Instructor Biographies

Instructor Biographies

Deirdre Rice

Deirdre Rice holds a law degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Victoria. She has been a member of the Law Society of British Columbia since 1993, and began practicing as a lawyer in Ontario in 1990. She has extensive experience as a lawyer, adjudicator, and educator in a range of administrative law areas, and has been a full-time vice chair with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal since 2003. Her prior experience includes work with the British Columbia Human Rights Commission and its predecessor, the British Columbia Council of Human Rights, the federal Department of Justice, and the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

Simmi K. Sandhu

Simmi Sandhu is Chair & CEO of the Property Assessment Appeal Board (the 2nd level of property assessment appeals throughout the province).

In late 2018, she was also appointed by the United Nations General Assembly as a Judge on the United Nations Appeal Tribunal, the second level of appeal of the United Nations Internal Justice System.

Since July 2012, she has also served as the part-time Vice-Chair of the Surface Rights Board.

She has a bachelor of arts in political science (U.B.C.) and a bachelor of laws (U.B.C.), and was called to the bar of B.C. in 1990. She has training in mediation and alternative dispute resolution, including online dispute resolution.

As a lawyer, she has worked in house for I.C.B.C., the Public Guardian & Trustee, and in private practice. Her areas of practice included administrative law, civil litigation, corporate/commercial law and real estate transactions, appearing before the Provincial Court of BC, BC Supreme Court, Federal Court of Appeal, IRB, HRT, and others.

In 1995, she was appointed as a chairperson of the E.I. Board of Referees (currently the Social Services Tribunal), hearing employment insurance appeals.

Simmi is past president, secretary, and director of the BC Council of Administrative Tribunals (B.C.C.A.T.). She teaches their various courses including i) Administrative Justice for Decision Makers, ii) Foundations of Administrative Justice (Post Secondary Educational Institutions), iii) Decision-writing, and iv) Hearing Skills.

Recently, Simmi assisted in developing a workshop for decision makers on Intercultural Competency and Implicit Bias.

In 2014, B.C.C.A.T. awarded Simmi with its Award for Exceptional Service to the Administrative Justice Community.

Iain Macdonald

Iain Macdonald began his association with administrative law in March 1986 when he was appointed to the Workers’ Compensation Review Board where, in addition to deciding thousands of appeals, he served as training and education coordinator (1987 – 1993), and quality assurance coordinator (2000 – 2003). He was appointed in March 2003 as a vice-chair of the newly formed Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal. In December 2010, after completing nearly 25 years as an administrative law decision maker, during which he chaired well over a thousand hearings and wrote thousands of decisions, he retired from government service and joined the advocacy group at the British Columbia Government Employees Union.

Iain is an interprovincially certified journeyman electrician and former president of Local 213 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. He majored in English and minored in Kinesiology at Simon Fraser University.

In 1999, Iain was elected Treasurer of the British Columbia Council of Administrative Tribunals (BCCAT) and served in that capacity for six years. He continued to sit on the BCCAT Board and completed a term as President (2008 – 2010). He served for five years on the BCCAT Publication and Communications Committee, and is currently a long-standing member of both the Education, and Annual Conference Committees. He is a qualified instructor for BCCAT Decision Writing, Administrative Justice, and Hearing Skills courses and coordinates the Post-Secondary Decision Makers and Hearing Skills workshops.

Tonie Beharrell

Tonie Beharrell is in-house legal counsel to the Health Sciences Association of British Columbia, and head of its legal department. From December 2002 to December 2011, Tonie was a full-time member of the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. In that role she adjudicated and mediated a broad spectrum of issues arising under the B.C. Human Rights Code. Prior to joining the Tribunal, Tonie was an Associate at the firm of Heenan Blaikie, practising in the areas of labour, employment, human rights, and administrative law. Tonie has been a member of BCCAT since 2003, is the Course Coordinator for the Administrative Justice for Decision Makers course, and also teaches the Decision Writing and Hearing Skills Workshop.

