MIL-OSI Canada: The Honourable April D. Grosse’s Questionnaire

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Source: Government of Canada by organisation 2

Under the new judicial application process introduced by the Minister of Justice on October 20, 2016, any interested and qualified Canadian lawyer or judge may apply for federal judicial appointment by completing a questionnaire. The questionnaires are then used by the Judicial Advisory Committees across Canada to review candidates and submit a list of “highly recommended” and “recommended” candidates for consideration by the Minister of Justice. Candidates are advised that parts of their questionnaire may be made available to the public, with their consent, should they be appointed to the bench. The information is published as it was submitted by the candidates at the time they applied, subject to editing where necessary for privacy reasons.

Below are Parts 5, 6, 7, and 11 of the questionnaire completed by the Honourable April D. Grosse.

Questionnaire for Judicial Appointment

[…]

PART 5 – LANGUAGE

Please note that in addition to the answers to the questions set out below, you may be assessed as to your level of language proficiency.

Without further training, are you able to read and understand court materials in:

  • English: Yes
  • French: Yes

Without further training, are you able to discuss legal matters with your colleagues in: 

  • English: Yes
  • French: Yes

Without further training, are you able to converse with counsel in court in: 

  • English: Yes
  • French: Yes

Without further training, are you able to understand oral submission in court in: 

  • English: Yes
  • French: Yes

PART 6 – EDUCATION

Name of Institutions, Years Attended, Degree/Diploma and Year Obtained:

University of Saskatchewan, College of Law

  • Attended 1994-1997
  • LL.B. conferred 1997 (Great Distinction and Gold Medal)

Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, École de langue française et de culture québécoise

  • Attended 1993-1994
  • Programme d’apprentissage du français parlé et écrit (non-degree program)

University of Saskatchewan, College of Arts and Science

  • Attended 1990-1993
  • B.A. (Major French) conferred 1994 (Great Distinction)

North Battleford Comprehensive High School

  • Attended 1987-1990
  • Grade 12 Diploma granted 1990 (Governor General’s Bronze Medal)

Continuing Education:

  • Legal Education Society of Alberta: “Cultural Competence, Diversity and Inclusion” (2017)
  • Cambridge Forums: “Estate Planning & Litigation Forum” (2017)
  • Legal Education Society of Alberta: “Legal Project Management” (2016)
  • Canadian Energy Law Foundation Jasper Research Seminar (2007, 2011, 2016)
  • Legal Education Society of Alberta Seminar: “Estate Litigation” (2014)
  • Advocates’ Society: “Winning Your Trial: From Innovative Theories to Successful Results by Pozner and Dodd” (2013)
  • University of Saskatchewan, College of Law: “Future of Law” Conference (2012)
  • Legal Education Society of Alberta: “Trial Evidence” (2007)
  • Regular attendee at Canadian Bar Association Wills & Trusts section lunch speaker sessions
  • Canadian Bar Association National Annual Conference (2000)
  • 75+ CLE seminars at Bennett Jones LLP, with both internal and external speakers, on a broad range of topics such as privilege, trial preparation, rules of evidence, costs, expert witnesses, legal writing, corporate governance, lobbying legislation, how to close an asset purchase, the upstream energy industry, how to read financial statements, generational differences in the workplace and many others

Honours and Awards:

Academic Awards:

  • 1997 Law Society of Saskatchewan Gold Medal in Law (Most Distinguished Graduate)
  • 1997 Walter & Hertha Tucker Scholarship (academic and student activities)
  • 1997 Trial Lawyers’ Association Prize in Trial Advocacy
  • 1996 Ariel Sallows Scholarship
  • 1995 Robertson Stromberg Scholarship (first year academics)
  • 1995 Strayer Prize in Constitutional Law (shared)
  • 1995 Blake, Cassels & Graydon Prize in Contract Law (shared)
  • 1994 MacPherson, Leslie & Tyerman Entrance Scholarship
  • 1991-1993 University of Saskatchewan Undergraduate Scholarship
  • 1992 Beatrice Z. Lick Scholarship for Language Studies
  • 1992 Prix Roger Gauthier for excellence in Spanish
  • 1990 University of Saskatchewan Entrance Scholarship
  • 1990 Governor General’s Bronze Medal
  • 1990 NBCHS Student of the Year

Professional Recognitions:

