Profiles of citizenship judges

Brum Bozzi, Renata, Senior Judge

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Appointed Senior Citizenship Judge in October, 2013, she is a former Member of the Social Security Tribunal on which she served immediately following her six year appointment as a Citizenship Judge in Mississauga. As a Citizenship Judge, she presided over thousands of hearings in English and in French and was called upon to consult on policy, jurisprudence and legislative initiatives to combat fraud and reform the citizenship process. She was born in the Azores, Portugal, and came to Canada with her family as a child. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology, a Master of Arts from the Toronto School of Theology, and a Certificate in Public Relations from the University of Toronto. She did legal and policy research for the Honourable Mr. Justice David M. Brown, now at the Ontario Superior Court, and was also a Senior Associate with the High Park Group providing research, media analysis and strategic advice. Her community work has included serving as a host parent to international students studying in Canada; the 820 Chris Hadfield Royal Air Cadet Squadron; and the Milton District Hospital Foundation. She is the Vice-Chair of the Collegium (Governing Board) of St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto. She is the mother of five children and speaks English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian.

Gravill, Robert Larry

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Appointed Citizenship Judge for Kitchener and London in June, 2014, he has more than 37 years of dedicated police service in the Region of Waterloo. During his career he held progressively responsible positions in the Waterloo Regional Police Service. In 1992 he was appointed Chief of Police, serving in that role until his retirement at the end of 2007. In 2001, he was recognized for outstanding service and leadership to the policing profession and invested as a Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson. He continues to volunteer with several community groups. He has completed two terms as a member of the board of the Grand River Hospital Foundation and continues with that Foundation’s leadership and planned giving committee. He is a member of the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada governing council, a former Rotarian and a Paul Harris Fellow. He is a member of the Board of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Research Foundation. A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, he is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, in Quantico, Virginia, and a graduate of the FBI National Executive Institute. He has been awarded the Police Exemplary Service Medal and Bar, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals. He received an LLD - Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Waterloo in 2009.

Janega, Ann E.

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Appointed Citizenship Judge for Nova Scotia in December 2013, she is a lawyer with broad experience as an Industry Association Executive with agencies such as the Better Business Bureau and Canadian Home Builders Association. Previously, as provincial Vice-President of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, she worked with businesses, consumers and non-governmental organizations to promote economic growth for the community. She has been recognized as a Champion for Women in Business. She is a former RCMP Constable and previously worked for Dalhousie University. She combines her management expertise with years of public service in the provincial government of Nova Scotia as Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs and Small Business Development. Born in Halifax, she is proud of her Slovak heritage that brought her parents and their families to Canada. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Business, Law and Electronic Commerce from Dalhousie University.

Johnson, Veronica

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Appointed Citizenship Judge for Montreal in August 2011, she was an educator for over 25 years. She taught History and English at the high school level and in adult education before being promoted as a high school Vice-Principal and then Assistant Director of an adult education centre serving students from around the world.

She was a founding Board member of West Island Community Shares, a fund raising group for local charities. She was also a board member of West Island Black Community Association and served as its chairperson for two terms. She has also been a frequent speaker at community forums and a lecturer on Black History, Multiculturalism and self-esteem in children.

She graduated from Sir George Williams (now Concordia) University with distinction in Economics and Political Science. She also holds a Diploma in Education, a TESL Certificate and a Certificate in Educational Leadership from McGill University.

Klein, Lilian Ruth

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Appointed Citizenship Judge for Greater Toronto Area in May 2013, she has worked in human rights advocacy for a major part of her career. With an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the London School of Economics and a Master’s degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, she is a Chartered Mediator with expertise in community and workplace dispute resolution. Prior to her appointment, she served for fifteen years as National Director of the League for Human Rights, a position in which she led public policy, community outreach and educational initiatives designed to counter prejudice and advance cross-cultural dialogue. She has authored submissions to government and non-governmental bodies on best practices in the protection of vulnerable minorities, and edited collections of research on government and societal responses to immigration and integration. She has also served on community advisory boards dealing with issues ad diverse as education, law enforcement, and ethical standards. She was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 in recognition of her work in fighting racism and promoting equity and diversity within Canadian society.

McCrae, James C.

