Two Nova Scotians Newly Appointed to Commission

Feb 12, 2024

Two Nova Scotians have recently been appointed to the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, with three more who have served previously reappointed.

Commissioners meet six times a year and are responsible for the strategic direction of the commission and making decisions on human rights issues, including referrals of complaints to boards of inquiry.

“Commissioners play an important role in the protection of the rights of Nova Scotians,” said Joseph Fraser, Director and CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. “Having a diversity of experience and perspectives at the table ensures critical decisions about human rights are informed by first-voice knowledge and insight.”

The two new appointees are:

Blair Eavis, Halifax, who holds a Juris Doctor of Law and has worked as a naval reserve officer with the Department of National Defence for almost 20 years, instructing officers in international law of the sea, naval operations and intelligence, and doing operational planning. He is on the board of directors of the Cobequid Cultural Society and the Sackville Rivers Association. He was a caseworker with student legal assistance at the University of Calgary for three years.

Natasha Pearl, Halifax, has worked as a legal assistant with Patterson Law and the Nova Scotia Legal Aid Commission where she coordinated and scheduled appeals, collaborated with African Nova Scotian and Indigenous social workers to provide support for clients, and administered and facilitated after-hours counselling. She is currently working at Nova Scotia Legal Aid’s Appeals Office, serving as a legal assistant for Criminal and Family appeals.

The three Nova Scotians who previously served terms as commissioners and have been reappointed are:

Monica Paris, Halifax, has been an information technology systems analyst with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) since 1998. She was a member and co-chair of the CRA employment equity and diversity committee for 12 years and has been on the board of directors and a union steward with the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada since 2009. Ms. Paris was first appointed as a commissioner on November 1, 2019.

Robin Thompson, Halifax, is Cree Métis from Treaty 1 Territory and a member of the Manitoba Métis Federation. She holds a business diploma, a bachelor of arts degree with an advanced major in social and criminal justice from St. Francis Xavier University, and a Juris Doctor from the Schulich School of law. Ms. Thompson has a diploma in International Human Rights from the United Nations and is a practising member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. She has 20 years of senior management experience developing governance capacity within Indigenous communities and is a strong advocate for First Nations self-determination. She is currently the governance manager for the Union of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq and serves on the non-profit board of the Centre for First Nations Governance and is a Gladue writer with the Mi'kmaq Legal Support Network. She was first appointed as a commissioner on December 18, 2020.

Theodore Morrison, Glace Bay, is a retired schoolteacher of 35 years, a recipient of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal, a Schwartz Spreading Cheer Award, and a volunteer for 18 years as a cook at the Glace Bay Food Bank Society. Mr. Morrison has faced many challenges as a person with a physical disability. His goal is to help students with disabilities overcome challenges they encounter and continue advocating for accessibility rights of Nova Scotians. Mr. Morrison was first appointed to the Human Rights Commission in 1999.

Commissioners are appointed by an order of Executive Council. The new commissioners were appointed to a three-year term on February 9.