Biographies of Members of the Commission

Chief of the Commission and Tribunals
Michael Gottheil

Michael Gottheil was appointed Chief of the Commission and Tribunals of the Alberta Human Rights Commission and began his term in August 2018.

Mr. Gottheil brings many years of leadership experience in the Administrative Justice sector, having previously served as Chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, and Executive Chair of both the Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario and the Social Justice Tribunals Ontario, which is comprised of eight tribunals. Mr. Gottheil is a firm believer in justice, as a means and an end, and has worked to foster collaboration among those in the legal community, as well as civil society more broadly.

A graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School, Mr. Gottheil practiced labour, employment and human rights law for close to 20 years. He is a frequent presenter at conferences and seminars, and has written widely on administrative law, institutional design and alternative models of dispute resolution. Throughout his career, he has worked on initiatives that seek to make justice more accessible, efficient, effective and responsive to the needs of the public. He is particularly interested in how organizational capacity and community partnerships can help build an effective and equitable justice system.

Through his professional work, personal journeys and as a person with a disability, Mr. Gottheil continues to embrace the values of empathy and fairness as well as the richness of our diversity and inclusion as a basis for our shared humanity.

Members of the Commission: 

  • Darryl A. Aarbo, Q.C.
  • Rita Aggarwala
  • Joanne Archibald     
  • Roxanne Davis
  • Sharon V. Lindgren
  • Duncan Marsden
  • William D. McFetridge, Q.C. 
  • Laura Mensch
  • D. Jean Munn, Q.C.
  • Kathryn Oviatt
  • Karen Scott
  • Sharon Sproule
  • Nazrina Umarji

Members of the Commission

Darryl A. Aarbo, Q.C.
Darryl Aarbo has been appointed for a term ending January 21, 2022. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1991 from the University of Alberta and a Law degree in 1994 from Queen’s University. Mr. Aarbo was called to the Alberta Bar in 1997 after first being called in Ontario.

Mr. Aarbo practiced at a labour and employment law firm in Ontario before moving back to his home province of Alberta in 1997. Since then, he has maintained a practice in employment and human rights law as well as a general litigation practice. Early in his legal career, he conducted investigations and mediations for the Alberta Human Rights Commission. Mr. Aarbo was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2016.

Mr. Aarbo is a volunteer first responder and ski patroller with the Canadian Ski Patrol, Mountain Division.  He spends his weekends ski patrolling in the Banff region. Mr. Aarbo also volunteers for the Calgary Bar Association as a board member of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Section (SOGIC). He has chaired various conferences for the Legal Education Society of Alberta.

Rita Aggarwala

Dr. Rita Aggarwala has been appointed for a term ending January 21, 2022. By way of education, she received a Ph.D. in Mathematics, specializing in statistics, from McMaster University in 1996. Following a first career as a professor of mathematics and statistics at the University of Calgary, Dr. Aggarwala obtained a Law degree from the University of Calgary in 2006. She was called to the Alberta Bar in 2007.

After articling at the Court of Queen’s Bench in Calgary, Dr. Aggarwala began her legal career at a small litigation firm where she practiced in several areas of law, including employment law, administrative law, environmental law and constitutional law. Following her time as a litigator, she started her own business as a legal researcher, legal locum and statistical expert to lawyers. She has been involved in a broad range of legal activities, including working as in-house counsel; appearing as a statistical expert in cases of national importance; assisting with complex legal matters involving Aboriginal consultation; and assisting in matters involving Indigenous rights to oil and gas royalties.

Dr. Aggarwala serves as a panel member for the Real Estate Council of Alberta, where she conducts quasi-judicial hearings involving the professional obligations of real estate professionals, and writes decisions.

Joanne Archibald
Joanne Archibald has been appointed for a term ending January 16, 2020. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975 and a Law degree in 1985, both from the University of Calgary. Ms. Archibald was called to the Alberta Bar in 1986. She also holds the designation of Registered Practitioner in Dispute Resolution from The Canadian International Institute of Applied Negotiation.

Early in her law career, Ms. Archibald practiced at Shoctor, Mousseau & Starkman in Edmonton. She then conducted investigations for the Canadian Human Rights Commission where she investigated complaints of discrimination arising under the Canadian Human Rights Act and prepared reports recommending whether to refer cases to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

Ms. Archibald served as an Appeal Board Chairperson for the Public Service Commission of Canada, which led to her governor-in-council appointment to the Public Service Staffing Tribunal, where she was one of the five full-time members who conducted hearings to decide issues of abuse of authority in employment matters within the federal public service. As a tribunal member, Ms. Archibald conducted quasi-judicial hearings pursuant to the Public Service Employment Act, and prepared decisions. Ms. Archibald's work has taken her across Canada, including the North, to deal with individuals at all levels of the public service.

