The team behind Equity Watch

Judy Haiven, co-founder:

Judy Haiven is a retired professor of Management from Saint Mary’s University and is a specialist in Industrial Relations. She has a M.A. in Industrial Relations and PhD in Industrial and Business studies. 

Judy is a writer and a fierce activist, with a particular interest in human rights, labour law, abuse, and issues within the justice system. 

In 2018 Judy was a co-founder of Equity Watch with husband Larry Haiven, and Liane Tessier. She runs a blog called Another Ruined Dinner Party where she writes about affordable housing, human rights issues, racism, labour practices, anti-semitism and more.

To contact Judy you can email her at:

Larry Haiven, Co-founder:

Larry Haiven is a professor emeritus in the department of Management from Saint Mary’s University. He has a M.A. in Public Management and a PhD in Industrial Relations. Currently, Larry is a writer and activist, with a particular interest in human rights, labour law, advocating for his community, unions and housing. 

In 2018 Larry was a co-founder of Equity Watch with wife Judy Haiven and Liane Tessier. Before his time at SMU he was a professor at the University of Saskatchewan, a union organiser, and had a labour relations consulting practice in Edmonton. Like Judy, he is also from Toronto, Ontario but lived out in the West Coast before moving to Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

To contact Larry Haiven email him at:

Liane Tessier, Co-founder:

Liane Tessier is a former firefighter who had a human rights commission case after being the victim of workplace harassment, bullying and gender discrimination. In 2017 after her case had been ongoing for 12 years she finally received financial compensation, an apology, an admission from the fire service that there was a culture of gender discrimination within the fire service, and a commitment from the fire service and the city of Halifax to implement policy changes. Previous to being a firefighter Liane worked as a private investigator and currently works as a longshore worker. She holds a bachelor of fine arts from NSCAD. Liane is also a co-founder of Equity Watch, motivated by her own case, she realized a lot of work needed to be done in the way of workplace bullying/harassment, women’s rights, and gender discrimination in the workplace.

Hannah Bing, research assistant:

 Hannah Bing is a recent graduate from the University of King’s College, with a Bachelor of Journalism (honours) in journalism and law, justice and society. Currently Hannah is a writer and activist, with a particular interest in human rights, labour law, access to justice and advocating for housing and people in the community. 

In 2021 Hannah joined Equity Watch as a research assistant for her final year of school and has continued working there post graduation.

Hannah has been a published journalist for 5 years now and has always had a particular focus on writing about activism and human rights issues. While she does not practice journalism in the traditional sense anymore she uses the skills she honed through journalism to do her work as a researcher, advocate and writer. To contact Hannah Bing email her at:

Gyasi Symonds, steering committee member:

My family are foundational Black Nova Scotians with an over 400-year lineage in this province. My mother and father are both activists and legends in their historical communities. I have been a Human Rights activist since the age 13.  I was born and raised in HRM. I have a history of challenging subservient bootlickers and racist/oppressive authority figures. I am not a member of the “go along get along gang”.

The only mentors I’ve ever had are my mother and father. I have a wealth of experience in the areas of education, counselling/psychotherapy, social justice, charity, community development and sports. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Mary’s University. I graduated at the top of his class from

Mount Saint Vincent University with a Bachelor of Education. Upon my graduation from MSVU I was recognized with an award for academic excellence. I am also a graduate of Acadia University with a Master of Education Degree (Counselling).

Zainab Almukhta is a PhD candidate at Saint Mary’s University studying
management science. She has a bachelor and a masters degree in control and system engineering, a masters degree in technology entrepreneurship and innovation, and completed a module study in peace
education. She believes that the most important goal for science and education is to serve humanity and to
make the world a better place. It is one of her life goals to participate in eliminating injustice, violence,
inequity, and discrimination. When peace, equity, justice, and diversity prevail, communities and
individuals thrive. “It is my pleasure to be a in the steering committee of Equity Watch and to work with the wonderful people.” She also enjoys volunteering, reading, meditation and walking in nature.

Joyclin Coates, steering committee member:

Joyclin has  been a member and worked with Unions in many capacities over thirty years, up to my retirement in 2017, The Union work was mostly with Private Sector Unions. She has worked with and been on the Executive of the Halifax-Dartmouth District Labour Council for five years.   

I have been a shop steward, and member of Local Executive for thirty years.  

Joyclin also holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Calgary (Archaeology) In June 2018 Joyclin decided to join Equity Watch.

What we do

  • Promote workplaces that are free of bullying, harassment and discrimination
  • Advocate for better governmental regulation of employment equity
  • Encourage the hiring, development and promotion of women, racialized minorities, the disabled and indigenous people so as to better reflect our society in workplaces
  • Monitor bodies, like the Human Rights Commission
  • Scrutinize employers and their human resources departments to ensure they are upholding the principles of employment equity
  • Assist, where possible, individuals who have been bullied, harassed or discriminated against at work
  • Recognizing that unions are among the key organizations tasked with the fight against bullying, harassment and discrimination at work and have been such for over a hundred years, we encourage and help them to do even better at meeting this challenge
  • Hold free webinars with guests who talk about their experience about workplace discrimination, fighting at the human rights commission, and promoting harassment free workplaces. 

What we don’t do

  • We don’t provide legal advice
  • We don’t provide lawyers
  • We don’t provide psychological services
  • We don’t provide funds to assist individuals with their cases