2018 Summit Speakers

Mike Larsen is a faculty member of the Criminology Department at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, where he chairs the Criminology Honours Program Committee and teaches courses on criminal justice, criminological theory, law & society, policing and police accountability, surveillance, and transparency. His research deals with Canadian national security practices, particularly as they involve the deprivation of liberty and contestations around government secrecy, public accountability, and the right to know. He serves on Board of Directors of the Canadian Institute for Information and Privacy Studies (CIIPS) and is the President of the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (BC FIPA).

Mike’s publications include Access in the Academy: Bringing FOI and ATI to Academic Research (BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, 2013) and the edited volume Brokering Access: Power, Politics, and Freedom of Information Process in Canada (Co-edited with Kevin Walby, UBC Press, 2012).

Sean Holman is an associate professor of journalism at Mount Royal University, freedom of information researcher and the founding editor of the pioneering online investigative political news service Public Eye. A former syndicated columnist, he also worked as a legislative reporter for 24 hours Vancouver and the Vancouver Sun.

In 2004, Holman won the Jack Webster Award for leading a five month investigation into what became known as the Doug Walls affair. The investigation resulted in the resignation of the minister of children and family development and the firing of his deputy.

He was also recognized in 2012 with a special mention in J-Source’s Canadian Newsperson of the Year competition for “using new and emerging media technologies to expand the number of journalistic voices in this country and to redefine the relationship between journalists and citizens.”

In addition to his online and print work, Holman hosted and produced Public Eye Radio, a Sunday morning political talk show on Victoria radio station CFAX 1070 that ran for seven years. A former British Columbia government communications advisor, his coverage and commentary have also appeared in the Huffington Post, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Tyee, the Times Colonist and Dow Jones News Service.

In 2013, he produced and directed the groundbreaking documentary Whipped: the secret world of party discipline, which is aired on the Cable Public Affairs Channel. Holman is also a former vice-president and Alberta/Northwest Territories regional director for the Canadian Association of Journalists. He is presently writing a book about the history of freedom of information in Canada.

Michael McEvoy was appointed Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC by unanimous motion of the Legislative Assembly. He began his six-year term as an independent Officer of the Legislature on April 1, 2018.

Prior to his appointment, Michael served as Deputy Commissioner for the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC). He played a key senior leadership role in the enforcement of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). Michael was responsible for leading and managing systemic investigations and developing policy papers and guidance for organizations and public bodies. He also led BC’s efforts to collaborate with regulatory authorities throughout the Asia Pacific region.  Prior to accepting the role of Deputy Commissioner, Michael was the office’s Senior Adjudicator.

A public school trustee for 12 years, including two terms as President of the British Columbia School Trustees’ Association and one term as President of the Canadian School Boards’ Association, Michael also served on numerous campaign committees of the Greater Victoria United Way and chaired its 2009 campaign.

Michael obtained a Juris Doctorate from the University of Manitoba in 1985 and a Bachelor of Arts in 1980 from the University of Winnipeg. He has been a member of the Law Society of British Columbia since 1986.

Jay Chalke was appointed Ombudsperson in July 2015, and has an extensive background in public sector leadership, independence and collaboration.

From 2011 to 2015 Jay led the Justice Services Branch of the Ministry of Justice and was responsible for delivering reforms to justice services and fostering dialogue and collaboration across the justice system.

Prior to his appointment with the Ministry of Justice, Jay was the first Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia from 2000 to 2011. During this time, he was instrumental in implementing legislative reforms as well as changes to modernize service delivery, improve collaboration and enhance public accountability.

Earlier in his career, Jay held a variety of public sector positions, including Deputy Public Trustee of British Columbia, Deputy Public Guardian and Trustee of Ontario, Head of the Review of Certain Practices in New Brunswick Correctional Institutions, Senior Policy Advisor for justice policy in the government of Ontario’s Cabinet Office, and Crown Counsel with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General. He began his career as a Correctional and Psychiatric Services Investigator with the Ombudsman of Ontario.

Jay has served as a member of the Justice and Public Safety Council of British Columbia, and a Governor of the Law Foundation of British Columbia. He is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2006.

Bradley Weldon is the Director of Policy at the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. He has worked at the OIPC for six years and focuses on emerging technologies, surveillance, and employee/employer privacy issues.

Bradley directs the OIPC policy team and was the lead investigator on OIPC public reports, including an investigation into spyware installed on employee computers in the District of Saanich. He also contributed to a report that reinterpreted section 25 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act in two files: the Mt. Polley tailings pond breachand the contamination of the Hullcar Aquifer.

Prior to joining the OIPC in 2011, Bradley practised employment and labour law in the private sector. He graduated from the University of British Columbia (Geography) and the University of Victoria (Law) and is a practising member of the British Columbia Law Society.

