Commission Members

Doug Thornton

Chair

Doug believes that a well functioning police service is an integral part of living in a modern community. The Police Commission, representing our citizens in the oversight of our service, needs considered representation from a broad cross section of Community Members. While understanding that one must not stifle the efforts of management in the provision of excellent service, oversight is integral to establishing trust in our police service among the Citizens of Lethbridge. Doug has served briefly as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and there gained some knowledge of the challenges facing the men and women of our Police Service. Doug is well versed in budget and financial responsibilities, and currently serves the Commission as Chair of the Finance Committee.

Matthew McHugh

Vice Chair

Matthew is a local lawyer and partner at Fee Simple Law. Matthew was raised in Southern Alberta and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Canadian Studies from the University of Lethbridge followed by a Masters of Philosophy in Peace and Conflict Transformation at Nelson Mandela University. After his Masters, Matthew went on to complete a law degree at McGill University. He has worked as a governance consultant, and served on various boards including the University of Lethbridge Alumni Association. Matthew is concurrently serving on the Downtown Lawlessness Reduction Taskforce for the City of Lethbridge.

Jen Visser

Public Complaints Director

Jen spent the first part of her childhood in northern Manitoba and then moved to Cranbrook, BC in her youth.  In 2002 she started attended the University of Lethbridge and obtained a degree in Anthropology.  After graduation she has spent her career in the non profit world.  She started with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lethbridge and District in 2010 as a Service Delivery Staff.  In 2013 she took on the role of Executive Director, which is still current today.  Jen’s experience with governance, quality assurance, policy, and community engagement is what brought her to serve on the Lethbridge Police Commission.

In her spare time Jen enjoys spending time with her husband, son and the family dog Molly, who also ‘works’ for Big Brothers Big Sisters in a reception capacity.

Brett Carlson

J. BRETT Carlson was born in Moose jaw SK but spent most of his early life in northern Alberta (particularly Tofield, High Prairie, and Edmonton). He returned to Saskatchewan to do undergraduate degrees at the University of Regina in Political Science and Psychology. He then attended the University of Victoria for his law degree. He relocated to Lethbridge in 2004 with his wife. They have remained in Lethbridge since and are raising their family here. He serves on the Human Resources Committee of the Police Commission.

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Commissioner Carlson is a practicing lawyer in Lethbridge, employed as duty counsel by Legal Aid Alberta at the Lethbridge courthouse. He has been the recipient of awards and honours by Legal Aid Alberta as the best legal aid lawyer in Alberta, and from the Native Counselling Association for his exemplary work with the FNMI community. He is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Alberta Law Society and the Southern Alberta Defence Lawyers association.

Brett is active in his community, having previously been a board member and president of the Interfaith Food Bank. He is also duty counsel for the Lethbridge Drug Treatment Court and has often presented on the topic of drug treatment courts.

Clement Esene

Human Resources Committee Chair

Clement Esene is a visionary leader and co-founder of two successful organizations – BIPOC Foundation and Daniola Corporation. Originally from Nigeria, Clement arrived in Canada over a decade ago as an international student to pursue his post-graduate education. He now calls Lethbridge home, having moved here with his family just before the pandemic.

In his work with BIPOC Foundation, Clement aims to advance racial and gender equality by providing tools, resources, and services to early-stage entrepreneurs. in order to create significant entrepreneurship opportunities for diverse communities.

In his work with Daniola Corporation, Clement aims to transform the industry of buying and selling of gemstones, minerals, and metals by improving efficiency, transparency, and market analytics in a cloud-based environment.

Clement is a dedicated community leader who serves in various capacities to promote a united, engaged, and empowered community. He currently serves as Vice-President of the Association of Nigerians in Lethbridge. With his passion for social justice and entrepreneurship, Clement is committed to making a positive impact in Lethbridge and beyond.

