Susheel (Sush) Gupta was just 12 years old when his mother was murdered, along with 328 other innocent people, by terrorists on board Air India Flight 182 as it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland on June 23, 1985.
Shortly after this tragedy, Sush began his advocacy work at the age of 14, before deciding to embark on a career to work within the criminal justice system to do his part in trying to ensure no other Canadian or child ever endured a similar tragedy.
For over 30 years, Sush has been actively involved in victims’ rights issues, services required for victims of crime and victims of tragedies in all forms and assisting in seeking out better laws to protect and serve Canadians. Currently, he is the Senior Strategic Operations Advisor with the RCMP Federal Policing and National Security Section. Previous roles include as a Federal Prosecutor with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (formerly part of the Department of Justice), the Vice-Chairperson of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, Special Advisor to the CEO of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority and Counsel with the DOJ War Crimes Section.
Sush is also the Spokesperson and a Director of the Air India Flight 182 Victims Families Association and was a driving force for the creation of the Public Inquiry into the Air India bombing.
In addition to being Chair of the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime, Sush is also devotes his time to a wide array of organizations including;
- Member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) National Working Group on responding to Victims of Terrorism and Mass Violence
- Member of International Network Supporting Victims of Terrorism and Mass Violence (INVICTM)
- Advisor to the EU Centre of Expertise for Victims of Terrorism.
Susheel was co-Chair of the Kanishka Project Steering Committee which oversaw a $10 million grants budget towards research to assist first responders, victims of terrorism and strengthen Canada’s counter-terrorism and national security agenda.
Susheel’s work has attracted many awards including;
- The University of Waterloo Arts Alumni Award (2018)
- The Ontario Bar Association’s President’s Award (2016)
- Inaugural recipient of the Ontario Justice Education Network’s Chief Justice Lennox Award for community involvement
- Deputy Minister of Justice Humanitarian Award
- Recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Being both a victim of crime and terrorism as a child and a professional working in the criminal law field, Susheel brings a unique and well-equipped background and knowledge to numerous issues impacting victims of crime.
Anne Gagne CPA, CGA began her career in the Canadian Federal Public Service in 1970, working in financial support positions. She left in 1974 to raise a family and returned to the workforce in 1985. In 1987 she began to study part-time (evenings) to obtain a professional accounting designation. She successfully completed and was awarded, her Certified General Accountant designation in June 1995. She has held progressively more responsible positions in various departments in the Public Service over a 30-year career in Finance/Resource and Program Management areas until her retirement in 2012 as the Chief Financial Officer of the Parole Board of Canada. Post-retirement she continued to work part-time as a strategic financial and resource management advisor to the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat until December 2017. She currently continues to work part-time as a consultant.
Anne’s voluntary experience includes having sat on the steering committee of the Small Agency Finance Action Group (SAFAG) before her retirement as well as being an active volunteer (Session Chair) with the organizing committee of the Financial Management Institute (FMI) Professional Development Week for 25 years.
J. Scott Kenney
J. Scott Kenney is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Scott’s interests include law and criminal justice, deviance, victimology, the sociology of health, social theory, social psychology and emotions.
His prior research includes studies of gender, self, coping and agency among families of homicide victims; reviews of the unintended consequences inherent in clients’ encounters with victim service programs; analysis of the interactional dynamics of restorative justice sessions; and a study of the construction of meaning among contemporary Freemasons. He is currently involved in studies of “illegitimate pain” in a variety of social contexts.
Mr. Stamatakis has sat on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Police Association (CPA) since 2003 and he has served as its President since May 2011. Tom was the former President of the Vancouver Police Union (VPU) from 1998-2019, as well as the immediate past President of the British Columbia Police Association (BCPA) from 2008-2019. In 2018, he was acclaimed for a second term as President of the International Council of Police Representative Associations (ICPRA) and continues in that role today.
Mr. Stamatakis has been a constable with the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) for approximately 30 years, where he enjoyed a variety of assignments prior to his secondment to the VPU. He also sits on the boards of Covington Capital, Odd Squad Productions Society, as well as several Federal/Provincial advisory boards and committees.
In 2017, he was promoted to Officer of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces in Canada.
Michael Tansey began his career as a broadcast journalist before moving into government in the early 1980s. After three years as a political assistant, he joined the Government of Ontario as a communications professional. He launched a successful consulting career in the Ottawa area in the mid-1990s. Since then, Michael has worked in every major policy area including Indigenous affairs, health, justice, the environment and intergovernmental affairs.
Michael served as the spokesperson and communications advisor to the Commission of Inquiry into the Bombing of Air India Flight 182, where he saw first-hand the devastating effects that crime can have on the family members of victims. The need to improve the resources and services available for victims of crime became apparent to him when one of his children suffered a serious assault in 2012.
Michael has been active as a minor hockey volunteer for many years. He is also an avid photographer. A native of Montreal, Michael is a graduate of Concordia University (Communications). He is comfortable in English and in French.
Shelley Trevethan is a consultant with expertise in the areas of research, the criminal justice system, Indigenous issues, government-related services, and organizational transformation.
Shelley began her career as a psychologist and worked for many years as a criminal justice researcher. Prior to consulting, she was the Chief Operating Officer of the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat with a mandate to resolve claims of abuse in Indian residential schools and provide support and healing opportunities for survivors of residential schools.
Other positions she held include: Chief Operating Officer of the Parole Board of Canada, Director General of Performance Audit at the Office of the Auditor General of Canada, and Director of Indigenous/Community Research at the Correctional Service of Canada.
Throughout her career, Ms. Trevethan has focused on issues relating to victims and offenders, including the over-representation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system, missing and murdered Indigenous women, and restorative justice. She has extensive experience relating to adjudicative processes, partnership building and government operations.
Jo-Anne Wemmers (Ph.D.) obtained her doctorate in criminology from the Faculty of Law at the University of Leiden (The Netherlands). She is currently a full Professor at the School of Criminology of the Université de Montréal, principal researcher at the International Centre for Comparative Criminology, and a member of the Canadian Partnership on International Justice. Former Secretary-General of the World Society of Victimology (2006-2009), Professor Wemmers has published widely in the areas of victimology, international criminal justice, and restorative justice. Her books include Victimology: A Canadian Perspective, (University of Toronto Press 2017), which has been translated into French (Les Presses de l’ Université de Québec, 2017). In 2015, she was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the World Society of Victimology for her contribution to victimology. She is currently Editor of the International Review of Victimology.