Biographies of Members of the Commission
Acting Chief of the Commission and Tribunals
Kathryn Oviatt is the appointed Acting Chief of the Commission and Tribunals of the Alberta Human Rights Commission. A Tribunal Member since 2015, she is now serving her third term on the Tribunal. She was designated Acting Chief in 2020.
In her legal practice, Ms. Oviatt focuses exclusively on neutral adjudication. She holds the designation of Chartered Arbitrator from the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Canada and is a labour arbitrator in Alberta. She also sits on the Hearing Panel for the Real Estate Council of Alberta and as Arbitrator for the Sports Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada.
Prior to her arbitration practice, Ms. Oviatt had an administrative law practice, acting for and before many tribunals, including labour arbitrators, the Alberta Human Rights Commission, the Privacy Commissioner, the Law Enforcement Review Board, the Ombudsman, and professional regulators. She was also legal counsel to the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta. A lifelong Albertan, Ms. Oviatt is committed to upholding Albertan values of community, equality, and fairness.
Chief of the Commission and Tribunals
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:
Doris Bonora, Q.C.
David Findlay, Q.C.
Sharon V. Lindgren
D. Jean Munn, Q.C.
Patrizia C. Valle
Nduka Ahanonu has been appointed for a term ending August 20, 2024. Mr. Ahanonu is a trial lawyer with over 20 years of experience in the legal field. He is the Founder and Managing Lawyer at Duke Law Office. Prior to this, he worked as the Student-at-Law for Legal Aid Alberta and as a Legal Resource Officer for the Alberta Law Line. Mr. Ahanonu is an active member in the community and is currently serving as a Member on the Legal Aid Appeals Committee. He has a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Lagos, his Barrister-at-Law at Nigerian Law School, and a Master of Laws at the University of Alberta.
Sandra Badejo has been appointed for a term ending August 20, 2024. Ms. Badejo is a lawyer with over 17 years of experience, specializing in all areas of family law, including divorce, parenting, child and spousal support, and property. She also represents children and youths in child welfare matters. Ms. Badejo is currently a Partner at Crerar Badejo Hagen Family Law Group and a Director and Shareholder in I. Sandra Badejo Professional Corporation. Ms. Badejo has a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Lagos, a Barrister-at-Law from the Nigerian Law School, and a Master of Laws from the University of Alberta.
Doris Bonora, Q.C.
Doris Bonora has been appointed for a term ending August 14, 2022. She received a Law degree in 1986 from the University of Alberta. Ms. Bonora was called to the Alberta Bar in 1987.
After graduating from law school, Ms. Bonora practiced at Reynolds, Mirth, Richards & Farmer Law Firm in Edmonton. Ms. Bonora has been a partner at Dentons Canada LLP since 2012, where she is currently the Canadian group leader for Dentons’ Trust, Estates, Tax and Wealth Preservation practice. She has extensive experience at all levels of court in Alberta and also in alternate dispute resolution. Ms. Bonora holds the designation of Trust and Estate Practitioner (STEP) from The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. Ms. Bonora is involved in dealing with advocacy for seniors around ageism and also litigation involving trusts which are discriminatory to Indigenous women.
Ms. Bonora is a frequent panelist and keynote speaker on topics including trusts, litigation and disabled-adult estate planning, presenting to local, national and international audiences. She has also written numerous articles for a variety of legal publications. Ms. Bonora is a sessional professor at the University of Alberta.
Ms. Bonora currently serves as a director of Covenant Health Foundation, and also volunteers for the Alzheimer’s Society of Alberta, Edmonton Community Foundation and Edmonton Community Legal Center. Ms. Bonora also serves as a mentor to many young lawyers practicing in the area of wills and estates.
Ms. Bonora is recognized in Who’s Who Legal, is a ranked lawyer in Chambers, and was a finalist in both the Women in Law Awards 2019 and the International Legal Team of the Year Awards 2019.
