Board of Directors

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Charles Harnick

Board Chair: April 2019 – present

Charles Harnick is a mediator, arbitrator and investigator with ADR Chambers. He is also a principal at Counsel Public Affairs and the Senior Adjudicative Officer of the General Insurance Ombudservice.
Charles served as Attorney General of Ontario from 1995 to 1999 and Minister Responsible for Native Nations Affairs. He is responsible for the creation of Legal Aid Ontario and the Ontario Mandatory Mediation Program. He was an elected member of the Ontario Legislature from 1990 to 1999. Charles was instrumental as a mediator in bringing the major legal organizations in Ontario together with paralegal organizations, culminating in legislation that has made the Law Society of Ontario the regulator of paralegal activities.
Charles was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1992 and in 2005 he was awarded the Law Society Medal.

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Ann Marie Yantz

Currently serving at the pleasure of the Lieutenant Governor

Ann Marie is an experienced paralegal from Kitchener, Ontario, and the first paralegal in Ontario to be appointed to the executive of a law association. She joined the firm Kelly & Co. in September 1997 and received her law clerk diploma from the Institute of Law Clerks in 2000 and became licensed as a paralegal by the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2008. Ann Marie has provided per diem prosecution services for matters concerning the Provincial Offences Act for both Halton Region and the Ministry of the Attorney General. Ann Marie is a board member of the paralegal advisory committee at Conestoga College, a member of the Prosecutors Association of Ontario and an associate member of the Institute of Law Clerks. In 2013, Ann Marie became the first elected paralegal board member of the Waterloo Region Law Association, where she was a trustee and treasurer until 2017.

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Carol L. Hartman

September 2015 – September 2020

Ms. Hartman, a partner in the Sudbury‑based lawfirm Miller Maki LLP, specializes in family law and is a leader in the legal community. She has been Chair of her firm’s Compensation Fund Committee, Vice‑Chair of its Government and Public Affairs Committee, and Vice‑Chair of its Law Society Strategic Planning Group. She has also been Chair of the Law Society Finance Committee, Vice President of the County and District Law Presidents’ Association and President of the Sudbury and District Law Association. In addition, she has contributed to her community through extensive volunteer work, benefitting the Sudbury Regional Hospital, CKLU radio, the Family Enrichment Centre and the Women’s Law Association of Ontario.

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Christa Freiler

July 2015 – July 2020

Christa Freiler has over 35 years’ experience in social policy and research in both the non profit and government sectors. She is the former Director of Research and Strategic Initiatives for the Canadian Education Association, former National Coordinator of Inclusive Cities Canada, and former Coordinator of the Laidlaw Foundation’s program in social inclusion. As a Program Director with the Toronto Social Planning Council, Ms. Freiler co founded the Child Poverty Action Group. She is also the former Senior Policy Coordinator with the Race Relations Directorate of the Ministry of Citizenship and former Policy Assistant to the Minister of Community and Social Services.
Ms. Freiler’s community involvement includes Immigrant Services of Guelph. She holds a Master of Social Work in Social Policy, Planning and Administration from the University of Toronto.

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Malcolm Heins

June 2019 – June 2021

Biography to come

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Michel Robillard

July 2015 – July 2020

After a successful career in the federal public service, Mr. Robillard became Executive Director of the Coalition ontarienne de formation des adultes (COFA) in 2012. Prior to joining COFA, Mr. Robillard was Vice President of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency. Previously, he was Director General, Organization and Classification Infrastructure and before that, Director General, Strategic Infrastructure, Information Management and Chief Information Officer at the Canada Public Service Agency.
For many years, he taught change management and management of public organizations at the École nationale d’administration publique.
Mr. Robillard has a master’s degree in public administration, a specialized diploma in international administration and a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

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Nancy Cooper

February 2009 – February 2020

Nancy Cooper is a lawyer in private practice, a sole practitioner and a longstanding member of the criminal law and family law panels for Legal Aid Ontario. Ms. Cooper holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Sociology, a Bachelor of Laws, and the Diplôme de français juridique, all from the University of Western Ontario. Called to the Bar in 1992, Ms. Cooper now works almost exclusively in criminal law defence, serving First Nations communities.
Ms. Cooper has a significant history of community involvement as well, having served on several non profit boards and justice committees in her local community. She assisted in the formulation of several recommendations for the improvement of the fly in court system for Northern Ontario while serving on the working group for the Ontario Court of Justice. Presently, she serves as co-President of the Cochrane Law Association.

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Peter Owsiany

December 2018 – December 2020

Mr. Owsiany is the president and CEO of AccertaClaim Servicorp Inc. Before joining Accerta he held various positions at TELUS Health and has more than 20 years of global operations and sales experience with Canadian and U.S. based multinational corporations, including postings in Japan, Singapore, U.S. and South Africa.
Mr. Owsiany holds a B.Comm. from Concordia University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. He has participated in various executive programs including Harvard University (Cybersecurity), Wharton SMU Research Center and the Schulich School of Business at York University. He is also involved in serving and supporting various not for profit organizations across the GTA.

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Remy Sirls-Boulbol

January 2018 – January 2020

Remy brings with her nearly 20 years of experience working with various social justice organizations focusing on health, education, immigration, and women’s issues. She has worked extensively in both Canada and the U.S. with a focus on strategic planning to ensure organizations are better equipped to meet client needs.
Currently, she is Manager, Southwest Ontario with VON Canada. Prior to that, she was executive director of development and programming at the Detroit Public Schools Foundation and served as Director of Development and Community Engagement at Welcome Centre Shelter for Women in Windsor.
She is also a board member of Windsor Women Working with Immigrant Women, and Assisted Living Southwest Ontario.

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Sean Robichaud

December 2018 – December 2020

Sean Robichaud is lead counsel to the law firm Robichaud’s in Toronto where he practices exclusively in criminal and constitutional litigation. He was called to the bar in 2005 after graduating from Queen’s University Faculty of Law. He holds his LL.M from Osgoode Law School and is a Certified Specialist in criminal law by the Law Society of Ontario.
Mr. Robichaud is an active member of the legal community and a member of various organizations including the Canadian Bar Association, The Advocates’ Society, the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, the Toronto Lawyers Association, and the York Regional Law Association. He is creator and host of the popular legal podcast, Of Counsel. He is also the owner and founder of King Law Chambers in Toronto.

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David Wexler

June 2019 – June 2021

David Wexler is Vice President, Human Resources with The Vector Institute. He is an Associate Senior Consultant at LHH Knightsbridge. Mr. Wexler’s community involvement includes serving as a board member for Cancer Care Ontario and Vaughan Community HealthCare Corporation.

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David Field

President and CEO

David has served as Legal Aid Ontario’s president and CEO since 2016 and prior to that was vice president of Strategic Planning and Compliance. He has extensive experience working within the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG), previously serving as director of Business and Fiscal Planning branch, Corporate Services Management division and manager of program support, Family Justice division. Prior to that he worked as a senior analyst in the Social and Justice branch at the Management Board Secretariat. David studied at St. Jerome’s University and completed an MBA at Schulich School of Business, York University.