Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

October 12, 2007 12:03 ET

Minister Finley Announces Appointments to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 12, 2007) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, today announced 18 appointments and reappointments to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). In addition, two of these individuals were named Assistant Deputy Chairpersons. These appointments were made in accordance with the IRB's merit-based appointment process.

For the Vancouver office, Kim D. Workun was reappointed for a one-year term and named Assistant Deputy Chairperson.

- Ms. Workun has been with the Board since August 1998. Prior to her initial appointment, Ms.Workun worked as a lawyer for a private legal practice in Alberta. She also worked as legal counsel for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and was employed with the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. She received her Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary and her Bachelor of Law from the University of Alberta. Ms. Workun was called to the Alberta Bar in 1986.

For the Toronto office, Shari A. Stein was reappointed for a four-year term and named Assistant Deputy Chairperson. Benjamin R. Dolin, David E. McBean, Holly Ann Solomon, Janette Mills and Elana Nancy Rose were each appointed to a three-year term. Miriam Freilich, Lawrence E. Leonoff, Yilma Makonnen and Maureen Smith-Gordon were each reappointed to a three-year term in Toronto.

- Ms. Stein has been with the Board since April 2001. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Stein worked as legal counsel in the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario, as a lawyer with the Advocacy Resource Centre for the Handicapped and as a human rights consultant. She was also a senior policy analyst and a project team leader in the Employment Equity Division at the Management Board Secretariat, and worked as a mediator with the Dispute Resolution Group at the Financial Services Commission and as manager of Family Mediation and Information Services in the Ministry of the Attorney General. Ms. Stein received her Bachelor of Arts from McGill University, her Master of Social Work from the University of British Columbia and her Bachelor of Law and Master of Law from the Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. Ms. Stein was called to the Ontario Bar in 1981.

- Prior to his appointment, Mr. Dolin was legal counsel with the Department of Justice. He also worked as an analyst for the Parliament of Canada and as a legal advisor with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from McGill University, his Bachelor of Law from the University of Manitoba and his Master of Law from the University of Ottawa. Mr. Dolin was admitted to the Bar of British Columbia in 1995.

- Prior to his appointment, Mr. McBean was an Operations Service Manager as well as a Refugee Protection Officer with the IRB. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Brandon University and a Bachelor of Law from Osgoode Hall Law School. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1995.

- Prior to her appointment, Ms. Solomon was a Senior Policy Advisor with the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency, as well as Commission Secretary with the Smith Commission of Inquiry relating to the Nanaimo Commonwealth Holding Society. She was a Panel Member of the Arbitration Review Panel with the British Columbia Ministry of the Attorney General and was Vice-Chair of the Ontario Social Assistance Review Board. Ms. Solomon received her Bachelor of Arts and her Bachelor of Law from the University of Manitoba and was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1980.

- Prior to her appointment, Ms. Mills was a Legal Officer with the Office of the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Police and Justice at the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). Ms. Mills was also a Defence Lawyer with the Defence Lawyers Unit for Serious Crimes at the United Nations Mission in Support in East Timor (UNMISET) and she was a sole practitioner specializing in criminal law. She received her Bachelor of Law from the University of Windsor and was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1987.

- Prior to her appointment, Ms. Rose was working at the East Toronto Community Legal Services Inc., first as a general practitioner and then as an Immigration and Disability Appeal lawyer. Ms. Rose received her Bachelor of Arts from McGill University in Montreal and her Bachelor of Law from York University in Toronto. She was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1989.

- Ms. Freilich has been with the Board since November 2000. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Freilich was a partner alliances coordinator at SAP Canada Inc., President of York North Paralegal Associates and an adjudicator of the Rent Control Program for the Ministry of Housing.

- Mr. Leonoff has been with the Board since October 2000. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Leonoff was a partner with Catalyst Consulting and worked at the law firm of Cameron MacKenna. He also served as Senior Vice-President, General Counsel and Secretary of Ontario Hydro. Mr. Leonoff received his Bachelor of Arts and his Bachelor of Law from the University of Manitoba and his Master of Law from the University of Virginia.

