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W Oppal

Oppal appointed chancellor of Thompson Rivers University

Wally Oppal, a former judge and attorney general of British Columbia will be the next chancellor of Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C.

Born in Vancouver and raised on Vancouver Island, Oppal is a graduate of the University of British Columbia Law School. He worked in private practice before being appointed to County Court of British Columbia in 1981 and to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 1985. In 2005, Oppal was elected as the Liberal MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview.

A well-known advocate for justice, he is also the author of “Closing the gap: Policing and the community,” the report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into Policing in British Columbia.

Oppal says he is honored to serve as the chancellor at “such a progressive and innovative university”. In the fall of 2011, TRU will open the first new law school in Canada in more than 35 years. “It is one of the things that enticed me to accept the position,” says Oppal.

“Access to justice is one the big issues facing Canada today,” says Oppal. “Young lawyers end up gravitating towards the major cities and I think by having a law school in Kamloops that will auger well for future and we can provide access to more lawyers outside of larger centers.”

In 2003, Oppal was appointed to the B.C. Court of Appeal and served as the B.C. attorney general and minister responsible for multiculturalism from 2005 to 2009. He currently heads the Commission of Inquiry into Missing Women in British Columbia, tasked to examine police response to reports of missing women on Vancouver’s downtown eastside. 

Oppal will be formally installed as chancellor on June 8, 2011 replacing Nancy Greene Raine.
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S Saxe

Saxe gets rare HR honour

Toronto-based Baker & McKenzie LLP partner Stewart Saxe has been named a Fellow Certified Human Resources Professional.

Saxe became just the sixth person to receive the honorary award from the Human Resources Professional Association in its 75-year history, after he was nominated last summer.

“Stewart’s accomplishments and contributions are many and we are thankful to him for all that he does for our association and our profession,” said Antoinette Blunt, the chairwoman of HRPA’s board of directors. Her organization regulates human resources professionals in Ontario and is the largest human resources association in Canada.

The award promotes best practices in the human resources profession and is reserved for those that have made an “exemplary contribution to the human resources management profession.”

Saxe has authored more than 50 papers and articles, plus at least 60 more publications on labour and employment issues, which have become standard texts in the industry for disseminating human resources knowledge.

He was also involved in amendments to the Human Rights Code, The Employment Standards Act, the Labour and Relations Act, Bill 168 and, most recently, Bill 14: The Access to Justice Act.

“We congratulate Stewart on this prestigious award,” said Charlie Dodds, chairman of Baker & McKenzie’s global employment practice group. “To have received such a rare commendation is truly an honour and is reflective of the firm’s commitment to providing clients with high-quality service.”
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