Bradley is also certified as CIPM and CIPP/IT by the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Robyn Laba works for the Union of BC Indian Chiefs where she has been actively involved in specific claims research and policy reform on behalf of Indigenous Nations in British Columbia for 15 years. She is currently a member of the National Joint Working Group on Information Access and Library and Archives Canada’s BC Indigenous Research Forum. She has presented on the implications of international human rights instruments on specific claims resolution in Canada and is a technical member of the BC Specific Claims Working Group.

Colin Bennett received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Wales, and his Ph.D from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since 1986 he has taught in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria, where he is now Professor. He has enjoyed Visiting Professorships at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the Center for the Study of Law and Society at University of California, Berkeley, the School of Law, University of New South Wales, and at the Law, Science, Technology and Society Centre at the Vrije Universiteit in Brussels.

His research has focused on the comparative analysis of surveillance technologies and privacy protection policies at the domestic and international levels.

In addition to numerous scholarly and newspaper articles, he has written or edited seven books, including The Governance of Privacy (MIT Press, 2006) and The Privacy Advocates: Resisting the Spread of Surveillance (MIT Press, 2008), and policy reports on privacy protection for Canadian and international agencies. He was co-investigator of a large Major Collaborative Research Initiative grant entitled “The New Transparency: Surveillance and Social Sorting” which culminated in the report: Transparent Lives: Surveillance in Canada. Through a new SSHRC Partnership Grant on “Big Data Surveillance”, he is currently researching the capture and use of personal data by political parties in Western democracies.

Taylor Owen is Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia, a Senior Fellow at the Columbia Journalism School and the founder and publisher of OpenCanada.org. He was previously the Research Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University where he designed and led a program studying the impact of digital technology on the practice of journalism, and has held research positions at Yale University, The London School of Economics and The International Peace Research Institute, Oslo where his work focuses on the intersection between information technology and international affairs.

His Doctorate is from the University of Oxford and he has been a Trudeau and Banting scholar, an Action Canada and Public Policy Forum Fellow, the 2016 Public Policy Forum Emerging Leader, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). He is the author, most recently, of Disruptive Power: The Crisis of the State in the Digital Age (Oxford University Press, 2015) and the co-editor of The World Won’t Wait: Why Canada Needs to Rethink its Foreign Policies (University of Toronto Press, 2015, with Roland Paris), Journalism After Snowden: The Future of the Free Press in the Surveillance State (Columbia University Press, 2017, with Emily Bell) and The Platform Press: How Silicon Valley Re-enginnered Journalism (Tow Center 2017, with Emily Bell).

Dr. Carroll Boydell is an instructor in the Department of Criminology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She has received an MA and a PhD in Forensic Psychology and Law from Simon Fraser University. Dr. Boydell teaches a variety of courses about psychological aspects and explanations of criminal and deviant behaviour. Her research focuses on disclosures of wrongdoing made by witnesses and informants, and how we can improve the accuracy of their disclosures.

Jon Woodward is a three-time Webster Award winner who reports for CTV News in Vancouver and has hosted documentaries on CTV’s national newsmagazine show, W5. He has used freedom of information requests innumerable times for stories from government waste to casino money laundering to taxi shortages to transit…and taken a constant battle for openness to the OIPC several times too.

Sylvie Therrien is a former Integrity Services Investigator for Employment Insurance with Services Canada. She was suspended without pay in May 2013 when she took a stand against the federal government’s attempts to reduce the number of EI claimants, leaking documents showing that the Harper Government was trying to find ‘savings’ from the Employment Insurance funds by creating quotas for EI fraud. She was dismissed in October 2013.

Sylvie Therrien received the 2014 National Golden Whistle Award from POGG Canada and Canadians for Accountability. The award is presented annually to honour an individual for integrity, courage, and resolve in the service of peace, order and good government.

Samantha Delechantos completed her law degree with honours at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia and was admitted to practice in Queensland 2012. She wrote her honours thesis on human rights and the changing social landscape. She moved to Japan and practiced as a foreign trained attorney for 3 years in the areas of Technology and IP, with an ancillary focus on technology and data protection. After finishing her contract, she moved to Canada and worked on transferring my qualifications to practice here in BC. As such, she worked as a legal assistant/paralegal in two Technology and IP law firms, which also involved work in trade secrets, domains and licensing. Most recently, she began her articling year as per BC admission requirements at the beginning of 2018 at a boutique family law and child protection firm in Vancouver. She is now requalifying to practice law in BC and expect to be called to the BC bar at the end of 2018.

Jason Woywada first joined FIPA as a member in 2017. A self-described prairie pragmatist, Jason gained a wide variety of career experiences, first as a full service broadcast journalist and then supporting elected officials in the political realm.

