Government of Canada announces appointments to the Social Security Tribunal

OTTAWA, June 29, 2017 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced the appointment of 16 members to the Social Security Tribunal. Among these are 5 new appointments and 11 reappointments.

These appointments are part of the rigorous new approach to Governor-in-Council appointments. The approach uses open, transparent and merit-based selection processes, strives for gender parity and reflects Canada's diversity to support ministers in making appointment recommendations for positions within their portfolio. The Tribunal renders fair and impartial decisions on appeals regarding the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and Employment Insurance claims for benefits.

Quote

"I am very pleased to announce the reappointment of eleven members to the Tribunal. They have proven themselves to be hard-working members who reflect the values of the Tribunal. They are committed to serving the interest of Canadians as effectively and efficiently as possible. Joining them, five diverse and talented members, in whom I have confidence, will work hard to serve the public interest."
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Quick Facts

  • The Social Security Tribunal is comprised of two levels of appeal. The General Division, the first level, includes two sections: an Employment Insurance section for Employment Insurance appeals and an Income Security section for Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security appeals. The Appeal Division is the second level.

  • Breakdown of new appointments   
    • Four full-time members: two to the EI section and two to the Appeal Division.
    • One part-time member to the EI section.

  • Breakdown of reappointments
    • Eleven full-time members: four to the EI section and seven to the Income Security section.

  • The Tribunal began its operations on April 1, 2013.

Related Information

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Biographies of newly appointed Social Security Tribunal members

Leanne BourassaMontréal, Quebec

Leanne Bourassa currently works for the National Bank of Canada and previously worked for National Bank Financial, where she acquired experience in evaluating and deciding complex matters and presenting cases to regulatory authorities. She was admitted to the Barreau du Québec in 2003 and holds both a Bachelor of Common Law and Bachelor of Civil Law degree from McGill University. She is an amateur synchronized swimmer and has participated in several FINA World Masters Championships.

Ms. Bourassa has been appointed as a full-time member of the Employment Insurance section of the Tribunal's General Division. Her appointment will come into effect on August 8, 2017, for a term of three years.

Angela Ryan BourgeoisAmherst, Nova Scotia

Angela Ryan Bourgeois has been a part-time member of the Tribunal's General Division since 2014, with experience in both the Employment Insurance and Income Security sections. Before becoming a member of the Social Security Tribunal, she had a private law practice. Ms. Ryan Bourgeois was admitted to the Law Society of New Brunswick in 1997 and to the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society in 2009. She has a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New Brunswick and a Bachelor of Commerce with a concentration in Sociology and Anthropology from Mount Allison University. 

Ms. Ryan Bourgeois has been appointed as a full-time member of the Employment Insurance section for a term of two years. Her appointment will come into effect on June 21, 2017.

Connie DyckSteinbach, Manitoba

Connie Dyck has been a member of the Employment Insurance section of the Tribunal's General Division since 2013. She held the position of Chairperson for the Employment Insurance Board of Referees for her area and is a former member with the Office of the Commissioner of Review Tribunals. She previously worked as a teacher and legal secretary. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Manitoba.

Ms. Dyck has been reappointed for a term of three years. Her reappointment will come into effect on October 1, 2017.

John Janes EberhardLondon, Ontario 

John Janes Eberhard has been a full-time member of the Income Security section of the Tribunal's General Division since 2013. He is a former member of the Canada Pension Plan/Old Age Security Review Tribunals and has been a crown prosecutor, mediator for the Canadian Bar Association, and member of the Civil Aviation Tribunal. He was appointed as an Honorary Queen's Counsel and is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from Western University and a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from Assumption University.

Mr. Eberhard has been reappointed for a term of three years. His reappointment will come into effect on October 1, 2017.

Gerard (Gerry) McCarthyLindsay, Ontario

Gerry McCarthy has been a full-time member of the General Division of the Social Security Tribunal since 2013, with experience in both the Employment Insurance and Income Security sections. He served as the Chairperson of the Employment Insurance Board of Referees for his area and is a former freelance journalist and a former publisher and editor of The Social Edge. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History and has completed one year of the Master of Divinity program at the University of Toronto.

Mr. McCarthy has been reappointed for a term of three years. His reappointment will come into effect on October 1, 2017.

Takis Pappas Pickering, Ontario

Takis Pappas has been a full-time member of the Tribunal's General Division since 2013, with experience in both the Employment Insurance and Income Security sections. He is a former chairperson for the Employment Insurance Board of Referees for his area and served as a member for the Consent and Capacity Board for 10 years. He holds an Advanced Graduate Diploma in Management from the MBA program at Athabasca University.

Mr. Pappas has been reappointed for a term of four years. His reappointment will come into effect on October 1, 2017.

Shane R. ParkerSaskatoon, Saskatchewan

Shane Parker has been a full-time member of the Income Security section of the Tribunal's General Division since 2013. Prior to that, he was appointed to other administrative tribunals including the Canada Pension Plan/Old Age Security Review Tribunal. Mr. Parker practised as a litigation lawyer with an emphasis on employment, personal injury, real estate and drug prosecutions before focusing his career on adjudication. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies from the University of Saskatchewan and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Ottawa, Common Law French Section.

