Equality and Justice
For People With Disabilities

Reach Canada Board of Directors 2015-2016

Honourary Chairperson

The Honourable John D. Richard, Former Chief Justice, Federal Court of Appeal (ret'd)

 The Honourable John D. Richard was born in Ottawa in 1934. He attended Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, graduated with Honours, and was awarded the Gold Medal and the Chancellor Van Koughnet Scholarship. He was awarded a Rotary Foundation Fellowship and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1959. He graduated with honours from Louvain University in Belgium with a Licentiate in Political and Social Sciences in 1960. He practiced law in Ottawa with Gowling & Henderson from 1960 to 1988 and with Lang Michener from 1988 to 1994. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1976. He was appointed a Judge of the Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, and ex officio Member of the Federal Court of Canada, Appeal Division, in 1994. He was also appointed a Judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada in 1995. He was later appointed Associate Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada in 1998. Then in 1999, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada and later became the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Appeal. He retired in 2009 by reason of the mandatory age requirement. He had been involved in many charitable and philanthropic organizations over the years prior to his appointment to the judiciary. He was appointed Honourary Chairperson of Reach Canada in 2009. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2012 and admitted to the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa by Carleton University on November 10, 2012.

 

 

President / Legal Referral Committee Chairperson


Frank McNally

Frank E. McNally is a litigation lawyer with the firm McNally Gervan LLP, specializing in personal injury law. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 2004 after receiving his LL.B. from University of Ottawa. He has appeared before various levels of courts and tribunals including the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Ontario Court of Appeal, Financial Service Commission of Ontario and Canadian Pension Plan Review Tribunal. He is the past chair of Reach’s Education Committee. In addition to Reach, he is also an enthusiastic volunteer for other community organizations, including the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (National Capital Region) where he served as President.

 

Co-Founder


Rod Carpenter

Rod Carpenter graduated from Carleton University and became a consultant on disability issues. As a student, he was unable to open his own bank account as he could not sign his name and his bank would not accept his thumbprint instead of a signature. Ernest Tannis, who was teaching a course in which Rod was enrolled, and along with others, helped him take the bank to court. The two won and changes were made to The Bank Act. Subsequently, Rod and Ernest formed Reach to help other people with disabilities fight injustice and discrimination. Rod is now retired from the federal public service.

 

Co-Founder


Ernest Tannis

Ernest Tannis practiced for ten years with the law firm Karam, Tannis, Greenspon. He later worked with the law offices of Blaney, Stappels & McMurtry before acting as the Executive Director for the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution (CICR). He then worked as a Mediator with the ADR Centre before joining Barrick Poulsen LLP in 2004. Ernest joined the law firm of Francis & Francis LLP in 2010. He is co-founder of Reach Canada and has been Honourary Counsel for dozens of charitable and non-governmental organizations. His areas of practice as a solicitor include: Family Law, Business Law, Corporate Law, Charities Law and Civil Litigation. He has vast experience with all types of mediations, arbitrations and various other kinds of alternative dispute resolutions. He is the author of "Alternative Dispute Resolution That Works", published in 1989. He is on the approved list of Court-Connected Mediators in the City of Ottawa. He received the designation of Chartered Mediator (C. Med.) from the ADR Institute of Canada in 1996.

 

Co-Founder


Lawrence Greenspon

Lawrence Greenspon is a human rights lawyer with the law firm Greenspon, Brown in Ottawa. He is a graduate of Ottawa University Law School and a member of its Honour Society. He is a certified specialist in criminal and civil litigation. In 1981, he joined his then law partner Ernie Tannis and Rod Carpenter in creating REACH.  That same year, he cofounded the Reach Celebrity auction. He is the past President of the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa, past Chair of Reach Canada, The Snowsuit Fund, The Multicultural Centre of Ottawa and Child & Youth Friendly Ottawa. He is also a past Chair of the United Way Community Services Cabinet and the National Chair of the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation. He continues to work with many charitable organizations including the Snowsuit Fund, Project North, The Sens foundation, CAYFO, ACCESO, Human Development Foundation, AfricaReads, the Ottawa Food Bank, and the Youth Services Bureau Foundation. Lawrence started the Nordic Pole Walk for the Cancer Survivorship Center and chaired the Leadership Team. He has trained and boxed in the Fight For the Cure. He is currently the Chair of the Monfort Hospital CT Scanner Campaign. He has received the Advocates Society's “Award of Justice”. He is a past recipient of the Gordon Henderson award. In 2008 he received the Community Builder of the Year Award. Lawrence was honoured to receive the St. Joe's Quality of Life Award and Volunteer Ottawa's Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

