Keynote Panel: The Importance of Collecting Race-Based Data Across the Health Care and Justice Systems

Monday, November 4th, 2019

3:00pm – 4:00pm

This panel discussion will focus on the importance of collecting race-based data across the health care and justice systems in Ontario. The collection of race-based statistics is critical in order to improve interactions for racialized populations with mental health and addictions issues and increase awareness about the impact of racialization on the health care and justice systems. It is also important to track the pathways of racialized populations and increase transparency within the justice system; and to provide helpful information that could be used in the development of criminal justice, health and social policy.

The panel discussion aims to facilitate cooperation between sectors, improving police, court, corrections and health care relations with our client population and eliminating harms or fatalities in the future. Each panelist will share the critical issues, options and recommendations from their professional vantage point as well as from their lived experience as members of racialized communities in Ontario.


Renu Mandhane (Moderator)

Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission

Renu Mandhane was appointed Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission in October 2015. She is the former Executive Director of the award-winning International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. She has an LL.M in international human rights law from New York University. Renu began her practice focused on criminal law, and in that capacity,  she represented many survivors of sexual violence and prisoners. Renu has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada and the United Nations. Most recently, Renu was recognized by Canadian Lawyer magazine as one of Canada’s most influential lawyers for her advocacy related to solitary confinement.

Inspector Stacy Clarke

Toronto Police Service

Inspector Stacy Clarke is the second in command at 14 Division, which includes priority and community response officers, district special constables, civilian and auxiliary members.  She was a co-chair of the Police and Community Engagement Review (PACER) for the Toronto Police Service.

Stacy’s diverse policing career has included working in primary and community response units, intelligence, homicide, criminal investigative bureau, professional standards and the Toronto Police College.  She is known for implementing the Province’s Street check Legislation.  This was one of her many accomplishments as Master Trainer and Controller of legislation 58/16 – The Collection of Identifying Information in Certain Circumstances.  She continually communicates her honest belief in the advancement of policing and efforts to reinforce community trust and, simultaneously, effective policing.

Stacy is a believer in continued education. She has received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology and has completed many leadership programs such as the FBI Leeda Trilogy.  She is a 2018 Civic Action Fellow and is one of the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women for 2018. 

Stacy gives much of her success to her strong Jamaican upbringing and remains most proud of her two children, Jahnya and Kafany.  Inspector Clarke often speaks to the importance of being determined with direction.  In 2017, she created her why statement that reads in part, “My goal is not to live forever but to create something that will”.

Notisha Massaquoi

Community Leader

Notisha Massaquoi is originally from Sierra Leone and is a highly respected expert in designing programs and services which aim to increase access to primary healthcare for Black women. During her lengthy career she has facilitated the development of several health organizations for Black communities in Canada including Africans in Partnership Against AIDS and the African Resource Centre.  She recently retired after 21 years as the Executive Director of Women’s Health in Women’s Hands which is the only community health centre in Canada which specifically provides primary healthcare for racialized women. Her research and numerous publications have focused on the use of health equity data to improve health outcomes for Black women as well as the impact of racism on the health and wellbeing of Black communities.  Notisha is currently a lecturer at the Ryerson University Faculty of Social Work and she is the Co-Chair of the Anti-Racism Advisory Panel of the Toronto Police Services Board which was recently responsible for producing the first mandatory race based data collection policy for a police service in Canada.

Kimberly Roach

Racialized Community Strategy Lead – Legal Aid Ontario

Kimberly Roach joined Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) in 2015 as policy counsel and lead of LAO’s Racialized Communities Strategy. Prior to her arrival at LAO, she was at the Rexdale Community Legal Clinic where she was staff lawyer for 4 years. While at the Rexdale Community Legal Clinic, Kimberly assisted in development of holistic strategies that leveraged partnerships with community agencies and LAO to address the needs of low income and vulnerable individuals. Kimberly has worked as a legal service provider in all regions of the province (GTA, North Central East and Southwest) served by LAO, and is keenly aware of the issues faced by racialized and vulnerable communities in different areas of the province.

In addition to an LL.B from the University of Ottawa, Kimberly also holds a B.A. Honours in History and Political Science and an M.A. in History  with a focus on the African Diaspora.