As a mediator, Ms. Archibald regularly intervenes in contentious matters to assist the parties in addressing and resolving contextual issues in an informal and meaningful way without resorting to formal process. 

 Ms. Archibald is a member of the Law Society of Alberta and the Canadian Council of Administrative Tribunals. Joanne's extensive community involvement includes volunteering as a mediator with the Provincial Court of Alberta for 10 years.

Roxanne Davis
Roxanne Davis has been appointed for a term ending January 21, 2022. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Western Ontario in 1998 and both a Law degree and Master of Public Administration from Dalhousie University in 2002.

Ms. Davis practiced law in New Brunswick, then Ontario, before settling in Calgary and joining Carbert Waite LLP in 2008. Ms. Davis became a partner of the firm in 2013. She practices litigation with a focus on employment law, including human rights, privacy, and occupational health and safety matters.

Ms. Davis has conducted workplace investigations as an independent investigator and supervised workplace investigations conducted both internally and by external parties. She regularly presents on topics related to employment law, privacy and human rights at various seminars and conferences.

Ms. Davis served on the executive of the Association of Women Lawyers, Calgary, for nine years, and concluded her term as president in December 2018.  She has been treasurer of the Women in Law Leadership Awards Committee since its inception in 2011. She is also on the board of the Calgary Drug Treatment Court and co-chair of the Canadian Bar Association-Alberta Branch’s Privacy and Access Law Section.

Sharon V. Lindgren
Sharon Lindgren has been appointed for a term beginning December 15, 2011 and her current term will expire on August 20, 2021. She is an experienced labour and employment lawyer and mediator and holds Bachelors of Commerce and Laws (Juris Doctor) degrees from the University of Saskatchewan. Ms. Lindgren became a member of the B.C. Law Society in 1992 and the Alberta Law Society in 2000. Her commitment to diversity has been developed from a very young age where travelling internationally became a passion as well as an education.

In 1991, Ms. Lindgren articled and then began private practice with the Vancouver law firm of Swinton & Company and worked on the B.C. Court of Appeal hearing in the landmark Aboriginal title case of Delgamuukw. A two-year stint at the B.C. Labour Relations Board preceded her returning to the prairies where she conducted numerous investigations, conciliations and education sessions for the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission (currently named Alberta Human Rights Commission). A commitment to excellent communication as well as extensive training in mediation assisted her in a pilot project with the Alberta Provincial Court where she mediated hundreds of disputes and assisted in numerous mediation training programs.  

Ms. Lindgren combined a return to private practice in Calgary at Burnet, Duckworth and Palmer with an executive position on the Alternative Dispute Resolution Subsection and an active membership in the Labour and Employment Law Subsection, both of the Alberta Branch of the Canadian Bar Association. She spent almost six years with United Nurses of Alberta as a Labour Relations Officer then legal counsel where she was counsel at arbitrations, represented nurses at professional regulatory hearings, and sat as an arbitration panel member and decision writer in the capacity of Union Nominee.

Duncan Marsden
Duncan Marsden has been appointed for a term ending August 20, 2021. He received a Law degree (with French) from Leicester University in 1996. Mr. Marsden was called to the England and Wales (Solicitor) Bar in 2000 and called to the Alberta Bar in 2009.  

Mr. Marsden has years of experience in all areas of labour and employment law. Upon graduating from law school, he practiced employment law for several years in London, England. He moved to Canada and joined Borden Ladner Gervais, where he is now a Partner and Regional Leader of the Labour and Employment Group in the Calgary office. Mr. Marsden is fluent in French and provides advice to clients on employment matters including dismissal procedures, dispute resolution, workers' compensation, discrimination law, and interpretation of employment contracts and policies.

Mr. Marsden speaks frequently at conferences on employment law issues. He has also written numerous articles for a variety of legal publications and has provided training to Civil Court Provincial Judges on employment law updates.