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Appointed Citizenship Judge for Winnipeg in April 2013, he has enjoyed extensive and varied experience as a court reporter; Hansard reporter in the House of Commons; alderman for the City of Brandon, Manitoba (1983-86); Member of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly for Brandon West (1986-99); Attorney General and Minister of Justice; Minister of Constitutional Affairs, Corrections, Consumer and Corporate Affairs, Co-operative Development, Health, Environment, Education and Training. He also held responsibility for the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission, the Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation, and served as Government House Leader. In 2006, he was elected a city councillor for Brandon, serving until his appointment as a citizenship judge. Born in Vancouver, he was educated in British Columbia, Manitoba and California. He has served on a number of community and professional boards, including the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, the Brandon Real Estate Board, Manitoba Real Estate Association, the Keystone Centre Board and other community organizations.

Minor, Dane

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Appointed Citizenship Judge for Surrey in February 2011, he is a retired sales and marketing executive in the office technology field. He has extensive community experience in issues related to youth crime, gang violence and victims of crime. Prior to his appointment, he was active as a victim’s rights advocate. He served as Vice Chair of the Victims Advisory Council to the Parole Board of Canada and Correctional Services Canada. In 1993, he co-founded Crime, Responsibility and Youth, and worked with the organization until 2003. He has spent a number of years actively involved in community initiatives and is recognized for his work in ethnic outreach. He holds a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Economics and recently was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to the community.

Nguyen, Trang

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Appointed Citizenship Judge for Vancouver in November 2013, she has been working as an Accredited Court Interpreter for the Attorney General in BC for more than 20 years. She is active in the Vietnamese community through her involvement with Vietnam Heritage Day, Vietnamese Canadian Student Scholarships and Bursaries for Vietnamese Women’s Society, and as a spokesperson for the Vietnamese Canadian Community. She also volunteered as an anchor-woman, reporter and radio host for Channel M, Omni T.V. and Fairchild Radio. Through her community services, she was able to act as a bridge between cultures. She was born in Saigon, Vietnam and came to Canada with her family as a boat refugee. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology and Psychology from Simon Fraser University and was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to the community.

Osmane, Farid

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Appointed Citizenship judge in Montréal in May 2013, he served as a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada for eight years, presiding over quasi-judicial hearings, adjudicating refugee matters and evaluating permanent residence requests for the Department of Citizenship and Immigration. He also taught ethics and immigration remedies at LaSalle College.

Before moving to Canada, he studied law and management at the University of Algiers and the University of San Francisco. He was a judge at a financial court in Algeria.

Paine, Andrea

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Appointed Citizenship Judge for Montreal in June 2013, her career includes work at the most senior federal and provincial government levels. She has been Policy Advisor and Director of Communications, located in Quebec City, and Montreal. In Ottawa, she served in various capacities including Senior Legislative and Parliamentary Advisor, Policy Expert and Issues Management Specialist. Most recently she served as a Senior Advisor to the Minister of Health and CanNor. Fluently bilingual, she has a BA with a double major in Journalism and Political Science from Concordia University and studied Civil Law at Université Laval. A breast cancer survivour, she is also the author of an inspirational blog about cancer survivourship and running, and is a published author, with a chapter in a book by British journalist, Chris Geiger. She has also been on the speaker’s circuit on behalf of Saint Mary’s Hospital’s “The Girls for a Cure” in 2011, and a presenter, in 2012 and 2013, for the Federated Press Annual Conference on "Working with Ministers and Parliament" in Ottawa.

Pash, Gerald

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Appointed Citizenship Judge for British Columbia in June 2012, he had a 27-year career in radio broadcasting, following which he worked for the Department of National Defence for 22 years as a public affairs officer at the Maritime Forces Pacific Headquarters, in Victoria, B.C. In his civilian occupations and as a Canadian Forces reservist, he has received several awards in recogntion of his commitment to active, engaged citizenship involving health, education, law enforcement, families, women, youth, veterans, heritage, culture, arts, and commerce. For 13 years he volunteered as an auxiliary RCMP constable and served for 25 years in the Canadian Forces Reserve in the Public Affairs Branch and as a Cadet Instructor. An Aide de Camp to the Lieut.-Governor of B.C., he retired at the rank of Lieut.-Commander. The B.C. Association of Broadcasters named him “Broadcaster Citizen of the Year,” and he was Penticton “Citizen of the Year.” A member of Rotary for over forty-five years he is a Paul Harris Fellow. Nationally, is is an Officer of the Order of St. John, and he holds the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals, the Canadian Forces Decoration and the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation.

