30th Annual McDonald Lecture in Constitutional Studies

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Telus Centre 150 (Auditorium)

University of Alberta

111 Street & 87 Avenue

Edmonton, AB T6G 2H5

Canada

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Join the Honourable Paula Simons, Senator, for her lecture titled "Schrodinger's Senate: Experiments in Constitutional Reform"

About this Event

From the moment the Senate of Canada was created, 151 years ago, Canadians have been arguing over its responsibilities, its independence, and its efficacy. In 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made dramatic, fundamental changes to the way the Senate itself operates - without a constitutional amendment. Three years later, what have the results of that experiment been? And what will the coming election mean for the future of the Senate, and for its constitutional role?

The Hon. Paula Simons was born and raised in Edmonton, and attended the University of Alberta, Stanford University and the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. Before joining the Senate, she spent 30 years working as a journalist – including 23 years with the Edmonton Journal, where she was an award-winning political columnist and investigative reporter.

Over the course of her journalism career, Simons earned two National Newspaper Awards for her investigations and analysis of Alberta’s troubled child welfare system. That same body of work also won her recognition from the UNESCO Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom, and from Journalists for Human Rights.

She has also been honoured by the Alberta Centre for Civil Liberties Research at the University of Calgary law school for her work championing LGBQT rights, and by the Canadian Bar Association, for her writing on legal affairs.

Please join us for her lecture at 5:00 PM in room 150, Telus Centre, followed by a reception from 6:30 PM in the Atrium.

The event is free and open to the public.

The Hon. Justice David C. McDonald of the Alberta Court of Appeal was born in 1932 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He earned his BA at the University of Alberta, while working as a part-time radio announcer, and studied law as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. After admission to the bar in England, he returned to Edmonton, where he practiced law at McCuaig Desrochers and lectured in the Faculty of Law.

In 1974, Justice McDonald was appointed to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. He was known as a jurist of great intellect and integrity. Recognizing these qualities, the Government of Canada appointed Justice McDonald to head the landmark, controversial investigation — the Commission of Inquiry Concerning Certain Activities of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police — into wrongdoings during RCMP operations aimed at Québec separatism. For four years, the McDonald Commission held hearings across Canada and wrote its three-volume report, which was published in 1981. Its key recommendations were followed: Canada’s domestic security operations were moved to a new, civilian agency under more rigorous oversight.

Immediately after completing the McDonald Report and returning to the Court, Justice McDonald wrote one of the first volumes on the new Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. From 1974 to 1977, he was the first President of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice. Among his other honours, he received the Justice Medal from the Institute in 1993 and an honourary doctorate from the University of Alberta in 1995. He was appointed to the Court of Appeal shortly before his death in 1996.

Justice McDonald donated the proceeds of his book on the Charter to help establish the McDonald Lecture in Constitutional Studies. The Faculty of Law ensures continued funding for the lecture through the McDonald Endowment. The Centre for Constitutional Studies has held this lecture annually since 1989.The McDonald Lecture brings recognized scholars to speak to the public, the campus community, and the legal community on timely and significant constitutional issues.

Date and Time

Location

Telus Centre 150 (Auditorium)

University of Alberta

111 Street & 87 Avenue

Edmonton, AB T6G 2H5

Canada

View Map

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