Zahra H. Jimale

Zahra is a lawyer, mediator, educator and a member of the Property Assessment Appeal Board. She is currently in-house counsel at WorkSafeBC in the role of Quality Manager in the Policy, Regulation, and Research Division. She is also the founder of Jimale Law Corporation and Associate Faculty in the School of Humanitarian Studies at Royal Roads University. Active in her community, among other volunteer commitments, Zahra is a member and the former Chair of the Access to Justice Committee CBABC and a Board Director for the International Institute for Child Rights and Development. Zahra holds a Master of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Victoria and a Restorative Justice Certificate from Simon Fraser University.

Deanie Kolybabi

Deanie began her career involved with airline mergers and then as time progressed found herself immersed in the broadcast industry where she spent the bulk of her career.  During that time she was consulted for input to the Heritage Task Force for Diversity in broadcast, and a co-creator of SABAR (Strategic Alliance of Broadcasters for Aboriginal Reflection) which is still cited as a best practise by CAB. Deanie is proudest of her work to empower and advance marginalized populations and for the past ten years has devoted her practise to not-for-profit organizations who share this passion.   As a proud woman of Inuit descent she is an advocate for inclusion and diversity in all aspects of her personal and professional life.   Deanie has served on several Boards and is currently on the Hospital Appeals Tribunal.

David Bird

David Bird joined the Environmental Appeal Board, Forest Appeal Commission and the Oil and Gas Appeal Tribunal as a Vice Chair—Service Delivery in June 2020. His career began with the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board in 1994, working the last several years as a case manager. In 2003, David moved to British Columbia to join the Workers’ Advisers Branch (Ministry of Labour) as a Workers’ Adviser representing injured workers with their workers compensation claims. In 2006, he became an Arbitrator / Dispute Resolution Officer with the Residential Tenancy Branch, resolving disputes between landlords and tenants. In 2011, David joined the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation as an Implementation Manager where he developed and negotiated solutions to implement tripartite treaties with First Nations communities. In 2014, David was appointed as a Vice Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT). In 2016, he took over the role as Vice Chair and Deputy Registrar of WCAT.

Shannon Beckett

Shannon Beckett is an adjudicator with the BC Human Rights Tribunal. Prior to this role, she was the Executive Director of a cluster of four tribunals based in Victoria. Shannon has extensive experience advising administrative tribunals on matters of law and policy, and has practised law in the areas of labour and employment law, human rights law, and professional regulatory law. In 2011, she served as a Judicial Law Clerk with the BC Supreme Court. Shannon has also worked for an Independent Officer of the Legislature where she investigated the critical injuries and deaths of children and youth receiving government services. In addition to her role as co-president of BCCAT, she teaches BCCAT courses on Decision Writing, Administrative Procedure and Hearing Skills.

Sherelle Goodwin

Sherelle Goodwin became a lawyer in B.C. in 2000. She initially practiced civil litigation, with a focus on personal injury matters, then practiced primarily criminal law, with a focus on federal offences. In 2007, Ms. Goodwin joined the custodianship department of the Law Society of B.C., where she took control of and wound up law practices in a variety of legal areas.

In 2014, Ms. Goodwin was appointed as a full-time vice chair of the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT), where she adjudicated workers compensation and prohibited action appeals. From 2019 to 2020, Ms. Goodwin was a WCAT Deputy Registrar, where she addressed procedural and preliminary matters in WCAT appeals. She continues to act as a part-time vice chair.

Ms. Goodwin was appointed as a part-time member of the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) in 2017, and a full-time member in 2020. At the CRT, Ms. Goodwin adjudicates civil law disputes about small claims, strata, societies and co-op matters. She also decides preliminary and summary matters within CRT disputes.

Shelina Shivji

Shelina Shivji graduated from Simon Fraser University in 1989 after obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics/Business.  She initially worked in the health care sector and then in the private sector in the communications field.  In 1993, she began to work as an Industrial Relations Officer with the Ministry of Labour at which time she also provided consultative services to the Labour Relations Board and the Human Rights Tribunal. In 2001, she was appointed as a Vice Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal.