Five new labour arbitrators have commenced their practices in Ontario. They are graduates of the Arbitrator Development Program, a program in which participants shadow established arbitrators, which was initiated and funded by the Ontario Labour-Management Arbitrators’ Association, with a contribution from the Research and Education Foundation of the National Academy of Arbitrators. The participants were selected by the Ministry of Labour.

The new arbitrators are Sarah Atkinson, Kumail Karimjee, Archana Mathew, Heather Ann McConnell, and Sara Slinn. Their biographical summaries are below. They are all now members of the Ontario Labour-Management Arbitrators’ Association and are accepting appointments as mediators and arbitrators. They have also been added to the Minister’s List for appointments.

Sarah Atkinson is a labour arbitrator and employment law mediator. Sarah recently completed the Ontario Arbitrator Development Program, is an arbitrator with the Grievance Settlement Board, and has been approved for placement on the Ministry of Labour’s List of Grievance Arbitrators. At the outset of her legal career, Sarah practiced as in-house union counsel and subsequently in private practice on management side. Before launching her arbitration and mediation practice, Sarah practiced for many years as an independent workplace investigator. Sarah has decades of experience conducting independent, neutral investigations into workplace issues, in both public and private sectors in Ontario and the federal sector. She was appointed to three terms as a member of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and is a seasoned mediator, facilitator, and trainer in workplace matters. Over the past two years, Sarah has taken on a part-time role with the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner, where she has brought her workplace experience to bear in designing and managing a broad complaints framework in the field of sport. Sarah is bilingual (English and French), has conducted multiple investigations and mediations in a combination of both languages, and was called to the Bar in Québec from 1994 to 2011.

Kumail Karimjee is a mediator, arbitrator, and workplace investigator with a practice focussed on workplace disputes. He was a part-time Vice-Chair at the Workplace Safety Insurance Appeals Tribunal (2007-2012), adjudicating workers’ compensation matters. As part of his ADR practice, he conducts restorative mediations and designs dispute resolution systems for organizations. In his litigation practice, Kumail has conducted trials before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and appeared before the Divisional Court, Ontario Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Canada, and administrative tribunals, including the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Kumail is recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada for Labour and Employment Law and was inducted to the Canadian Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. He graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 1997, completed his LL.M. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2020, and trained as a mediator with Harvard Law School’s Program of Instruction for Lawyers.

Archana Mathew has eighteen years of experience mediating, litigating, and training related to labour and human rights law. Educated at McGill University and Osgoode Hall Law School, she was called to the Bar in 2005.  Prior to becoming a neutral, Archana worked in-house at a leading union where she acted for employees in the public sector, including hospitals, large and small non-profit organizations, colleges, and universities. She also worked internally on policy development and organizational change initiatives, and oversaw complaints through all stages of mediation, investigation, and appeals.

Archana teaches Rethinking Procedural Justice: Human Rights and Fairness in Adjudication at Osgoode Hall Law School. She was a member of the Ontario Bar Association’s Section Executive, the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers and worked on curriculum design with the Ontario Justice Education Network.  Archana looks forward to bringing her down-to-earth, strategic and practical approach to the broader labour relations community. For more information, please visit

Heather Ann McConnell is a mediator and arbitrator specializing in labour, employment, and human rights disputes. She brings creativity and tenacity to solving workplace disputes and delivering practical results for workplace parties. She is a graduate of the Arbitrator Development Program run by the Ministry of Labour and OLMAA (Ontario Labour-Management Arbitrator’s Association).

Heather Ann also holds certificates in Foundations in Adjudicative Tribunal Competencies from the Ontario Bar Association; Adjudication for Administrative Agencies, Boards and Tribunals from Osgoode Hall Professional Development and the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators; and Restorative Justice Conferencing from the International Institute for Restorative Practices.

She was called to the bar in 2007, after receiving her Bachelor of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School, where she received the Charles Humphrey prize for Labour. She also holds two degrees from the University of Toronto – a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) and a Master of Arts from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).

Before becoming an Arbitrator, Heather Ann was a partner in a leading labour law firm in Toronto, where she regularly appeared before boards and tribunals in the areas of labour, human rights, occupational health and safety, education, professional regulation, and administrative law. She also served as a neutral third-party, conducting workplace harassment and discrimination investigations.

In her role as counsel, Heather Ann was a seasoned negotiator at mediation, at the bargaining table, and in rights and interest arbitration in the public and private sectors. She was well respected on both sides of the aisle and had a reputation for ensuring that opportunities for resolution were fully canvassed at every stage of a legal proceeding.

For scheduling, please contact Heather Ann (, cell 416-843-7057) or her assistant Rose Sciré (, cell 416-844-1365). Website:

Sara Slinn is an Associate Professor at Osgoode Law School, specializing in labour and employment law. In addition to a law degree, she holds a PhD in Industrial Relations from the University of Toronto and a Master of Industrial Relations degree from Queen’s University. Her academic research includes studies of labour relations in the private sector, including construction, and specific public sectors, including K-12 education and health care. In the post-secondary sector, she has held both management and union roles, having served as Associate Dean (Research and Institutional Relations) and as an executive member of the faculty association. Prior to her academic career, she was called to the bar of British Columbia and practised labour and employment law as a staff lawyer at the Labour Relations Board of British Columbia and in private practice.