Our lawyers have a history of offering their work and talent for causes that promote diversity, inclusion, and justice. They are a vibrant group of individuals dedicated to effecting positive change in their communities. From sitting on various committees and boards to participating in panels on topics such as intersectionality and celebrating Pride in the legal profession, our team is steadfast in its commitment to upholding and advancing the principles of ED&I.
Jim Lebo, Q.C., exemplifies the type of work our lawyers have done to promote inclusion and diversity. Toward the end of the 1990s, Alberta considered the constitutionality of excluding sexual orientation as a protected ground in Alberta’s human rights legislation. When the matter reached the courts in the seminal case of Vriend v Alberta, 212 AR 237, Jim stepped up and volunteered to represent the Canadian Bar Association – Alberta Branch as an intervener, arguing that the exclusion was unconstitutional. Jim stepped forward once again when the decision reached the Supreme Court of Canada.
Karen Platten, Q.C., regularly recognized by Best Lawyers as one of the top legal talents in Canada, has contributed to significant legal changes that have made a difference in the lives of people who previously endured institutionalized discrimination. Karen sat on the advisory committee to update the Matrimonial Property Act to the Family Property Act. Thanks to her, the Act now features important changes that bring adult-interdependent partnerships into the property division regime whereas before property division was exclusively a right for married couples.
More recently, our partner Teresa Haykowsky envisioned and edited Truth Be Told: An Anthology of Inspirational Stories by Women in the Law containing 114 personal stories by women in the law including McLennan Ross lawyers Karen Platten, Q.C., Jennifer Biernaskie, Cynthia Asami Aoki, and Kimberly Wasylenchuk.