Member Biographies

 

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Peter W. Gurnham, Q.C.

Mr. Gurnham was appointed as a Member of the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board on June 5, 2003 and then as Chair on October 23, 2004.

Mr. Gurnham holds bachelor's degrees in Economics and Law from Dalhousie University in Halifax and was appointed as a Queen's Counsel in 1998. Prior to his appointment to the Board, he practiced law with Cox Hanson O'Reilly Matheson, where he specialized in administrative and regulatory law, and was managing partner of the firm for nine years. He is a past Chairman of the Nova Scotia Elections Commission, has served in a number of senior positions with Scouts Canada, is Past Chair of Symphony Nova Scotia, Past Chair of the Finance Committee, Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, and has been involved in a number of other community and charitable groups. He is a recipient of several awards in recognition of service to community.

Mr. Gurnham is a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society, the Canadian Bar Association, the National Association of the Regulatory Utility Commissioners (US), and is Past Chair of CAMPUT: Canada’s Energy and Utility Regulators. He Co-Chairs the annual Energy Regulation Course sponsored by CAMPUT at Queens University.

Roland A. Deveau, Q.C.

Roland Deveau was appointed as a Member of the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board in December, 1998 and named as Vice Chair on August 20, 2012.

Before joining the Board, Mr. Deveau practiced law with the firm of Pink, Macdonald, Harding in Yarmouth and Pointe de L'Église, Nova Scotia, where his preferred areas of practice were municipal, administrative and commercial law. He was also involved in various community economic development initiatives, including serving as President of the local Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Deveau is a Past President of the provincial association of French speaking lawyers, as well as a former director and officer of the national “Fédération canadienne des juristes d'expression francaise de common law". He has also served on Bar Council of the Barristers' Society. In 2016 and 2017, he served as President of Golf Canada (the sport's governing body in Canada), and has chaired its Audit and Risk and Compensation Committees. He was Canada’s representative on the R&A Amateur Status Committee in St. Andrews, Scotland from 2014 to 2016. He is a nationally certified golf rules official who has officiated in both provincial and national amateur and professional golf championships, including the PGA Tour.

He holds a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) from Dalhousie University and received his Queens Counsel (Q.C.) designation in 2010. He is a member of CAMPUT: Canada’s Energy and Utility Regulators, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (US), the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society and the Canadian Bar Association.

David J. Almon, LL.B.

David Almon was appointed as a Member of the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board in 1998.

Before joining the Board, Mr. Almon held a consulting position with the Department of Energy Mines and Resources Canada in Ottawa, monitoring, from Committee through to passage in Parliament, the framework of legislative initiatives constituting the National Energy Program (1982-84), served as Parliamentary Assistant in the House of Commons, following which he joined Burke Mitton Thompson law firm in Halifax in 1984.

In addition to maintaining a private law practice, Mr. Almon has held additional consulting positions with the Department of Foreign Affairs, involved with the planning and administrative arrangements for the Halifax Summit (G-7) and Fifth Economic Leaders Meeting - Vancouver (APEC) as well as presiding as Chair of the Nova Scotia Criminal Review Board. He has served on the Dalhousie University Board of Governors and Alumni Association and Legal Ethics Committee of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society.

Mr. Almon, who was born in Halifax, holds degrees in Political Science, Education and Law and is a Member of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society, The Canadian Bar Association, CAMPUT: Canada’s Energy and Utility Regulators and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (US).

Roberta J. Clarke, Q.C.

Roberta Clarke, appointed as a Member of the Board in July, 2009, previously practiced law for thirty-two years with Blois, Nickerson & Bryson in Halifax.

Born and educated in St. John's, Newfoundland, Ms. Clarke received a B.A. from Memorial University of Newfoundland (1973, University Gold Medalist, Political Science). After receiving her LL.B. from Dalhousie University (1976), she was called to the Bars of Newfoundland (1976) and Nova Scotia (1977).

Ms. Clarke has served as Referee under the Civil Procedure Rules, Member of the Regional Assessment Appeal Court, Member of the Payments in Lieu of Taxes Dispute Advisory Panel, and Vice-Chair of the Provincial Appeal Board under the Health Authorities Act. She has been active in various professional organizations in both leadership and education roles, and in public and community service, including Advisory Groups of the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia, Capital District Health Authority Research Ethics Board, Pine Hill Divinity Hall, and Atlantic School of Theology. Ms. Clarke was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1997. In 2003, she was the first female recipient of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society Distinguished Service Award.

Ms. Clarke is a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society, the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Association of Members of Public Utility Tribunals, and the National Association of Regulators of Utility Commissioners (US). She is currently a member of the CAMPUT Education Committee.

Richard J. Melanson, LL.B.

Originally from Corberrie, Nova Scotia, before joining the Board, Mr. Melanson practiced law in Halifax for 27 years with Blois Nickerson and Bryson LLP. He had extensive experience in administrative law, having acted as an outside counsel to the Board for over twenty years and acted for or appeared before various other administrative tribunals and agencies. He also practiced in the areas of corporate-commercial law, real property transactions, bankruptcy and insolvency and civil litigation. He was involved in the firm’s management, chairing the firm’s articling committee, together with sitting on the firm’s partnership and associates compensation committees.

