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Article

Albert Charles Saunders

Albert Charles Saunders, lawyer, politician, judge, premier of PEI (b at Summerside, PEI 12 Oct 1874; d there 18 Oct 1943). Saunders, having completed 4 terms as mayor of Summerside, became the Liberal Party leader in 1923, winning the 1927 election by supporting continuing liquor prohibition.

Article

Arthur Lewis Sifton

Arthur Lewis Sifton, judge, politician, premier of Alberta (b at St Johns, Canada W 26 Oct 1858; d at Ottawa 21 Jan 1921). Firm, stoical and politically astute, Sifton was one of the most outstanding figures in the political life

Article

Beverley McLachlin

Beverley McLachlin, PC, CC, Chief Justice of Canada 2000–17, lawyer and jurist (born 7 September 1943 in Pincher Creek, AB). Born into a rural Alberta farming family of modest means, McLachlin rose to become the first female chief justice of a Commonwealth high court and the longest serving chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. In June 2017, McLachlin announced she would retire from the bench on 15 December 2017, nine months before mandatory retirement at age 75.

Article

Andrew Rainsford Wetmore

Andrew Rainsford Wetmore, jurist, politician, premier of NB 1867-70 (b at Fredericton 16 Aug 1820; d there 7 Mar 1892). Born into a distinguished Loyalist family, Wetmore's father, George Ludlow Wetmore, was the last New Brunswicker killed in a formal duel (20 Oct 1821).

Article

John Reeves

John Reeves, judge (b probably at London, Eng c 1752/53; d there 7 Aug 1829). He studied at Oxford and was called to the bar in 1779.

Article

Graydon Nicholas

Graydon Nicholas, lawyer, lecturer, judge, lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick (b at Tobique, NB 1946 ). Of Maliseet descent, Graydon Nicholas made significant strides in the fields of law and public service.

Article

George Edwin King

George Edwin King, lawyer, politician, judge, premier of NB 1872-78 (b at Saint John 8 Oct 1839; d at Ottawa 7 May 1901). First elected MLA for Saint John in 1867, he was minister without portfolio in the Confederation Cabinet of A.R. WETMORE.

Article

James Armstrong

James Shearer Armstrong, lawyer, author, judge (b at Sorel, LC 27 Apr 1821; d there 23 Nov 1888). An able but undistinguished Québec advocate, James Armstrong was given an unprecedented promotion in 1871 when he was appointed chief justice of St Lucia in the West Indies.

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Brian Dickson

Robert George Brian Dickson, chief justice of Canada (b at Yorkton, Sask 25 May 1916; d at Dunrobin, Ont 17 Oct 1998).

Article

John Walpole Willis

John Walpole Willis, judge (b in Eng 4 Jan 1793; d in Worcestershire, Eng 10 Sept 1877). Willis arrived in Upper Canada in 1827 to take office as puisne justice of the court of King's Bench.

Article

Stanley G. Grizzle

Stanley George Sinclair Grizzle, CM, OOnt, citizenship judge, politician, civil servant, labour union activist (born 18 November 1918 in Toronto, ON; died 12 November 2016 in Toronto, ON). Stanley Grizzle had an illustrious career as a railway porter, soldier, civil servant, citizenship judge and activist for the rights of Black Canadians.

Macleans

John Sopinka (Obituary)

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on December 8, 1997. Partner content is not updated.

During the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, two Canadians who had become lost on the city’s streets set off in search of a ride. Rounding a corner, they spotted a parked and empty bus, the keys in the ignition.

Article

Helen Gregory MacGill

Helen Gregory MacGill, judge, journalist, musician (born 7 January 1864 in Hamilton, Canada West; died 27 February 1947 in Chicago, Illinois). Helen Gregory MacGill was a pioneering journalist, feminist and judge. She was the first woman to graduate from Trinity College (now the University of Toronto), as well as the first woman judge in British Columbia, where she served on the juvenile court for 23 years. Her daughter, Elsie MacGill, became the world’s first female aeronautical engineer and aircraft designer.

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Murray Sinclair

Murray Sinclair or Mizanay (Mizhana) Gheezhik, meaning “The One Who Speaks of Pictures in the Sky” in the Ojibwe language, lawyer, judge and senator (born in 1951 in Selkirk, MB). Called to the Manitoba Bar in 1980, Sinclair focused primarily on civil and criminal litigation, Indigenous law and human rights. In 1988, he became Manitoba’s first, and Canada’s second, Indigenous judge. Sinclair joined the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2009, before becoming a senator in 2016. He retired from the Senate in 2021 but continues to mentor Indigenous lawyers. The breadth of public service and community work completed by Sinclair demonstrates his commitment to Indigenous peoples in Canada.