 

Honourary Officer


Chantelle Bowers

Chantelle Bowers has held various positions on the Reach Canada Board of Directors since 1996, such as past President, past Vice‐President and Education Chairperson, and most recently, honorary officer. She is a senior lawyer with the federal government, and has occupied several positions with the Federal Courts, including that of General Counsel and Executive Director, Federal Court of Appeal and of the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada, and Acting Deputy Chief Administrator of Judicial and Registry Services for the Courts Administration Service.  She is currently the Deputy Executive Director at the Security Intelligence Review Committee. She has a background in international law and believes strongly in the importance of human rights, in particular for persons with disabilities. She is married and has three children.

rmer Chair of the Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities at the Department of Justice Canada. He currently works for Environment Canada.

 

Honourary Counsel


Domenic Crolla

Domenic Crolla is a partner based in Gowling WLG Ottawa office. His practice emphasizes professional and product liability, health law, and information technology matters. He counsels clients in a litigious and non-litigious setting. He has an active interest in the application of information technology to professional practice, particularly in relation to the practice of law and medicine. He is listed as a leading practitioner by Lexpert and listed in the Best Lawyers in Canada directory. Called to the Ontario Bar in 1987, he is an advocate before all levels of courts and administrative tribunals. Mr. Crolla is a frequent author and lecturer, is Editor of Electronic Healthcare Law Review, was Regional Director of Osgoode Hall Law School's LL.M in E-Business, and teaches in Osgoode's LL.M in Health Law programme. He participated in the drafting of a proposed convention on Telehealth as part of the work of the Sub Committee of Law and Medicine, General Practice Section, International Bar Association (1998 - 1999). He is a member of a number of professional societies, including the International Bar Association, Canadian Bar Association, Ontario Bar Association, Advocates Society and the County of Carleton Law Association where he has fulfilled many roles including Vice-President and President. He is the past Chair of the Medicine and the Law Committee of the Division of Legal Practice, International Bar Association and a past Director of the Advocates' Society and Bar-Ex Communications.

 

Treasurer

Huzaan Canteenwala, CPA, CA


Huzaan Canteenwala is a Senior Financial Officer at the Senate of Canada.  She graduated from Carleton University with Highest Honours and obtained her Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant (CPA, CA) designation in 2014 while working at Deloitte LLP.  By working in both the private and public sectors, she has acquired experience working closely with management on financial matters through collaborative projects. She has held a variety of leadership roles that have given her exposure to working with people from different backgrounds, as well as supervising and managing small to large teams. Outside of work, Huzaan enjoys travelling, playing volleyball and badminton.


Greg MacLeod B.Acc., C.A. (Outgoing)

Greg MacLeod is a partner at Leslie & MacLeod Chartered Accountants. He has a Bachelor of Accounting degree from Brock University and received his Chartered Accountant designation in 1999. His experience includes providing assurance and compliance engagements, corporate and personal tax preparation and planning and financial advisory services to a diverse client base including

 

Director


Tara-Marie Andronek

Tara‐Marie Andronek is Legal Counsel at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development in national security and providing aid to Canadians in distress abroad, and was honoured to receive an Excellence Award from the Deputy Minister of Justice in 2014 for her previous advisory work with the Canada Border Services Agency. She has been volunteering with Reach since 2004 and was the Chair of Auction Committee from 2006 – 2010. Along with Reach, she volunteers with the United Nations Association in Canada where she is President of the National Capital Region Branch and received the UN Global Citizen Award in recognition of community volunteer service in 2006. In the fall of 2013, Tara volunteered on a legal human rights project in Cordoba, Argentina where she helped raise awareness for various civil and political rights issues. Tara also currently sits on the Reach Education Committee.

 

Director


James Foord

James Foord is a partner at Foord Davies LLP. He has practiced criminal law since his call to the Ontario Bar in 1998. James’ practice focuses primarily on criminal trial and appellate advocacy. He represents individuals charged with regulatory offences, those charged with all criminal offences, as well as professionals before their disciplinary tribunals. He also frequently represents individuals on appeal from both convictions and sentence. James obtained an Honours Degree in English and Philosophy from the University of Toronto in 1992. He then obtained his Baccalaureate of Laws from Queens University in 1996. James has appeared at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Ontario Court of Appeal, and the Superior Court of Justice. He teaches Trial Advocacy at the University of Ottawa Law School, and regularly presents at continuing legal education programs. James was previously the President of the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa. He was also a former Director of the Association, as well as a former Trustee of the County of Carleton Law Association. He has served as a member of the Ottawa Criminal Law Conference Planning Committee since 2005. In 2006, Mr. Foord was awarded the Regional Senior Justice's Award in recognition of his accomplishments as an advocate.

