Speakers

Alex Lucifero

Alex Lucifero

Partner

Samfiru Tumarkin LLP

Alex is an Ottawa employment lawyer with Samfiru Tumarkin LLP’s Labour and Employment Law practice group, practicing in the areas of employment law and long-term disability insurance. Alex leads the firm’s Ottawa office as its Managing Partner.

Alex’s employment law practice consists of advising and acting for clients with respect to wrongful dismissals, terminations, severance packages, constructive dismissals, reviewing and negotiating employment contracts and the enforcement of post-employment obligations, including non-disclosure agreements and restrictive covenants.

Caroline Richard

Caroline Richard

Partner

Bird Richard LLP

Caroline is the Managing Partner of the Firm. Fluently bilingual, she provides legal representation and advice to employers in both official languages in respect of all labour and employment matters, including wrongful dismissal actions, labour arbitration matters, human rights complaints, collective bargaining, occupational health and safety work refusals and prosecutions, and workers’ compensation claims.

Caroline has appeared before the Federal Courts, the Ontario Provincial Court, the Ontario Divisional Court, the Ontario and Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, the Public Service Labour Relations Board, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal, the Occupational Health and Safety Tribunal Canada and labour arbitrators in Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick. She has provided labour and employment law services for more than 10 years. 

Called to the Bars of Ontario in 2002 and Nunavut in 2009, Caroline provides advice and guidance to public and private sector employers in both jurisdictions. 

David Contant

David Contant

Partner

Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP

David Contant is a partner at Nelligan Law and is certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a Specialist in Civil Litigation. David is a passionate advocate for his clients working with both individuals and companies to resolve a broad range of challenging employment law, personal injury and commercial litigation problems. David is an experienced litigator, having appeared before various courts and tribunals in Ontario, including the Licence Appeal Tribunal, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Divisional Court, and the Ontario Court of Appeal. David has helped countless individuals and companies deal with a broad range of challenging matters including wrongful dismissal and constructive dismissal claims, injunctions, motor vehicle accidents, traumatic brain injuries, disability insurance claims, and human rights proceedings.

Glenn French

Glenn French

President

Canadian Initiative on Workplace Violence

Mr. French is the President of the Canadian Initiative on Workplace Violence. Within the mental health field, he has held many senior administrative and clinical positions within both the private and public sectors. He is a frequent speaker at conferences throughout Canada, and the United States, focusing on individual workplace threats. His work has garnered widespread media attention, including Public Safety Canada’s Prevention Magazine. Mr. French’s paper entitled “Towards a Global Standard for Workplace Conduct” was presented at the 9th Global Conference on Occupational Health and Safety sponsored in part by the WHO.

Liz Horvath

Liz Horvath

Manager, Workplace Mental Health, Opening Minds

Mental Health Commission of Canada

Liz Horvath brings nearly 25 years of experience guiding organizations across Canada to achieve better business outcomes through strategic integration of health, safety and wellness. She joined the Mental Health Commission of Canada in August of 2019 as the Manager, Workplace Mental Health where develops and implements mental health strategies for employers who wish to adopt the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace and other programs and modules that encourage mental wellness and safety.  Prior to joining MHCC, Liz was instrumental in the creation of the National Standard of Canada on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace through her role as Project Manager with the CSA Group. She then worked on helping organizations implement mental health and wellbeing strategies through her company, Hale Health and Safety Solutions.

Liz is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) and is a member of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE), the Ontario Workplace Health Coalition, the International Association on Workplace Bullying and Harassment (IAWBH), the Crisis and Trauma Research Institute (CRTI), and the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA).

Liz’s personal mission is to help as many people as possible flourish in life.

Martin Thompson

Martin Thompson

Partner

McMillan LLP

Martin Thompson is the Office Management Partner of McMillan LLP’s Ottawa branch as well as partner in the Employment and Labour Relations and Advocacy and Litigation groups.

In Martin’s employment law and labour practice, he advises domestic and international clients on all aspects of provincial and federal employment legislation. He advises and represents management on various labour relations matters, including drafting employment agreements, policies and compensation, workplace harassment and discrimination, employee discipline, wrongful dismissal litigation, employee termination and severance packages, workplace health and safety, human rights and grievance arbitrations.

Martine Oliveira

Martine Oliveira

Director

AGS Rehab Solutions Inc.

Martine has over 20 years of experience in the field of vocational rehabilitation and disability management. Her career started with front line mental health work and her passion for mental health has persisted through the years, making her a perfect fit to joint AGS’s reputable executive team in 2017. She is a Certified Disability Management Professional and a Consensus Based Disability Management Auditor with a reputation for upholding best practice approaches in the work that she and her teams provide. In addition, Martine also finds time to teach at the York-Seneca Rehabilitation Services program, where she has shared her passion for rehabilitation and disability management as an Instructor for over 11 years. Martine is also a Certified Mental Health First Aid Trainer and the Vice President, Employer and Client Services at AGS Rehab Solutions Inc., where she works closely with an extensive interdisciplinary providing proactive and client-centric services related to stay at work and return to work disability management and rehabilitation initiatives.

