The Tribunal is comprised of:
- A full-time chairperson - Biography
- A full-time Vice-Chairperson - Biography
- Up to 13 full- or part-time members - Biographies
The Chairperson: David Thomas
David Thomas attended the University of British Columbia and the American College of Switzerland, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in International Political Studies. He graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto and was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1989. Mr. Thomas began his career at a large law firm in Vancouver. In 1994, he formed his own law firm to focus his practice on immigration and administrative law.
In private practice, Mr. Thomas was a regular guest speaker for the Canadian Bar Association, the BC Society for Continuing Legal Education and other professional organizations. His work has required extensive international travel and as such, Mr. Thomas is well experienced with numerous cultures, traditions and customs. Mr. Thomas also has a keen interest in international human rights, and has taken the opportunity to visit and research troubled regions around the world.
Mr. Thomas has served several non-profit organizations, including as President of the Canada-Korea Business Association, Chair of the West Vancouver Parks & Recreation Commission and Province President of Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honours Society.
Mr. Thomas became a part-time Member of the CHRT in 2013. He was appointed Chairperson of the Tribunal for a term of 7 years commencing on September 2, 2014.
The Vice-Chairperson: Susheel Gupta
The Vice-Chairperson, Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
Mr. Susheel Gupta obtained his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Waterloo in 1993, his J.D. from the University of Ottawa in 1998 and was called to the Ontario Bar in February 2000. He has served most of his career in the Public Service with the agency now named Public Prosecution Service of Canada, as a prosecutor and computer crime advisor, special advisor at the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, and as counsel in the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes section of the Department of Justice. Mr. Gupta is currently an employee of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, on leave without pay for a three-year term.
As a community member and public servant, Mr. Gupta has been the recipient of the Government of Canada Youth Award for Excellence, the Deputy Minister of Justice Humanitarian Award and most recently the Ontario Justice Education Network Chief Justice Lennox Award. Mr. Gupta commenced his responsibilities on August 3, 2010.
Up to 13 full- or part-time members
Mr. Gabriel Gaudreault has a law degree from the University of Sherbrooke (Quebec). He also has a Master’s degree in Common Law and Transnational Law from the same university. In the course of his academic career, Me Gabriel Gaudreault worked as a research assistant focusing on fundamental rights and freedoms and children’s rights. As such, he refined his knowledge of these fields and completed a Master 2 (year two of a Master’s degree) in Public Law and Human Rights at Université Lumière Lyon 2, in France.
Mr. Gabriel Gaudreault began his career at the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services, specifically with the Director of Youth Protection. He became a member of the Barreau du Québec (Quebec Bar) in April 2012. He then joined a private law firm and had the opportunity to represent the Directors of Youth Protection in James Bay, Inuulitsivik (Hudson Bay) and Tulattavik (Ungava Bay), working on Cree and Inuit territory. Mr. Gabriel Gaudreault regularly traveled to the Aboriginal communities in Northern Quebec in order to practice law there.
In April 2014, Mr. Gabriel Gaudreault founded the legal department of the James Bay Director of Youth Protection and was named as the head of this department in January 2016. Considering the fundamental and specific issues inherent in working with First Nations as well as the unique context of practicing in the Northern regions, Mr. Gabriel Gaudreault has had the opportunity to get involved and share his expertise with the various players in the Quebec legal system, such as the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Ministry of Justice, the Judiciary and legal services, to name just a few.
Kirsten Mercer attended the University of Guelph, graduating with honours with a BA in International Development Studies. She completed a MA with honours in International Political Economy from the University of Toronto. Kirsten graduated with honours from the McGill Faculty of Law in Montreal with a BCL/LL.B and was called to the Bar in Ontario in 2007.
Kirsten brings a broad and balanced mix of experience to her role at the Tribunal. She practiced law in the litigation group at Davies Ward Phillips and Vineberg LLP in Toronto, and in 2013 she went to work in government as the Senior Justice Advisor in the Office of the Premier of Ontario. In 2015, Kirsten relocated to Ottawa, where she served as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.
Kirsten has a long history of work on human rights and justice issues, and has worked with various community organizations and boards, including a refugee resettlement agency in Toronto (board member from 2006-2012) and the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (board member from 2012-2013).
Prior to her legal career, Kirsten worked in the non-profit sector in Toronto on international development, human rights and economic justice.
Kirsten was appointed to the CHRT in January 2017.
Colleen Harrington graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Women’s and Gender Studies, and English. She received her Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of New Brunswick, and was called to the Bars of Ontario in 2003, Nunavut in 2004, and Yukon Territory in 2008.
Ms. Harrington has significant experience in the human rights field, gained in Canada and abroad. In 2001, as an intern at the League of Kenya Women Voters in Nairobi, Kenya, Ms. Harrington created and implemented a paralegal training program for women, and was involved in a joint Canada-Kenya project on violence against women, sponsored by the Canadian Lawyers Association for International Human Rights.
Ms. Harrington worked as a poverty law lawyer with Hamilton Mountain Legal and Community Services in Hamilton, Ontario, before moving to the Canadian Arctic in 2004 to practice family and criminal law with the Legal Services Board of Nunavut. She became the acting Executive Director of the organization in 2007.
In 2008, Ms. Harrington worked as a staff lawyer with the Yukon Legal Services Society in Whitehorse, Yukon, before joining the Yukon Human Rights Commission as legal counsel in 2009.
