Category: board members

OVC Board Members

Date Issued: 

The OVC consists of a part-time Chair, a part-time Vice-Chair and six part-time members appointed by the government. All of the OVC members have special expertise in the area of victimization.

Stephen Tooshkenig

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Born and raised on Walpole Island First Nation, Steve Tooshkenig has been an inspiration to leaders North American wide. His words are heartfelt and his personal journey delivers a message of courage and hope.

Mr. Tooshkenig has golfed across North America as a touring golf professional and youth mentor. His strength on and off the golf course have kept him focused on challenges which are felt today by First Nations people. His true passion in life is to find Solutions!! He encourages through words, he challenges by experience but most of all he understands that he’s not alone.

Mr. Tooshkenig has travelled the red road of recovery sharing his testimony with others who have experienced addiction and despair. As a young child he had to endure difficult situations as he was sexually abused as a little boy. Mr. Tooshkenig shares his story of defeat, healing and courage. His story is impactful but offers a glimmer of hope for those still living in darkness. Mr. Tooshkenig understands that we are never truly alone and that our words offer healing and inspiration for others if we are willing to share in the goodness.

Today, Mr. Tooshkenig is married with 6 children. Has been a foster parent for two years and was recently honored with the Victim Service Award for Courage and Bravery. He travels across the globe offering his healing message to organizations who believe in the same message. That message is forgiveness, healing and strength.

Together we can make a difference but healing is a choice and a choice we must act upon.

Audette Shephard

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Audette Shephard’s only child Justin Garth Shephard was born on February 21, 1982 and was murdered on June 23, 2001, at the age of 19. Justin had been one of Canada’s most promising upcoming basketball players and he dreamed of joining his half-brother Jamaal Magloire in the NBA.

Out of much sorrow came much resolve for Ms. Shephard, as she developed a strong passion towards helping youth and finding solutions to end youth violence. Ms. Shephard co-founded UMOVE (United Mothers Opposing Violence Everywhere) shortly after Justin’s murder. UMOVE is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization comprised of a group of mothers who have lost children to senseless acts of violence and other supportive members from the community

Ms. Shephard has received numerous awards, most notably the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding Canadians who make a difference in our city and country (2012), the Scotiabank Global Transaction Banking’s “Woman of Distinction” award (2008), the “Global Citizen Award” (2008), the African Canadian Achievement Award (2008), the Maja Award for “Woman of Courage” (2006), and the Bob Marley Award for promoting peace in communities (2002). Ms. Shephard was also a member of former Toronto Mayor David Miller’s Advisory Committee for Community Safety.

She is currently a Manager, Trade Finance, Global Transaction Banking at Scotiabank. Ms. Shephard continues to be a strong advocate for justice, for support for victims of crime, and for community safety. She also volunteers with the Seventh Day Adventist Church Prison Ministry.

Louise Russo

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It was a very ordinary day in 2004. Louise Russo walked into a shop to get a sandwich for her daughter and it was the last time she would ever walk again. The mother of three was the innocent victim of a violent crime, when a single bullet shattered her spine and left her paralyzed forever.

Ms. Russo was determined that this senseless act of violence would have a positive outcome and she created a grass roots not-for-profit organization, Louise Russo W.A.V.E. (Working Against Violence Everyday), that received its charitable status in 2009.

Ms. Russo works diligently at inspiring youth and members of the community to take action, make positive choices and initiate projects that will make their schools and communities a safer place to live, learn and play.

Her contributions were acknowledged in 2008 with the YMCA Peace Medallion Award and the Toronto Catholic District School Board, Toronto Secondary Unit Award of Recognition.

Additionally in 2008, Ms. Russo received the Attorney General’s Victim Services Award of Distinction for her courage, determination and commitment to encouraging youth to be respectful, responsible and to take leadership roles in keeping their schools and communities safe.

Ms. Russo was a Proud Olympic Flame Torch Bearer for the Vancouver 2012 Olympics, and was asked to represent the citizens of Ontario at the swearing in ceremony of Canada’s Lieutenant Governor, David Johnston, in Ottawa

In 2013, Ms. Russo was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Heather Imming

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Heather Imming was a subcontracts manager in the aerospace industry before a series of brutal attacks by her estranged husband changed her life forever. Following a final beating that left her for dead, Ms. Imming worked courageously to assist the courts in a successful bid to have her abuser declared a Dangerous Offender, the first case in Canada where the Dangerous Offender legislation was applied strictly on the basis of Violence against Women.

Since 1997, Ms. Imming has been an outspoken advocate and educator on issues of Violence against Women, and continues to ensure that the victims with whom she meets are connected to appropriate and safe resources that can meet their needs. She is the founder of the consumer group “Share Our Strength”, and she has also served in the community with the Lanark Coalition Against Violence, the Lanark County Domestic Violence Court Advisory Committee, the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Protocol Committee, the Lanark County Interval House and the Domestic Violence Grant Management Team. She also is a member of the Connecting on Disability and Abuse committee (CODA) in Ottawa.

Ms. Imming was part of the initial advisory committee that developed the Victimology Graduate Certificate Program at Algonquin College, and given her expertise, she continues to serve as the Chair of the Advisory Committee for this academic program.

Laurence Lustman

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Ms. Lustman is a lawyer with over 20 years of experience in the area of violence against women and criminal law. Ms. Lustman began her career as an Assistant Crown Attorney prosecuting a wide range of criminal offences, including domestic violence and sexual offences. She was responsible for the implementation and administration of the Early Intervention Domestic Violence Court (the first of its kind in Ontario) and the Coordinated Prosecution Domestic Violence Court at the North York, Ontario courthouse.

In 2008, Ms. Lustman obtained her Master of Laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School; her research examined the intersection of domestic violence and criminal law and explored the challenges of integrating the voices of victims into the criminal justice system.

Ms. Lustman’s next position was as Policy counsel on violence against women issues with the Policy Branch of the Criminal Law Division of the Ministry of the Attorney General. In that capacity she provided strategic and operational leadership on violence against women initiatives, programs, and policies for the prosecution service of Ontario.

She currently works as an independent consultant specializing in the area of policy development, domestic violence and criminal law and is a Community Research Associate with the Centre for Research and Education on Violence against Women and Children at the University of Western Ontario.

Ruth Campbell

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Ruth Campbell is a nationally recognized and award winning author, trainer and expert in victimology, with more than 25 years of counselling, teaching and community service experience with national and international organizations. She is a former Adjudicator with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and was a Crisis Counsellor with the Ottawa Police Service. Ms. Campbell created and developed the Graduate Certificate Program in Victimology at Algonquin College, the first academic program of its kind in Canada.

In 2011, Ms. Campbell was appointed as an independent Adjudicator with the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat, a position she continues to hold. The Secretariat was established pursuant to conditions set out in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the largest class action in Canadian history. She is a member of the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institutes of both Canada and Ontario, and the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.