Tanya L. Sharpe

Associate Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto 

Tanya Sharpe joined the Factor-Inwentash Faculty in July 2018 after serving as an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Social Work for 11 years. She received her Ph.D. in Social Work from Boston College located in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Sharpe is a community-based researcher who is passionately committed to the development of culturally responsive approaches and sustainable opportunities allowing Black communities to thrive in the face of homicide violence. Her research examines sociocultural factors that influence the coping strategies of Black family members and friends of homicide victims. She has developed culturally appropriate interventions and best practices designed to assist African-American survivors of homicide victims in the management of their grief and bereavement. Her comprehensive Model of Coping for African-American Survivors of Homicide Victims (MCAASHV) (Sharpe, 2015) has informed the development of a psychosocial educational intervention (Sharpe, Iwamoto, Massey & Michalopoulos, 2018), and a tool of measurement designed to assess the needs and coping strategies of African American survivors of homicide victims.

Through interdisciplinary collaborations, Dr. Sharpe will utilize her track record of diverse community engagement to expand upon her seminal research findings by advancing our understanding and delivery of services to African, Caribbean and Black survivors of homicide victims throughout our global community. Tanya’s expertise also includes: Mass Violence and Disaster Research; Qualitative Research Methods; Suicide Prevention and Education Research; and Community Organizing and Program Development.

Dr. Sharpe currently holds the Endowed Chair in Social Work in the Global Community at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and is the recipient of multiple awards: Boston College School of Social Work’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the Governor of Maryland’s Victim Assistance Award, the NASW Maryland Chapter’s 2016 Social Work Educator of the Year, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Diversity Recognition Award for Outstanding University of Maryland, Baltimore Faculty, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Special Recognition Award for co-developing a course entitled Freddie Gray-Baltimore: Past, Present and Moving Forward, and the University of Maryland’s Organization of African-American Students in Social Work’s Inaugural Spotlight Award.

Keynote Panel: A Discussion with Ontario Deputy Ministers

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

9:00am – 10:30am

The HSJCC Network was established to facilitate better coordination of resources and services, and plan more effectively for people with unique needs who come into contact with the criminal justice system. This important intersectoral work is made possible by the collaborative efforts of the Network’s four partner ministries. This panel brings together Deputy Ministers from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of the Solicitor General, Ministry of the Attorney General and Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services to share updates on their work in support of the Network’s priority populations, including Ontarians living with mental health and addictions issues, acquired brain injuries, developmental disabilities, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Join us for this important conversation which will touch on topics of interest to Local, Regional and Provincial HSJCC members.


Sara Dias (Moderator)

Executive Director, Canadian Mental Health Association Kenora Branch and Provincial HSJCC Co-Chair

Sara Dias is the Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Kenora Branch. Sara has completed a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Criminology and a Minor in Native Studies, as well as a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Social work all from the University of Manitoba. Sara has also completed a Diploma in Health Care Management through the Ontario Hospital Association and has been the Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Kenora Branch since 2014.

Sara was instrumental in initiating the Mental Health Court in Kenora. In addition, her thesis research was focused on examining the Mental Health Court in Kenora and whether or not the court reduced individuals contact with the criminal justice system and with hospital emergency rooms.

Sara is the Co-Chair of the Kenora Rainy River District HSJCC, the Northwest Regional Centre of Responsibility and the Provincial HSJCC. Sara was also appointed to the Kenora Police Services Board in 2018 and in 2019 has been appointed as the chair for this Board.

Paul Boniferro

Deputy Attorney General

Paul Boniferro became Ontario’s Deputy Attorney General on January 3, 2018. Prior to joining the ministry, Paul was a partner with McCarthy Tétrault in their National Labour and Employment Group, practicing in both Toronto and Calgary. As partner, Paul held several management roles and served on the Senior Leadership Team as National Leader of Practices and People, playing a leadership role in the management of the firm’s multiple offices and practice groups.
Paul has also served as a senior policy advisor to the Ontario Minister of Labour, working on wide range of policy and program initiatives. He provided expert and strategic advice on complex labour and employee relations issues that required a high level of sensitivity, insight and collaboration.

