BC Attorney General and Minister of Justice
Suzanne Anton was elected MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview on May 14, 2013, and was appointed Minister of Justice and Attorney General on June 7, 2013. She also serves on the Cabinet Committee on Secure Tomorrow, Priorities and Planning Committee and is the Vice Chair of the Legislative Review Committee.
Prior to her election to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Suzanne served as a Vancouver City Councillor from 2005 to 2011, and was Vancouver Park Board commissioner from 2002 to 2005.
During her time on Council, she sat on the boards of TransLink and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Suzanne has served on numerous corporate, non-profit and community boards.
Prior to politics, Suzanne was a math teacher and a Crown Counsel. She received a degree in Mathematics from the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Law at the University of British Columbia.
Suzanne and her husband Olin live in Vancouver and have three adult children. They are avid cyclists and have cycled from Vancouver to Budapest. Read more.
Dr. Roshan Danesh
Professor and Founder, Education for Peace
Roshan is a lawyer, conflict resolution innovator, and educator whose areas of work, teaching, and writing include conflict resolution, peace-building, constitutional law, Indigenous rights, inter-ethnic and inter-religious dialogue, and organizational dynamics and cohesion.
Roshan completed his Doctoral studies at Harvard Law School, and has taught at many academic institutions around the world including the University of British Columbia (Vancouver), University of Victoria, European Peace University (Austria), the Justice Institute of British Columbia (Vancouver), and Landegg International University (Switzerland). He also publishes extensively in academic journals.
In conjunction with his teaching, Roshan has worked extensively over the past decade as a consultant to numerous international organizations, corporations, governments, and schools, focusing in the areas of peace-building, proactive conflict-resolution, organizational cohesion, and leadership and team-building. Organizations he has worked with include the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), NASA, Kraft Jacobs Suchard, British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre, City of Nanaimo, Government of British of Columbia, Representative for Children and Youth, and the Municipality of Baker Lake.
For the past decade Roshan has also worked extensively with First Nations governments in Canada on the advancement and protection of Constitutional rights, design and implementation of negotiation and reconciliation processes, governance and strategic development, and dispute resolution.
Roshan is also one the founders of Education for Peace, an international peace education and peace-building organization which currently operates and implements programs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United States of America, Canada, and Bermuda. Its flagship program in Bosnia and Herzegovina involves hundreds of thousands of children, youth, and adults, and is now considered one of the largest and successful programs of peace education ever undertaken.
Roshan lives with his family in Victoria, British Columbia.
Geoff Plant provides public law and policy advice and representation, and also works as a mediator and arbitrator in public and private law disputes. He was the Attorney General of British Columbia and Minister Responsible for Treaty Negotiations from 2001 to 2005. In 2012 Mr. Plant was named one of Canada’s most influential lawyers by Canadian Lawyer Magazine.
Mr. Plant was first elected to the British Columbia Legislature in 1996 and from 1996 to 2001 was Opposition Justice Critic, as well as serving on a number of legislative and caucus committees. As Attorney General, Mr. Plant was the Chair of the Legislative Review Committee, the Minister responsible for the creation and oversight of the Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform, and the Minister responsible for the negotiation of the New Relationship, the first-ever political accord between the Government of British Columbia and the province’s three aboriginal political organizations.
Prior to his election to the Legislature, Mr. Plant practised as a litigation lawyer with particular emphasis on aboriginal and public law. He was counsel in a number of leading aboriginal rights and title cases, including the landmark case of Delgamuukw v. British Columbia. He has lectured and written extensively on aboriginal law, public law and law reform. Since re-entering law practice in 2005, Mr. Plant has been appointed senior advisor to the Government of British Columbia in land and resource negotiations with the Council of Haida Nation and the First Nations Leadership Council, he has undertaken more than two dozen successful mediations in a dispute between investors and a major Canadian mutual fund company, and has provided strategic advice to a number of BC businesses on establishing effective relations with First Nations. In 2006, Mr. Plant was appointed as a Special Advisor to the Premier and Minister of Advanced Education to lead a project called “Campus 2020: Thinking Ahead”, the first comprehensive review of post-secondary education in British Columbia in over 40 years. His report, entitled Access and Excellence: The Campus 2020 Plan for British Columbia’s Post-Secondary Education System, was released in April 2007.
From May 2007 until February 2009, Mr. Plant served as Vancouver’s Civil City Commissioner. In 2010, he was appointed board chair of Providence Health Care, one of the largest faithbased health care organizations in Canada, operating 14 sites in Vancouver, including St. Paul’s Hospital.
In 2012 Mr. Plant was appointed chief legal strategist for the BC Government in the proceedings of the Joint Review Panel considering the Northern Gateway Pipeline. He is also board chair of the Land Title & Survey Authority of British Columbia, the Canada West Foundation and the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education. In May 2015 he was appointed Chancellor of Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
Mr. Plant has been recognized as a leading practitioner in the area of aboriginal law in the 2013 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and in the 2013 and 2014 editions of The Best Lawyers in Canada (Woodward/White).
The Honourable Wally Oppal
Wally is an experienced counsel and strategic advisor. His practice focuses on alternative and traditional dispute resolution as well as Aboriginal law. After graduation from the University of British Columbia Law School, Wally went into private practice for a number of years. During this time he was appointed as a Special Prosecutor on many high profile criminal and commercial cases.
In 2005, he was appointed as Attorney General of British Columbia and served as Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism until 2009. Wally was involved in many significant reforms of the justice system, including the establishment of Canada’s first community court to deal with chronic offenders, developing new Rules of Court in order to promote quicker resolution of disputes and developing new initiatives in dealing with violence against women.
A lifetime resident of British Columbia, Wally has dedicated his entire working life to the pursuit of social justice and community safety. His landmark report on policing in British Columbia led to many policing reforms after its publication in 1994. Wally’s service to the public of this province, most recently as Commissioner of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, is of special significance.
Shannon Salter is the Chair of the Civil Resolution Tribunal.
Ms. Salter grounds her leadership of the Civil Resolution Tribunal in her longstanding commitment to access to justice, particularly in the context of administrative tribunals.
An active provider of pro bono legal advice and representation through her career, Ms. Salter is also adjunct professor of administrative law at the UBC Faculty of Law, a commissioner of the Financial Institutions Commission and vice president of the British Columbia Council of Administrative Tribunals.
Ms. Salter has also served as a vice chair of the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal, a litigation lawyer at a large Vancouver law firm, a board member of the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia, and a judicial law clerk with the British Columbia Supreme Court.
Ms. Salter earned her BA (2001) and LLB (2005) from the University of British Columbia, and her LLM from the University of Toronto (2011).
Michael F. Welsh
Michael was called to the British Columbia bar in 1981 and practises primarily in the ADR field, mostly in family law mediations, as well as civil mediation and civil and family arbitration. He has been a mediator since 1997. Based in Penticton, he is a Certified Family Law Mediator and Family Law Arbitrator by the Law Society of British Columbia and is a civil mediator and arbitrator, holding the designations of C. Med., Q. Arb., and Cert.Fam.Arb. and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
He is a member of the Mediate BC Family Roster and BCAMI Civil Roster and acts as a mediator for the Law Society in fee disputes between lawyers and clients. Michael is President of the British Columbia Arbitration & Mediation Institute (BCAMI) and currently Vice-President of the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association . He is an executive committee member of the CBA National ADR Section and Okanagan ADR Section. He writes regularly for the Advocate, a legal magazine in BC, both legal articles and as its wine columnist, and has also published several articles in BarTalk magazine and the Canadian Arbitration & Mediation Journal. He is periodically asked to talk on ADR, legal and wine-related topics for various legal groups and at continuing legal education programs.
Tony is the Executive Director of the Condominium Home Owners’ Association of B.C. (CHOA), a consumer association in British Columbia with over 200,000 members comprising strata corporations, owners, and business members who serve the strata industry. Tony is the weekly Condo Smarts columnist for The Province, The Times Colonist, “24 hrs”, and host of the AM650 Talk About Strata show. Since 2002 Tony has written over 800 columns and information bulletins that are exclusively dedicated to strata living. Tony has served as a director/committee member for the Homeowner Protection Office, BC Building Envelope Council, Canadian Standards Association, The Real Estate Council of BC, and continues to play an active role in research and development of building standards, legislation for strata corporations and consumer protection.
With offices in New Westminster, Victoria and Kelowna CHOA provides service to its members throughout the province, promoting an understanding of strata living, and the interests of strata property owners. On average the association fields 250 inquiries a day from owners, strata council members, managers and agents, and delivers over 100 seminars annually on a variety of strata related topics including governance, operations and administration.
