About Our Board
The Human Rights Code provides that the work of the HRLSC is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Government of Ontario. The Board is comprised of seven members, plus the Chair.
Ena Chadha was originally appointed as Chair of the Human Rights Legal Support Centre Board of Directors from 2019 to 2020 and reappointed in August 2021, after completing a term as Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Previously, Ena was Director of Litigation with ARCH Disability Law Centre from 2000 to 2007 and Vice-Chair with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario from 2007 to 2015. Her litigation background involved human rights challenges before various administrative tribunals and trial and appellate courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada, and as a human rights adjudicator she has rendered precedent-setting decisions. Ena is actively involved in legal education and frequently writes and presents on equality rights issues. She is a graduate of the College of Law of the University of Saskatchewan, holds a Master of Laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1994. Ena is recipient of the 2022 Canadian Law Awards Female Trailblazer Award, the Ontario Bar Association’s 2022 Distinguished Service Award and 2023 recipient of the Law Society Medal.
Appointment August 19, 2021 to August 18, 2024.
Mary Joe has a strong commitment to social justice issues. She was the Director of the Portuguese Information Centre in Cambridge prior to joining the Ontario Public Service (OPS), where she held a number of roles in different regions of the Province. She was a Regional Director in the North and Southwest. She has dedicated her career to serving people through her various portfolios across various regions in Ontario. As a Regional Director, she worked with a team of managers to deliver employment and training programs. She has led and contributed to the delivery of programs in all roles to improve peoples’ lives, whether the clients on the autism spectrum, newcomers, youth-at-risk, Indigenous Peoples or people with disabilities. She is also no stranger to Boards, having previously volunteered on several Boards and Committees, including as Chair of the OPS’s Inter-ministerial Committee in the Southwest. Mary Joe holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Queen’s University. She also completed an Executive Leadership program at The Rotman School of Management. Her combined employment, community service and education has contributed to her understanding of, and commitment to social justice issues, governance and accountability. Mary Joe Freire was Interim Chair of the Human Rights Legal Support Centre Board of Directors in July 2020 until July 2021. Appointment July 22, 2021 to July 21, 2024.
Sandi Bell identifies as a Black Indigenous woman with disabilities. With more than 30 years of experience in the areas of human rights, anti-racism, anti-oppression, and equity, she has worked closely with many different equality-seeking communities.
As a school Trustee in Hamilton, with the passing of Bill 82, she spearheaded initiatives to ensure that children with disabilities previously denied public education were provided the required support. She also served as Chair of the AODA Health Care Standards Development Committee, which recommended accessibility standards to the Province to reduce and prevent barriers in health care in Ontario hospitals. She has additionally served as a member of the Canadian Mental Health Commission’s Mental Health & Law Advisory Committee and two terms as a part-time Commissioner for the Canadian Human Rights Commission. The entirety of Sandi’s professional and volunteer endeavours have, in one way or another, been in pursuit of equality, human rights, social justice and inclusion for diverse and marginalized communities.
Sandi Bell is cross appointed as a Commissioner with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
Appointment March 23, 2023 to March 22, 2025.
Patrick Nadjiwan was appointed as Interim Chair of the Human Rights Legal Support Centre in July 2017 until February 2018. Mr. Nadjiwan is a member of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation. Mr. Nadjiwan has practiced Aboriginal Law for the past 22 years, providing general legal counsel to clientele of First Nations Governments, Tribal Councils, Indigenous organizations, and Indigenous individuals. Mr. Nadjiwan operates his own legal firm, Nadjiwan Law Office, and has diverse experience in areas such as litigation, First Nation governance, corporate governance, administrative law, employment law, and constitutional law. Patrick Nadjiwan was first appointed to the Board in 2009.
Appointment: December 12, 2022 to December 11, 2023.
Tamar Witelson is Director of Legal Services at the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic which provides trauma-informed legal and counselling services and multilingual interpretation to survivors of gender-based violence. She is the former Legal Director at the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children (METRAC) and former staff lawyer at Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF). She has practiced in the areas of social justice, human rights and union-side labour law in more than 20 years since her call to the Bar. Her community involvement has included membership on the Family Law Advisory Committee for Legal Aid Ontario, the Toronto Police Services Sexual Assault Advisory Committee, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board Advisory Committee, and Toronto Region Domestic Violence Court Advisory Committee. Ms. Witelson is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, a former clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada, holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from Queen’s University, and Master of Arts degrees in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario and English from the University of Ottawa.
Appointment February 20, 2022 to February 19, 2025.
Martial Moreau has recently been appointed as a Panel Member at the Workplace Safety
and Insurance Appeals Tribunal of Ontario. Previously, he served as a member of the Council of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario and holds a Certificate of Service with its professional College. As a result of his community volunteer work, he was granted a service award from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Culture. Mr. Moreau graduated from the University of Ottawa and holds a Financial Management Advisor designation from the Canadian Securities Institute.
Appointment May 26, 2022 to May 25, 2025.
Michelle Tan studied business at the University of Western Ontario and obtained her Juris Doctor from the University of Calgary. During law school, she worked as the Director of Pro Bono Students Canada at the University of Calgary regional branch. Initially starting her legal career in Calgary, including serving Legal Aid clients, she moved back to her home province of Ontario and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2011. Since then, Ms. Tan has practiced primarily in litigation, advocating for the severely-injured and vulnerable. She has appeared at all levels of the Ontario Courts and various tribunals, primarily resulting from accident and medical malpractice claims. She is also an entrepreneur and has operated an organic grocery delivery business in Wasaga Beach and Collingwood. She will be opening her own firm in 2020. Appointment May 26, 2022 to May 25, 2025.
Evelyn Ball is a member of the Chippewas of Rama First Nations and Chief Operating Officer. She has worked for her community since 1998. She spent many years working in Child Welfare and received her Bachelor of Social Work Degree from Ryerson University. Since 2006, her primary focus has been in the areas of leadership, education and governance. Over the years, Evelyn has assisted with the development, implementation and facilitation of many boards and committees, as well as created many grass roots educational training initiatives and programs. She is creative, innovative and has a strong sense of self and community. Evelyn enjoys a challenge and believes we all have a contribution to make to the world. Appointment June 11, 2022 to June 10, 2025.
Gary Pieters is an educator and has served as a member (part-time) of the Minister of Education’s Advisory Council on Special Education since 2017, and as a member (part-time) of the Toronto Islands Residential Trust Corporation since 2020. He is a principal with the Toronto District School Board, and is a commissioner and past president of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations. He attended the University of Toronto and earned his Bachelor of Arts (BA) in African Studies and Political Science as a member of New College; and his Bachelor of Education (BEd) and Master of Education (MEd) at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto (OISE/UT). Appointment March 25, 2023 to March 24, 2026