YELLOWKNIFE (Wednesday, March 31) – Members of the Legislative Assembly have appointed Mr. Sheldon Toner of Yellowknife, Mr. Lou Sebert of Fort Smith, and Ms. Jay Sengupta of Hamilton, Ontario to the NWT Human Rights Adjudication Panel. The four-year terms begin immediately.
The Human Rights Adjudication Panel is an independent tribunal with the authority to hear and adjudicate complaints referred to it pursuant to the NWT Human Rights Act. Cases may arise out of a complaint referred for hearing to determine the merits, or on an appeal arising from the dismissal of a complaint by the Director of the Human Rights Commission.
A person appointed as a member of the adjudication panel must have experience and an interest in, and sensitivity to, human rights and be a member, of at least five years good standing, of a law society of a province or territory, or have at least five years experience as a member of an administrative tribunal or a court. As a general practice, one person from outside of the NWT is appointed to the Panel to adjudicate where resident panel members have a conflict of interest.
Mr. Sheldon Toner is a Yellowknife resident and has been a member of the Human Rights Adjudication Panel since 2012. He was appointed as Chair in 2016 and will continue in that role for the next four years. Mr. Toner has been a member in good standing of the Law Society of the NWT since 1998. He has mediated and adjudicated several human rights matters, conducted pre-hearing conferences and hearings, and issued numerous decisions. He is currently a Partner of Dragon Toner Law.
Mr. Lou Sebert, a former Member of the Legislative Assembly and Minister, has been practicing law since 1977 and resides in Fort Smith. He formerly sat on the Human Rights Adjudication Panel from 2012-2015. Mr. Sebert has taken several courses through the Foundation of Administrative Justice in conducting of hearings and decision writing. He is a Member of the NWT Law Society. He is also a Board Member of the Employment Standards Board of the NWT, and a Board Member of the Legal Services Board.
Ms. Sengupta of Hamilton, Ontario was called to the Bar in 1992, and presently operates a private practice providing mediation, investigation and adjudication of human rights, education, and workplace disputes. Ms. Sengupta has experience as Vice-chair at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, Human Rights Commissioner for the Peel District School Board, and Senior Counsel for the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario.
On behalf of the Legislative Assembly, Speaker Frederick Blake Jr. extends thanks to Mr. Adrian Wright, Mr. Colin Baile, and to Ms. Emerald Murphy for their work on the adjudication panel and wishes them well in future endeavours.