Board of Governors


The Board's general role is to foster the Justice Institute of British Columbia's short and long-term success consistent with its mandated objectives and accountabilities. The Board oversees the affairs of JIBC, supervises management which is responsible for day-to-day operations, and (through the President), sets the standards of organizational conduct. The Board's primary accountability is to the Government of BC, through the Ministry of Advanced Education, as identified in the Letter of Expectations as well as the Taxpayer Accountability Principles - Mandate Letter.

Related Board Documents


The Board is composed of eight or more persons appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and the President. Appointed members are eligible for a maximum of six years service, in one, two and three-year successive terms. Board members elect the Chair of the Board annually.

Board Member Biographies

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Dr. Tina Dion - Vice-Chair

Helen Dutch

Tina Dion is a lawyer in private practice with a focus on civil litigation, regulatory matters, Aboriginal law and administrative law. Since being called to the bar in February, 1999, her legal work has included being the Managing Lawyer of a boutique law firm; serving 6 years as In-house counsel, and Director of Legal Services for the Tsawwassen First Nation; and, 7 years working with the civil litigation group at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. Active in her community, Ms. Dion has been a volunteer Judge for the First Year Student Moots, as well as serving as a long-time adjunct Professor at UBC Faculty of Law.  She is the Vice-Chair of the Aboriginal Lawyers Forum with the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch. Ms. Dion holds a BA from the University of Alberta, a Bachelor of Laws from UBC and Doctor of Judicial Science degree from the University of Arizona.

Chief Stephen Gamble

Chief Stephen Gamble entered the fire service in 1978 as a volunteer firefighter with the Stephen GambleCity of Port Coquitlam and was hired as a full time career firefighter with the City on June 27th, 1980. He was promoted to the position of Assistant Fire Chief of Operations and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator with the City of Port Coquitlam and in 2003 was appointed to the position of Fire Chief/Emergency Coordinator for the City of Port Coquitlam. In January 2011 Chief Gamble assumed his current position as Fire Chief with the Township of Langley.

Chief Gamble has over 12 years’ experience as an adjunct instructor with the Justice Institute of British Columbia and along with a number of certifications holds a Certificate in Municipal Management with Capilano University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Justice and Public Leadership with Simon Fraser University. He also retains two designations – Chief Fire Officer (CFO) with the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs and Fellow (FIFireE) with the Institute of Fire Engineers.

Ms. Jackie Gorton

Jacqueline Gorton

Jacqueline (Jackie) Gorton is the Vice President, Technology & Business Intelligence at Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. She has worked as a finance lead, a chief internal audit and risk management lead, and is now the head of the IT section at her current company.  Her career has spanned multiple industries and sectors, from retail, wholesale and gaming to the municipal sector. Ms. Gorton is a Chartered Accountant and a Certified Internal Auditor.  She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree and Masters of Business Administration degree at Simon Fraser University.    


Ms. Connie Kaweesi

Connie Kaweesi is a forensic social worker working in Fort St. John as a private clinical social worker. She has worked in post-secondary education for 15 years at Northern Lights College and currently is a sessional faculty at the University of Northern British Columbia. She holds a BSW (University of Victoria) and MSW (University of Northern British Columbia). Previously she worked in Indigenous communities in the child welfare area of practice and recently collaborated on the development of Indigenous curriculum at Northern Lights College. Connie also worked in the Criminal Justice system within several federal, provincial and for-profit agencies: Correctional Service of Canada, Stroh Health, Forensic Psychiatric Services and Youth Court Services. Connie is a recipient of the Bridget Moran Award for her work in social work advocacy in Northern British Columbia.

Ms. Maria Preovolos

Maria Preovolos is Associate General Counsel at TELUS Communications. In her career at TELUS, Ms. Preovolos has provided advice on a variety of matters. For over a decade, she advised and supported the TELUS Board of Directors and Chief Legal Officer on governance matters, including best practices and trends in corporate governance, acting as secretary to the Board’s Audit Committee and reviewing public disclosure. Currently, Ms. Preovolos negotiates contracts for complex commercial transactions and advises on a range of domestic legal issues, including indemnification and limitation of liability, competition matters and privacy. Ms. Preovolos previously served as a director of Made in B.C., a non-profit arts service organization providing dance arts outreach activities through the province. Ms. Preovolos graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from UBC and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Toronto.

Ms. Bernadette Spence

Bernadette Spence is from the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation located in Northern Manitoba. Bernadette SpenceShe actively participates in reclaiming ancestral knowledge through ceremonial teachings and incorporates traditional knowledge and practice within her work with individuals and organizations.

Since 1986, Ms. Spence has dedicated her professional work to the inclusion of the Indigenous perspective in the development of child welfare services for Aboriginal people. Most of her work is in the area of child and family services, both land-based and urban. She has extensive experience in community engagement, curriculum development, training, and program and policy development within an inter-jurisdictional context. The focus on her MSW research, completed in 1996, was on Social Policy Arrangements for First Nations on Reserve. Reinterpreting mainstream social work policy and practice for an Aboriginal context has been a significant focus of her work as the CEO of the Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society (VACFSS). She serves on a number of boards as a volunteer, supporting community members through the reclaiming of ceremony as a healing process. 

Dr. Michel Tarko

Michel TarkoDr. Michel Tarko is President and CEO of the Justice Institute of British Columbia. Prior to his appointment as President, Michel served as VP Academic at JIBC since September 2009. He previously served in several capacities at Douglas College, including the position of Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences. As Dean, he was actively engaged in building partnerships between post-secondary educational institutions inter-provincially related to graduate education in psychiatric nursing. He serves on a variety of committees with professional and regulatory bodies, as well as two international boards (European Psychiatric Nursing Advisory Board; and the Neuman Systems Model of Nursing, President, Executive Committee). Michel holds a Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology from the University of Manitoba, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Education (Curriculum & Instruction) from the University of British Columbia.

Mr. Sukhminder Singh Virk - Chair

Sukhminder VirkSukhminder S. Virk is a Barrister and Solicitor practising at Lindsay Kenney LLP in Langley. His practice areas cover a broad spectrum of law, including advising businesses and not-for-profits. In the community, he has served on a number of charities. In addition to his time at JIBC, he is currently serving on the Board of Directors at the South Asian Bar Association of BC, and the Fraser Valley Estate Planning Council. He is also a member of the Canadian Bar Association, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, Trial Lawyers Association of BC, and the Surrey Board of Trade. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) from Simon Fraser University, and a Bachelor of Law (Honours) from Kingston University.

Ms. Claire Wang

Claire Wang is the Director of Finance and Operations, Burnaby Hospital Foundation, Fraser Health Authority. Ms. Wang oversees all financial, accounting and corporate planning activities, risk management, HR, IT, and funding from private and public sources. Previously, Ms. Wang worked for School District No. 45 for over a decade and was responsible for managing $9 million annual revenues and more than 600 foreign students. Ms. Wang recently retired from her 2-year term as Chair of Finance, Audit and Investment Committee and Treasurer with SFU Childcare Society. She helped the non-profit organization achieve a substantial improvement in financial reporting, budgeting, internal controls and strategic planning. Ms. Wang holds a Certified General Accountants designation, as well as a Master of Business Administration Degree from Queen's University and Bachelor of Business Administration degree (major in Accounting) from Simon Fraser University.

Last updated October 4, 2018