Mr. Melanson received his Bachelor of Arts (French major-1981) and Bachelor of Education (1983) from Université Sainte-Anne. He is a graduate of Dalhousie Law School, receiving the University Medal in 1988, awarded to the student who achieved the highest average of those obtaining first class distinction in third year studies. He was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1989.

Mr. Melanson has been an active volunteer in the legal community, including sitting as a Commissioner on the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia and the Board of Directors of the provincial association of French speaking lawyers. He has also served as a volunteer with various professional and civic organizations, including chairing the discipline committee as a member of the Board of Examiners of the Nova Scotia Association of Social Workers and holding the position of treasurer with Canadian Parents For French (Nova Scotia).

He is a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, the Canadian Bar Association, CAMPUT: Canada’s Energy and Utility Regulators, and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (US).

Steven Murphy, MBA, P.Eng.

Prior to joining the Board, Mr. Murphy worked for 28 years in the Engineering Consulting Industry. He previously worked for WSP Canada and AECOM Canada Ltd., where he served as Senior Manager for Atlantic Canada for both firms. He also worked for CBCL Limited as the Manager of the Municipal Engineering Department, as well as a Senior Project Manager. The primary areas of his engineering practice were water, wastewater and municipal infrastructure projects, providing him the opportunity to work with a number of Municipalities and Utilities throughout Atlantic Canada.

Mr. Murphy holds a Diploma in Engineering from Dalhousie University, a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from Technical University of Nova Scotia, and a Masters of Business Administration from Dalhousie University. He has been a registered professional engineer with Engineers Nova Scotia since 1990. In 2003, he was presented with the Citizenship Award from Engineers Nova Scotia. He is also a past member of the Atlantic Canada Water and Waste Water Association Scholarship Review Committee, the American Water Works Association, and the American Public Works Association.

Mr. Murphy has also demonstrated professional and community service involvement. On the professional side, he is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Consulting Engineers of Nova Scotia and Dalhousie Engineering Alumni Association. On the community side, he served as Chair of the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) Downtown Design Review Committee. He is also an Associate Member and Past National Vice-President of the Canadian Progress Club, where he was presented with a Canadian Progress Club National Member of the Year Award in 2009.

He is a member of CAMPUT: Canada’s Energy and Utility Regulators, and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (US).

Stephen McGrath, LL.B.

Before joining the Board, Mr. McGrath was a Director of Legal Services with the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, with shared responsibility for the management of legal services for departments and agencies throughout the provincial government. Mr. McGrath was with the Department of Justice for 16 years, and before assuming his role as director, held various positions in the Legal Services Division. His work included advice to the Nova Scotia Department of Energy and appearances before courts and administrative bodies on behalf of numerous departments and agencies of the Government of Nova Scotia. Mr. McGrath was awarded the Premier’s Award of Excellence in 2009 for his work to determine the methodology for Crown Share Adjustment Payments to the Province of Nova Scotia under the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord. Before joining the Province, Mr. McGrath was a partner with the Dartmouth, Nova Scotia law firm, Boyne Clarke. During his 10 years there, his practice focused on commercial litigation and environmental law.

Mr. McGrath was a member and past chair of the Board of Directors of the Regional Residential Services Society and was a former member of the Board of Directors of the Help Line Society. He has also been a volunteer coach with minor hockey.

Mr. McGrath is a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. He was formerly a Council Member of the Society, is a past chair of the Society’s Code of Professional Conduct Committee and a member of the Ethics Advisory Committee. He is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and was previously a Member of the Executive and Council Member with the Association, and past chair of the Young Lawyers and Civil Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Sections of the Association. He is also a member of CAMPUT: Canada’s Energy and Utility Regulators and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (US).

Jennifer Nicholson, CPA, CA

Jennifer Nicholson was appointed as a Member of the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board in April 2018.  Jennifer is a graduate of Saint Mary’s University and in 1997 qualified as a Chartered Accountant (now a Chartered Professional Accountant).  She qualified with Ernst & Young and following that has held a number of positions.  She was Senior Director Stakeholder Relations for Emera from 2006 to 2010.  Following that, she was Executive Vice President and Vice President Investor Relations with Brigus Gold.  She was CFO and Director of Risk, Environment, Social and Governance for Halterm and prior to being appointed to the Board was a partner in Executive Finance Partners Inc. which, among other things, provided courses in Ethical Intelligence, Board Governance and Executive Presence and provided CFO for hire services for small and medium sized businesses.  For a number of years she was a lecturer at Saint Mary’s University and an instructor at the Atlantic School of Chartered Accountancy.  Among Jennifer’s volunteer activities are Treasurer of the Blue Nose Marathon, past Council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Treasurer of Canadian Martyrs Minor Basketball and a number of other community and charitable organizations. 

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