Natalie Drolet – Executive Director/Staff Lawyer
Natalie joined MWC as Executive Director – Staff Lawyer in November 2014. Her legal practice focuses on the areas of immigration law and employment law, and she has represented migrant workers before all levels of court in BC. Natalie has been active in the fields of migration and human rights since 2003 when she worked as a researcher in Thailand for Rights & Democracy. Before joining MWC, she served as the Staff Lawyer for a multilingual access to justice initiative with with a community legal clinic in Ottawa. Prior to this, she worked in Phnom Penh, Cambodia as a Legal Advisor and managed initiatives to advance the rights of domestic workers with the Legal Support for Children and Women.
Natalie received her Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Civil Law from McGill University in 2009 and her Masters in Immigration and Settlement Studies from Ryerson University in 2005. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, vegetarian cooking and taking her dog Georgie to the beach.
Amanda Aziz – Staff Lawyer
Amanda is a part-time Staff Lawyer with the Migrant Workers Centre and also works as an immigration and refugee lawyer. She is a long-time advocate for migrant justice, is the proud daughter of immigrants and has supported many families in navigating their immigration status in Canada. She has appeared regularly before all levels of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada as well as the Federal Court of Canada and has testified before federal standing committees of the House of Commons and Senate.
Amanda has worked with organizations supporting women and workers’ rights, including the West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund, the BC Government and Service Employees Union and the Canadian Labour Congress, and is a member of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers National Executive and the Canadian Bar Association Provincial Executive. She is also a regular volunteer with Rise Women’s Legal Clinic and is actively involved with Vancouver’s sanctuary city movement, advocating for access to services for all regardless of immigration status. Prior to her life as a lawyer, Amanda represented students at the national level, advocating for accessible post-secondary education. She received her law degree from the University of Victoria in 2014.
Jonathon Braun – Staff Lawyer
Jonathon returns to MWC as a staff lawyer after previously working here as a legal advocate. In between these roles, Jonathon continued to advocate for the rights of workers as an articling student and lawyer at a boutique union-side labour and employment firm. During his time in private practice, Jonathon stayed involved at MWC as the Secretary of our Board of Directors.
In his legal practice, Jonathon has represented clients before a number of administrative bodies, including the Employment Standards Branch, Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal, Residential Tenancy Branch, Human Rights Tribunal, and Labour Relations Board. He has also assisted clients with a variety of immigration issues and has advocated for improvements to Canada’s immigration laws.
Jonathon received his law degree from the University of British Columbia in 2015. In his free time, he loves being outdoors and is an avid hiker and downhill skier. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Jonathon has been devouring books and has stayed social and connected by organizing online games and competitions.
Ravneet Kaur Riar – Staff Lawyer
Ravneet is a Staff Lawyer with the Migrant Workers Centre. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Master of Laws in June 2020. As a graduate student, she volunteered with MWC and the Law Students’ Legal Advice Program where she assisted clients with employment and immigration law matters. She is committed to using the law to amplify the voices and stories of marginalized people.
Ravneet has a Bachelor in Arts and Law (Honours) from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. During her law degree, she was an active participant of the mooting society and law school journals. She spent a semester abroad at Ghent University, Belgium where she studied human trafficking among other courses. Post her law degree, she practiced as a lawyer in India briefly. She was called to the Bar in India before moving to Vancouver.
Outside of work, Ravneet can be found checking out local arts events, watching international films or reading. She loves live music, travelling and is keenly interested in different cultures.
Katie Lay – Articling Student
Katie is an Articling Student with the Migrant Workers Centre. Katie has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of British Columbia, and received her law degree from the University of Victoria in May of 2021. During her legal studies, Katie volunteered with MWC and Pro Bono Students Canada, helped to establish the University of Victoria’s chapter of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, and spent a clinical term at the University of Victoria Law Centre poverty law clinic. She is currently a member of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society (FACL BC) Advocacy Committee. In her free time, Katie enjoys baking, playing with her friends’ pets, and spending time near the ocean.
Jeanne Robert – Legal Advocate
Jeanne Robert grew up in France and in Peru. She arrived in Canada in 2012. She graduated from the Quebec Bar School in 2016 and she has a Master’s Degree in International Law focused on Human Rights from the University of Montreal. Before moving to British Columbia, she practiced family law and immigration law in a law firm in Montreal. In 2018, her strong interest for social justice led her to join the Vancouver Island Human Rights Coalition in Victoria as a human rights advocate. In this position, she provided advocacy in human rights cases, primarily in regard to complaints made to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. She joined MWC as a legal advocate in 2019. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and volunteering in various cultural areas.