Mr. Marsden is an active volunteer in the community. He was a member of the Board of Directors of MitoCanada, a charity assisting Canadians with mitochondrial disease (2010 to 2014). Mr. Marsden also serves as duty counsel for pro bono Court shifts at the Provincial Court and Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta, and is a volunteer lawyer with Volunteer Lawyers Service. In 2014, Mr. Marsden was the recipient of the National Pro Bono Distinguished Service Award, co-presented by the Law Society of Alberta and Canadian Bar Association - Alberta, where he was recognized for his outstanding contribution to the provision of pro bono legal services. He was recognized in the 2015 edition of Benchmark Canada - The Definitive Guide to Canada's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys as a "Future Star: Alberta." 

William D. McFetridge, Q.C.
Mr. McFetridge has served as a Member of the Commission since September 30, 2010 and his current term will expire January 16, 2020. Through a Ministerial Order, Mr. McFetridge is designated as Acting Chief of the Commission and Tribunals.

Mr. McFetridge received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta and his Law degree from the University of Calgary. Mr. McFetridge has over 35 years of experience in labour and employment law. He is a Chartered Arbitrator and since 1983 has chaired arbitration boards dealing with grievances and collective bargaining disputes in the public and private sectors. He also adjudicates unjust dismissal complaints under Part III of the Canada Labour Code. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2012.

Each year since 2008 he has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the publication The Best Lawyers in Canada in the specialty of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

He has been a guest lecturer/arbitrator in both the Faculties of Law and Business at the University of Calgary, and for a number of years was a team leader in the Trial Advocacy Program in the Faculty of Law. He taught in the Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society arbitrator training program and has been a frequent speaker on employment law, labour and human rights issues.

He is active in the community and served as Chairman of the Alberta - NWT - Nunavut Division of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (C.N.I.B.) and was a Board Member for over 30 years. He volunteered for the Cochrane Humane Society for many years and is an avid runner.

Laura L. Mensch 
Laura Mensch has been appointed for a term ending January 21, 2022. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree (With Great Distinction) from the University of Lethbridge in 1990, where she was awarded the Faculty of Arts Gold Medal and the Governor General’s Silver Medal. She received a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University in 1995, and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Calgary in 1998. Ms. Mensch was called to the Alberta Bar in 1999. 

Ms. Mensch has extensive experience in employment and labour law and related fields, including human rights, occupational health and safety, workers’ compensation, and privacy law. Prior to joining Miller Thomson LLP as a partner in 2018, she practised for almost two decades with Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP. Ms. Mensch provides labour and employment law advice to a broad spectrum of clients including public bodies, private companies in a variety of industries, Indigenous peoples, and non-profit agencies. Ms. Mensch was a sessional lecturer in employment law at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law in 2010 and 2011. She has been recognized among the Best Lawyers in Canada for Labour and Employment Law every year since 2014 and was included in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory for Workplace Human Rights in 2018. 

Ms. Mensch is frequently invited to speak on labour and employment topics for clients and professional organizations and has authored numerous articles on these topics. She has volunteered with Calgary Legal Guidance, the University of Calgary Student Legal Assistance Program, and the Elizabeth Fry Society, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Westside Regional Recreation Society. 

D. Jean Munn, Q.C.
Jean Munn has been appointed for a term ending August 20, 2021. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1983 and a Law degree in 1988, both from the University of Calgary. Ms. Munn was called to the Alberta Bar in 1989. 

Ms. Munn brings with her extensive experience in all facets of immigration and employment law. After graduating from law school, Jean set up her own practice in association with other lawyers, Fox Chittick Munn, where she practiced criminal law, family law, immigration law, employment law and labour arbitration. Ms. Munn has been a Partner with the Calgary law firm Caron & Partners since 2003, and in 2008 became Managing Partner. She is fluent in Spanish and advises both employers and employees, including foreign workers and contractors. She also acts as legal counsel for a number of municipalities, corporations, non-profit agencies, boards and community organizations.

Ms. Munn holds a Certificate in Arbitration from Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society. She is the past Co-Chairperson for the Canadian Bar Association Alberta (Immigration Law - South).

Some of Ms. Munn's academic appointments include sessional lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Calgary (2009 to 2014) and Immigration Practitioner Instructor at Bow Valley College (2005 to 2010 and 2014 to present). She was also a guest lecturer at Calgary Legal Guidance (1999 to 2013). Ms. Munn co-authored Canadian Encyclopedic Digest, Carswell, Citizenship and Immigration Law 2010. She is also the author of A Guide to Immigration Law for Non-Immigration Lawyers, Calgary Legal Guidance, 1999.

