Our People

The Commission operates across Canada with a staff of fewer than 200 employees.
Browse this section to learn about our senior officials and what they do:

Chief Commissioner Marie-Claude Landry, Ad. E.
Commissioner Sheila M. MacPherson
Commissioner Kelly J. Serbu Q.C.

Marie-Claude Landry, Ad.E.
Chief Commissioner

Marie-Claude Landry, Ad.E. was appointed as Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission in March 2015, marking a new phase in a career defined by community involvement. Native of Mont-Joli, QC, she obtained her Bachelor’s of Law from the Université de Sherbrooke in 1988, and founded her own law firm located in Cowansville, QC in 1993.

Ms. Landry’s desire to contribute to the well-being of her community has guided her towards many leadership positions, including President of the Centre de santé et de services sociaux La Pommeraie and President of the local Chamber of Commerce. She has worked to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of her community, in particular by providing support to the United Way of Haute-Yamaska, as well as Au Diapason, a regional center for palliative care. Ms. Landry has also presided over the administrative body of the pediatric center “Main dans la main”, inspired by the works of Dr. Gilles Julien.

In 2005, the newspaper La Voix de l’Est presented Ms. Landry with the “Voix de l’Excellence” award, and in 2008 she received the Leadership award from the Association québécoise d’établissements de santé et de services sociaux. To recognize Ms. Landry’s important and long-standing contribution to the community, the City of Cowansville made her a city ambassador in October 2015, and presented her with the keys to the municipality. That same year, she was also named Personality of the Year by the community of Brome-Missisquoi.

In addition to her active law practice, Ms. Landry has held numerous positions of distinction, including bâtonnière of the Barreau de Bedford, member of the Barreau du Québec general council, and first President of the Disciplinary Tribunal in Federal Prison Institutions for the Quebec Region. In addition, Ms. Landry has served as member of both the Inquiry Committee for the Canadian Judicial Council, and the Review Committee of the Ordre des dentistes du Québec on recommendation by the Office des professions du Québec. From 1991 to 2001, Ms. Landry was member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

In recognition of her outstanding work, community outreach and engagement, Ms. Landry was awarded the distinction Avocat émérite from the Quebec Bar, in 2009. In September 2015 she received the Merit Award from the Barreau de Bedford for her leadership, her exceptional contribution to the community, her leadership in advocating for the recognition of regional institutions, as well as her career in defending public justice.

Always conscious of placing people at the heart of her actions, Ms. Landry, as Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, intends to continue protecting people in vulnerable circumstances by working with communities across Canada in a spirit of engagement and collaboration. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

 

Sheila MacPherson
Commissioner

Ms. MacPherson is partner and the most senior civil litigator at Lawson Lundell LLP in Yellowknife.

She has been practicing law since 1988 and has experience at all levels of court throughout Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. Some of her specific areas of expertise include administrative law, constitutional law and human rights law. She also has extensive litigation experience in child protection law, family law, adoption cases and cases involving same-sex rights.

In addition to her legal work in the private sector, Ms. MacPherson serves as Law Clerk of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories. In this role she is responsible for reviewing all legislation before the Assembly to ensure it is constitutional and for providing advice to the Speaker and Members of the Assembly.

She has served as counsel for the Government of the Northwest Territories on child protection cases and is currently responsible for the legal conduct of child protection matters in Nunavut. As such, she appears before the courts of both jurisdictions on these and other civil litigation matters on a regular basis.

Ms. MacPherson is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and a Council Member with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. She is also a Fellow with the Litigation Counsel of America and has been recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada for her litigation in both family law and personal injury. She generously donates much of her personal time to various organizations in her community.

 

Kelly J. Serbu, Q.C.
Commissioner

Kelly Serbu is partner at Serbu McGuigan, Barristers and Solicitors, located in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Mr. Serbu is a proud member of his Métis community. He is also visually impaired as a result of Stargardt's disease.

Mr. Serbu’s preferred areas of practice as a lawyer are criminal law and personal injury/civil litigation law. He has argued many constitutional cases involving violations of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He has appeared at all levels of court including the Provincial Court, Supreme Court and Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. He has also presented cases before a variety boards and tribunals throughout New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Since 2008, Mr. Serbu has been an Adjudicator with the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat. As such, he is responsible for conducting hearings and rendering decisions on compensation for survivors of the Indian Residential Schools. This incredible work has taken Mr. Serbu all over Canada where he has heard hundreds of these compensation hearings.

Mr. Serbu is a member the Nova Scotia Barristers Society, the Canadian Bar Association, the Nova Scotia Criminal Lawyers Association, the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals, the International Criminal Defence Attorneys Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (American).

Throughout his legal career Mr. Serbu has been a presenter at numerous continuing legal education conferences and seminars, providing information to lawyers and non-lawyers.

Mr. Serbu is also a dedicated member of his community in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, where he has coached youth hockey and soccer.