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Legal Aid Ontario Board Of Directors

Archived Backgrounder

Legal Aid Ontario Board Of Directors

Ministry of the Attorney General

Nomination for Chair:

Janet Leiper was called to the Bar in 1987, and has over 17 years of experience practising criminal law and is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in criminal law. She is also the head of the Criminal Law section of the Bar Admission Course. She worked as a part-time assistant Crown attorney for six years and has appeared at all levels of court. Leiper is currently working in sole practice in Toronto.

She has also been a member of the Legal Aid Advisory Committee on Mental Health and has served as counsel to Legal Aid Ontario in other capacities. She is counsel to the Ontario Review Board and Nunavut Review Board and pro bono counsel for unrepresented solicitors appearing before the Hearing Management Tribunal at the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Leiper has been a presenter at several legal and academic institutions and has published numerous articles and papers on various legal topics relating to criminal law.

The following are new appointments to the Legal Aid Ontario board:

Aly Alibhai was called to the Bar in 1992 and is senior legal counsel, Aboriginal Affairs Portfolio, with the federal Department of Justice, Aboriginal Affairs.

Patricia DeGuire was called to the Bar in 1993, and is currently the vice-chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal. She is actively involved in the community and is a member of the board for the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, and was the co-founder of the Black Law Students' Association of Canada.

Jennifer Gullen has over six years experience with the legal aid clinic system and is the co-chair of the Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario, and the chair of the West End Legal Services in Ottawa.

Shelley Laskin is a management advisor with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and was a public school trustee with the Toronto District School Board for six years.

Joyce Pelletier was called to the Bar in 1992 and is the Executive Director of Dilico Ojibway Child and Family Services, a First Nation based non-profit, multi-disciplined health and social agency.

William Prosperi has been a social worker with the Children's Aid Society and is president of his family-run construction contracting business.

The appointments of Aly Alibhai, Jennifer Gullen, Shelley Laskin and Joyce Pelletier were effective May 25, 2004 for three-year terms. Patricia Deguire was appointed May 25, 2004 for a two-year term. William Prosperi was appointed on June 9, 2004 for three years.

The following are reappointments to the board for a two-year term, effective May 12, 2004:

Sylvia Maracle is the Executive Director, and has served for 25 years with the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres, and serves as a member of the Ontario regional committee for Aboriginal Headstart.

Derry Millar was called to the Bar in 1974 and is in private practice in civil litigation and administrative law. As well, he is lead commission counsel for the Ipperwash Inquiry.

Beverly Wexler was called to the Bar in 1979, and has gained extensive experience in criminal and family courts in remote and local aboriginal communities.

Gordon Wolfe is currently acting chair of the LAO Board. He is actively involved in the community, has served in various positions for several organizations and was the executive director of the Jewish Family and Child Service of Greater Toronto.

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