Instructor Biographies

Instructor Biographies

Cheryl L. Vickers

Cheryl’s practice focusses on dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration, administrative law, real property assessment law, and strata law. She is available for judicial review and appellate work arising from the administrative justice sector, and for commercial mediations and arbitrations. She is a Chartered Arbitrator and member of the Real Estate Institute of B.C.

Cheryl chaired BC’s Property Assessment Appeal Board from 2003 to 2015, and served as Vice-Chair from 1995-2003. Since 2007, Cheryl has chaired BC’s Surface Rights Board, a tribunal exercising jurisdiction under the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act and other statutes to resolve surface lease and right of way disputes between landowners and the holders of subsurface rights. She is a member of the Hospital Appeal Board and a designated hearing officer for the Registrar of Mortgage Brokers.

From March 2013 to April 2014, Cheryl served as Acting Chair of BC’s new Civil Resolution Tribunal, assisting with the development of Canada’s first on-line tribunal to help citizens resolve strata and small claims disputes.

Cheryl was active in the development of the British Columbia Council of Administrative Tribunals (BCCAT), and served for many years as a member of that organization’s Board of Directors, including as its President from 2004-2006. She assisted with curriculum development for BCCAT courses to offer training to appointees of quasi-judicial boards and tribunals and is an instructor of the Foundations of Administrative Justice for Administrative Decision Makers and Foundations of Administrative Justice for Staff courses, as well as the Decision Writing and Hearing Skills Workshops.

Cheryl has presented at conferences of the British Columbia Council of Administrative Tribunals, the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals, the Continuing Legal Education Society, the Canadian Property Tax Association and the Appraisal Institute of Canada on a variety of subjects. She serves on the editorial boards of two CLE Practice Manuals – Real Property Assessment and Administrative Law.

In October 2009, Cheryl received BCCAT’s Recognition Award for outstanding contribution to administrative justice.

Cheryl currently participates in the British Columbia Access to Justice Committee.

* Law Corporation

Sharon Cahill Kearney

Sharon has an honours bachelor of arts degree in english and a law degree, both from UBC. She has practised administrative law for 30 years in both public practice with the BC Government and private practice with two national law firms, specializing in labour and human rights law.

Sharon also served on the BC Labour Relations Board for seven and a half years as a Vice Chair where she adjudicated and mediated hundreds of disputes under the BC Labour Relations Code. She has been trained in mediation and alternate dispute resolution.

Sharon is also a Certified Instructor and regularly teaches a variety of courses to administrative adjudicators, often through her volunteer work with the BC Council of Administrative Tribunals (BCCAT). Sharon is a past Vice-President of BCCAT and has chaired its Annual Conference. She is a Member of its Education Committee and is the Coordinator of its Decision Writing Workshop. Sharon regularly develops and delivers a number of BCCAT courses and workshops each year.

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.

Jessie Horner

Jessie Horner is recently retired from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, where she taught and developed courses in legal systems, administrative and regulatory law, human rights and criminal law, and served a term as department chair for the Criminology Department. She is a lawyer, now retired from the Law Society of BC, and has practiced law for over 15 years in Saskatchewan and British Columbia, first in a clinical practice with the Saskatchewan Legal Aid Commission, then in private practice with the Saskatoon firm, Singer Beckie Windels and Walen, as an advocate and counsel with the West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association and as a sole practitioner in Vancouver. She has extensive adjudication experience as member and chair of BCs Liquor Appeal Board and Commercial Appeals Commission and chair of BCs Motion Picture Appeal Board. She has also served on the Research Ethics Board and Student Appeals Committee at Kwantlen. She has facilitated many courses for BCCAT since its inception. and assisted from time to time in training the trainers and course development.

She has also worked for several community groups and agencies, including the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, the Elizabeth Fry Society of Saskatchewan, the Boys and Girls Club of Saskatoon, and Vancouver’s West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association as a volunteer. She has written an introductory textbook on the Canadian legal system, and co-chaired and presented papers at several academic conferences. Her research interests have been around decision-making particularly in the context of immigration. She is an avid golfer, and has often served on the executive of her golf clubs.

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.

Lisa Hirose-Cameron

Lisa Hirose-Cameron has been a practicing lawyer and member of the Law Society of British Columbia since 1996. She currently works at WorkSafeBC as senior manager in the Compensation Practice and Quality Department. Her adjudicative experience includes working as a review officer with WorkSafeBC’s Review Division and as a vice chair and deputy registrar with the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal. Her prior work experience includes working as a criminal defense and personal injury lawyer, as provincial crown counsel and as senior manager in WorkSafeBC’s Legal Department overseeing the adjudication of discriminatory action complaints.

Zahra H. Jimale LLB LLM (she,her,hers)

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.


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