LAST week, federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau delivered the keynote address at the South Asian Bar Association of Toronto’s annual gala and awards ceremony where he spoke about the great importance of ensuring that Canada’s diversity is reflected in key leadership positions, from the bench to elected office.
Trudeau said that is why Liberals are working to build a strong team that is as diverse as Canada, adding that we cannot do a good job of representing communities in Ottawa if we do not reflect the diversity we find at home.
He noted that commitment to diversity, fairness, and opportunity were values that Canada’s seventh prime minister, Wilfrid Laurier, believed in, and he believed in them too – not because they are Liberal values, but because they are Canadian values.
Trudeau spoke about how Laurier’s efforts helped make Canada into a place that celebrates and takes pride in its diversity, and is rooted in fairness and opportunity.
Trudeau said that as Liberals, they stand proudly behind these Canadian values. One of the most obvious examples of that Liberal commitment is the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, introduced by his father, then-prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, in 1982. In the 30 years since, the Charter has served us well; we know that it is an integral tool for protecting minority rights in this country, and, in fact, the rights of all Canadians, he pointed out.
THE 2014 South Asian Bar Association (SABA) Toronto Award winners:
* Simon Fish, General Counsel of BMO Financial Group is awarded SABA’s inaugural Diversity Award for his exemplary commitment to the promotion and recognition of diversity in the legal profession.
* The following individuals are also recognized for their excellence and leadership within the legal profession:
– Bindu Cudjoe, BMO Financial Group
– Sanjeev Dhawan, Hydro One Networks
– Sunil Mathai, Ministry of the Attorney General
– Awanish Sinha, McCarthy Tetrault LLP