Rubia Pivetta – Legal Assistant
Rubia is originally from Brazil and came to Canada as a caregiver in 2015 after spending some time living in the United States and the The Netherlands. After coming to MWC in search of help in 2016, Rubia decided to become a volunteer with the organization. Being an extra set of hands during our busy Saturdays drop-in clinics, Rubia had the chance to learn more about MWC’s mission. With a background in Education, years of ESL teaching experience and a love for helping people, Rubia works as a Legal Assistant and is ready to help our clients get the help they need. Being an immigrant herself, she knows the importance of finding organizations that are able to help foreign workers.
In her free time, she enjoys reading and cooking. Weather permitting, she likes to swim and spend time outdoors.
Perla Villegas – Community Legal Worker
Perla is originally from Mexico, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Law, and a Diploma in Human Rights from the Institute of the Federal Judiciary. She also holds a Diploma in International Development from the Okanagan College in Kelowna, BC. For more than 15 years, she worked for a Human Rights Tribunal in Mexico, where she acted as a Project Secretary for complaints involving discrimination, indigenous’ rights, family violence, unlawful imprisonment, labour exploitation and trafficking, among others.
In addition, she has worked as a Research Assistant for the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, of the Western University in Ontario, the University of British Columbia and Okanagan College for the project Testing a Support Model to Address Gaps in Services that Contribute to Migrant Agricultural Workers’ Vulnerability in the Okanagan Valley. She also volunteers with RAMA Okanagan. In her role as Community Legal Worker with MWC, Perla conducts outreach to migrant agricultural workers and providing referrals, document translation and legal navigation.
Priscilla Clais – Outreach Worker
Originally from France, Priscilla received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the École de Travail Social Rabelais in Paris in 2016. In France, she worked as a Social Worker with various non-profit and government organizations where she helped people facing multiple barriers to find appropriate housing, provided support to refugees and asylum seekers, and guided families to access services.
Priscilla is passionate about her professional field and wants to dedicate her career to fighting for equality and the rights of vulnerable people. She came to Vancouver to learn new approaches to the practice of social work. She has worked with La Boussole in the Downtown Eastside, supporting people facing addiction and mental health issues.
Priscilla joined the Migrant Workers Centre as an Outreach Worker in April 2021. In this position, she provides psychosocial support to newcomers to Canada who have faced or are facing sexual harassment or other forms of abuse in the workplace. She promotes their well-being and provides referrals to community services based on their needs. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music from all over the world, meditating, reading and outdoor activities.
Jacqueline Louie – Summer Law Student
Jacqueline is a Summer Law Student with the Migrant Workers Centre and is entering her third year of law school at the University of Victoria in September. During her degree, Jacqueline has volunteered with Access Pro Bono to represent clients before the Residential Tenancy Branch and participated in the 2021 Canadian Client Consultation Competition, which focused on human rights issues. She is a member of the UVic Racialized Law Students Collective, Pan-Asian Law Society, and the faculty’s Equity and Diversity Committee.
Jacqueline currently sits on the Board of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society (FACL BC), engaging in initiatives to support mentorship, advocacy, and public legal education. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of British Columbia. Jacqueline is passionate about bringing an intersectional, anti-oppressive, and de-colonial lens to government, public policy, and law. In her spare time, Jacqueline enjoys amateur film photography and exploring cities.
Riley Stone – Summer Research Assistant
Riley is a Research Assistant with the Migrant Workers Centre. She is entering her third year of law school at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC and has volunteered with MWC during her degree. Riley has an undergraduate degree in International Relations from the University of British Columbia and studied abroad in Lund, Sweden. She previously worked at an immigration and settlement services non-profit organization in Calgary, which inspired her to attend law school in order to pursue a career in immigration and refugee law. In her free time, Riley enjoys outdoor activities (especially skiing, hiking, camping, and kayaking) and reading.
Kimi Cheong – Summer Community Development Worker
Kimi is a Summer Community Development Worker with the Migrant Workers Centre, set to enter their third year of law school at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC in September. Previously, they obtained their undergraduate degree from UBC in political science and English literature, with focuses on intersectional feminism and modern postcolonial literature respectively. Throughout their law degree, they have volunteered with a non-profit sex worker advocacy organization in the downtown east side of Vancouver, working with LGBTQ+ clients to change their legal names and gender markers. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and a second generation immigrant, they are passionate about human rights and social justice. In their free time, they can be found singing in choirs, spending time with family, and writing.