  • Legal Media Group’s Benchmark Top 25 Women in Litigation (Canada), recognized annually since 2014
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Ranked, Dispute Resolution: Canada 2009-2015
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, “Repeatedly Recommended” for Corporate Commercial Litigation 2016
  • Report on Business Special Edition – Canada’s Leading Energy Lawyers, recognized 2016
  • Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-border Litigation Lawyers in Canada
    • 2016, recognized as one of Canada’s leading cross-border litigators
    • 2010, 2012, recognized as a leading Canadian litigation lawyer to watch
  • Legal Media Group’s Benchmark Canada, recognized 2016 and 2017 in General Commercial Litigation and Energy/Natural Resources Litigation
  • Best Lawyers in Canada, recognized as one of Canada’s leading energy lawyers 2014, 2015
  • Lexpert’s Rising Stars Leading Lawyers Under 40 (2011)      

PART 7 – PROFESSIONAL AND EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

Please include a chronology of work experience, starting with the most recent and showing employers’ names and dates of employment. For legal work, indicate areas of work or specialization with years and, if applicable, indicate if they have changed.

Legal Work Experience:

Bennett Jones LLP

  • Partner 2006-present
  • Associate 1999-2006
  • Articling Student 1998-1999
  • Area of work: Since being called to the bar, I have always practiced in the litigation group. My practice has been fairly general, though with a particular focus in the last decade on commercial disputes, estates litigation and administrative law (with particular focus on policing law).

Supreme Court of Canada

  • Law Clerk to the Honourable Mr. Justice John Sopinka and the Honourable Mr. Justice W. Ian C. Binnie, 1997-1998
  • Area of work: I worked on cases involving a broad range of legal matters, including criminal procedure, evidence, constitutional division of powers, the Charter, tax, civil law and others. I served as the French language clerk for our chambers.

University of Saskatchewan, College of Law

  • Research Assistant to Professors Marjorie Benson, Marie-Ann Bowden, Robert Flannigan, 1996-1997
  • Areas of work: I assisted with research on projects relating to commercial law and property law.

Non-Legal Work Experience:

  • Part-time and summer jobs during high school and university, including: playground recreation leader, piano teacher, highland dancing teacher, RCMP summer student (municipal employee), student employment officer and English language monitor.

Other Professional Experience:

List all bar associations, legal or judicial-related committees of which you are or have been a member, and give the titles and dates of any offices which you have held in such groups.

  • Calgary Bar Association (Secretary since November 2016; Member of the Executive since November 2013; Member since 1999)
  • International Commission of Jurists (Member of National Council since 2014; Member of local steering committee since 2016)
  • Supreme Court Advocacy Institute (Member of Regional Committee for Alberta and Regional Session Coordinator since 2013)
  • Elected to the Partnership Board, Bennett Jones LLP (2016-present)
  • Advocates’ Society (Member of Alberta Advisory Committee since 2016)
  • Canadian Bar Association (Member since 1998)

Pro Bono Activities:

Most of my pro bono work has been as a member of the roster of Pro Bono Law Alberta. My goal since 2010 has been to have at least one active PBLA mandate at all times.  […]

Teaching and Continuing Education:

List all legal or judicial educational organizations and activities you have been involved with (e.g. teaching course at a law faculty, bar association, National Judicial Institute, or the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice).

  • Regular member of faculty for the Bar Admission Course and CPLED course for more than 10 years (civil procedure, discovery and motion practice)
  • Regular judge at the National Laskin Moot Court Competition since 1999 (bilingual; constitutional and administrative law)
  • Periodic Guest Lecturer in Environmental Law, University of Calgary, Faculty of Law
  • Presenter, “Putting the Free in Freedom: A discussion about testamentary freedom and public policy in the context of Spence v. BMO Trust Company,” Canadian Bar Association Alberta Branch, Wills & Trusts Section (May 2017)
  • Panelist, Mastering Winning Questioning Techniques, Advocates’ Society (April 2017)
  • Co-Chair, Arbitration Advocacy Program, Advocates’ Society (November 2016)
  • Presenter on Stewart Estate v. TAQA North Ltd., Canadian Bar Association Natural Resources Section (2015)
  • Panelist, Association of Women Lawyers: “Men Mentoring Women” (2014)
  • Panelist, University of Calgary Faculty of Law: “Success in the Legal Profession” (2013)
  • Presenter, University of Saskatchewan Centennial Future of Law Conference: “Future of Dispute Resolution” (2012)
  • Presenter, Canadian Energy Law Foundation 2011 Jasper Research Seminar, “Force Majeure in Canadian Law” (June 2011)
  • Presenter on Civility, LESA New Lawyers Seminar (2007)

Community and Civic Activities:

List all organizations of which you are a member and any offices held with dates.