Ms. Harrington was appointed to the Tribunal as a full-time Member for a term of four years, effective January 28, 2018.
Ms. Bryan was appointed as a part-time member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in March, 2015 for a five year term.
Ms. Bryan obtained a Bachelor of Arts, psychology major, in 1983 from University of Prince Edward Island. She obtained her Bachelor of Laws degree from Dalhousie Law School in 1986. Ms. Bryan has been a practicing member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society since 1987, primarily in private practice and has been self-employed practitioner since 1994. She was the past Chair of the Canada Pension Plan/Old Age Security Review Tribunal (Federal) and a member of the Assistance Review Tribunal (Nova Scotia). Ms. Bryan is also a member of the Nova Scotia Criminal Code Review Board and a member of the Council of College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia.
Ms. Bryan is certified as a Qualified Mediator (Q. Med) by the ADR Institute Canada and as a Collaborative Family Law Professional by the Nova Scotia Association of Collaborative Family Law Professionals. Ms. Bryan is a member of ADR Institute of Canada (ADRIC), ADR Atlantic, NS Association of Collaborative Family Law Professionals, Family Mediation Canada, Family Mediation Nova Scotia and the Human Resources Association of Nova Scotia.
Mr. Edward Lustig was initially appointed in 2008 to a three-year term as a part-time member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. He was reappointed in 2011 for a five-year term. Mr. Lustig received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, his Bachelor of Laws from Queen’s University, and was called to the Bar of Ontario with First Class Honours in 1975. He has been a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Canadian Bar Association since 1975.
Mr. Lustig joined the legal department of the City of Niagara Falls in 1975 and, after 27 years of dedicated service, he retired in 2002. In January 2006 he joined Broderick & Partners as counsel and carries on a general law practice with particular emphasis on municipal law, planning and development matters, commercial and real estate law and related litigation. Mr. Lustig also has experience in labour matters, including employment and pay equity.
GEORGE E. ULYATT
Mr. George E. Ulyatt was appointed in December of 2012 for a three-year term as a part-time member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. He received his Bachelor of Arts in 1972 from Brandon University; his LL.B from the University of Manitoba in 1975 was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1976. He has been in private practice since his call to the Bar and has practiced major litigation in all Courts of Manitoba.
Mr. Ulyatt has been active with various administrative tribunals, being a counsel to the Mental Health Review Board of Manitoba, The College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba and other various tribunals. Mr. Ulyatt has been appointed as an Inquiry Officer under the Expropriation Act and has conducted public inquires throughout Manitoba.
As a community member and a volunteer Mr. Ulyatt has been involved in sports at the team provincial and national levels. He was President of Hockey Manitoba and on the Board of Directors of Hockey Canada for five years. He was the recipient of Hockey Canada’s "Order of Merit" for contributions to hockey in Canada.
Ms. Olga Luftig was appointed in December of 2012 for a three-year term as a part-time member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. She graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in history and political science, and a Bachelor of Education. She is a lawyer, and received her Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Windsor.
Ms. Luftig has had wide-ranging experience in diverse areas of the law, as both a former in-house Properties Lawyer for a corporation, and as a private practitioner.
She was a Member of the Landlord and Tenant Board of Ontario, where she adjudicated hearings.
Ms. Luftig also serves as a part-time Member of both the Town of Markham Municipal Election Audit Compliance Committee and the York Region Catholic and York Region District School Boards’ Joint Election Compliance Audit Committee.
Ms. Anie Perrault graduated from the University of Ottawa with a law degree in 1992 and she practised at Phillips & Vineberg (now Davies, Ward, Phillips & Vineberg) from 1992 to1995, mainly in civil and commercial litigation and labour law. She has more than 20 years of professional experience in both the public and private sectors. Her career focused on communications and public affairs in relation to genomics research and biotechnology and she held many strategic national-level positions in this field. From 2001 to 2006, she was Vice-President at Genome Canada. She is currently the Executive Director of BioQuébec and a member of various boards of directors including Loto-Québec, Génome Québec and the University of Sherbrooke. She also sat on the research ethics committee at Génome Québec. In 2013, Ms. Perrault became a "Certified Corporate Director" (CCD) at the Université Laval's Collège des administrateurs de sociétés. She was elected to the municipal council of the municipality of Bromont in 2009, a position she held for more than five years, and as Vice-President of the Réseau des élues municipales de la Montérégie-Est, which aims to encourage women in municipal politics. She has been involved in many other local community organizations. This experience has allowed her to develop an acute awareness of the issues related to culture, women and equity.
Mr. Alex Pannu was appointed to a five-year term as a part-time member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in June 2015. He is a lawyer and businessman from Vancouver. He earned a BA in International Relations from the University of British Columbia and a law degree from the University of New Brunswick. He also completed a mini-MBA course at McGill University. He has been a member of the Law Society of British Columbia since 1991.
Mr. Pannu is a director and General Counsel for a private company developing a copper-gold mine in Brazil and a director of a publicly-traded junior mineral exploration company.
His legal experience includes practicing business and administrative law in private practice and as in- house counsel for two technology companies. He has appeared as counsel before several administrative tribunals as well as the Provincial and Federal Courts.
He has served in government including two stints in the Prime Minister’s Office. He also worked as a special assistant to the federal Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of British Columbia.
His community involvement includes coaching girls’ soccer, serving as a BlockWatch captain and chairing the Board of Variance for the City of North Vancouver.