Member of the Canadian Association of Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (CACBT); and committee member of the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR). She provides Evidence-Based Assessment services, Independent Medical Evaluation, Disability Management services and Evidence Based Psychological Treatment for Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Trauma and PTSD, Occupational Stress Injuries to First Responders and on Psychological Distress in the Workplace.

She also provides ongoing Education and Workshops to Ministries and Organizations (Local, National and International), including First Responders Organizations on Workplace Mental Health and Resiliency; Disability Management and Evidence-Based Best Practice Guidelines/Policies for Return To Work / Stay At Work for Workers with Mental Health Conditions; and on Occupational Trauma, Operational Stress Injuries and Resiliency.  Full Bio>>

Natasha Kassim
Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Royal Bank of Canada, RBC

Natasha believes we should all strive to be our authentic selves, both inside and outside of work. She brings the benefits of mindful living to the work that she does in advancing a culture of inclusion at RBC where all employees feel valued, respected, safe, and empowered to grow.

With over 30 years at RBC, she held a variety of roles that enabled continuous learning and growth. Prior to her current role, she was the Senior Human Resources Business Partner for the Greater Toronto Region where she partnered with senior leaders in building an engaged, committed and diverse workforce. Her career extended across roles in National Office, Regional Offices and in the retail network.

For Natasha learning never stops and life itself is her greatest teacher; however, she brings with her an MBA from Athabasca University and an Advanced Program in Human Resources Management from the Rotman School of Management.

Kenzie Kozera
Ombudsman Representative, Nova Scotia Office of the Ombudsman

Kenzie Kozera has worked with the Nova Scotia Office of the Ombudsman for two years as an Ombudsman Representative. Prior to this, Kenzie worked with the Department of Community Services as both a Youth Counsellor and Supervisor in residential child care facilities. During his time in the youth sector, Kenzie has worked with a number of both government and non-profit residential programs.

Earning a Master of Arts in Child and Youth Studies and a Bachelor of Science (hon) in Psychology, much of Kenzie’s academic research has focused on the implementation of sports-based interventions for youth who may be considered socially vulnerable.

Marie Langton
Investigator, Office of the Manitoba Ombudsman

Marie Langton has been an investigator with the ombudsman division of Manitoba Ombudsman since 2013. She has worked on a variety of provincial and municipal cases, most recently the office’s investigation into youth corrections. Marie has completed a B.A. at Université de Saint-Boniface, a J.D. at the University of Manitoba and the Essentials for Ombuds certification from Osgoode/FCO.

Josef Leidenfrost
Austrian Student Ombudsman, President and Convenor of ENOHE, Vienna, Austria

Born 1957 in Vienna, Austria; joined the Austrian Ministry of Higher Education in 1988; he served as adviser to three ministers in the 1990s and early 2000s on such issues as academic internationalization, higher education, national and European scholarship programs, and students’ rights and duties. Head of the Office of the Austrian Student Ombudsman since 2001, enshrined in law 2011.

Josef started his professional career as a television journalist in the early 1980s, including in-depth research on Austrian contemporary history and publications on post-war relations. He was awarded a doctorate by the University of Vienna in 1986. In 2012 he completed his MA in mediation. Beginning in 2001 he played a pivotal role in setting up a complaint and acceptance management system for Austrian higher education institutions and a central agency for students’ complaints at the Ministry. He is a co-founder of the European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education (ENOHE). He is the editor of ENOHE’s occasional papers and of the ENOHE News newsletter.

Sarah Malan
Investigator, Office of the BC Ombudsperson

Sarah Malan is an investigator with the BC Office of the Ombudsperson where her work currently focuses on the use of separate confinement in the province’s youth custody centres. Prior to joining the Ombudsperson in 2015, she practiced law in Ontario and British Columbia. Sarah completed a B.A.(Hons) at Dalhousie and a LL.B at UBC.

Carter MacDonald
Ombudsman, Camosun College

Carter MacDonald has been the Ombudsman for Camosun College in Victoria, B.C. for the past eleven years.  Much of his career was with the R.C.M.P. and C.S.I.S., serving in postings to Ottawa, Kingston, Paris France, Lima Peru, Montreal, and Halifax, retiring as the Director General for C.S.I.S. operations in Atlantic Canada.  Carter has subsequently worked in the post-secondary realm at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax and at Camosun College in Victoria since 1994.

Sarah Milligan
Knowledge and Research Officer, Office of the BC Ombudsperson

Sarah Milligan is the Knowledge and Research Officer for the Office of the BC Ombudsperson. Since joining the office in early 2018, she has identified opportunities for improved knowledge sharing and developed a Knowledge Management Strategy to guide the office in its knowledge management and sharing. Sarah’s background is in digital humanities with a focus on documentation, information access and impacts of digital tools on research methods. She has a MA in English from the University of Victoria, and a BA in English and History from Dalhousie University.