  • Scarboro Community Association (President 2013-2014; Vice President 2012-2013; Membership Director 2010-2012)
  • Sunalta Community Preschool (Community Liaison or Sunalta School Liaison since 2012)
  • French for the Future (Steering Committee Member approx. 2002-2011)
  • University of Saskatchewan Capital Campaign (Member Calgary Law Sub-Committee 2006-2007)
  • Canadian Unitarian Council (Regional Network Coordinator 2006-2008)
  • South Alberta Women’s Hockey Association (Member/Player 2000-2010)

[…]

PART 11 – THE ROLE OF THE JUDICIARY IN CANADA’S LEGAL SYSTEM

The Government of Canada seeks to appoint judges with a deep understanding of the judicial role in Canada. In order to provide a more complete basis for evaluation, candidates are asked to offer their insight into broader issues concerning the judiciary and Canada’s legal system. For each of the following questions, please provide answers of between 750 and 1000 words.

1. What would you regard as your most significant contribution to the law and the pursuit of justice in Canada?

The nature of my practice does not lend itself to repeatedly arguing or commenting on cases involving the same issue so as to be seen as developing the law in any one area. Similarly, most of my files would not readily be associated with the pursuit of justice in any sense beyond the inherent pursuit of justice that is involved any time counsel takes on the role of advisor and advocate for a client and does so in a way that is diligent, thorough and in keeping with the canons of ethics and the oath taken as barrister and solicitor. This aspect of the pursuit of justice should not be overlooked. For the parties involved, their role in a given case is no less a pursuit of justice simply because it is not setting new precedent or of great public interest.

I am particularly proud of the fact that while maintaining a demanding practice, I have always made time for pro bono files. My goal for the last many years has been to be active in at least one pro bono representation at any given time. This contribution to the pursuit of justice in Canada is small in the context of the system as a whole, but significant for the clients and significant for me. Without pro bono assistance, these clients would not be able to afford counsel, leaving them to either drop the case or try to pursue it on a self-represented basis, which does not always lead to the most efficient or effective pursuit of justice.  […]

With respect to a contribution to the law itself, perhaps my best example comes from a motion I argued early in my career. The reported decision is at XS Technologies Inc. v. Veritas DGC Land Ltd., 49 Alta. L.R. (4th) 301 (Q.B.); [2003] A.J. No. 1716 (QL) and I described the case in the Skills Assessment section above. The decision on this motion advanced the law in Alberta in terms of the availability of security for costs to defendants who had filed a counterclaim. I believe the decision had a positive impact on the development of the law in Alberta in this area.

Along with the above, one of the reasons I am interested in a judicial appointment is to be able to take a more direct and active role in the development of the law and in facilitating the pursuit of justice for a wider cross-section of the population.

2. How has your experience provided you with insight into the variety and diversity of Canadians and their unique perspectives?

I believe I have reasonable insight into the variety and diversity of Canadians and their unique perspectives. Perhaps more importantly, I know never to assume that someone else’s experience and perspective is the same as mine, even in circumstances that may look objectively similar. I attribute my insight to three aspects of my life experience in particular: 1) Living in different parts of the country; 2) Exposure to linguistic diversity; and 3) Exposure to diversity in gender and sexual orientation.

I have had the privilege of living in four of Canada’s provinces and in both rural and urban settings. I was raised in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, which is an agricultural community of approximately 18,000 people with a significant Indigenous population. I attended University in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – a larger city, but still relatively small compared to Canada’s larger urban centres. While I was working towards my Bachelor of Arts in French at the University of Saskatchewan, I decided to move to what was then Chicoutimi, Quebec to immerse myself in the French language and French-Canadian culture. I spent a full scholastic year in Chicoutimi, living and working primarily with local people and students from across Quebec. I also met fellow Anglophone students from different walks of life all over Canada who had come to learn French. After returning to Saskatchewan for law school, I moved to Ottawa, Ontario for a year to undertake my clerkship at the Supreme Court. Not only did the cases at the Court come from all across the country, but so did the Justices and the law clerks. Upon completion of my clerkship, I moved to Calgary, Alberta, which, during my time here, has become an increasingly diverse metropolitan centre.

