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Practice Advisory Committee

The Tribunal has established an HRTO Practice Advisory Committee that will serve as a resource for consultation and feedback about policies, practices, rules, practice directions and services. The Committee will focus on the effectiveness of those aspects of the Tribunal's work as they relate to the Tribunal's mandate to provide fair, just and expeditious process for the resolution (by way of mediation and adjudication) of proceedings before it.

The Tribunal invited expressions of interest from individuals who appear regularly before the Tribunal on behalf of applicants or respondents. Nine people were selected who represent the diverse range of individuals and groups who use HRTO services.
Yola Grant, Associate Chair, Richard Hennessy, Registrar, and Mary Lee, Director of Operations, SJTO, represent the Tribunal on the HRTO Practice Advisory Committee.

Terms of Reference Terms of Reference.pdf Terms of Reference.doc

Mary Cornish (Co-chair)
Ms. Cornish is a senior partner at Cavalluzzo Hayes Shilton McIntyre & Cornish LLP, a legal scholar and has taught as an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. She is recognized internationally as an expert in the fields of human rights and labour law, pay and employment equity, social protection, judicial reform and dispute resolution issues. Her 1992 Ontario Human Rights Code Review Task Force Report "Achieving Equality" recommended transformative changes to Ontario's human rights enforcement system. The Ontario Government cited the Cornish report as the foundational basis for the 2006 human rights reform law. She is co-author of the book, "Enforcing Human Rights in Ontario." As an international consultant, she has provided advice on human rights and labour issues to the World Bank, International Labour Organization, European Economic Community and Swedish, Chilean and New Zealand governments. In 1993, she was awarded the Law Society Medal for her outstanding service to the legal profession. In 1996, she was awarded the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators' (SOAR) Medal of Honour for outstanding contribution to the administrative justice system.
Patty Murray (Co-chair)
Ms. Murray practises in all areas of labour and employment law, including grievance arbitration, Labour Board matters and human rights. As the Chair of the Hicks Morley Human Rights Practice Group, Ms. Murray has a particular interest in human rights matters. She advocates for clients before the Canadian Human Rights Commission and is involved in litigating a variety of different matters at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. Ms. Murray's human rights expertise is not limited to the employment arena; she regularly advises service providers such as school boards and police service boards in defending against human rights complaints.
Antonella Ceddia
Ms. Ceddia is a Litigation Lawyer with the City of Toronto. Her practice includes defending the City in constitutional challenges to its by-laws and defending human rights matters against the City, Toronto Police Services Board and Toronto Police. Ms. Ceddia practised litigation at McCarthy Tetrault LLP in Toronto before joining the City and articled as a Law Clerk at the Court of Appeal for Ontario. She was called to the bar in 2003. She holds an M. A. in Political Science (Public Policy) and has extensive professional experience in human rights as an Investigator at the Ontario Human Rights Commission in the early 1990s; manager of her own human rights consulting business; and as the first full-time Investigator of Human Rights at Ryerson University. She also served in Policy Advisory roles in both the Ontario Cabinet Office and in Mayor Barbara Hall's Office, here in Toronto. Ms. Ceddia serves on the United Way of Toronto Board of Trustees and chairs the Allocations Committee which disburses approximately $75 million, annually, in donor funds to Toronto's 150 United Way agencies.
Ron Franklin
Ron is a lawyer and the founder of Franklin Law. He has a strong commitment to social justice, and represents employees and other applicants in human rights, employment and labour law matters before the HRTO and other administrative tribunals and courts.  He is also the Executive Secretary to Unifor’s Public Review Board.  Ron completed an undergraduate degree in pharmacology and toxicology, and a graduate degree in occupational and environmental health prior to attending law school.  During law school, he worked at Parkdale Community Legal Services (PCLS) and the MOL.  He articled with Green & Chercover (and the CAW) and continued to practice at Green & Chercover for a year before returning to PCLS to lead its Workers’ Rights Division.  In the summer of 2008, Ron opened Franklin Law.  Ron has written for a number of newspapers, regularly speaks to students and other community members about social justice careers and their legal rights, and is currently a member of the African Canadian Legal Clinic, ARCH Disability Law Centre, Association of Human Rights Lawyers, Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, and Osgoode Hall Law School’s Alumni Association’s Board.