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Noella Piquette

Policy and Governance Committee Chair

Dr. Noëlla Piquette, [retired] Associate Professor and Registered Psychologist,  brings a wide range of skills and knowledge to the table. She has successfully collaborated in local, provincial, national and international research projects requiring communication skills, and expertise in cultural and diversity awareness. She is currently serving on the Policy and Governance Committee of the LPC.

Noëlla has served as a Board member and President for numerous not-for-profit agencies over the past 30 years and has been intimately involved in the successful long term and short term planning committees.

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Noëlla has served as a Board member and President for numerous not-for-profit agencies over the past 30 years and has been intimately involved in the successful long term and short term planning committees.

Nick Paladino

City Council Representative

Commissioner Nick Paladino is a city councilor elected in 2021 and was appointed into the commission in 2023. Nick is a born and raised Lethbridgeite and proud of it! He attended Lethbridge College and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary and graduated with a Diploma in Engineering Technology. He was immediately offered a drafting position with the City of Lethbridge. Commissioner Paldino moved from Draftsman to Plan Checker to Planning Technician in seven years, then accepted a position as Development Officer for Lethbridge County. During that time, he studied local government and experienced the fine line between political will and administrative responsibility. After 30 years with the County, Commissioner Paladino retired as Manager of Planning & Development in 2013. He is a family man, a son, brother, father and grandfather! He enjoys music, guitars, skiing, tennis and a good magic trick!   

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Commissioner Paldino, after speaking with Lethbridge residents, believes that initiatives that support economic development and the downtown will always be important. Additionally, Nick believes that continued improvements at the airport, along with a new governance model, will attract further development and traffic there.  

 

Paladino also believes that Lethbridge will likely be facing some pressing decisions revolving policing, supportive housing, taxation and capital expenditures. He looks forward to continued dialogue with residents to determine what other common concerns the residents of Lethbridge want the Commission to address. 

Jenn Schmidt-Rempel

City Council Representative

Commissioner Schmidt-Rempel was raised in Claresholm, Alberta, and attended the University of Lethbridge where she completed a BA in English. She is a partner in several local quick-serve restaurant franchises as well as a communications and marketing consulting business, and until fall 2017 was the owner, publisher, and editor of Lethbridge living magazine and its associated publications. She currently serves on the Policy and Governance Committee of the LPC.

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Jenn serves our community through her volunteer work on the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce Board and as a Patient/Family Advisor for Alberta Health Services. She previously served on Economic Development Lethbridge as the Non-Profit Sector representative for five years, spending two years as Board President. Jenn has represented Lethbridge and various local organizations on six successful Team Lethbridge missions, has been a member of the City of Lethbridge’s Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, and served on the Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge as a Board Member and its President, as a Board Member on the Covenant Health, Lethbridge Community Board, and various Lethbridge BILD committees.

She is a passionate advocate for our city and local area. As the owner of Lethbridge living, Jenn and her team spent 10 years exploring and sharing the stories of our city and its residents. She represented Lethbridge and small magazine publishing for five years at the provincial level on the Alberta Magazines Publishers Association, serving as that Association’s President for three years. She represented Lethbridge and small magazine publishing in western Canada as a Board Member on Magazines Canada.

Jenn loves sharing the stories of this place we call home. Whether it’s helping with a neighbourhood Jane’s Walk or bringing the united message of our city and region to Edmonton on a Team Lethbridge mission, Jenn recognizes the great place Lethbridge is and is committed to sharing that message with everyone.

Hunter Heggie

Hunter was born and raised in Southern Alberta and claims his wife Carol and 3 children as his greatest achievement. He is a journeyman carpenter by trade and is the owner of several business units in and around Lethbridge. As a stakeholder in the community, commissioner Heggie has been involved in the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce, The Downtown Lawlessness Reduction Taskforce and Heart of the City among various volunteerism capacities across the city he calls home. Commissioner Heggie is passionate about a cleaner, safer and holistically better community and we look forward to working with him on these common goals

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