Meg Steele

Meg Steele

Senior Counsel

City of Ottawa

Meg Steele has worked as a lawyer for the City of Ottawa since 2002. She specializes in labour arbitrations, human rights matters, and employment law. Meg’s practice also includes providing advice on collective bargaining, workplace safety, and accessibility issues. She leads a group of lawyers and labour relations professionals that provide strategic advice on all aspects of the employment relationship.

Meg holds a B.A. (Hons.) in English and Political Science from Mount Allison University (1996) and graduated from McGill University’s National Program with a BCL/LL.B. in 2000. She was called to the Bar of Ontario in February 2002.

Noi Quao

Noi Quao

Director

Global Critical Incidents, Morneau Shepell

Noi oversees Global Critical Incidents services, providing on-site response to client organizations that experience any kind of traumatic event. The support services provided are interventions specifically tailored to offer early support, encourage self-care and inform on next steps for those affected by the traumatic event. In addition to providing on-site interventions and consultations, Noi and his direct staff continually develop and update a range of trauma information, support and intervention materials. The operational service practices evolve and adapt ahead of and with the changing realities of client workplaces. The department averages 900 cases each month across North America.

Noi has over 20 years experience in critical incident management and crisis support consultation. With Global Critical Incident services; he has consulted on, provided or coordinated support responses to client organizations impacted by high profile incidents. These include incidents such as the bus crash in Humboldt Saskatchewan, the mosque shooting in Quebec City, the van attack in Toronto, and the rail accident and explosion in Lac Mégantic in Quebec. As well, he has been involved in consultations and support for catastrophic events related to situations such as wild fires in Fort McMurray Alberta, and following Hurricane Dorian.

Richard Pluchinski

Richard Pluchinski

Manager, Human Resource Services

Winnipeg Police Service

Richard Pluchinski, BBA, a graduate with a Business Administration and HR certification, has a proven 20-year track record as a Human Resources leader. Early in his career, he managed multiple teams in supporting Employee and Labour Relations, Health and Wellness, Workplace Safety, Pension and Benefits, Talent Acquisition and Performance Management.  As a HR Project Management lead and business partner, he was also critical in the development and launch of joint public and private sector ventures. Current focus includes Benefits, Pension, Health, Safety, Fitness and Wellness departments. He has led the reform of HR related systems with the Winnipeg Police Service resulting in the creation of New innovative Programs, Processes and Services.

Samara Belitzky

Samara Belitzky

Associate

Samfiru Tumarkin LLP

Samara is an Ottawa employment lawyer and an associate with Samfiru Tumarkin LLP’s Employment Law practice group. Samara represents and regularly advises both employees and employers on various employment law matters, including wrongful dismissal and constructive dismissal, severance negotiations, employment agreements, and human rights and harassment issues in the workplace.

Samara considers herself fortunate to have practiced almost exclusively in the area of labour and employment law; having represented her clients before the Ontario Small Claims Court, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.

Shanna Walsh-Callon

Shanna Walsh-Callon

Manager, Corporate Attendance

Air Canada

Shanna has over 27 years’ experience in aviation and 15 years focused on employee attendance, return to work and accommodation. Joining Air Canada in 2002, Shanna worked with In-Flight Service for 12 years and was responsible for Cabin Crew Performance, Attendance, Regulatory Compliance and Occupational Health & Safety. With a strong focus on absenteeism, employee return to work and accommodation she naturally transitioned to Disability Management in 2014 where she leads the Corporate Attendance team and co-leads the Disability Management team. Safe and early return to work is the mandate and goal for Shanna and her team of HR and Disability Management professionals.

Stephanie Lewis

Counsel

Dentons

Stephanie Lewis is counsel in Dentons’ Litigation and Dispute Resolution group with a focus on employment and labour. Since her call to the Ontario Bar in 2009, Stephanie has had the privilege of applying a respectful and practical approach to litigation in order to protect her clients’ rights. Prior to joining the Dentons, Stephanie practiced in all areas of civil litigation at a bilingual Ottawa litigation boutique firm.

Stephanie has appeared before and/or assisted on matters before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Divisional Court, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, Provincial Offences Court, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Landlord Tenant Board, and the Ontario Municipal Board.

While obtaining her law degree at the University of Ottawa, Stephanie was a peer advisor, a member of the student government executive, and volunteered with Pro Bono Students Canada. Stephanie graduated cum laude and received the Perley-Robertson, Hill and McDougall LLP Prize for highest standing in Federal Tribunals Practice, as well as the Shore, Davis & McGarvey Prize for highest standing in Selected Issues in Feminist Law.

Stephanie believes that excellence in advocacy is borne out of passion, hard work, civility and the knowledge that everyone deserves respect. She is proud to apply these principles in her work in order to obtain the best possible results for her clients. She also has the privilege of sharing her passion for litigation through teaching Trial Advocacy at the University of Ottawa and through her volunteer work with Ottawa’s Advocacy Club, a volunteer organization that teaches litigation skills to young associates.