Two new appointments to the Human Rights Commission were announced today, Dec. 30, by Mark Furey, Acting Minister responsible for the Human Rights Act. The new appointments are Cheryl Knockwood of Membertou and Jerry Blumenthal of Halifax. They are being joined by Dr. Joan Boutilier of Wolfville, who is being re-appointed to the commission for a second three-year term. “Ms. Knockwood and Mr. Blumenthal have shown exceptional leadership in their communities, and their wide range of skills and experience will be a tremendous benefit to the commission,” said Mr. Furey. “Government is also pleased that Dr. Boutilier will continue to serve on the commission. She has been a valued member and we appreciate her continued commitment.” Commissioners play a strategic role at the commission and make decisions on human rights issues. The commission looks for members with diverse backgrounds who represent all areas of the province. Ms. Knockwood is a lawyer and currently works for the Membertou First Nation as its governance co-ordinator. She has also taught Aboriginal and Treaty Rights at Cape Breton University. Mr. Blumenthal is a retired educator and municipal councillor. In his career as a councillor, he served on many boards and commissions including the Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities. He was president of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities and served for one year as deputy mayor of Halifax. He is currently on the boards of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons Advocacy Nova Scotia, and the Canadian Council of the Blind Advocacy and Awareness Chapter. Ms. Boutilier holds a Ph.D. and is a retired registered clinical psychologist who has worked with persons with mental health issues. She is a former human rights commissioner, serving from June 2012 to June 2015. As a legally blind person, Ms. Boutilier brings a unique perspective to the work of the commission. For more information on the Human Rights Commission, go to http://humanrights.gov.ns.ca .