About

As a publicly funded, non-profit organization, we provide affordable legal services in family law, domestic violence, child welfare, immigration, and youth and adult criminal defense.

Vision

An Alberta where everyone is able to understand and protect their legal rights.

Mission

We provide legal services and expertise to individuals and the legal community to support fairness in the justice system.

Governance

As a registered society incorporated under the provincial Societies Act, Legal Aid Alberta is an organization independent from government, but is accountable to the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General and to the Law Society of Alberta.

In 2018, a new tripartite agreement was signed with Legal Aid Alberta, the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, and the Law Society of Alberta.

Values

Our organization strives to always focus on what matters, to stay true to our values in everything we do. These values are the underpinning of our organization, reflecting on what is truly important to us and guide us in the decisions we make every day.

We Are One

We work together in a collaborative and supportive manner to deliver unwavering and innovative services to our clients as one unified organization.

We Are Protectors

We serve Albertans, often the most vulnerable of us, and work tirelessly to protect their rights and to ensure a fair process.

We Are Exceptional

We are experts at what we do and we continually strive for improvement.

We Are Independent

We operate and provide legal counsel free from outside involvement.

Publications

Read our annual report, board minutes, and rules and policies.

Executive Team

Our executive team takes direction from the board of directors and leads operations for Legal Aid Alberta. The team creates policies, plans, and budgets that support board decisions.

Gianpaolo (John) Panusa

President and Chief Executive Officer

Reporting to the board of directors, John is responsible for the executive planning and coordination of the organization. He also represents the organization in dealing with Alberta Justice, the Law Society of Alberta, the federal government, other legal aid plans in Canada, the legal community, and the public.

Steve Burford

Vice President, Finance and Technology

Steve ensures our systems and infrastructure enable our front-line staff to deliver legal services to our clients. He oversees the facilities, purchasing, and finance departments. This includes preparing budgets, business plans, and sustainability plans for the board of directors and Legal Aid Alberta funders.

Lori Haughian

Vice President, Justice Services

Lori leads, directs, and oversees all client services functions. This includes client intake and assessment, appointing, client payments, and certificate and tariff administration. Lori also guides and oversees the day-to-day operations of the staff law offices and the corporate law and case management group.

Doug Ingersoll

General Counsel and Advisory Counsel Services

Doug oversees Legal Aid Alberta processes, training, and strategic initiatives to safeguard quality of services for clients. He also ensures that Legal Aid Alberta conducts business to the highest ethical standards, aligns with best practices, and eliminates or mitigates all legal, regulatory, and commercial risks.

Board of Directors

Legal Aid Alberta is governed and guided by a carefully chosen board of directors. The board makes decisions that are carried out by our executive and management teams.

Our board of directors consists of up to six Alberta lawyers and at least five public members with diverse backgrounds.

Ryan Callioux

Chair

Edmonton, Alberta
Director Since 2016
Membership Status: Chair

Called to the Alberta Bar in 2002, Callioux is an Edmonton-area lawyer who has dedicated his professional legal career to helping families and children. Practicing family law for the past 18 years, he is an experienced litigator on child welfare cases and has advised government on risk management initiatives to reduce domestic violence and enhance legal services to protect children. Callioux has been a member of the LAA Board since 2016.

Christine Hutchinson

Vice Chair

Tsuut’ina Nation (Calgary), Alberta
Director Since 2017
Membership Status: Vice Chair

Christine graduated with honours in sociology and Aboriginal justice, studied law at the University of Victoria, was a visiting scholar at Harvard University, and completed her Juris Doctor.

Peter A. Carter

Board Member

Edmonton, Alberta
Director Since 2014
Membership Status: Board Member

Peter has experience as owner/operator of Carter’s Travel and Cruises; administrative director for the Edmonton Art Gallery; and Controller, Western Canada then General Manager, Edmonton at North American Van Lines.

Jim Donihee

Board Member

Calgary, Alberta
Director Since 2014
Membership Status: Board Member

Jim has experience at Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, Pengrowth, the National Energy Board, and EnCana. A retired air force colonel and fighter pilot, he has been a NATO commander of forces, a NORAD commander, and a CFB base commander.

Owen Edmondson

Board Member

Edmonton, Alberta
Director Since 2017
Membership Status: Board Member

Owen has a BSc and an MBA, as well as CPA, CGA designations. He built a 32-year career with the ATCO Group of Companies, holding senior executive positions in finance and regulation.

Graham Johnson

Board Member

Edmonton, Alberta
Director Since 2014
Membership Status: Board Member

Graham is a criminal defence lawyer and partner at Dawson, Duckett, Shaigec & Garcia. He joined the Alberta Bar in 2006. While he lives in Edmonton, he also practices law regularly in Fort McMurray and in Fort Chipewyan.

Nancy Peck

Board Member

Calgary, Alberta
Director Since 2016
Membership Status: Board Member

Nancy is Chief Financial Officer of AltaCorp Capital Inc. She has over 25 years of financial experience with a formal accounting designation and has completed the Director’s Education Program with ICD.

Hilary Rose

Board Member

Edmonton, Alberta
Director Since 2016
Membership Status: Board Member

Hilary has served as treasurer and finance committee chair for not-for-profit boards and advisory committees, including the Edmonton Opera, Friends of Rutherford House, sporting organizations, and University of Alberta’s Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science and Technology (WISEST).

Daryl Royer

Board Member

Edmonton, Alberta
Director Since 2017
Membership Status: Board Member

A sole practitioner in Edmonton, Daryl joined the Alberta bar in 2003 and focuses on criminal law. Based in part on his Aboriginal heritage, he has a unique perspective on the responsibilities and duties of those involved in the development of legal services policy.

Deanna Steblyk, QC

Board Member

Calgary, Alberta
Director Since 2015
Membership Status: Board Member

Deanna attended the University of Alberta law school and joined the Alberta Bar in 1999. She practiced civil litigation for 10 years and has practiced at the Alberta Securities Commission since 2008. She is Senior Special Counsel to the Vice-Chairs of the Commission.

Michael Waite

Board Member

Calgary, Alberta
Director Since 2018
Membership Status: Board Member

Michael joined the Alberta Bar in 1999. He practices health law, employment law, estate litigation, and general commercial/civil litigation. He also has experience in family law and criminal law.

News

Media releases and stories that showcase our positive impact in homes and communities across Alberta.

Featured Cases

We work hard to navigate a complex justice system to protect the rights of all Albertans.

2019-2020 By the Numbers

Active representation certificates

Brydges calls

Distinct representations of clients

Find out how we can help you.