Ms. Munn is active in the community, including volunteering at Calgary Legal Guidance as Legal Clinic Volunteer and Volunteer Trainer (1993 to present) and as an  Board Member (2011 to present). She was awarded the Alan D. Hunter Award for Excellence in Volunteerism from Calgary Legal Guidance (1998 and 2009) and is also the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, recognizing outstanding and exemplary contributions to society.

Kathryn Oviatt
Kathryn Oviatt has been appointed for a term ending August 20, 2021. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree (Distinction) in 2001 and a Law degree (Distinction) in 2005, both from the University of Alberta. Ms. Oviatt was called to the Alberta Bar in 2006.

Early in her career, Ms. Oviatt served as legal counsel at the Court of Queen's Bench. She then practiced as an associate lawyer with Field Law in the Professional Regulatory Practice Group and Labour and Employment Practice Group until 2014. Ms. Oviatt also served as a Tribunal Member of the Subdivision Development Appeal Board, City of Edmonton. She currently practices out of Oviatt Law, where she focusses her practice on legal research and writing. She has a particular interest in administrative law, constitutional law, labour and employment law, and human rights law.  

Ms. Oviatt has written numerous articles on a variety of legal issues. She has made presentations on various legal topics for organizations as well as prepared training DVDs for administrative tribunals.

Karen Scott
Karen Scott has been appointed for a term ending August 20, 2021. She received a Law degree (Distinction) in 2002 from the University of Alberta. Ms. Scott was called to the Alberta Bar in 2003. 

Ms. Scott has extensive knowledge of human rights, employment and administrative law. After graduating from law school, she clerked at the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench and Alberta Court of Appeal prior to entering private practice. She has been a Partner with the Edmonton law firm Seveny Scott since 2008, where she practices almost exclusively in the field of labour and employment advising and representing employees, employers and unions on human rights and accommodation issues. Ms. Scott also maintains a civil litigation practice related to her labour and employment practice. 

Ms. Scott holds certificates in Interest Based Negotiation and Interpersonal Conflict Resolution from the Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society.

Ms. Scott is a frequent speaker on labour and employment issues to audiences from across Canada at conferences and audio-seminars presented by Lancaster House and the Canadian Bar Association. She was a guest lecturer for the University of Alberta employment law class in 2014, and has recently been appointed as a sessional lecturer at the University of Alberta Law School, co-teaching employment law.

Sharon Sproule
Sharon Sproule has been appointed for a term ending January 21, 2022. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Lethbridge and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Calgary. She was called to the Alberta Bar in 1997.

Ms. Sproule brings over 20 years of legal experience encompassing client advocacy, mediation, dispute resolution and trial representation. She has extensive knowledge of employment, privacy, and administrative law and has worked as both external and in-house legal advisor for private industry and public sector clients. Ms. Sproule is currently Senior Legal Counsel with Alger Zadeiks Shapiro LLP in Lethbridge. 

As an involved member of the community, Ms. Sproule has regularly held various volunteer board positions with not-for-profit and service-based organizations in Lethbridge. She is currently serving as a Director for the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce Board, Chair of the Chamber Governance Committee, and an appointed Public Member of the Alberta Health Professions College Council (Physiotherapy).  Ms. Sproule is a past sessional instructor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Lethbridge and has been a frequent lecturer and presenter for various community associations, including the Public Legal Education Network of Alberta and the Canadian Association of University Solicitors.

Nazrina H. Umarji
Nazrina H. Umarji has been appointed for a term ending January 21, 2022.  She received a Bachelor of Education (Distinction) degree in 2001 and a Juris Doctor degree in 2005, both from the University of Alberta. Ms. Umarji was called to the Alberta Bar in 2006. Prior to being called to the Alberta Bar, Ms. Umarji was a teacher with Edmonton Public Schools from 2001 to 2005.
 
Since 2006, Ms. Umarji has practiced in various facets of the law. She began her career in private practice. In 2008, she joined the City of Edmonton Law Branch, practicing in the areas of expropriation and municipal law. Ms. Umarji then practiced administrative law and civil litigation with the Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta for nine years. Currently, Ms. Umarji is a Board Officer with the Alberta Surface Rights Board. 

Ms. Umarji is an active volunteer in the community and served on the board for the Centre for Race and Culture from 2012 to 2015. She also volunteered with the Elizabeth Fry Society as a Court Worker assisting individuals facing criminal charges, and currently serves as the Chair of the Fundraising Committee for the Alumni and Friends of the Faculty of Law Association. 

Revised: May 1, 2019

 

 


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