About Us

The Manitoba Law Reform Commission is composed of five to seven members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. Section 3 of The Law Reform Commission Act requires that the Commission’s membership include a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench; a full-time member of the Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba; a lawyer entitled to practise in Manitoba and not in the employ of the government; and a non-lawyer. One of the members is appointed President of the Commission, and he or she must be a lawyer.

The current members of the Commission are:

President: Cameron Harvey, Q.C., Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba

Members:
Jacqueline Collins, Barrister and Solicitor, Gange Goodman and French
Michelle Gallant, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba
Hon. Madam Justice Lori T. Spivak, Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench
Sacha Paul, Barrister and Solicitor, Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP
Myrna Phillips, non-lawyer

The current staff members of the Commission are:

Legal staff:
Elizabeth McCandless, Director/Legal Counsel
Jennifer Bird, Legal Counsel

Members

Cameron Harvey

Appointed President of the Manitoba Law Reform Commission in July 2006.

Cameron Harvey, Q.C. was appointed President of the Manitoba Law Reform Commission in July 2006, taking over from Clifford Edwards who served as President from 1979 to 2006. A graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School (LL.B 1964, LL.M 1966), Professor Harvey was a full-time professor at the University of Manitoba,  Faculty of Law from 1966 until 2006.  Along with his duties as a professor, he served in many capacities including assistant to the dean, director of the legal research institute, chair of the archives, building, library, admissions, bursaries, examinations and Manitoba Law Journal committees, and as associate dean, 1989 -2005.  Upon his retirement, he was appointed the Faculty’s first Professor Emeritus. He continues to teach Conflict of Laws.

Professor Harvey was chairman of the Land Value Appraisal Commission (“LVAC”) from 1977 to 2007. As chairman of the LVAC, he wrote more than 200 judgments, reported in the Land Compensation Reports.

Before being appointed President of the Manitoba Law Reform Commission, Professor Harvey acted as a consultant with the Commission on a number of projects including administrative law and wills and estates.  He has authored more than 80 articles, comments, book reviews and reports for various government agencies and others.  Subjects of his seven books include the law of habeas corpus, the Law Society of Manitoba, an anthology of legal humour, the law of dependants’ relief and the law of agency.

Jacqueline Collins

Appointed a member of the Manitoba Law Reform Commission in August 2012.

Jackie Collins is a graduate of the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Law in 1991.  She has practised at Gange Goodman and French since 1996, and she became a partner in 2005.  Her practice focuses primarily on civil litigation, insurance litigation, administrative law, and estates law.  Jackie has also acted on behalf of insurers who provide liability coverage to professionals such as insurance agents and lawyers.  She provides advice to regulatory bodies and professional associations.

Jackie is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and the Law Society of Manitoba.  She is the Vice-Chairperson, Insurance Agents’ and Adjusters’ Licensing Appeal Board.  She has also been a learning facilitator for C.P.L.E.D. (formerly known as the Bar Admissions Course) in courses on civil litigation.

Michelle Gallant

Appointed a member of the Manitoba Law Reform Commission in August 2012.

Michelle is an Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba.  She holds a PhD (London), an LLM (UBC) and an LLB (UNB).  Her adventures in law include a Visiting Fellowship, Faculty of Law, Cambridge, 2010;  Associate Dean (Research and Graduate), 2004-10;  Director, Legal Research Institute, 2004-10 and Adjunct Professor, Peace and Conflict Studies Program, Mauro Center.  She writes, researches and teaches in the areas of taxation law and policy, torts, philanthropy and law, money laundering and economic crime.  Her publications include Economic Crime and Civil Remedies, 2005, Edward Elgar.

Hon. Madam Justice Lori Spivak

Hon. Madam Justice Lori Spivak was appointed a judge of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench on May 20, 2005.

Madam Justice Spivak received her Bachelor of Laws in 1981 from the University of Manitoba. She was admitted to the Manitoba Bar in 1982.

