The Manitoba Human Rights Board of Commissioners

The Manitoba Human Rights Board of Commissioners consists of ten individuals (including a chairperson and a vice chairperson) who represent the geographic, cultural, social and economic profile of Manitoba. Commissioners are appointed by the Government of Manitoba.

The Board can dismiss a complaint, direct the parties to settle the complaint or ask the Chief Adjudicator to select an adjudicator from a list of those appointed under The Code for a public hearing. The adjudication process is independent of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission and the Board of Commissioners.

The Board also assists in the interpretation of The Human Rights Code by approving policies and guidelines for the Commission. It also approves all Commission publications and sets direction and priorities, such as the Commission's youth initiative.

Board meetings are held approximately every other month.

The following people sit on the current Manitoba Human Rights Board of Commissioners:

Chairperson

Yvonne Peters has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Law from the University of Saskatchewan and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina. She practices equality rights law in Winnipeg, providing legal consultation and advice. She serves as the Vice-Chair of the Accessibility Advisory Council appointed by the Honourable Jennifer Howard, Minister Responsible for Persons with Disabilities. Her community work includes serving as a council member of the Manitoba Bar Association, as a member of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities’ Human Rights Committee and as a board member of the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

Vice Chairperson

Elliot Leven is a lawyer by profession and his preferred areas of practice are labour and employment law and Aboriginal law. He is an active member of Winnipeg’s gay and Jewish communities. He is the immediate past president of the Community Unemployed Help Centre, a member of various Law Society of Manitoba committees, and a member of the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers. He has been a Manitoba Human Rights Commissioner since 2002.

Commissioners

Joan Hay has lived in Winnipeg’s inner city for over twenty-five years. Joan co-authored a book on community development titled In Their Own Voices: Building Urban Aboriginal Communities, and is the current President of the Spence Neighbourhood Association. She is also involved with many inner city boards and committees and currently works at the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Inc. as a Community Helper/Emergency Services Worker and at the Native Women's Transition Centre as a Residential Support Worker. Joan is of Ojibwe/Dakota descent from Waywayseecappo First Nation in Manitoba.

Leo Aniceto is a staff lawyer for Agassiz Community Law Centre, Family Unit, Legal Aid Manitoba. Prior to this, he practiced on his own for about five years helping clients in the areas of family law, criminal law, child protection and real estate. Leo has three children. He is a member of the Filipino community and enjoys helping fellow Filipinos with their legal problems whenever he can.

Karen Banuga is Executive Assistant, Vice President Academic, Copyright Officer and Access and Privacy Coordinator for Assiniboine Community College. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Brandon University and is a member of the Islamic Community. Karen is a strong advocate of women's rights and is an active member of the Manitoba Government Employees Union and Chief Steward. She loves to travel and finds it helpful in understanding other cultures and belief systems. Karen is married with four children.

André Doumbè was born in Cameroon, Africa and studied Business Administration and was Purchasing Manager at Champs Food Systems from 1986 to 1998. He is currently working as a Market Information Officer at the Market Analysis Group, Grain and Oilseeds Division, Agriculture Canada. Mr. Doumbe has over twenty years community involvement at the grassroots level. He is currently serving as the President of the African Communities of Manitoba Inc. (ACOMI), a coalition of African grassroots organizations. He is a member of the Manitoba Immigration Council. He volunteers at United Way of Winnipeg, as a member of the education Committee. He is past President of Sous le Baobab, a Cameroonian grassroots organization in Winnipeg.

John Burchill has BA in Criminal Justice from Athabasca University and a law degree (JD) from the University of Manitoba. He is currently a member of the Manitoba Bar and is employed by the University of Manitoba in the Office of Risk Management. Prior to joining the University he was a Winnipeg police officer for 25 years, with six of his last years spent as the supervisor of the Hate Crimes Team. He has specific training in hate crimes and human rights through Dalhousie University, the University of Manitoba, the California State University (Santa Barbara) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research. He recently received his Diploma in International Environmental Law through the United Nations Environmental Law Programme.

Anne Lacquette was born and raised in Ebb and Flow, Manitoba where she received her education. She has resided in the community of Mallard for over 52 plus years and is a very active member of her community. She is on the local school committee and on the Mallard Council, serving as Deputy Mayor and Mayor. Anne is the current Chair of Northern Association of Community Councils Western Region and a member of the Cancer Care Aboriginal Board. She was past Chair of the Provincial Aboriginal Advisory Committee and has served on the Parkland Regional Health Authority Board. Her and her husband Norman raised seven children.

Loretta Ross is a member of the Hollow Water First Nation in Manitoba and obtained her law degree from Queens’ University. Loretta has been a practicing lawyer for over 20 years and has served as legal counsel to numerous First Nation governments and organizations. Loretta’s legal practice has ranged from child and family matters, trust and corporate law, land claims and residential school claims. Loretta strives to balance her work the work with her husband and four children. In her spare time, Loretta loves to curl, golf and watch her children participate in their extra-curricular activities.

Sunny Chohan