Hilary C. McCormack, LL.B.
Hilary McCormack was appointed Chairperson of the Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada (MPCC), effective October 5, 2015.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. McCormack was Director of Crown Operations (East Region) at the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, a position she had held since 2009. As Regional Crown Attorney, she supervised 10 Crown Attorney offices and was responsible for criminal prosecutions and summary conviction appeals in Eastern Ontario. In addition to her management duties, Ms. McCormack continued to prosecute many high profile and complex trials. She received the Ministry of the Attorney General Excelsior Deputy’s Award in 2010.
Ms. McCormack graduated from the University of Western Ontario’s law school. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in 1980, she was in private practice for three years before joining the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General as Assistant Crown Attorney in 1983. She was seconded to the federal Department of Justice in 1992. Her work as General Counsel, Criminal Law and Policy, resulted in amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada which enhanced the general protection of women and children from sexual and physical violence for which she received the Department of Justice Deputy Minister’s Merit Award in 1994.
She returned to the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General in 1994 where she continued to prosecute complex homicides and to develop her expertise in a number of criminal justice issues: child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence; best practices in case management and trial processes and mental health. Over the course of her career, she travelled to Thailand and Kosovo to provide legislative and policy advice in these areas and frequently hosted foreign delegations, including delegations from Russia, China, Afghanistan and the Palestinian Authority, on systemic issues and best practices.
Ms. McCormack prosecuted the first case in Canada to successfully use DNA evidence. She subsequently established an ad hoc committee to provide advice about the use of DNA evidence to Crown prosecution services and police services across Canada and internationally. She also worked on policy and legislative initiatives for both the DNA warrant provisions and the DNA data base which have transformed policing and prosecutions in Canada. This interest in facilitating transformative change also prompted her to implement a Drug Treatment Court, an Adult Mental Health Court and, for the first time in Canada, a Youth Mental Health Court while she was the Crown Attorney for Ottawa, an appointment she received in 2000, and the first woman to ever hold that position
Between 2000 and 2005, Hilary McCormack was a member of the Department of National Defence’s Military Police Advisory Committee which provided advice to senior military leadership about significant changes to the military police and their investigative capacity. The committee’s recommendations improved the military police’s relationship with civilian courts and prosecution services, and provided opportunities for enhanced police training and education.
Hilary McCormack has taught criminal law at the University of Ottawa, at the Bar Admission course, and served on the faculty of the Federation of Law Societies Criminal Law program. She is a frequent speaker at judicial, legal and police conferences, helped develop instructional material for the National Judicial Institute, and written and published extensively on various legal issues. She has served as a volunteer on the boards of directors and committees of not-for-profit organizations.
Troy DeSouza was appointed as a Commission Member in June 2015.
A long-time resident of Victoria, B.C., he has practiced law in British Columbia for the past 17 years, providing legal advice to local government clients. He has conducted litigation before administrative tribunals, appeal boards, and all levels of courts in British Columbia.
Mr. DeSouza is also an educator. He has created several courses for local government staff and elected officials. He is a member of several professional organizations, and is Co-Chair of the Municipal Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association, B.C. Branch.
Troy DeSouza is a graduate of the University of Windsor’s law school. He had a diverse career before being called to the Bar in 1998. He worked as a consultant for the Attorney General of Ontario, and served seven years in the Canadian Armed Forces where he obtained the rank of Captain.
Mr. Séguin joined the MPCC as a Commission Member in March 2014. He was the Interim Chairperson of the Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada (MPCC) from March 28, 2015 to October 4, 2015. Mr. Séguin has extensive operational policing experience, having spent 33 years with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). He is fluent in both French and English.
During his service with the RCMP, he held the position of Ethics and Integrity Advisor and adjudicated Code of Conduct hearings. Mr. Séguin retired from the RCMP in 2008 as Assistant Commissioner and the Commanding Officer of “O” Division (Ontario).
After his retirement from the RCMP, Mr. Séguin joined the House of Commons Administration as Director General, Parliamentary Accommodations Services, a post he held for five years.
Mr. Séguin was invested as an Officer of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces in May 2008.
Bonita Thornton was appointed as Commission Member in March 2018. Ms. Thornton is a lawyer, manager and military veteran with extensive government and regulatory experience in administrative and criminal law. She is currently the Manager of Investigations, Professional Conduct, with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario. She previously led the Investigations Department at the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Prior to moving into professional regulation, Ms. Thornton worked for twelve years as a lawyer and officer (obtaining the rank of Commander) with the Office of the Judge Advocate General, Canadian Forces. From 2006 until 2012 she held the position of Assistant Judge Advocate General, Central Region, where she oversaw five legal offices across Ontario and provided advice and training to military commanders, police and personnel on a broad spectrum of legal and operational issues. She deployed to Afghanistan in 2008‑2009 as the senior legal advisor to the Canadian Task Force in Kandahar.
Ms. Thornton grew up in Northern Ontario, graduated from Laurentian University and has worked across the country. She graduated from Queen’s Law School in 1997 and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1999. Ms. Thornton has received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal for her contributions to Canada and her community.
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