Jeffrey Goodman
Mr. Goodman is a Partner with Heenan Blaikie LLP in Toronto and is both a lawyer and a mediator. He focuses his practice on employment, human rights, disability and labour law and heads the Toronto office's human rights practice. He represents employers before various courts and administrative bodies and tribunals and, in particular, The Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. He also advises clients on employment law issues and on the implementation of human rights policies and training and accommodation programs. Mr. Goodman regularly chairs and speaks at conferences on human rights, employment and labour-related matters and teaches employment law (including human rights law) at Queen's University, Faculty of Law. He completed the Program of Instruction for Lawyers Mediation Workshop presented by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. Mr. Goodman is the co-author of Canada Law Book's "A Guide to Alternative Work Relationships," and is the coordinating editor and a contributing author of the human rights, employment, privacy, occupational health & safety and worker safety and insurance chapters of CCH's Ultimate Corporate Counsel Guide and has authored numerous other papers and articles on employment, disability and human rights law.
Matthew Horner
Matthew Horner has been counsel with the Constitutional Law Branch of Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General since 2006. Prior to joining CLB, he carried on a constitutional and public law practice with a large national law firm. Mr. Horner has represented Ontario on numerous constitutional and Human Rights Code matters, including Withler v. Canada, one of the Supreme Court’s most recent Charter s. 15(1) decisions. He frequently appears on behalf of Ontario in response to Charter and Human Rights Code issues raised before administrative boards and tribunals, including the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Mr. Horner is co-chair of MAG’s Human Rights Law Practice Group, a member of the Advocates’ Society’s Civil Prosecutors Network, a member of MAG’s Lawyers Learning Committee and has for many years served as factum judge for the Wilson Moot. Mr. Horner was called to the bar in 2002 after completing a clerkship with the Honourable Justice Michel Bastarache of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Kathy Laird
Kathy Laird is the Executive Director of Ontario’s Human Rights Legal Support Centre, a position that she has held since the Centre opened in 2008. Prior to moving to the Centre, Kathy was Counsel to the Chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Kathy was appointed as a Vice-Chair at the Ontario Human Rights Board of Inquiry and the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal from 1994 to 2001, and prior to that, she served as Counsel to the Board of Inquiry Chair. Kathy has also been an adjudicator at the Information and Privacy Commission and a senior policy advisor at the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Kathy practiced human rights and housing law for many years in Ontario’s legal clinic system. She was legal director of the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario and at Keewaytinok Native Legal Services, a clinic established by First Nation communities on James Bay.

Farah Malik
Farah Malik practices at WeirFoulds LLP in Toronto and joins PAC as the OBA’s representative.  Her broad litigation practice includes human rights, employment, labour, administrative law, constitutional law and professional negligence defence.  Farah has also advocated for equality-seeking groups in constitutional and Human Rights Code matters, including in Peart v. Ontario (Community Safety and Correctional Services), a recent expert-driven test case that was litigated on behalf of SAWP migrant farm workers before the HRTO.  She has a keen interest in all forms of public law, and in this regard, she has co-chaired and spoken at various programs with a human rights and administrative law focus.  Farah is an active member-at-large of the Administrative Law Section Executive of the Ontario Bar Association. She completed a clerkship with various judges of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, including the former Chief Justice R. Roy McMurtry.  Farah is a graduate of the University of Toronto (Hon. B.Sc. in Biochemistry), the University of Windsor (LL.B.) and the University of Detroit Mercy (J.D., magna cum laude).  She was called to the Ontario bar in 2005.
Cathy Pike
Cathy Pike has been Counsel with the Ontario Human Rights Commission since 1990.  She obtained her LL.B. and a B.A. (Honours) in Linguistics and Philosophy from the University of Toronto.  Ms. Pike has represented the Commission at hearings and interventions before the Tribunal and all levels of the courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada.
Wade Poziomka
Wade specializes in human rights law, advocating on behalf of persons from marginalized segments of society.  He obtained his law degree from the University of Toronto, and later completed an advanced law degree (LL.M.) at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York. While studying at Cornell, Wade focused on international human rights and took part in a fact-finding mission to Buenos Aires, Argentina to explore the causes, consequences and conditions of women in prison, co-authoring a report which was submitted to and relied upon by the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Violence Against Women in her presentation to the U.N. General Assembly. Wade sits on the Board of Directors of the Grimsby Affordable Housing Partnership and Volunteer Hamilton, and volunteers his time extensively in the community. Wade has received a number of awards, including the Volunteer Service Award from the Province of Ontario and was recently recognized with a top 40 under the age of 40 business achievement award. Previously, Wade was employed by the Toronto Regional Crown Attorneys’ Office, a Judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, and the International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. 
Paula M. Rusak
Ms. Rusak provides advice on a full range of employment related matters to employers and regularly appears before various administrative tribunals and arbitrations. She is regularly involved, either in an advisory capacity or as a spokesperson, with employers in collective bargaining. In addition to advising on various issues including human rights matters, such as, duty to accommodate, sexual harassment and the like, Ms. Rusak conducts independent third party investigations of human rights complaints and provides proactive training to employers, supervisors and employees. Ms. Rusak obtained her L.L.B. from McGill University in Montreal. She was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1980. She is a founding member of the Labour Law Specialty Committee, Law Society of Upper Canada.
Geri Sanson
Ms. Sanson heads SANSON LAW OFFICE Professional Corporation, a litigation law boutique and ADR practice specializing in human rights, labour, employment, constitutional and administrative law. Ms. Sanson works as an external neutral appointed by governments, unions, companies, institutions, and professional associations, to conduct adjudications, mediations, facilitations and investigations of workplace issues including harassment, discrimination and violence. In her litigation practice, Ms. Sanson has appeared as counsel at all levels of the Court and before various administrative tribunals including inquests dealing with issues of workplace violence. She previously served as Counsel to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, Senior Litigation Counsel for ARCH Disability Law Center, Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall, co-teaching Human Rights, and as a Bar Admissions Instructor, teaching Administrative Law. Ms. Sanson regularly speaks and presents papers on topical issues of human rights, administrative law and labour and employment law. Ms. Sanson is an Executive Member of the OBA’s Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law Section. She co-chaired the 2011 OBA Human Rights conference and is co-chairing a program on Workplace Investigations for the 2012 OBA Institute Conference. Ms. Sanson is identified in L'Expert, Canada's Legal Directory, as a leading lawyer in workplace human rights. She is the recipient of the Law Society Medal for her work in equality rights and has been honoured in the Canadian Bar Association's magazine as a "local hero", for her human rights work.