- Mr. Makonnen, has been with the Board since November 2000. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Makonnen served for approximately 24 years with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), holding several positions, including Chief of Research/Legal Advice HQ, Deputy UNHCR regional representative in New York, representative of the UNHCR for Malawi and representative of the UNHCR in Ottawa. He received his diploma in Naval Science from the Imperial Ethiopian Naval College in Ethiopia, his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Boston University, his Master of Arts in International Relations, his Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy, and his doctorate of Philosophy in International Law from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Medford, Massachusetts.

- Ms. Smith-Gordon, has been with the Board since October 2000. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Smith-Gordon was a paralegal at the Refugee Law Office of Legal Aid Ontario. She also worked at the Centre for Refugees at York University in public relations. Ms. Smith-Gordon received her Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo and her Master of Arts from York University.

For the Ottawa office, William M. Davis was reappointed for a three-year term.

- Mr. Davis has been with the Board since November 2002. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Davis was a member of the National Parole Board and prior to that, he was a superintendent with the Halton Regional Police Service. Mr. Davis worked as legal counsel with Grace, Dunlap & Dunlap. He was a partner with Cuzner, McQuarrie, Gordon & Davis, Barristers & Solicitors and a partner and general counsel with Williams, McEnery & Davis, Barristers & Solicitors. He also held the position of Deputy Judge in the Small Claims Court in Ottawa and worked as a lecturer and seminar leader for various organizations. Mr. Davis was appointed by the Province of Ontario as a Queen's Counsel and was designated by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in civil litigation. He received his Bachelor of Law from the University of Ottawa and was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1962.

For the Montreal office, Carol Hilling, Veronique Lamontagne, Andre Lamoureux, Melanie Raymond and Ming-Jyh Shyr were each appointed to a three-year term. Robert Neron was reappointed to a three-year term.

- Prior to her appointment, Ms. Hilling was an instructor at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal, a consultant with the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights, as well as an attache to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. She received her Bachelor of Law and Masters of Law from the Universite de Montreal. Ms. Hilling was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1990.

- Prior to her appointment, Ms. Lamontagne was a lawyer/international development consultant where her main areas of expertise were governance and peace and security. She was also in private practice specializing in immigration and labour law. Ms. Lamontagne received her Bachelor of Law from Universite Laval in Quebec. She was called to the Quebec Bar in 1991.

- Prior to his appointment, Mr. Lamoureux was a pre-removal risk assessment officer with Citizenship and Immigration Canada and, prior to that, a parole officer with Correctional Services Canada. Mr. Lamoureux received his Bachelor of Psychology from the Universite de Montreal.

- Prior to her appointment, Ms. Raymond was the senior editor with the Canadian Bar Association in Ottawa. She was a freelance journalist and also a lawyer with Nicholl Paskell-Mede and the Department of Justice in Montreal. She received her Bachelor of Law from McGill University and her Master of Arts from the Universite du Quebec a Montreal. She was called to the Quebec Bar in 1997.

- Prior to her appointment, Ms. Shyr was a Community Parole Commissioner and Founder of Reseaux Time-Ming, an interpreter, trainer, intercultural and international consulting agency. Ms. Shyr was involved with many organizations in her community. She received her Bachelor's degree in English from Seinan University in Gakuin, Fukuoka.

- Mr. Neron has been with the Board since November 27, 2000. Prior to his appointment in 2000, Mr. Neron worked as an articling student for the Civil Litigation Department in the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario. He was also a professor at Humberside Collegiate Institute in Toronto and sat on the Board of Directors of the Centre medico-social et communautaire, the Caisse populaire de Toronto and Grand Lakes Community College. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Universite Laval, his Bachelor of Law from Universite de Moncton and his Master of Arts in Management from the Universite de Sherbrooke. Mr. Neron was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1997.

Created in 1989, the IRB is an independent administrative tribunal that reports to Parliament through the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. The Board has three divisions - the Refugee Protection Division, the Immigration Appeal Division and the Immigration Division. The IRB determines refugee protection claims made in Canada, hears immigration appeals, and conducts admissibility hearings and detention reviews.

Contact Information

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Minister's Office
    Tim Vail
    Press Secretary
    613-954-1064