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July 13, 2022

Commission adds new counsel, staff members

July 13, 2022 (Ottawa) – The Public Order Emergency Commission is pleased to announce that its legal and administrative teams are taking shape with the addition of several lawyers and senior staff members who have recently joined the Commission.

The following counsel are now working with the Commission:

Senior Counsel Frank Au is an experienced Crown counsel who practices criminal law with a focus on appellate litigation.

Senior Counsel Erin Dann is a criminal defence lawyer and partner at Embry Dann LLP.

Counsel Alexandra Heine is an associate with Stockwoods LLP in Toronto practicing criminal, civil, public, and administrative law.

Counsel Étienne Lacombe holds an LLB from McGill and a a Master of Laws from the University of Cambridge. He recently worked he worked as a legal researcher at the Long-Term Care Homes Public Inquiry.

Senior Counsel Gabriel Poliquin is an experienced legal counsel and litigator having acted in numerous cases before the federal courts, as well as all levels of Ontario and New Brunswick courts.

Senior Counsel Natalia Rodriguez is a partner at Conway Baxter Wilson LLP in Ottawa where she practices civil litigation and dispute resolution.

Senior Policy Advisor Mark J. Freiman is as a lawyer and arbitrator in Toronto who appears regularly in high profile cases at all levels of the Canadian legal system.

Senior Policy Advisor Mark Sandler is widely recognized as one of Canada’s leading criminal defence lawyers and is the recipient of the G. Arthur Martin Criminal Justice Medal for his outstanding contributions to criminal justice.

Regional Counsel (British Columbia) Maia Tsurumi’s areas of expertise include civil and commercial litigation, class actions, constitutional rights, regulatory investigations, jurisdictional issues, administrative law and Aboriginal title and rights.


Executive Director Helene Laurendeau is a member in good standing of the Barreau du Québec since 1986. She began her career in private practice then joined the federal public service. She retired as Deputy Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Senior Communications Advisor Michael Tansey is a former journalist turned communications professional with over 30 years of experience in strategic communications planning, media relations and crisis communications.

Further details on the experience and qualifications of counsel and senior staff are available under the About tab on the Commission’s website.

The Commission continues to recruit personnel and will announce further counsel and staff in the coming weeks.