Ms. Johanne Savard

Training and Professional experience

Following her studies in Political Science at Concordia University, Ms. Savard obtained her law degree from Université de Montréal. She has been a member of the Québec and Canadian Bars since 1980.

Ms. Savard has completed numerous trainings in public management at École nationale d’administration publique de Montréal (ENAP). She is also a “Certified Mediator” recognized by the Québec Bar Association, the Institut de Médiation et d’Arbitrage du Québec and by the ADR Institute of Canada.

For many years, Ms. Savard was Department head and member of the Board of Directors of a major law firm; member of the Board of Directors and of the Executive Committee of Lex Mundi, the world’s largest international association of independent law firms; and also, the chairperson of the Women and the Law Committee of this association.

In 2003, Ms. Savard quit the private practice of law and became the first Ombudsman of Ville de Montréal. Ever since, along with her team, she offers a last resort recourse to citizens who believe they have been treated unfairly by Ville de Montréal administration. Her mandate was unanimously renewed by City Council in 2007.

Ms. Savard is a member of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsmans, the International Ombudsmans’ Association, the International Ombudsmans’ Institute and of the Association des responsables de la gestion des plaintes du gouvernement du Québec. She sits on the Membership Committee of the Association des ombudsmans et médiateurs de la francophonie.


Ms. Savard has solid experience in employment and labour law and in human and fundamental rights issues. For over twenty-five years, she has used and promoted alternative dispute resolution processes and has always approached difficult situations with an eye for preventing conflict and for finding practical and efficient solutions.

Social commitment

Ms. Savard has always been actively involved in community action.

Ms. Savard chaired the Board of Directors of two daycare centres, including the Centre de la petite enfance Papillon where handicapped and non-handicapped children share their everyday life and experiences.

She was a member and twice chaired the Organizing Committee of the annual fundraising ball for the Montréal Alzheimer Society.

For many years, she was member of the Board of Directors of the Rotary Club of Old Montréal, which she presided in 2005 – 2006.

Ms. Savard was twice the recipient of the Rotarian of the Year award and, in 2006, she received the Paul Harris Fellow prize, in appreciation of her “tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world”.

In 2005, the Carrefour des Communautés awarded her the Médaille des arts et métiers du multiculturalisme for the quality of her work and for her involvement in the legal, social and intercultural fields.

From 2006 to 2008, she was a member of the Conseil des gouverneurs of Resto Plateau.