In each of these moves, I was struck that the similarities of the people I met were greater than their differences. However, I also became increasingly aware of how many unique threads there are in the fabric of Canadian society and how easy it is to be blind to them if you do not pay attention. For example, when I lived in Ottawa, several of my colleagues were of the Jewish faith. The Jewish community in North Battleford where I grew up was very small, and I knew embarrassingly little about Jewish religious or cultural practices. Moreover, as is so often the case, I did not know what I did not know. I was shocked to accompany my colleagues in Ottawa to the supermarket and learn that there was a kosher aisle. This caused me to reflect on what the experience must have been like for those few Jewish families in North Battleford, with no kosher aisle and very little appreciation in the community at large of their unique experience. And what about the Indigenous children I had gone to school with who sat through (often inaccurate and certainly incomplete) lessons about the history and culture of their people taught by teachers who, albeit usually well-meaning, could not possibly have known anything about it?

Living in Chicoutimi provided insight into both the cultural and linguistic diversity of Canada. Further, for the first time in my life, I was clearly the member of a minority population (linguistic). At that time, my French was functional, but I had never lived in a French-speaking environment. Things that the brain would have processed and filtered in English with me barely noticing, such as an announcement over the PA system at school, required careful focus. In the beginning, dealing with matters of consequence, such as obtaining a medical diagnosis, was frightening and frustrating. People were extremely kind and helpful, and we definitely had more similarities than differences, but I still felt “other” sometimes. I believe that once we have felt “other” (even if not mistreated), it gives us a much greater ability to recognize when someone else may be feeling that way, and to empathize with their experience. My time in Chicoutimi also gave me important insight into some of the challenges that a new Canadian who did not speak English might face upon arrival in Calgary, for example.

My experience as a woman in private practice for almost 20 years has also contributed to my insight into variety and diversity. I have seen first-hand the different – and equally valuable – perspectives and approaches that my male and female colleagues bring to our profession and business. I have also had the benefit of seeing glimpses of the world through the eyes of family and friends who are members of the LGBTQ2 community. Those are not my stories to tell, but I have learned from them.

3. Describe the appropriate role of a judge in a constitutional democracy.

The role of a judge is to hear all who come before him or her with impartiality, and to decide their matters to the best of his or her ability in accordance with the evidence and the law. Depending on the nature of the case, the evidence and the law may come from a variety of sources: oral, written, statute, common law, the Constitution, equity and others. Increasingly, through processes such as judicial dispute resolution, judges are also being asked to play a role akin to mediators. This is a natural extension of the role of the Court in a society governed by the rule of law. There are going to be times when parties misunderstand each either, or misunderstand their respective rights and obligations. There will also be matters about which reasonable people disagree. And from time to time, there will be unreasonable people. In all of these circumstances, and the many others that result in government or citizens interfacing with the justice system, the Court is a mechanism to decide rights, obligations, disputes, responsibility and punishment on behalf of society in a civilized and peaceful way. The judge is someone in whom society places its trust to carry out that function for all. He or she can do so both by deciding cases and by using the experience of deciding cases to assist parties in finding an agreed resolution.

With specific reference to Canada as a constitutional democracy, the role of the judiciary is in large part to ensure that the system does not become a democracy simpliciter. The elected legislators make laws. However, they recognized that in a society governed by the rule of law, there needs to be at least some fundamental checks on their power to do so. This recognition finds expression in particular in section 52(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982, which states that the “Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of Canada, and any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect.” The important role of the judiciary when the issue arises is to determine, in an independent, impartial and nonpartisan way, whether a law is in fact inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution and to exercise the concomitant remedial powers accordingly. This analysis includes interpretation of the law in question and interpretation of the Constitution. In this role of determining the constitutional constraints on Canada’s laws, the judge must defer to the legislature on policy, but not on law. This is in keeping with their respective roles, as defined by the Constitution.

In my experience, discussions about the role of judges in a constitutional democracy often involve discussions about “judicial restraint” or “judicial activism”. However, whether a particular decision is a work of activism or restraint will often be in the eye of the beholder and his or her views of the law in question. It should not matter to the judge as long as he or she is staying within the role of determining whether the law is in accordance with the Constitution, as interpreted. There may be times where upholding the Constitution prevents the legislative branch from doing something new. Equally, there may be times where upholding the Constitution prevents the legislative branch from maintaining a constitutionally unacceptable status quo. And of course, there will be times when what the legislators have done is consistent with the Constitution. As long as the judge does not set out to declare the law constitutional or unconstitutional, or to achieve any particular policy result, but rather, to interpret and apply both the law and the Constitution to the best of his or her ability in light of the evidence and submissions before the court, the judge is fulfilling the role set out for the judiciary in the Constitution itself.