Cynthia Dickins has been appointed for a term ending October 8, 2022. She attended the University of Alberta for her undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree and her Bachelor of Laws degree. Ms. Dickins was called to the Alberta Bar in 1982. Ms. Dicken's career reflects her respect for values, ethics, diversity and the rule of law.
Ms. Dickins is General Counsel at the Department of Justice Canada, Prairie Region Office at Edmonton where she has spent most of her career litigating criminal and civil law cases at every level of court, including at the Supreme Court of Canada. Ms. Dickens articled with a sole practitioner, Philip Lister, and spent two years in private practice before joining Federal Justice in what is now the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.
Ms. Dickins has appeared before several Tribunals including the National Energy Board, the Specific Claims Tribunal and the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service. Ms. Dickins is a past co-chair of the Canadian Bar Association Aboriginal Law subsection, and has completed arbitration, negotiations and other alternative dispute resolution training.
Ms. Dickins regularly mentors junior counsel, and leads teams in a broad range of litigation areas including Constitutional Aboriginal and Administrative Law matters. Ms. Dickins has taught Legal Ethics, Advocacy and Negotiations to law students at the Bar Admission Course and has lectured widely to police and Federal agencies.
Ms. Dickins is a dedicated volunteer at the Edmonton Community Legal Centre where she advises low-income clients. She is a past President of the Autism Society of Edmonton Area, a volunteer literacy tutor with Family Literacy Centre and has extensive experience serving on nonprofit boards.
In 2013, Ms. Dickins received the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee medal recognizing outstanding and exemplary contributions to society.
David Findlay, Q.C.
David Findlay has been appointed for a term ending September 24, 2022. He received a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) in 1990 from the University of Alberta, a Human Resource Management Certificate in 1999 from the University of Alberta and University of Calgary, and a Law degree in 2002 from the University of Calgary. Mr. Findlay was called to the Alberta Bar in 2003 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2014.
After graduating from law school, Mr. Findlay practiced law at Bruni and Company, served as general counsel for a major land development corporation, was a partner at Findlay Smith, and then owner of Findlay Law. He has been a partner at Findlay McQuaid since 2016, where he practices in the areas of family, child protection, wills and estates, Aboriginal and Elder law.
Mr. Findlay is a member of the Family, Child Welfare, Wills and Estates sections of the Canadian Bar Association. He is a past member of the University of Calgary Faculty of Law Admissions Committee. He has been a guest lecturer at the University of Calgary for Advanced Family Law and for Native Counseling Services regarding court procedures. He is also a mentor for young lawyers with legal representation for children and youth and a board member with Special Olympics Alberta.
Teresa Haykowsky has been appointed for a term ending August 14, 2022. She received a Certificate in French civilization and language at the Sorbonne, a Bachelor of Arts in 1985 from the University of Alberta, a Teaching Diploma in 1986 from Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, and a Law degree (in French) in 1989 from Université Laval. Ms. Haykowsky is a member of the law societies of Quebec (1991), Alberta and Nunavut (2010), and was called to the Alberta Bar in 1997.
Ms. Haykowsky clerked at the Quebec Court of Appeal in Quebec City and also articled in Edmonton at an Edmonton law firm after which she worked as a legal research officer for the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. She then served as legal counsel for school jurisdictions across Alberta (Anglophone, Francophone, Public and Separate) through the Legal Branch of the Alberta School Board Association. Following this, Ms. Haykowsky served as the first in-house legal counsel for Edmonton Catholic Schools before joining McLennan Ross LLP in 2004, where she has been a partner since 2007.
Ms. Haykowsky is fluent in French and practices in both official languages in the areas of education law, labour and employment, human rights and constitutional law. She has appeared at all court levels including the Supreme Court of Canada.