Persichilli, Angelo

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Appointed Citizenship Judge for Greater Toronto Area in March 2013, he was Director of Communications for the Prime Minister of Canada from September 2011 to April 2012. He was a political columnist for The Toronto Star, the Toronto Sun, The Hill Times and political editor at Corriere Canadese, an Italian daily newspaper based in Toronto. He frequently appeared as a guest political commentator in radio and TV programs, was host of a weekly one hour program on Toronto Multicultural Radio CHIN. Previously he was vice President Corporate Development and News Programming and Public Affairs at CFMT (now Omni). Born in Italy, he immigrated to in Canada in 1975. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Film Development Corporation; a committee member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Race Relations and Anti-Racism initiatives at the University of Toronto. He was also president of the Canadian Italian Journalists Association. He is the recipient of the Canadian Ethnic Journalist’s and Writer’s Club award in excellence in journalism reflecting multicultural issues and also received a national award by the Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association for his contribution to broadcasting.

Rokerya, Rafiq

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Appointed Citizenship Judge for Greater Toronto Area, in June 2013, he has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Concordia University and is a Certified General Accountant. He has over 30 years of experience in auditing, accounting and tax related matters with Canada Revenue Agency. He has served the City of Mississauga as Vice Chair of the Appeal Tribunal, Chair of the Election Campaign Finance Committee, and as a member of the Compliance Audit Committee for the Peel District School Board. He is also a director of the John Howard Society.

Originally from Pakistan, he has been involved in volunteer and fund raising activities in the South Asian community. He is a founding member of the Memon Association of Canada and co-hosted and produced a radio talk show for the South Asian Community.

He has received awards such as the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Ontario Distinguished Service Award by the CGA – Ontario and Civic Awards of Recognition by City of Mississauga. He was recognized for his service to the association, the accounting profession, and the community through a Fellowship-FCGA granted by CGA-Canada.

Salci, R.T. (Ted)

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Appointed Citizenship Judge for Niagara Falls and Hamilton in February 2012, he is the former Mayor of Niagara Falls, serving the municipality from 2003 to 2010. Prior to his time as Mayor, he served as a member of the Board on the Ontario Alcohol and Gaming Commission where he adjudicated hearings across Ontario as well as having served as Vice Chair of Niagara Regional Police Services Board. He began his career in Niagara Falls as a Real Estate Broker and successful owner of a local real estate company for 25 years. He has volunteered his time with the Rotary Club of Niagara Sunrise as President in 2000 and is a Paul Harris Fellow. He served as President of the Niagara Falls Chamber of Commerce, as well as holding multiple volunteer positions with the Greater Niagara General Hospital Foundation, Project SHARE and Saint Michael’s High School Parent Council. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his service to his community.

Sami, Marian

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Appointed Citizenship Judge for the Greater Toronto Area in May 2013, she is a lawyer. Prior to her appointment, she practiced law and had a small business. She also served as a community liaison to lawmakers and a consultant for cultural events. She has extensive experience in public speaking and teaching within her community. Her active service to the community also includes involvement in a number of charities, with a focus on helping vulnerable children, and fostering the importance of education, cross-cultural respect and inter-religious harmony amongst youth.

Senécal-Tremblay, Marie

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Appointed Citizenship Judge for Montreal in April 2013, she has broad experience as a lawyer, senior manager, philanthropic and community leader. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of Heritage Montreal directing a major change reorganization of this leading Canadian heritage preservation foundation. She combines her management expertise with years of legal practice in the federal sector as labour in-house counsel with the Canadian Pacific Railway; advocate before the Canadian Industrial Relations Board, the Veterans Review and Appeal Board as well as Assistant Crown Attorney in North Bay, Ontario. She has prior administrative tribunal experience as member and vice-chair of a quasi-judicial federal agency overseeing the Status of the Artist Act. Born in Chicoutimi, Quebec she lived and was educated in Guyana, Switzerland, Ireland, France and has lived east to west across Canada from Kitimat, B.C. to Arvida, Quebec. A long-standing member of the Ontario Bar, she holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Sociology and Law from the University of Ottawa. In 2013, she completed a joint MBA from Université de Montréal and McGill University.