In many cases where a judge is called upon to decide the constitutionality of a law, there is an issue as between the will of the majority, as expressed by the legislative branch of government, and the fundamental rights and freedoms of a minority. The judge is the trusted independent arbiter. The need for judges to carry out their role without bias, and armed with the greatest possible awareness of unconscious and implicit bias – applicable in all matters – is particularly apparent when considering these cases of fundamental rights and freedoms.

4. Who is the audience for decisions rendered by the court(s) to which you are applying?

There could be numerous audiences, including:

1) The parties to a particular case

The decision has a direct impact on their rights and responsibilities. Successful or not, it is important that the parties understand the outcome of the case and the reasons for it. It is also important that the unsuccessful party can see by way of the decision that their position was heard and understood even if not accepted.

2) Counsel in the particular case

The final decision in a case will often be the culmination of months or years of challenging work for counsel. Counsel cares about the outcome and how it affects his or her client. He or she will be called upon to explain the decision and its effect to the client. Counsel also take an interest in many of the details and nuances in a decision, taking note of which approaches to evidence or argument were successful. Most counsel cannot help but read a decision, particularly one where their client’s position did not prevail, and wonder if there was anything they could have done differently. A decision in one case may impact the way that counsel would handle a similar case in the future. Interlocutory decisions are also very important from counsel’s perspective as they may substantially change the course of the litigation.

3) Members of the practicing bar

Members of the practicing bar regularly review new judicial decisions in their area of practice so as to remain current on the law. Further, there are times when the decision in one case can have a very important impact on a particular case that other counsel may already have underway. Members of the bar need to be able to ascertain from a decision what the basic facts are, what law was applied and reasons for the outcome in order to compare present and future scenarios for guidance.

4) Academic community

Members of the legal academic community closely watch court decisions. They play an important role in the development of the law by commenting on decisions and also by writing about themes, trends, nuances or inconsistencies in the jurisprudence that they are able to discern because of their deep study of a particular area. Those items may not be apparent to counsel or a judge who is only dealing with one particular case, and even if apparent, counsel or a judge may not have the resources to explore them. Members of the academic community also consider court decisions for the purposes of using them to teach law to the next generation of lawyers.

5) Public

The public is an important audience for court decisions in a number of ways. First, some decisions are by their nature of interest to the public at large. They may receive significant public attention through media reporting and otherwise. Second, for any given decision, certain segments of the public may have a particular interest because the decision may have a direct impact on them even if they are not named parties. Obvious examples are decisions relating to human or constitutional rights, where others in an affected group will be watching very carefully. However, there are many other examples that may not achieve any notoriety in the media, but are carefully watched by a particular industry or group because they have the potential to change business practices or otherwise change the way people live or work. Third, with the increase in self-represented litigants, or at least people who take some personal role in assessing their own legal rights without a lawyer, it is now very common for members of the public to consult online databases such as CanLII to review judicial decisions. Finally, the public is always an audience for court decisions in the sense that courts are public institutions intended to serve society. Decisions should maintain and enhance public confidence in the administration of justice.

5. Please describe the personal qualities, professional skills and abilities, and life experience that you believe will equip you for the role of a judge.

A judge should have strong legal analytical skills and sound judgment. I hope that I have demonstrated both of those in my work to date. Not only am I capable in that regard, but I truly love the law and I enjoy working through legal issues. I have always approached my work with enthusiasm.

I believe that my legal background is reasonably well-rounded, with exposure to a number of areas of the law. While my experience in criminal and family matters is limited, I am comfortable that with study and advice from colleagues, I would be able to come up to speed in these important areas.

Three particular legal skills I have that I believe would serve me well as a judge are being a good writer, being practical and being good at building consensus. Whether decisions are given in writing or orally, they are written in some form and I believe I have generally been able to write in a way that is clear and logical. I have always tried to be practical in my advice and approach to client matters and I believe that this is also important for judges. As for consensus-building, I believe that this would serve me well in particular in the JDR context. I have been able to resolve a number of cases in creative ways that made sense for all parties. I do not take sole credit for any of those, as it takes work on the part of all parties and counsel, but I would like to think that my ability to get along with people, see points of similarity and think creatively has contributed.