Paul holds a BA in Political Science from the Western University (1987) and received his LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1991. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1993 and the Alberta Bar in 1997.

Mario Di Tommaso

Deputy Solicitor General, Community Safety

Mario Di Tommaso was appointed Deputy Minister of Community Safety in October 2018 and became Deputy Solicitor General, Community Safety, when the Ministry became the Ministry of the Solicitor General in April 2019.

Previously, Mario held the rank of Staff Superintendent of Communities and Neighbourhood Command with the Toronto Police Service. Mario has more than 38 years of progressive policing experience in community safety, homicide, major crime, intelligence, national security, drug investigations, major incident management, community relations, professional standards, and divisional policing.

Mario held several positions over his career at the Toronto Police Service and served on various committees, the Mayor’s Committee on Supervised Injection and Overdose Prevention sites and the Toronto Drug Strategy Implementation Panel, among others. Mario also co-chaired the Chief of Police’s Muslim Community Consultative Committee.

Mario holds a bachelor’s degree in Justice Studies from the University of Guelph Humber and a Certificate in Law Enforcement and Administration from the University of Toronto and is a Graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police. He also holds the Certified Municipal Manager designation. In 2017, Mario graduated from the IALG – Pearls in Policing Program, a Senior International Police Leadership Program.

Melanie Fraser

Associate Deputy Minister, Health Services

Melanie Fraser was appointed the Associate Deputy Minister, Health Services in October 2018. Known as an effective organizational transformation leader, Melanie is driving health system’s transformation while focusing on the patient, quality, effectiveness and efficiency of the system.
Prior to her current role, Melanie held several senior positions. Most recently, she was the Corporate Chief Information Officer. She has also held the role of the Chief Administrative Officer/Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services Division with Treasury Board Secretariat; Director of Operational Services for the Death Investigation System supporting the Office of the Chief Coroner & Ontario Forensic Pathology Service; and Chief Financial Officer and Director of Executive Support to the Deputy Minister, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

Before she started her career in the Ontario government, Melanie worked for a Mutual Fund and Securities dealer in Toronto’s financial district. Melanie is a graduate of the Executive Development Program at the Richard Ivey School of Business and holds a Masters and Honours Bachelor of Arts from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Janet Menard

Deputy Minister, Children, Community and Social Services

Janet Menard was appointed Deputy Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Deputy Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues in June 2018. She previously served as Deputy Minister of Community and Social Services and Deputy Minister Responsible for Poverty Reduction, bringing with her nearly 40 years of experience in the field of human services from Peel and Halton Regions and the City of Toronto.

Janet was named the Commissioner of Human Services at Peel in 2009 following leadership roles in Social Services and Housing. There, she led the integration of human services and child care transformation to align with full-day kindergarten. Janet has been on numerous community boards, including mental health, supportive housing, legal clinics and community planning, as well as the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association and the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association.

In 2018, Janet was recognized as a Distinguished Alumna of Renison University College (University of Waterloo) and received the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association’s Champion of Human Services Award.

Deborah Richardson

Deputy Solicitor General, Correctional Services

Deborah Richardson is well-known for her caring and collaborative style. Her proficiency at building relationships has resulted in wide-ranging, positive impacts across the Ontario Public Service.

Deborah obtained her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Law from Carleton University, completed her Bachelor of Laws at the University of Ottawa, and was called to the Bar in 1996. She began her career in criminal law and then moved into the finance industry, where she worked in business banking before becoming the Manager of Diversity for the Royal Bank of Canada.

In 2014, Deborah became Deputy Minister of the Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Affairs. She has led province-wide, comprehensive reconciliation efforts with Indigenous peoples, including a provincial response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action; initiatives geared towards ending violence against Indigenous women and girls; resolving land claims; implementing OPS-wide Indigenous Cultural Competency Training; and many economic development initiatives.

In July 2019, she was appointed Deputy Solicitor General, Correctional Services, responsible for the operations and progressive strategic direction of one of Ontario’s largest ministries.
Deborah is a proud Mi’gmaq woman with strong ties to her home community of Pabineau First Nation in New Brunswick.