Ms. Haykowsky also served as a sessional lecturer at Campus St. Jean, University of Alberta, where she taught a business law course in French for nine years. She is a frequent webinar presenter and publishes regular email legal updates, both for McLennan Ross LLP. She has served in various volunteer capacities, including as co-founder of the Women’s Legal Forum, Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association, and Chair of the 2017 Women’s Legal Forum, Co-Chair of the 2019 Women in Litigation Symposium, Advocates’ Society, and creator of the book
Truth Be Told: Inspirational Stories by Women in Law, which was published in 2018.
Sharon V. Lindgren
Sharon Lindgren has been appointed for a term ending August 20, 2021. She holds Commerce and Law degrees from the University of Saskatchewan.
Ms. Lindgren is an experienced administrative law lawyer and decision maker and has an exemplary record of successfully mediating conflict. She began mediating full time with a Provincial Court pilot project in 1998 where she attended court and successfully mediated hundreds of disputes.
Ms. Lindgren spent seven years in private practice with large law firms in Vancouver and Calgary, contributing to a landmark aboriginal rights case as well as complex commercial litigation. She has fulfilled in-house roles for unions, a large international oil and gas firm, and a post-secondary institution. She has been chief spokesperson in collective bargaining and has extensive experience in the regulation of professionals with a legislative mandate to protect the public interest.
Ms. Lindgren has chaired committees addressing workplace risk of violence, as well as diversity in the workplace. She understands the importance of understanding mental health and became a Mental Health First Aid Instructor in 2012.
Ms. Lindgren has designed and delivered training sessions across Canada, including topics on human rights, privacy, health and safety, performance management, workplace effectiveness, mental health, communications, and conflict resolution.
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 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 Lawyer 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."
Collin May has been appointed for a term ending August 14, 2022. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta in 1992, a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University in 1995, a Diplome d’etudes approfondies from Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris) in 2003, and a Law degree in 2009 from Dalhousie Law School. Mr. May was called to the Alberta Bar in 2010.
Mr. May has practiced law in firms in Toronto, Lethbridge and Calgary. He is currently a private wealth and corporate services lawyer for DD West LLP in Calgary, where he specializes in trust and estate planning, municipal and administrative law, corporate governance, and corporate succession planning.
From 2011 to 2016, Mr. May served as a member of the Federal Judicial Advisory Committee for the Province of Alberta, where he was responsible for the review and recommendation of applicants for appointment as Justices to all federal level courts in Alberta. Some of his volunteer activities includes serving on Alberta Law Society’s Credentials and Education Committee, and the Law Society’s Trust Safety Committee, each for three years.
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 a 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.
Dr. Evaristus Oshionebo has been appointed for a term ending August 20, 2024. Dr. Oshionebo is a Tenured Professor and Associate Dean (Academic) in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary. He teaches Law of Contracts, Business Associations, and Mining Law. He previously taught at Osgoode Hall Law School and the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Oshionebo has a Bachelor of Laws from the Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria), a Masters of Laws from the University of Lagos as well as from the University of Alberta, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University.
Dr. Erika Ringseis has been appointed for a term ending August 14, 2022. She received a Bachelor of Arts in 1995 from the University of Calgary, a Master in Science (Industrial/Organizational Psychology) in 1997 and a Ph.D. (Industrial/Organizational Psychology) in 1999, both from the Pennsylvania State University, and a Juris Doctor in 2002 from the University of Calgary. She was called to the
Alberta Bar in 2003.
Dr. Ringseis started her legal career providing advice to clients of two major law firms, before moving to a large pipeline company, where from 2011 to 2018, she served as Manager, Human Resources Governance. Dr. Ringseis oversaw various human resources compliance and programs, including harassment investigations and the development of a Diversity & Inclusion strategy and program. She is currently senior legal counsel for InHaus Legal in Calgary, with a strong background in human rights and respectful workplace governance and implementation. Dr. Ringseis specializes in employment law with an emphasis on practical resolution and strategic legal advice.
