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Program Manager (BOSH)

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Dena Smith-Springer is a regulatory lawyer who, very early on, resolved to utilize her legal training and experience to affect positive change across a range of social justice issues. She is particularly passionate about criminal justice reform that seeks to address the disparate sentencing outcomes for
Black offenders vis-à-vis their white counterparts.

In her current role, she works as in-house legal counsel at the Ontario Nurses’ Association, where she represents nurse members in professional discipline matters.

Before transitioning into the regulatory space, Dena practiced for several years exclusively as a criminal defence lawyer. She later expanded her areas of practice to include family, human rights, school advocacy and police accountability.

Alongside her practice, Dena also had the opportunity to offer per diem special duty counsel services through the African Canadian Legal Clinic (ACLC). She provided summary legal advice and brief legal services to members of the African Canadian community around anti-Black discrimination in employment, education, child welfare, policing and criminal justice. In addition, Dena volunteered her time to assist the ACLC with their test case litigation portfolio.

Dena holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto and a Juris Doctor degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. Dena has appeared before various administrative boards and tribunals as well as at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Dena is a past president of the Congress of Black Women of Canada and is currently a member of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, the Black Female Lawyers’ Network, the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers and the Ontario Bar Association.

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