Charles Murray
New Brunswick Ombud

Charles Murray was sworn in as New Brunswick’s Ombud in July of 2013 to a seven-year term. Turnover being what it is, that makes him the Senior Parliamentary Ombudsman in Canada.   He is the seventh person to serve as Ombudsman for the province of New Brunswick since the establishment of the Office in 1967.

Charles is a graduate of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and Dalhousie Law School in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He started his career as a criminal defense lawyer in New Brunswick in the late 1980s. Over the years he has served a number of provincial and federal governments, including Veterans Affairs Canada, and the New Brunswick Department of Health. Prior to his appointment as Ombud, he was the Executive Director of the New Brunswick Electoral Boundaries Commission.

In the late 1990s, Charles took a contract in Japan and while working there, met an Ontario girl. Sarah and Charles have twin 7 year old boys and a one year old girl.  The family lives in Fredericton, and there are many trees and a small brook in the backyard. Charles is a member of the Confraternity of Saint James, and is a certified Tournament Director in the American Contract Bridge League. He has a black belt in Kinrosha karate and occasionally walks marathons.

Dave Murray
Director of Intake and Innovation, Office of the BC Ombudsperson

Dave Murray is the Director of Intake and Innovation for the Office of the BC Ombudsperson. Dave has been employed with the BC Ombudsperson since 2008, previously holding the positions of Ombudsperson Officer (Investigator) and Manager of Investigations, Social Programs. In his current role Dave is responsible for directing the office’s library and knowledge management services and in particular with leading the development and implementation of an office-wide knowledge management strategy. In his previous roles he was a member of the office’s library committee and led the development of an office wiki. He holds degrees in Law and Anthropology from the University of Victoria.

Shirley Nakata
Student Ombudsperson, University of British Columbia

Shirley Nakata is the Ombudsperson for Students at the University of British Columbia, establishing the office in 2009. She was called to the B.C. Bar in 1989 and practised at a Vancouver law firm before moving to the Canadian Human Rights Commission where she worked as a Human Rights Officer. From 1996 she worked as the Director of Professional Conduct at the British Columbia College of Teachers where she led and managed the conduct of investigations and hearings.  Shirley has been a frequent presenter on administrative law, conflict engagement and equity and inclusion in a variety of venues. She has been a board member of the B.C. Council of Administrative Tribunals and member of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice.   She has also served on the board of West Coast LEAF.  Currently, she is a member of the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons and the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman.

Susan E. Opler
City of Toronto Ombudsman

Susan Opler is the City of Toronto’s Ombudsman. She leads the team at Ombudsman Toronto, the independent voice for fairness in City of Toronto services and administration. Ms. Opler brings to her role the skills of an experienced lawyer, adjudicator, mediator and educator. In 2014, she was honoured by the Law Society of Upper Canada with the Laura Legge Award, awarded annually to “a woman lawyer in Ontario who has exemplified leadership within the profession.”

A graduate of McGill (Hons B.A. ’82) and the University of Toronto (LL. B. ’85), she spent the first decade of her career in litigation as an associate then partner at McCarthy Tetrault. She also worked as a criminal court prosecutor. For 15 years, Ms. Opler was a member and leader of the Consent and Capacity Board (CCB). She also sat on both the Hearings and Appeal Divisions of the Law Society Tribunal. A trained and experienced mediator, she was actively involved in case management on both tribunals.

Ms. Opler has taught trial advocacy at both the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall law schools. She was a lead instructor with the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators (SOAR) and Osgoode Professional Development for over a decade. She has taught judges, justices of the peace, adjudicators and other decision-makers on various topics, in Canada and internationally. Active in her community, Ms Opler served on the Board of Directors of UTS (University of Toronto Schools) and on the Research Ethics Board of Sick Kids’ Hospital.

Britt Parsons
Ombudsman, ADR Chambers—Banking Ombuds Office (ADRBO)

Britt Parsons is the Ombudsman for the ADR Chambers—Banking Ombuds Office (ADRBO). At ADRBO, she and her team assist consumers across Canada with complaints for the majority of Canada’s Big Six Banks. Britt is a lawyer with experience in employment law, privacy, and investigations and she is passionate about developing innovative solutions in order to provide the highest quality service to Canadian consumers as they navigate the increasing complex world of modern banking.  She holds a Juris Doctor with an option in Dispute Resolution and Professionalism from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Behavioural Science, and Politics, Law and Society from McGill University. She is a Member of the Federation of Canadian Ombudsman, International Ombudsman Association, and the ADR, Conflict Resolution and Mediation Exchange Group.