I am also a hard worker and am fully prepared to carry the heavy workload that I know our judges handle. I have managed a demanding practice and the stresses that go with it for many years. I am comfortable that my experience handling competing priorities and deadlines, managing many files at once, travelling on business, dealing with people in challenging situations and making decisions under pressure would translate to the judicial role.

As set out above, to the extent it would assist the Court, I am able to read and understand court materials, discuss legal matters with colleagues or counsel and understand oral submissions in French. I am more at ease in English than French, but I was previously tested at “Exempt” level in both Reading Comprehension and Written Expression in French in the Public Service Commission of Canada SLE Testing. The test for Oral Proficiency was not administered. I have sat as a judge in bilingual moots at the national Laskin Moot Court Competition for 18 years.

With respect to my personal qualities and experience, I believe I am fair, objective and willing to hear all sides of an issue. A judge will have to come to a decision but it is important that the positions of the parties are first heard, understood and given fair consideration. It is also important that those positions be heard and considered by someone who can see past their own personal views and experience. I believe I can do that. When sitting on boards and committees, I have made decisions that were not in my personal interest, or not in the interests of any group of which I was a part, but I believed them to be the right one based on all of the information in front of me at that time.

I am also compassionate. I believe that a judge must approach his or her role with compassion. That does not mean that decisions are made based on emotion, or pity, or anything other than the facts, the law, equity and justice. However, it does mean that one can have some acknowledgment and understanding of the situations in which those before the court find themselves.

Finally, while I appreciate that a judge spends a good deal of time in his or her office preparing to hear cases and writing decisions, their hours in the court room are an interface with people of all kinds. I would welcome that because I truly enjoy meeting and dealing with people. I have always been able to relate well to people, regardless of their age, gender, race, culture, background, politics, orientation, or any other mutable or immutable characteristic that might make us similar or different.

6. Given the goal of ensuring that Canadians are able to look at the justices appointed to the bench and see their faces and life experience reflected there, you may, if you choose, provide information about yourself that you feel would assist in this objective.

I believe that the best way I can answer this question is to simply note some information about me and my experience. I expect some points would resonate with some Canadians and not with others. No justice will look like, or have similar life experience to, every Canadian. Rather, as I understand it, the goal is to have diversity across the members of the judiciary as a whole that is reflective of the diversity of Canadians as a whole. I believe it is widely accepted that this has not traditionally been the case. I leave it to the Committee and/or the Minister to determine whether my appointment would further the objective based on their access to current statistics and the information on other applicants.

I grew up in North Battleford, Saskatchewan (population approximately 18,000). I lived with my mother, father and sister. My father was a teacher and then held management positions in the school system. My mother was a social worker by training and then left the paid work force for many years to raise my sister and me, returning later to a few different positions.

Since leaving North Battleford after high school to pursue post-secondary education, I have studied, worked and lived in Saskatoon, Chicoutimi, Ottawa and Calgary. As described above in Question 2, these moves have provided me with not only the opportunity to meet a wide variety of people, but with at least some insight and perspective on the diversity of Canadians and their experience.

I have lived and worked as a minority (a linguistic minority during my time in Chicoutimi and a gender minority as a female partner in private legal practice). I do not suggest for a moment that my experience has been the same as the experience of other minority populations or even of other people in the same minority populations. Further, each person has his or her own experience, whether majority, minority or otherwise. However, I know enough to never presume that someone else’s experience has been the same as mine and I always try to consider how a particular situation may look or feel to someone with a different perspective than mine. Again, I refer the reader to the response to Question 2.

I am the mother of two young children. My husband and I have both always worked full time outside the home. Almost all of my time outside of legal practice and volunteer work is dedicated to my children and their activities. We are definitely juggling sometimes. I notice that while some things about childhood and adolescence never change, there are also different challenges facing my children than I faced growing up. I hope that I am doing a good job to prepare them. I have a feeling that many Canadians could identify with this experience.

I feel extremely fortunate that I have generally enjoyed good health and that my education and profession have afforded me a comfortable life with many opportunities. I try never to take that for granted and to donate my time and money to the greatest extent possible. I offer my skills and experience for use by the community in the form of the judicial system if they could be of assistance.

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