Siew, Nancy M.

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SiewAppointed Citizenship Judge for the Greater Toronto Area in 2014, she is fluently bilingual in English and Chinese.

While a Federal public servant, she worked on high-profile national initiatives. Her dedication earned the public’s respect, making her the recipient of four medals - including the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals. For over thirty years, she has been supporting veterans, senior issues, mental health and multiculturalism.

Her esoteric knowledge in business etiquette made it possible for her to regularly write a column on this topic.

She earned a Master degree in Social Work (Gerontology) at McGill University. She has four other post-secondary degrees and diplomas – from Canada, Hong Kong and Switzerland. Her global education has enabled her to appreciate diversity and different cultures.

Taschereau, Myriam

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Appointed Citizenship Judge for Montréal in June 2014, she holds a Bachelor of Law from the Université de Sherbrooke as well as undergraduate degrees in Communication and Political Science.

Having held management positions in both the public and private sectors, she has extensive experience in business management, communications, public relations and tourism development.

Having sat on a number of boards, she makes it her duty to get involved in community projects and various causes, such as support for caregivers and conservation of built heritage.

Chosen as one of Eastern Quebec’s 50 leading women in power by the Journal Économique, she has also received a number of awards and distinctions in the economic, cultural and tourism fields.

Keenly interested in foreign cultures, she has spent time in a number of countries, including Japan, the Philippines, Mexico and the United States. She has also crisscrossed Canada to deepen her knowledge and broaden her horizons.

Vachon, Normand

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Appointed Citizenship Judge for Windsor in December 2012, he completed nearly 25 years with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. His first RCMP posting in 1989 was in Rouyn-Noranda Québec followed by assignments in Montréal, Roberval and, most recently, in Sudbury where he was in charge of the Financial Integrity Section, conducting Federal Government Fraud Investigations in Northern Ontario. In 2008, he received the RCMP Long Service Award, for 20 years of “Long Service and Good Conduct”. He also served as a Military Policeman in the Canadian Armed Forces for seven years working out of CFB Kingston, Ontario and CFB St-Hubert, Quebec. From 2004 to 2012, he was a part time teacher at College Boreal in Sudbury. Throughout his career, he has volunteered in the communities he served, by organizing numerous RCMP Musical Ride charity events and coaching children’s hockey and baseball teams.

Wong, Albert

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Appointed Citizenship Judge for the Greater Toronto Area in June 2014, he has over thirty-five years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces. Over his career, he has served in various public affairs positions with the military across Canada, with the United Nations in Eritrea and Ethiopia, and in Afghanistan. As a volunteer, he has made valuable leadership contribution to a number of organizations including as Chair of the Mississauga Board of Chinese Professionals and Businesses (CPB). Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, he is a 2012 recipient of the Chinese Canadian Legend Award. He is currently serving as the Chief Aide-de-Camp to the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and was awarded the Vice-Regal commendation in 2014.

Wong, Roy Chew Yee

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Appointed Citizenship Judge for Vancouver, in October 2012, he practiced law in Québec and British Columbia for many years. He previously served on the administrative tribunal at the Appeal Division under the British Columbia Workers’ Compensation Act. He also pursued a career as a professional artist painting in oil and watercolors. He has volunteered by serving as a director and member of the executive board at the Montréal Chinese Hospital. He received a Bachelor of Arts in science and philosophy from New York University and earned a degree in Québec civil law from Université de Montréal. He later studied common law at the University of British Columbia.

Woodard, Joe

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Appointed Citizenship Judge for Calgary in March 2012, he has worked as an academic, a journalist and a writer. As the religion editor of the Calgary Herald, he developed broad relationships with that city’s ethnic communities. He also served as the Child and Family Policy advisor for the Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre, was the founding vice president of Canada Family Action, and a board member of several family support charities. He has taught political science and social philosophy at several universities; he earned degrees from the University of Alberta (B.A., 1975), Dalhousie University (M.A., 1980), St. John’s College (M.Lib.Std., 1980), and Claremont Graduate School (Ph.D., 1988).

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