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
SOPHIE MARCHILDON, LLB, LLM
Ms. Sophie Marchildon has significant experience and expertise in human rights over the last 13 years. She was appointed in 2010 to a three-year term as a full-time Member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and was reappointed in June 2013 for a second three-year term. She was reappointed for another one year term in 2016. Ms. Marchildon has been presiding the panel on the first nations’ child welfare case against the government of Canada since 2013.
She completed her Bachelor of Laws at the Université du Québec à Montréal. She completed her Master’s Degree in International Law and International Politics at the Université du Québec à Montréal in 2012 and was the recipient of the 2006 Award of Excellence for Best Master’s degree Student in the International Human Rights Law Clinic. She is a member of the Quebec Bar.
Throughout her career, Ms. Marchildon has practised civil litigation, immigration law, human rights law and health law in private practice and within various organizations. She also worked as a lawyer and co-director at the Council for the Protection of the Sick (Conseil pour la protection des malades) from 2005 to 2006, and was an assessor and member of the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal. She has volunteered on a number of clinical ethics committees from 2005 to 2010, and worked as a Complaints Commissioner in the Health Care and Social Services Provincial Government from 2006 until her appointment to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in May 2010. She was part of the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services' Team of Visitors, which assessed and reported on the quality of services and respect of users’ rights in nursing homes across the province of Quebec. During the course of her career, Mrs. Marchildon specialized in prevention of abuse toward the elderly.
Ms. Marchildon has a licence in mediation from the Quebec Bar and completed the Executive Conflict Management Certificate from the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law in 2014. She is currently completing a certification in arbitration.
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.
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.
MATTHEW D. GARFIELD
Mr. Matthew D. Garfield was appointed as a part-time Member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in 2006 and re-appointed in 2011 for a five-year term.
Mr. Garfield is a lawyer, chartered mediator and chartered arbitrator. He is the president of ADR Synergy Inc., a firm that specializes in mediations, arbitrations, workplace investigations/assessments and the monitoring of implementation of Court/Tribunal Orders. Mr. Garfield is also an adjudicator at the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat.
From 2000 to 2004, Mr. Garfield was the Chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. He had joined the tribunal as Vice-Chair in 1998. He both adjudicated and mediated cases under the Ontario Human Rights Code involving claims of discrimination, harassment and reprisal. Prior to his appointment to the tribunal, Mr. Garfield practiced law in Toronto.
Mr. Garfield graduated from Dalhousie Law School in 1988 and was a recipient of the class prize in Constitutional Law. He was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1989 and the Ontario Bar in 1992.
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.
RICKI T. JOHNSTON
Ms. Ricki T. Johnston was appointed in June of 2013 for a three-year term as a part-time member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. She obtained her Bachelor of Education with Distinction from the University of Alberta in 1996 and her Bachelor of Laws with Distinction, also from the University of Alberta, in 1999. She has continued as a member of the Alberta Bar since being called in 2000.
Ms. Johnston practiced general civil litigation including in oil and gas, employment, insolvency and securities matters in the Province of Alberta until 2010. She has appeared before various courts, administrative and professional regulatory bodies and commissions. Since 2011, she has worked as a consultant with a private charitable foundation, with a focus on early childhood development, addiction and mental health.
RONALD S. WILLIAMS
Mr. Ronald S. Williams was appointed in June of 2013 for a three-year term as a part-time member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Mr. Williams was born in Hamilton Ontario and received his undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree at McMaster University, class of 1969. He obtained his LL.B degree from York University (Osgoode Hall), Toronto, in 1972, being called to the Ontario Bar in 1974 and a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada in good standing since 1974.
After articling in Toronto, Mr. Williams moved to St. Catharines, Ontario and has been in private practice, holding a general practice, including corporate counsel. Mr. Williams's career has included representations before administrative tribunals, as well as serving as legal counsel to various groups, from veteran associations, religious, and ethnic organizations. Professional affiliations include the Canadian Bar Association, Lincoln Law Association, Hamilton Law Association, and Canadian Association of Corporate Counsel.
As a community member and volunteer, Mr. Williams has been involved as a Board Member and or Officer of numerous community organizations addressing the health care needs of children, adult and children rehabilitation, social and financial assistance of those in need, as well as charity fund raising.
Mr. Williams has been married to Francine (Newman) since 1971, with two children Adam and Jordon.
Ms. Lisa Gallivan was appointed in May of 2014 for a three-year term as a part-time member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, a Masters of Business Administration and Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University. She has been a member of the Nova Scotia Bar since being called in 1997.
Ms. Gallivan has practiced at Stewart McKelvey in Halifax, Nova Scotia since completing law school in 1996. Her practice focuses on labour and employment law including employment contracts, human rights, collective bargaining, workplace investigations, occupational health and safety, grievance arbitration and wrongful dismissal litigation. She has appeared before various courts, administrative and professional regulatory bodies and commissions.
Ms. Gallivan is co-editor of Stewart McKelvey’s HRLaw blog. She is also a presenter, trainer and facilitator providing on-site training for employees and executives on all workplace matters including facilitation of executive meetings and retreats, policy development and strategic business planning.
Ms. Gallivan is a former lecturer at St. Mary’s University and Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Professional affiliations include the Canadian Bar Association, Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers and Canadian Corporate Counsel Association.
As a community member and volunteer, Ms. Gallivan has been a Board Member and Officer of numerous community organizations including, Homebridge Youth Society, Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Greater Halifax, Brigadoon Children’s Society and the Halifax YWCA.
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.