Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin of the Supreme Court of Canada to Visit CBU

Will receive an honorary degree and launch the Sampson McDougall Allan E. Sullivan, Q.C. Public Lecture Series

(Sydney, NS) – The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Right Honourable Beverley M. McLachlin, P.C., will visit Cape Breton University (CBU) in October. Chief Justice McLachlin will receive an honorary doctorate of laws from CBUat a special convocation ceremony and be the first speaker in the Sampson McDougall Allan E. Sullivan, Q.C. Public Lecture Series. The event will take place on Monday, October 18 at 7:30 p.m. in CBU’s Boardmore Theatre.

Chief Justice McLachlin is a native of Pincher Creek, Alberta. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Master of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Alberta. She was called to the Bar of Alberta in 1969 and the Bar of British Columbia in 1971 and practiced law in Edmonton, Fort St. John and Vancouver and taught at the Faculty of Law of the University of British Columbia.

On January 7, 2000, Right Honourable McLachlin made Canadian history by being the first woman appointed as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. Before her appointment as the 17th Chief Justice of Canada, she was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1989. Prior to that, from 1988 to 1989, she was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, a judge of the Court of Appeal of British Columbia from 1985 to 1988, a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia from 1981 to 1985 and a judge at the County Court of Vancouver in 1981.

“CBU is proud to welcome Chief Justice McLachlin to our campus and award her with an honorary degree. We value the opportunity to provide our students, faculty, staff and the community with exposure to a person of her esteem and caliber. Whenever Cape Breton University can play a key role in an event of this importance, we like to do so. ,” says Dr. H. John Harker, CBU President and Vice-Chancellor. “Sampson McDougall is a community minded supporter of our University and we are eager to work with them in attracting high profile individuals for the Allan E. Sullivan, Q.C. Public Lecture Series.”

“We are extremely pleased to have Chief Justice McLachlin as the inaugural speaker in the Sampson McDougall Allan E. Sullivan, Q.C. Public Lecture Series. Presenting someone of her stature to the students of CBU and the entire Cape Breton community is something we are thrilled to support,” says Robin Gogan, Managing Partner, Sampson McDougall Barristers and Solicitors. “The goal of the series is to give our community, and in particular CBU students, access to some of Canada’s finest and most sought after speakers who will share their insight around matters of social justice in a public and academic forum.”

Gogan notes that “The concept of an important annual lecture was brought forward by partners of the firm, discussed with Cape Breton University and determined appropriate to name it after Allan Sullivan, one of the most prominent civic, community and political leaders of his time in Nova Scotia.” County Court Judge Allan E. Sullivan was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia in 1932. He grew up in Sydney, Nova Scotia before attending university in Halifax. Sullivan was a graduate of Sydney Academy and went on to complete his undergraduate and his Bachelor of Law degree at Dalhousie University.

Throughout his life, Sullivan was a prominent member of the Nova Scotia legislature, a Cape Breton county court judge, a Liberal MLA and a cabinet minister in the government of then Premier Gerald Regan. He held several cabinet portfolios including mines, welfare, education, health and attorney general before he was appointed to the bench in 1976.

Sullivan was also an extremely active member of the Cape Breton community. He was a founding father of the College of Cape Breton, was a great advocate of the Coast Guard College and always a protector and supporter of the local economy.

The ceremony and public lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public. A reception will follow in the Boardmore Theatre foyer. Chief Justice McLachlin will also take part in a class dialogue with CBU political science students at 3:00 p.m. as part of her speaker series visit to campus.