Laura Pettigrew
General Counsel, Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario

Laura Pettigrew, General Counsel for the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario, graduated from Carleton University in 1981 and the University of Toronto Law School in 1985. She began her career at the firm of Goodman and Carr and later entered the public sector, working first for the Human Resources Secretariat and then for the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal. She returned to the private sector to practice at Campbell, Pettigrew in Oakville, Ontario, before joining the Ombudsman of Ontario in 1992.

Ms. Pettigrew has been involved in a number of the Special Ombudsman Response Team’s systemic investigations, and is active in the drafting of the Ombudsman’s reports and recommendations. As General Counsel, Ms. Pettigrew co-directs the Legal Services team and is a member of the Ombudsman’s executive management team.

Ms. Pettigrew has conducted training in Canada and internationally on such subjects as complaint intake, administrative and oversight investigations and investigative report writing. She has also frequently appeared as a speaker and panellist to discuss the work of the Office of the Ombudsman.

Howard Sapers

Recently, the Independent Advisor on Corrections Reform to the Ontario provincial government from 2017 – 2018, having previously served as the Correctional Investigator of Canada from 2004-2016.

Natalie Sharpe
Director, Office of the Student Ombuds, Athabasca University

Natalie Sharpe has a B.A. Honours and Master’s Degree in Socio-Cultural Anthropology and brings a holistic perspective to her ombuds work. She has worked at the University of Alberta for 34 years as an advisor, mediator and ombudsperson. Natalie is the Director of the Office of the Student Ombuds, and launched an ombuds internship program three years ago. She also teaches part-time at Athabasca University in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Labour Studies, and the Social Sciences. She has conducted research on indigenous land claims, edited for The Canadian Encyclopedia, and held executive roles in an educational union. Natalie is the President of the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons (ACCUO).

Remonia Stoddart-Morrison
Interim Undergraduate Ombudsperson, Office of the Student Ombuds, University of Alberta

Remonia Stoddart-Morrison (B.Sc Computer Studies/Management; M.Ed Educational Administration) is a PhD student in Secondary Education and has worked for two years in the Office of the Student Ombuds, University of Alberta as the Graduate Ombuds Intern, Graduate Ombudsperson, and currently, Interim Undergraduate Ombudsperson. She has worked on the Restorative Practices Initiative to promote informal resolution of conflicts between graduate students and their supervisors. Prior to arriving at the University of Alberta for her graduate studies, Remonia lived and taught in Jamaica as a high school educator and principal where she practiced alternative means of handling school conflicts to ensure positive outcomes.

Joëlle Thibault
Employee Ombudsman, Hydro Québec /

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.

Kevin Thomas
Manager, Policy and Promotion Division, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Kevin Thomas is the Manager of the Policy and Promotion Division in the Supervision and Promotion Branch at the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. In this role, he manages a team that provides expertise and advice to senior management with respect to policy issues related to consumer financial protection. In addition, his team is responsible for conducting industry reviews, providing legislative interpretations, research on emerging trends and issues in the financial sector, and promoting the work of the branch to both the industry and consumers.

Kevin joined the Agency in 2011 and prior to joining FCAC, he held several positions with the Department of Finance Canada, including in the Financial Sector and International Trade policy branches. He holds a Master of Arts in Business Economics from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Herb Waye
Ombudsman, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

Herb is the ICANN Ombudsman and reports directly to the ICANN Board, but is not a member of ICANN Staff. He is available to the ICANN Community for complaints about delay and unfairness within and between ICANN and the supporting organizations. Herb has an extensive background in law enforcement and alternate dispute resolution. He has been with the Office of the Ombudsman since 2006 as Adjunct and has held the role of Ombudsman for two years.

Herb was awarded a MA in Leadership and Training – Justice and Public Safety Leadership from Royal Roads University where he is now associate faculty in their online Bachelor of Justice Program.

Herb has been a member of Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and the International Ombudsman Association for over ten years and more recently also joined the International Ombudsman Institute.

Rachel Warren
Manager, Prevention Initiatives Team, Office of the BC Ombudsperson

Rachel Warren is currently the Manager of the BC Ombudsperson’s Prevention Initiatives Team. Rachel was previously an Investigator with the Ombudsperson since 2014, and also has 20 years of prior social work experience in healthcare, child welfare and adoption. She previously held positions as Clinical Director and Executive Director of Choices Adoption and Counselling Services. Rachel completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Psychology and Social Work at the University of Victoria.

Forum of Canadian Ombudsman
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