Of his 14 years in the political realm, Jason spent a decade as the Director of Caucus Services for the Manitoba NDP under Premiers Gary Doer and Greg Selinger. In that unique role, he saw first-hand the impact privacy, data and information have when a political party, government and the legislature intersect. Part of his experience includes using best-in-class software suites for voter and constituent relationship management. Throughout his career, Jason has actively monitored the issues surrounding the privacy and freedom of information field. His experiences fuelled his interest in privacy and led him to join the International Association of Privacy Professionals in 2014 and gain CIPP/C and CIPM certification. Jason recently completed his MBA in which his final project focused on the considerations of privacy in corporate governance and is available through the IAPP as a membership resource.

Erica Johnson is an award-winning investigative journalist. As co-host of the CBC news segment Go Public, Erica exposes wrongdoing and holds corporations and governments to account. Her work – which has recently prompted federal bank hearings and a telecom public inquiry – often relies on whistleblowers speaking out. Erica hosted CBC’s investigative consumer program Marketplace for 15 years, investigating everything from dirty hospitals to fraudulent financial advisers.

Micheal Vonn is a lawyer and has been the Policy Director of the BCCLA since 2004. She has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in the Faculty of Law and in the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies where she has taught civil liberties and information ethics. She is a regular guest instructor for UBC’s College of Health Disciplines Interdisciplinary Elective in HIV/AIDS Care. She has been honoured for her work in HIV/AIDS with both an AccolAIDS Award and a Red Ribbon Award, and she is the recipient of the 2015 Keith Sacré Library Champion Award for support, guidance and assistance given to the BC library community. Her publication credits include the Birkbeck Law Review, Surveillance and Society,  Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law, and Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law.

Ms. Vonn is a frequent speaker on a variety of civil liberties topics including privacy, national security, policing, surveillance and free speech. She is currently a collaborator on Big Data Surveillance, a multi-year research projected lead by Queens University.  She is an Advisory Board Member of Ryerson University’s Centre for Free Expression and an Advisory Board Member of Privacy International.

Dean Allchin Cpl. Allchin has been a member of the RCMP for 18 years. For the past 12, he has worked as an analyst at E Division Headquarters reviewing in custody deaths, member involved shootings and a broad range of policy matters. He is also an advisor to detachments and units with regard to the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.

Keri Bennett is a partner at Roper Greyell where she provides strategic advice and representation to public and private sector clients in all areas of workplace law and leads the firm’s Freedom of Information and Privacy Law practice.

Keri builds strong relationships with her clients and works collaboratively with them to navigate a variety of workplace issues, including increasingly complex federal and provincial privacy legislation. The combination of approachability, technical legal knowledge and her client-focused approach helps Keri find the best solutions for her clients – every time.

She represents public bodies and private organizations in responses to access requests, as well as complaints, audits, investigations and inquiries before the federal and provincial privacy commissioners’ offices. She is also the Chair of the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Section (B.C. Branch).

Keri regularly advises employers on accommodation, workplace harassment, terminations and drafts employment agreements and effective workplace policies. As a litigator, Keri has appeared before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, B.C. Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. Keri also has experience in the unionized workplace, interpreting collective agreements, representing employers in arbitrations and other matters arising under the Labour Relations Code.

Away from the office, Keri can be found enjoying the outdoors with friends and family.

Paul Holden is a software developer and non-practicing lawyer called to the bar in New York. He has been a FIPA board member for eight years. As a developer he has worked in network security and web applications. Paul is a long time privacy advocate and is the author of a paper titled:

“Flying Robots and Privacy in Canada” in the Canadian Journal of Law and Technology.

Stanley Tromp is a journalist specializing in freedom of information requests. His FOI news stories have appeared in the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun, The Province, the Financial Post, and the Canadian Press.  He has been nominated for several journalism awards, including a Webster Award in 2015 for records on potential Transmountain oil spill impacts obtained through the Washington State FOI law.

While at the Ubyssey, the student newspaper of the University of British Columbia, his FOI request for the UBC-Coca Cola marketing contract in 1995 prompted a five year, and ultimately successful, legal effort to publish the agreement.

A ruling from the B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner granting him access to internal audits of the Provincial Health Services Authority was overturned in court by the PHSA under Section 13 policy advice. Another OIPC order for UBC to release records to him of its subsidiary companies was reversed upon UBC’s appeal, prompting his call for law reform in these two areas.

He has made presentations to all four legislative reviews of the B.C. FOIPP Act, an Alberta FOI consultation, reviews of the federal Access to Information Act, and was one of the founders of B.C. Journalists for Freedom of Information in 1998.

In 2007-08, as an aid to FOI scholars and advocates, he spent a year compiling the first World FOI Chart <http://www3.telus.net/index100/foi> , an Excel spreadsheet comparing all the world’s FOI laws. The chart was the basis for his book Fallen Behind: Canada’s Access to Information Act in the World Context, which one lawyer called “by far the most comprehensive comparative analysis to date of Canadian and international access to information laws.”

He has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of British Columbia and a diploma from the Langara College journalism program.