Mr. Parker has been reappointed for a terms of three years. His reappointment will come into effect on October 1, 2017.

Jude Samson Montréal, Quebec

Jude Samson has over 14 years of experience in legal practice and has been a full-time member of the Income Security section of the Tribunal's General Division since 2015. He holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Ottawa. He has authored several publications and is an active member of his community. He has been a member of the Law Society of British Columbia since 2003.

Mr. Samson has been appointed as a full-time member of the Appeal Division for a term of three years. His appointment will come into effect on August 10, 2017.

Kate SellarToronto, Ontario 

Kate Sellar works for the City of Toronto as a Senior Human Rights Consultant responsible for resolving complex complaints. Previously, she worked for almost 10 years as a legal counsel at the Human Rights Legal Support Centre. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Windsor and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria. She also donates her time to various community organizations, and serves on a committee for Legal Aid Ontario.

Ms. Sellar has been appointed as a full-time member of the Appeal Division. Her appointment will come into effect on August 8, 2017, for a term of three years.

Jaime Mellott Pender Island, British Columbia

Jaime Mellott has been a full-time member of the Income Security section of the Tribunal's General Division since 2015. She is a former Industrial Relations Officer and Workers' Adviser for the provincial government of British Columbia. She volunteers her time to facilitate a monthly science and technology program for children. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta.  

Ms. Mellott has been reappointed for a term of three years. Her reappointment will come into effect on July 6, 2017.

Patrick Michael O'Neil Kingsville, Ontario

Patrick Michael O'Neil has been a full-time member of the Income Security section of the Tribunal's General Division since 2013. He is a former legal member for the Canada Pension Plan Review Tribunal for his area and practiced law for over thirty years. Mr. O'Neil has extensive community involvement, including Public Utilities Commissioner, Police Commissioner, Mayor of the Town of Kingsville, and Warden of the County of Essex. He holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Windsor. He was called to the Bar in 1974.

Mr. O'Neil has been reappointed for a term of three years. His reappointment will come into effect on October 26, 2017.

Brian Rodenhurst Woodstock, Ontario

Brian Rodenhurst has been a full-time member of the Income Security section of the Tribunal's General Division since 2013. In addition to practicing law for over 10 years, he held member positions with a number of tribunals. He served as Executive Director for Law School Clinics with the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor and was a founding member of the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal. He holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Windsor and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Guelph. 

Mr. Rodenhurst has been reappointed for a term of three years. His reappointment will come into effect on October 1, 2017.

Shannon Russell Gatineau, Quebec

Shannon Russell has been a full-time member of the Income Security section of the Tribunal's General Division since 2014.  Prior to her work with the Tribunal, she was employed as counsel for the Office of the Commissioner of Review Tribunals and then for the Department of Justice.  She holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) and a Master's Degree (MCA) in Criminology, both from the University of Ottawa.  She is also a member in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2002. 

Ms. Russell has been reappointed for a term of three years. Her reappointment will come into effect on July 5, 2017.

Katherine Wallocha Coalhurst, Alberta

Katherine Wallocha has been a full-time member of the Employment Insurance section of the Tribunal's General Division since 2013. She is a former Canadian Forces Sea King Helicopter Pilot, a former chairperson for the Employment Insurance Board of Referees for her area, a former member of the County of Lethbridge Subdivision and Development Appeals Board, and a former Partnership Manager at the Lethbridge & District YWCA. Mrs. Wallocha studied Political Sciences at the University of Lethbridge and has trained in the fields of alternative dispute resolution and program mediation.

Mrs. Wallocha has been reappointed for a term of three years. Her reappointment will come into effect on October 1, 2017.

Jane WearyHamilton, Ontario

Jane Weary has over 30 years of legal experience. She currently sits as a deputy judge for the Ontario Small Claims Court and as an arbitrator for the Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan. She was previously a Vice-Chair of the Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario. She also adjudicates a national student debating program with ConcernDebates in the UK. She is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Ontario Deputy Judges Association and holds a Bachelor of Common Law and a Bachelor of Civil Law from McGill University. She has completed several courses in adjudication, mediation and arbitration.

Ms. Weary has been appointed as a part-time member of the Employment Insurance section of the Tribunal's General Division. Her appointment will come into effect on August 8, 2017, for a term of two years.

Carol Wilton Hamilton, Ontario

Carol Wilton has been a full-time member of the Income Security section of the Tribunal's General Division since 2014. She is a former member of the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board, and the Health Services Appeals and Review Board. Her legal practice focused on administrative law and civil litigation. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Toronto. She is also a member in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada and is a member of the Hamilton Law Association and the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators. She holds a Ph.D. in history and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Toronto.

Ms. Wilton has been reappointed for a term of three years. Her reappointment will come into effect on July 5, 2017.

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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Émilie Gauduchon-Campbell, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P., Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, 819-654-5546; Media Relations Office: Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca


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