Prior to her appointment she was a partner with the law firm of Aikins MacAulay & Thorvaldson in Winnipeg. She practised primarily in the fields of civil litigation and administrative law. She was a labour arbitrator and human rights adjudicator. Madam Justice Spivak has served as President of the Federation of Law Societies and President of the Law Society of Manitoba. She was also course head of the Ethics and Professional Responsibility segment of the Manitoba Bar Admission Course and has lectured in the area of Ethics as well as Civil Litigation. She is a former director of the Manitoba Law Foundation.

Sacha Paul

Appointed a member of the Manitoba Law Reform Commission in September 2015.

Sacha Paul is a graduate of the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Law (2002). He was admitted to the Manitoba Bar in Manitoba in 2003; Northwest Territories Bar in 2007; and Nunavut Bar in 2014. Sacha is a partner at Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP, where he practices primarily in the areas of Aboriginal Law, Public/Administrative Law, Insurance Law, and Personal Injury. He has appeared as counsel before all levels of court in Manitoba, as well as the Supreme Court of Canada.

A member of the English River First Nation, a Dene community in Northern Saskatchewan, Sacha has a long-standing interest in Aboriginal issues. He serves as contributing editor to the Canadian Native Law Reporter, a publication that reports or Aboriginal law cases, and was named to the 2012-2015 editions of the Best Lawyers in Canada for Aboriginal Law.

Myrna Phillips

Appointed a member of the Manitoba Law Reform Commission in August 2012.

Myrna Phillips was elected as M.L.A. for Wolseley in 1981 after several years’ employment in the Department of Colleges and Universities affairs, the Civil Service Commission and the Women’s Bureau in the Department of Labour.  Shortly after her election, she was appointed Legislative Assistant to the Minister of Community Service, where she was responsible for the ground breaking child care legislation and regulations passed in 1982. During her second term, she was elected as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, a position she held until the government was defeated in 1988. 

Ms. Phillips returned to the civil service as a case manager in Employment and Economic Security until she was asked by the National Democratic Institute of Washington D.C. to serve in East Jerusalem as the Director of a project to assist the newly elected Palestinian Legislative Council.  Upon completion of that assignment she continued in the Department of Employment and Economic Security in the office for Persons with Disabilities until her retirement in 2001.

Ms. Phillips has served on a variety of Government and non-profit Boards including the Civil Service Superannuation Board, the Manitoba Telephone System Board of Directors, the Manitoba Government Employees Union Board of Directors, the Motor Transport and Highway Traffic Board and, for the past nine years, the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission Board of Directors. 

Staff

Elizabeth McCandless

Elizabeth joined the Manitoba Law Reform Commission as legal counsel in 2014. She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba (LLB, 2007) and was called to the Manitoba Bar in 2008, where she received the A. Montague Israels Q.C. Prize. Before joining the commission, Elizabeth worked primarily in the areas of human rights, constitutional, and regulatory law, as well as serving on a team of counsel for the Commission of Inquiry into the Circumstances Surrounding the Death of Phoenix Sinclair. Elizabeth serves on the executive of the Manitoba Bar Association’s Legal Research Section as a member-at-large; the Manitoba Bar Association’s Legislation and Law Reform Committee; and the Federation of Law Reform Agencies of Canada Board of Directors. Elizabeth is a member of the Manitoba Bar Association, the Canadian Bar Association, and the Law Society of Manitoba.

Jennifer Bird

Jennifer Bird joined the Manitoba Law Reform Commission as legal counsel in 2015. A graduate of the University of Victoria (LLB, 2001), Jennifer was called to British Columbia Bar in 2002 and to the Manitoba Bar in 2014. Prior to joining the Manitoba Law Reform Commission, Jennifer worked as Legal Advisor at the University of Winnipeg, providing legal advice on immigration matters to international students and faculty (2014-2015); Analyst at the Library of Parliament in Ottawa, ON, providing legal information and analysis to parliamentarians and working for House of Commons and Senate Committees (2003 – 2012); and Legal Counsel for the Ministry of Attorney General of British Columbia’s Constitutional and Administrative Law Group (2002 – 2003). Jennifer is a member of the Manitoba Bar Association, the Canadian Bar Association, the Law Society of British Columbia and the Law Society of Manitoba