Dianne Martin, is a seasoned mom, stepmom, Certified Stepfamily Counsellor and Registered Social Worker. She has over 30 years’ experience working with families in Canada and the UK as a social worker, Team Leader and Program Consultant.
Martin, a passionate advocate for remarried families, launched Dianne Martin & Associates in 2009. She designed and developed a powerful array of evidenced based counselling and educational programs for stepfamilies. When research revealed that many family service professionals did not understand the unique stepfamily issues and dynamics, she designed a two-day professional development event: From Intake to Integration: A Therapeutic Model for Working with Stepfamilies
Martin received her Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Calgary and studied under Dr Lofas, PhD, LCSW, NYC, NY of the Stepfamily Foundation. She is a member of the BCCSW, BCASW, CASW.
Martin is a blogger, contributing writer to StepMom Magazine. She is Psychosocial Support Program volunteer and facilitates a cancer support group. Martin resides with her husband on Vancouver Island.
Julie Daum is a mediator, facilitator, conflict resolution coach and instructor. She is a member of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, belongs to the Frog Clan and resides on the Stellaquo Reserve in the central interior of BC.
Julie is on the roster of BC Child Protection Mediators and Canadian Human Rights Commission Mediators, has been a Mentor in the Mediate BC Child Protection Mediation Practicum, and has coached for the Continuing Legal Education Society Family Mediation training, and the University of British Columbia Law, Justice Institute of BC and the University of Northern BC, and most recently Thompson Rivers University Law School.
Julie also facilitates workshops for The College of New Caledonia on developing culturally appropriate practices for working with First Nation families and communities.
Sharon Sutherland is a mediator and lawyer with expertise in conflict resolution training and program design. From 2000-2014, she was a full-time faculty member at the University of BC Faculty of Law where, in addition to a range of substantive legal courses, she taught a clinical mediation program. She has taught dispute resolution at Thompson Rivers Law School since 2012. Sharon is a member of the Mediate BC Civil Roster and the Child Protection Roster. She is currently applying her dispute resolution and design skills as a Knowledge Engineer in the development of the Civil Resolution Tribunal. Sharon was honoured with the 2011 Susanna Jani Prize for Excellence in Mediation.
Ambitus Consulting, Victoria, BC
Kat is a registered social worker, mediator, parenting coordinator, arbitrator and conflict management trainer in private practice. She is also the Executive Director of Communica Dialogue and Resolution Services, a non-profit organization in Victoria. She has been a working in both family and civil dispute resolution for 13 years and specializes in working with high conflict families and intercultural issues. Kat is a certified as a Comprehensive Family Mediator by Family Mediation Canada and is also on Mediate BC’s Family Mediator Roster and Civil Mediator Roster and is a mentor for Mediate BC’s Family Mediation Program. Kat is also on the BC Parenting Coordinators Roster and the BC Hear the Child Roster. She is on the Board of Directors of BC Arbitration and Mediation Institute and Family Mediation Canada.
Melissa Ruckmick is a communication specialist as well as a marketing and PR consultant. Her expertise in tactical language refinement, negotiation, mediation, and project logistics have been finely honed through her work in organizational consulting, on university boards of directors, in private coaching, and with scientific documentary film production.
Melissa’s career for 15 years has been based on supporting people to utilize the most effective communication, marketing and PR strategies to best clarify their focus. Her research offers cutting edge, relevant data to be incorporated in every application and is based in a preventative model.
Whether Melissa is conducting a seminar, workshops or giving talks, she is engaging, humorous and full of applicable, useful tools for people to utilize quickly.
Ombudsperson – Province of British Columbia
Appointed as Ombudsperson in July 2015, Jay Chalke has an extensive background in public sector leadership, independence and collaboration.
From 2011 to 2015 Jay led the Justice Services Branch of the Ministry of Justice and was responsible for delivering reforms to justice services and fostering dialogue and collaboration across the justice system.
Prior to his appointment with the Ministry of Justice, Jay was the Public Guardian and Trustee from 2000 to 2011. During this time, he was instrumental in implementing legislative reforms as well as changes to modernize service delivery, improve collaboration and enhance public accountability.