 

Director

Pamela Gleeson (On Leave)

Having a sister with Downs Syndrome means Pam has long been involved with various organizations in the community supporting individuals with disabilities. She began her career as Executive Coordinator for a small non-profit called "Lifetime Networks Ottawa"- helping families supporting a family member with disabilities to plan a good future and create circles of support around their loved one. At the moment, Pam is working as a licensed Paralegal at the Canadian Human Rights Commission and brings to the Board a desire to further develop access to justice with members of the community who have challenges of all kinds. Pam is a member of Reach’s fundraising committee and looks forward to helping to diversify the funding sources Reach depends upon.

 

Director / Education Committee Chairperson


Lucille Marleau

Lucille worked in the Federal Public Service for over 35 years. During her career, she occupied various senior level positions in the human resources field: classification, labour relations, human rights, career and employee development programs, diversity and official languages. Through her efforts as the Director of Diversity and Official Languages Programs at Health Canada, and those of her team, the Department was recognized for three years in a row as a Top Diversity Employer in Canada. She was honored to have received the Deputy Minister’s award of excellence at Health Canada in 2010 for her exceptional contribution.  She has been a member of the Board of Directors of Reach Canada since June 2012.  She was the chairperson for the conference on Post Traumatic Stress which was held in June 2013.  She is currently the chair of the Education Committee.

 

Director


Erin McNamara

Erin McNamara is a graduate of Queen’s Law, and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2012.  Prior to her Call to the Bar, Erin articled at a litigation firm in Ottawa, where she worked primarily on Small Claims and civil matters.  Following her articles, Erin joined a large financial institution as a Senior Will and Estate Planner working with high net worth clients. In 2016, Erin opened her own mobile estates law practice: McNamara Law. Erin assists clients throughout eastern Ontario and in the Greater Toronto Area with estate matters. 

Erin is a member of the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) where she served for two years on the Executive Committee of the Young Lawyers’ Division East. Erin has since participated as a guest panelist for the OBA, and she also co-hosted the OBA's monthly Brown Bag Lunch series on Estate law issues from 2012-2016.  Erin is a member of the County of Carleton Law Association and co-authored and authored legal papers for the East Region Solicitors Conference in 2014 and 2015.  

In addition to her Board membership with REACH, Erin also serves on the Education Committee and has co-chaired REACH fundraising events. Outside of work, Erin enjoys supporting and participating in local theatre productions. 

 

Executive Director


Joanne Silkauskas

Joanne is a graduate of the University of Ottawa Law School and called to the Ontario Bar. She also has a background in Social Work completing a Master of Social Work at the University of Toronto and a BSW from McGill University. Over her career in Ottawa, she has combined her education whether as a lawyer for the Children’s Aid Society, Family Mediator with Legal Aid Ontario, or as a social worker in child protection assessments at both The Royal Ottawa and CHEO. She has taught at Algonquin College and provided career counselling at the Faculty of Common Law at U of Ottawa. Joanne started at Reach in February 2015 as a bilingual Coordinator of Lawyer Referral Services and Education and has been in the role as ED for Reach since January 2016.

 

Financial Adminstrator/Accountant

Khristyne Wallace, CGA, CPA

Khristyne (Khris) started at Reach beginning of May 2016. She graduated from Laurentian University with a Bachelor of Commerce in 2013, as well as obtaining her CGA, CPA. Khristyne also has her own practice which offers bookkeeping and accounting solutions to diverse companies ranging from consultants to construction, restaurants to retail, doctors to lawyers and not for profit. In addition, she subcontracts for a tax lawyer specializing in litigation files while achieving a great deal of experience in forensic accounting.

 

Fundraising and Special Events Coordinator

Josie Fleming

Josie Fleming started with Reach in February 2016. Prior to that, she held various positions in fundraising and retail management & operations. Josie studied Economics at the University of Guelph, graduating in 2010, and after moving to Ottawa, studied Event Management at Algonquin College which she completed in 2015.