Profiles of citizenship judges
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.
Canada’s first Métis citizenship judge, Suzanne Carrière, has been practicing law for more than 13 years, including 8 years with the federal Department of Justice in Aboriginal Legal Services. Judge Carrière represented Canada in more than 200 hearings and settlement interviews with Indian residential school survivors as part of a dispute resolution process established to resolve claims of physical, sexual or emotional abuse suffered at the schools.
Judge Carrière earned her Bachelor of Law at the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Manitoba with a double major in criminology and psychology.
Hardish K. Dhaliwal is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales with more than 25 years of senior management experience in the private, public and NGO sectors. She has worked throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and Central America, and has had an extensive public service career with the Ontario Ministries of Citizenship and Immigration, Advanced Education and Skills Development, the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Treasury Board Secretariat.
Carol-Ann Hart is an experienced barrister and solicitor, arbitrator, mediator and investigator. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Université Laval and a Bachelor of Laws from McGill University. Judge Hart is a lawyer, a chartered arbitrator and is certified in conflict resolution at the Justice Institute of British Columbia. For the past 12 years, she served as an adjudicator in the Independent Assessment Process for the Indian residential schools claims.
Rochelle Ivri has more than 13 years of legal experience with the Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal, Tax Court, Court Martial Appeal Court and Immigration and Refugee Board. She is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council, a paralegal licensed through the Law Society of Ontario and is an experienced mediator, negotiator and facilitator.
Judge Ivri holds an honours degree in criminology from the University of Windsor and a post-graduate certificate in Alternate Dispute Resolution from York University. She is currently a professor at Mohawk College in the Paralegal Diploma Program.
Joan Mahoney is a career public servant who worked as a civilian employee of the Halifax Regional Police Service and for the Province of Nova Scotia. She has experience in writing government policy and interpreting and applying legislation and regulations for the Province of Nova Scotia’s 911 service.
Judge Mahoney is a graduate of Dalhousie University with a degree in Political Science and holds a certificate in Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University. She also acquired her Master’s in Project Management from Saint Mary’s University and is a certified Project Management Professional.
A past citizenship judge from 2013 to 2016, Marie Senécal-Tremblay has an extensive career in federal and administrative tribunal law, specializing in citizenship, labour and employment, immigration and disability.
In 2016, Judge Senécal-Tremblay was awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers for her work in the preservation and promotion of Canada’s cultural heritage through the Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums, the Héritage Montréal Foundation, the McCord and Stewart Museums and The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Judge Senécal-Tremblay earned a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa and holds a Master’s in Business Administration from McGill University and HEC.
Rania Sfeir is a communications and public relations professional with more than 20 years of experience working in operations and business development in the private sector and in journalism at Société Radio-Canada, Montréal’s CHOU Radio Moyen-Orient and at Future Television in Beirut, Lebanon. Judge Sfeir holds a Bachelor of Journalism from Lebanese University, Beirut.
Rodney Simmons has over 35 years’ experience as an educational leader. He has spearheaded programs for at-risk youth, developed creative and challenging curricula for high achieving students, and created programs to advance inclusivity and diversity in school communities.
Judge Simmons has served as a teacher, Vice-Principal and Principal in 3 school boards. He earned a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Toronto, a Master of Science in Education from Niagara University and a Business Administration Certificate from Ryerson University.
Maj. Claude Villeneuve
Major Claude Villeneuve served in the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 37 years, in the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force. He completed 3 overseas deployments in Saudi Arabia, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Judge Villeneuve is an Aide-de-Camp of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta and a recipient of the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers. He holds a degree in business administration from Université du Québec, Télé-université.
Albert Wong has served as a citizenship judge in the Greater Toronto Area since June 2014, and has more than 39 years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces. Part of his service included a peacekeeping mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia for the United Nations. He is currently serving as the Chief Aide-de-Camp to the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
Judge Wong was awarded the Chinese Canadian Legend Award in 2012, the Vice-Regal commendation in 2014, the North American Association of Asian Professional’s NAAAP 100 award in 2015, the Transformation Award for Public Service by Diversity Magazine in 2015 and was named Diversity Magazine Person of the Year in 2016.
Roy Chew Yee Wong
Appointed Citizenship Judge for Vancouver, in October 2012, he practiced law in Quebec 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 Montreal Chinese Hospital. He received a Bachelor of Arts in science and philosophy from New York University and earned a degree in Quebec civil law from Université de Montréal. He later studied common law at the University of British Columbia.
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