BCFIRB Members, Staff & Appointments

BCFIRB is made up of part-time members appointed by the Lieutenant General in Council (board), who are supported by staff.

Members and staff have skills and expertise in areas such as:

  • Agri-food production, marketing or processing
  • Consumer representation
  • Land-use planning
  • Animal welfare
  • Facilitation and mediation
  • Regulatory or quasi-judicial environments

On-going training and education opportunities focus on building and updating member and staff skills and expertise.

BCFIRB Chair, Mr John LesChair, Mr John Les
Mr. Les's appointment term is November 30, 2013 to November 30, 2019.

John Les is a life-long resident of Chilliwack who was born and raised on a dairy farm. In addition to careers in farming and real estate, he served 28 years in publicly-elected office, three years as a Councillor, thirteen years as Mayor of Chilliwack and twelve years as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. During those years he also served as Chair of the Fraser Valley Regional District for nine years, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Trustee of the Municipal Finance Authority, Minister of Small Business Economic Development, and Solicitor General. In addition he has served on numerous boards, committees and agencies in various capacities.


BCFIRB Member, Ms Corey Van't Haaff

Vice  Chair, Ms Corey Van't Haaff
Ms. Van't Haaff's appointment term is November 8, 2012 to November 30, 2018.

Corey Van’t Haaff is a journalist with adjudicator experience on tribunals (what is now the Council of Veterinarians of B.C. Inquiry Committee, the Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal and the Hospital Appeal Board). She was Returning Officer for the past four federal elections, and has special interest and experience in animal welfare, a subject she writes about and includes in a quarterly periodical she edits.


BCFIRB Member, Ms Daphne StancilMember, Ms Daphne Stancil
Ms. Stancil's appointment term is June 22, 2014 to July 31, 2018.

Daphne Stancil completed a multi-year term in late 2013 as Chair of the British Columbia Chicken Marketing Board and in 2014 was appointed to the Environmental Appeal Board and later to the B.C. Farm Industry Review Board. Daphne retired as Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) for the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands in 2009. Before being appointed ADM, Daphne held a variety of positions with the Province including Executive Director of Economic Policy for the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Project Assessment Director for the Environmental Assessment Office, and Director of Legislation and Governance for the ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Daphne practiced law in Victoria and served several years as a Biologist for the Province. She has a long standing interest in board governance and decision-making and has experience with a variety of boards and agencies. She is also a long-standing member of the Law Society of BC. Daphne holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology (Honours), Master of Science (Biology) and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Victoria.


BCFIRB Member, Mr. Christopher WendellMember, Mr. Christopher Wendell
Mr. Wendell's appointment term is April 1, 2015 to December 31, 2017.

Chris is a practicing lawyer with a keen interest in agricultural law and policy. He is a partner at Porter Ramsay LLP in Kelowna, British Columbia. Chris and his wife Shani have two young children and live in the beautiful Lake Country area between Kelowna and Vernon. Chris grew up on an orchard property overlooking Okanagan Lake which has been in his family for four generations. He was able to pay for law school by picking apples and pruning trees, and is looking forward to sharing the agricultural experience with his own children.


BCFIRB Member, Ms. Diane PastoorMember, Ms. Diane Pastoor
Ms. Pastoor's appointment term is July 31, 2016 to July 31, 2018.

Diane is an acknowledged leader in the Provincial and National chicken industry. She brings in-depth understanding of the supply management system and over a decade of experience serving on boards.  

Diane was raised on a dairy farm and spent her career working in agriculture. She and her husband started a dairy farm in 1997 in Abbotsford, BC and later acquired a broiler farm in Saskatchewan in 2003. She served the Chicken Farmers of Saskatchewan for 4 years as Board Member and 7 as Chairperson. She also represented Saskatchewan at Chicken Farmers of Canada and held leadership roles on animal welfare and environmental stewardship committees.

In late 2015, Diane sold her chicken farm business assets in Saskatchewan yet maintains an active role with the family farm -- farming grain and raising bison. She went to work for Farm and Food Care guiding new social license focused committees for the agricultural sector, namely crop, environmental and animal care. She is currently on the board of Directors for Ag in the Classroom and is asked to speak to industry gatherings on animal welfare and environmental stewardship topics. 

She and her husband Mark have their home in Vancouver and have four grown children and two grandchildren.


BCFIRB Member, Algis SakalauskasMember, Algis Sakalauskas
Mr. Sakalauskas' appointment term is July 31, 2016 to July 31, 2018.