Earlier in his career, Jay held a variety of public sector positions, including Deputy Public Trustee of British Columbia, Deputy Public Guardian and Trustee of Ontario, Head of the Review of Certain Practices in New Brunswick Correctional Institutions, Senior Policy Advisor for justice policy in the government of Ontario’s Cabinet Office, and Crown Counsel with the Ontario Ministry of Attorney General. He began his career as a Correctional and Psychiatric Services Investigator with the Ombudsman of Ontario.
Jay has served as a member of the Justice and Public Safety Council of British Columbia, and a Governor of the Law Foundation of British Columbia. He is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2006.
B.Comm., MIR, (Queen’s), J.D.
Anne is a lawyer, mediator and a workplace consultant in British Columbia.
She has been the Equity Ombudsperson for the Law Society of British Columbia for the last 15 years works and a consultant, who assists her clients with development of respectful workplace policies, training and mediation of conflicts. She also assists publically traded companies in corporate governance, TSX policies and corporate development in general.
As the Equity Ombudsperson she deals with issues of discrimination and harassment among lawyers, staff and articling students. In this position, she coaches and assists clients to deal with issues of discrimination and harassment, assists organizations and law firms to implement respectful workplace polices, procedures and practices. She is also called into firms to mediate solutions for firms that are facing challenges in their workplace culture.
She has a multi-disciplinary background in mediation, organizational development, coaching, business, and law. She launched her career in equality in employment in 1983, when she graduated with her multi-disciplinary Masters in Industrial Relations from Queen’s University. With this education she secured a one year practicum with the Alberta Government where she was trained and exposed to all aspects of human resources, including: recruitment, selection, training, compensation and organizational development. In 1985, she moved to Ontario to develop a How to Handbook for medium sized employers to implement policies free of systemic discrimination for Ontario Urban Alliance on Race Relations in 1985. With this background, she has been working in the LSBC ombudsperson position and privately consulting to government and private companies on issues of discrimination and harassment.
She has been an active member of the CBA, specifically with the WLF. She was a member of the mentoring committee from the founding stage of the mentoring program for the CBA Women Lawyers Forum (“WLF”) and was the Co-Chair for the Mentoring Committee for five years. She was also a member at large with the WLF and in this role she also developed the WLF Award of Excellence. In 2006, she was recognized by the CBA as an exceptional lawyer in the advancement of equality and was awarded the provincial CBA Equality and Diversity Award.
She was an associate at Fraser and Company and Owen Bird as a business securities lawyer. Currently she is a consultant to publically traded companies listed on the TSX, in areas of corporate governance, employment and project development and sits on number of publically traded TSX listed companies. She is the past President of the Law Court Inn and remains a director.
Also, she is the author of Beyond the Mirror, Seeing Ourselves As We Are, 2000 and has been a keynote speaker for various events on: diversity, empowerment, harassment and workplace practices.
Ms. Chopra’s contact information is available here.
Shehni was sworn in as a Judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia on March 31st 2000. She presides over cases in the criminal, family and civil divisions. Prior to her appointment to the Bench, Shehni was the Assistant Deputy Chair of the Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board.
Shehni was born in Kenya and educated in Kenya, England and Canada. She has a Bachelor’s degree in business, a Masters degree in liberal studies from Simon Fraser University, and a law degree from the University of British Columbia. She practised civil and criminal litigation for ten years before her appointment to the Refugee Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board in 1993.
Active in the Ismaili Community, Shehni served as a member of the Leaders International Forum. She is the former Chairperson of the National Conciliation and Arbitration Board and has served as Vancouver Convenor for the Aga Khan Foundation–Partnership Walk for international development. Shehni is a Director on the Canadian chapter of the International Association of Women Judges and on the Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges – Equality and Diversity committee. She served as a member of the Canadian Bar Association – Equality Committee and Alternate Dispute Resolution Advisory Panel and as a director on the B.C. Council for Administrative Tribunals and the Burnaby Chamber of Commerce. She is a member on the Centre for Excellence in Immigration and Integration – Federal Partnership Council and an advisor to the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society.
Shehni has been active in professional development and training of decision-makers and has facilitated workshops on gender and cross-cultural issues. She has been a speaker and presenter at many conferences on issues involving equality and justice, immigration and human rights. Shehni completed the National Judicial Institute’s Social Context Faculty and Course Development Program for Judges in 2001. She was nominated as BC’s 100 influential Indo-Canadians in 2008. She is the recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Award (2002) and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012) for exceptional Community service to Canada.