Equality Rights Panel

The Equality Rights Panel reviews funding applications and makes all decisions regarding case and project funding that involve equality rights test cases. Each of its seven members brings to the Panel expertise in equality and human rights issues as well as considerable experience with a broad range of equality-seeking groups.

The current Panel consists of:

Linda Jones (British Columbia) (Chair)

Linda raised her two children on welfare and helped start a Welfare Rights Group in the Surrey/White Rock area in the 1980’s. From 1989 - 2001 she was an organizer with End Legislated Poverty - at the time the largest coalition of anti-poverty, union and church groups in BC.

Sharryn Aiken (Ontario)

Lawyer and Professor of Law at Queens University, Sharry is the author of numerous articles on Canadian refugee policies, racism and human rights.

Raj Anand (Ontario)

Partner with Weir Foulds LLP where he practises in the areas of human rights, constitutional and administrative law, labour relations, civil litigation, professional negligence and discipline.

Lorena Sekwan Fontaine, B.A., LL.B., LL.M. (Manitoba)

Lorena Fontaine is Cree and Anishnabe from the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor for the First Nations University of Canada. Lorena has worked with Aboriginal political organizations for the past 15 years. The focus of her work, outside of teaching, includes advocacy for residential school survivors, and Aboriginal youth. Lorena has worked with the Inter-American Human Rights Commission of the Organization of American States as a legal intern, and has assisted in land rights cases for Indigenous peoples in Belize, and the United States. Since 1995, Lorena has been involved with the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund as a board member and subcommittee member. She has also worked as a legal consultant to Thomson Rogers, in the Baxter class action on residential schools, and for the Assembly of First Nations Residential School Unit.

Dianne Pothier (Nova Scotia)

Professor of Law (Dalhousie Law School) at Dalhousie University and author of numerous articles in the areas of labour law, human rights and equality rights, with specific emphasis on gender, disability and their intersections.

Robert Saint-Louis, LL.B., LL.M. (Québec)

Consultant on unemployment and disabilities issues.

Charles C. Smith (Ontario)

Currently Equity Advisor to the Canadian Bar Association and Lecturer, Cultural Pluralism in the Arts, at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Charles is also consultant to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal regarding OHRC and McKinnon v. HMQ et al.