Dr. Ringseis is the legal columnist for the Canadian Society of Industrial Organizational Psychology quarterly newsletter and has been selected as editor for the legal chapter of the text, “Recruitment and Selection in Canada.” In her spare time, Dr. Ringseis enjoys teaching fitness classes and leading a troupe of Girl Guides, in addition to various other community volunteer activities.
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.
Wilma Shim has been appointed for a term ending August 20, 2024. Ms. Shim is a lawyer with over 10 years of experience, having worked as a Barrister and Solicitor for Alberta Justice and Solicitor General and as a Crown Prosecutor. She is active in the community, serving as a Senator on the University of Calgary Senate, the Vice Chair for the University of Calgary Alumni Association, and a Board member for Special Olympics Calgary. Ms. Shim continues to be involved with her alma mater as a sessional instructor in the area of Sports Law for both the Faculties of Law and Kinesiology at the University of Calgary.
Patrizia C. Valle
Patrizia Valle has been appointed for a term ending September 24, 2022. Ms. Valle received a Bachelor of Arts with distinction in 2002, and a Juris Doctor in 2005 (dean's list standing), both from the University of Alberta. Ms. Valle is trilingual and she was called to the Alberta Bar in 2006.
Ms. Valle articled and practiced at a major law firm in Calgary. She served as legal counsel to the Office of the General Counsel at Alberta Securities Commission (ASC), reporting to ASC's CEO, ED, and Directors. Ms. Valle developed an expertise in corporate governance and facilitated corporate governance workshops for TSX and TSX-V listed issuers in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver.
Ms. Valle further served as Counsel, Development and Production North America, to Statoil Canada Ltd. (SCL) for the SCL oil sands and off-shore Newfoundland projects. Ms. Valle also served as Corporate Secretary to the SCL group of companies.
Ms. Valle is the Founder and Principal of General Counsel Consulting where, since 2017, she acts as external general counsel to clients in various sectors. General Counsel Consulting was the first of its kind in Canada.
Ms. Valle is active in the legal profession and the community at large. She serves as a board member of the Foothills Concussion & Rehabilitation Centre (FCRC) and also acts as the FCRC's pro bono legal counsel. Ms. Valle has also served as a board member of In-House Counsel Network (ICN) for the past nine years, and is responsible for planning monthly continuing legal education seminars for ICN members.
Nathalie Whyte has been appointed for a term ending October 6, 2022. In 1997, Ms. Whyte obtained a Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) from Carleton University and in 2007 received her Juris Doctor from the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan. Prior to her career in law, Ms. Whyte worked as a social worker in a variety of settings including Child and Family Services as well as health care.
Ms. Whyte articled and practiced for over 10 years at a boutique firm specializing in Aboriginal and treaty rights litigation. Ms. Whyte also practices in the area of family law. Ms. Whyte has appeared at all levels of Court, including the Supreme Court of Canada (co-counsel and written submissions), and has appeared before various administrative tribunals.
Since the fall 2019 term, Ms. Whyte has taught a course called "Indigenous Law in Canada" as a sessional lecturer at the University of Calgary, International Indigenous Studies Program, Department of Political Science.
Dr. Moin Yahya has been appointed for a term ending August 14, 2022. He received a Bachelor of Arts in 1993 and a Master in Arts (Economics) in 1994, both from the University of Alberta, a Ph.D. (Economics) in 2000 from the University of Toronto, and a Juris Doctor in 2003 from the Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia.
Dr. Yahya is currently a professor of law at the University of Alberta, where he has been teaching since 2003. He is also a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute. He was a member of the Selection Advisory Board for the Immigration & Refugee Board of Canada, and a full-time and acting member of the Alberta Utilities Commission.
Dr. Yahya is the author of an extensive list of publications, including academic publications, many with a focus on Law and Economics. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and forums across Canada, most recently with a focus on the topic of free speech. Dr. Yahya is a past director of Edmonton Inner City Housing Society and a past director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation.
Revised: November 26, 2021