Al has had a long career in both the agricultural industry and with the BC Government. Al was the Executive Director of the BC Egg Marketing Board. Prior to this, he was the Chief Project Officer and Chief Operating Officer for Partnerships BC. With the Provincial Government, Al also served as an Assistant Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture. Active within his profession, he was a Past President of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada - Victoria Chapter. Al got both his Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science degrees from the University of British Columbia.

BCFIRB Staff Org Chart

The Executive Director is responsible for the strategic operational management of BCFIRB in fulfilling both its regulated marketing and farm practices mandates, and for directing BCFIRB's overall conflict resolution role.

Kirsten Pedersen

250-387-3915

The Manager, Issues and Planning, develops policy advice and recommendations on agricultural regulatory federal/provincial agreements and long-term issues, and oversees and supports the commodity boards as they develop their strategic and governance processes.

Wanda Gorsuch

250-356-2465

The Manager, Corporate Affairs is responsible for researching and analyzing the legislative and regulatory requirements of BCFIRB, and the commodity boards in consultation with the ministry, providing policy and economic analysis of federal-provincial agreements and supporting strategic planning, performance expectations/measurements and annual reporting.

Michelle Irwin

250-356-5124

The Issues Management Analysts manages and resolves operational ad hoc issues before BCFIRB, and manages formal BCFIRB reviews of regulated marketing and farm practices issues.

Katia Gauvin

Beth Sobieszczyk

250-356-7819

250-387-3942

The Case Manager manages and oversees all regulated marketing appeals (NPMA), animal seizure and cost appeals (PCAA) and farm practices complaints (FPPA) within BCFIRB. The Case Manager leads and manages alternative dispute resolution measures (e.g., negotiating agreements, settlements, mediation).  The Case Manager manages the provision of tribunal hearing services to BCFIRB, including management of evidence and case documents.

Gloria Chojnacki

250-356-1817

The Assistant Case Manager administers all intake and administrative services for appeals and complaints submitted to BCFIRB.

Lisa Stride

(Temporary Assignment)

250-356-8945

The Board Services Coordinator is responsible for all aspects of board administration and ensures that administrative support is provided to members and staff.

Cathy Schmidt

250-356-1677

The Board Services Assistant is responsible for processing accounts payable, service contracts, and general office administrative support to staff and board members.

Lisa Stride

250-356-8945

Appointments by the Lieutenant Governor in Council (Cabinet) to BCFIRB and agricultural commodity boards (chairs, and in some cases members) provide an opportunity for public service. Positions are part-time.

How to Apply

The merit-based appointment process is managed by BCFIRB in accordance with the guidelines for administrative tribunals established by the Board Resourcing and Development Office (BRDO).

If you are interested in an appointment to BCFIRB or an agricultural commodity board, submit an online application to the Board and Resourcing Development office. Or send your cover letter and resume to BCFIRB.

Appointments to BCFIRB

Candidates for appointment as BCFIRB members must have:

  • Proven leadership skills
  • Strong writing, analytical, communication and conflict resolution skills

Candidates should not have interests that conflict with the performance of their statutory duties and must show balanced judgment and possess the ability to make fair, consistent and timely decisions.  

Candidates should have experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • Agri-food production, marketing or processing
  • Consumer representation
  • Land-use planning
  • Animal welfare
  • Regulatory or quasi-judicial environments

At least one appointee should have administrative law experience.

Candidates must have a demonstrated ability to work with people from a range of backgrounds with competing interests. Successful candidates will be able to gain confidence of those they interact with through effective communication and consensus building.

Appointees must be able to travel, and must have a home office. 

For a list of duties and qualifications, see the following position descriptions:

B.C.'s Farm Industry Review Board member remuneration in 2014-2015 is guided by compensation guidelines, and is set in accordance with Treasury Board Directive 2/11 (Administrative Tribunals), section 4.2 (f).

Appointments to Agricultural Commodity Boards

B.C.’s agricultural commodity boards are responsible for regulating the production and marketing of certain agricultural products in the province. Marketing boards and commissions are made up of producer-elected members and appointed chairs. The B.C. Chicken Marketing Board also has two additional members appointed by Cabinet. The B.C. Milk Marketing Board and B.C. Cranberry Marketing Commission both have a non-producer, industry-appointed member.

Cabinet appointments to a commodity board are typically for a term of two years, which may be extended. All positions are part time. Time commitment and compensation are different for each board.

Qualifications

Candidates for appointment as a marketing board chair must be decisive, analytical, results-oriented individuals who have extensive experience at a senior level (industry or government) in production, marketing or processing. Superior organizational, management, negotiation, conflict resolution and decision-making skills, along with an ability to travel, are essential for these sensitive, high-profile positions.

For a complete list of duties and qualifications, see the following position descriptions:

Read more about the process for appointments and reappointments (PDF)

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