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Honouring His Honour
Thu, 15 September 2016, 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM EDT
On the occasion of our 25th Anniversary and the 15th Anniversary of the Gladue (Aboriginal Persons) Court, Aboriginal Legal Services (ALS) is hosting an evening in celebration of The Honourable Justice Patrick A. Sheppard.
Reception & Silent Art Auction: 5:30 p.m. (The art we will be auctioning has been created by several talented, visionary artists and artisans from Ontario's unique Indigenous communities)
Dinner: 7:00 p.m.
Please join us!
If you wish to sit with a group of people, you must purchase tickets for everyone in your party at the same time. After you have purchased your tickets, a staff member from ALS will contact you via email to get the names of everyone in your party and to find out if anyone has food allergies or dietary restrictions.
We have a very limited number of tickets and expect this special event to sell out quickly. If you cannot attend the dinner but wish to support Aboriginal Legal Services in honour of the Hon. Justice Sheppard, we ask that you do so via our Canada Helps webpage instead of purchasing a ticket that will not be used. Donations made through Canada Helps are eligible for a tax receipt as will a portion of the ticket price for this special event.
If you have any questions about this event or wish to become an event sponsor, please contact the Event Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Honourable Justice Patrick A. Sheppard
Patrick Sheppard was born and raised in Toronto, attending high school at Jarvis Collegiate. He went east for his university education, graduating in 1965 with a BA in Political Science and English from Acadia University in Wolfeville, Nova Scotia. While at Acadia he was active in the debating and drama programs.
He received his LLB from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. It took him four years to complete a three year program, due to talking a year off to participate in federal politics, a harbinger of things to come.
In 1972 he opened a storefront practice is South Riverdale handling a range of legal issues. In 1975 he was a staff lawyer at Parkdale Community Legal Services.
Politics called to him again and he served three terms on Metro and Toronto City Councils between 1976 and 1982 under four different mayors representing then Ward 9 in the Beaches. While on Council he served on many committees. He left elected politics in 1982 but stayed involved and acted as Chairperson of Jack Layton’s Election Planning Committee during Jack’s run for mayor in 1991.
Following the Council years he resumed his legal career working with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) and as Discipline Counsel at the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Patrick was appointed to the Bench in 1991 and initially sat in Newmarket where he served as a Local Administrative Judge (LAJ). From 1993 to 1998 he was in Scarborough where his abilities working with people were again recognized and where he was again an LAJ. In 1998 he moved to Old City Hall, where he sat until his retirement from the court in 2009. While the Hall was his home court he took opportunities to discover other parts of the province presiding in a wide variety of Ontario locations, including the Aboriginal communities in Ogoki and Fort Hope in the North.
Patrick’s most well-known decision was R v Parker in 1997 where he found the laws prohibiting the possession of marijuana violated the Charter rights of those who used the drug for medicinal purposes. The decision was upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal and led to the regulatory regime now in place for medical marijuana use.
One of Patrick’s most significant achievements was seeing the creation of the Gladue (Aboriginal Persons) Court at Old City Hall in the fall of 2001. That Court has served as a model for similar courts across the city, the province and the country.
Patrick has been with his partner, Linda, for forty-eight years. They have one daughter, Victoria, who works for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in Ottawa, and one grand-daughter, Nia, aged 3 and a half.
Shortly after retirement, Patrick was struck by a rare disabling disease – Progressive Supranuclear Palsy - the cause of which is unknown. Avid travellers, Patrick and Linda are very thankful for their earlier travels together to many parts of the world including the Arctic, Patagonia, Uzbekistan, Kenya, South Africa, and Australia.