Member Biographies

Peter W. Gurnham, Q.C.

Portrait of Peter W. GurnhamMr. 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 groups. He is a recipient of the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Canadian Confederation 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.

Portrait of Roland DeveauRoland Deveau was appointed as a Member of the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board in December, 1998 and then 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. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Golf Canada (the sport's governing body in Canada), chairs its Audit and Risk Committee, and serves as a golf rules official in both provincial and national amateur and professional golf championships.

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 and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (US), Nova Scotia Barristers' Society and The Canadian Bar Association.

David J. Almon, LL.B.

Portrait of David J. AlmonDavid 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).

Wayne D. Cochrane, Q.C.

Portrait of Wayne D. CochraneA lawyer since 1974, and a Queen’s Counsel since 1991, Mr. Cochrane was appointed as a Member of the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board in 1998. He was legal counsel with the Nova Scotia Department of Justice for more than twenty years, was previously in private practice in Halifax, was a law lecturer at Dalhousie University continuously from 1983 to 2010, and is a present or past member of the executive of a variety of volunteer organizations, both provincially and nationally.

Prior to being appointed to the Board, he had appeared as counsel before all levels of court in Nova Scotia, and before a variety of administrative tribunals.

Born in Chatham, Ontario, he has a combined honours degree in political science and economics, and did graduate work in the United States at the doctoral level before studying law at Dalhousie University. One of the original instructors in the Foundations of Administrative Justice programme (which trains adjudicators), he is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, served on the Society’s Ethics Committee, and was for several years Chair of the Provincial Appeal Board for physicians’ privileges in hospitals. Mr. Cochrane is also a member of the Canadian Association of Members of Public Utilities Tribunals and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (US), and is a member, and former Treasurer, of the Canadian Council of Administrative Tribunals.

Murray E. Doehler, CPA, CA, P.Eng.

Portrait of Murray E. DoehlerMurray E. Doehler was appointed as a Member of the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board in September, 2005.

Prior to his appointment to the Board, Mr. Doehler had been a Partner with Deloitte's and subsequently practiced as a management consultant with Syntel Consultancy Inc. and Gaia Corporation, where he was President. As a management consultant, he has worked with a variety of public and private sector clients, both in Nova Scotia and internationally in Vietnam, Thailand, Fiji, Tonga, Niue, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu, Samoa, and Cook Islands. An active participant in the community, Mr. Doehler has had significant involvement with the City of Halifax (Alderman), Halifax District School Board (Chair), Red Cross, Neptune Theatre, Cathedral Church of All Saints (Warden), the Anglican Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Symphony Nova Scotia, Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Network, the Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Doehler holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the Technical University of Nova Scotia (Dalhousie) and Mount Allison University and has his designation as a Chartered Accountant. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia, life member of the Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia, member of CAMPUT: Canada’s Energy and Utility Regulators and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (US) and a Fellow of Engineers Canada.

Dawna J. Ring, Q.C.

Portrait of Dawna J. RingMs. Ring was appointed to the Board in 2005. She was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1999. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Ring spent 25 years in private legal practice focusing in areas of litigation, health, charter and administrative law. She appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada, all levels of court in Nova Scotia, Ontario and the Federal Court of Canada; and before various administrative tribunals. She is a mediator, arbitrator and was an instructor. Ms. Ring 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).

Ms. Ring has volunteered extensively in community and professional organizations including as a Commissioner of the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia, on numerous boards of directors including the Halifax Transition Association, Nova Scotia Junior Achievement, AISEC(St. Mary’s University), Sport Nova Scotia, Dartmouth YM-YWCA (President) and sat on numerous committees including for the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, Halifax Regional Municipality, National and Provincial Women and AIDS Projects and was a review panelist for the Harvey T. Strosberg Prize for the Canadian Class Action Review. Ms. Ring’s numerous speaking engagements include the National Conferences for the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, the Canadian Bar Association, and the Canadian Property Tax Association.

Ms. Ring is one of 100 Canadian Women featured in the book Dare to Dream: A Celebration of Canadian Women. She has also been featured as one of the Who's Who of Master Negotiators in the Seven Strategies of Master Negotiators and acknowledged by André Picard in his book The Gift of Death. Among her awards and recognitions is the Canadian Bar Association National SOGIC 2005 Ally Award.

Roberta J. Clarke, Q.C.

Portrait of Roberta J. ClarkeRoberta 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.

Portrait of Richard Melanson

Richard Melanson was appointed as a member of the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board in 2016.

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.

Steven Murphy was appointed as a Member of the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board in September 2016.

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).

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