Chairman, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Ottawa-Gatineau Blais is not scared of criticism and is willing to go above and beyond in the name of customer rights. A new CRTC decision provides consumers more freedom to select TV channels of their liking as part of the cable and satellite subscriptions regardless of bitter opposition from Canada's cable companies. Blais called out former Bell Media president Kevin Crull, without naming names, over reports Crull told CTV news personnel to not interview him after that decision. Crull ended up apologizing for interfering in the information gathering process and afterwards stepped down. From telemarketers to telcos, Blais always aims to encourage the rights and needs of customers. What voters had to say: Reaching big shift with consumer-minded focus. About time!
Partner, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, Hamilton, Ont. Tamminga has committed his career to automating lawful practices. His information technologies focus started in 1986 while he was still a law student and has been given the job of systemizing the manufacturing environment for mortgage files. Since then, Tamminga's aptitude for legal technology has only grown with Gowlings LLP. Three decades back, he was named Gowlings' Innovation Initiatives leader. He's responsible for automating the Gowlings recovery services clinic. He's designed and built lots of additional training systems in the fields of debt collection, loan placement, and civil litigation. His role has required re-thinking that the thornier aspects of large business operations: managing cultural change, inducing client-side thinking, and constructing the compensation mechanisms, which induce new behavior. What the board had to say: Tamminga has shown actual vision in handling tough issues that lots of law firms are not quite ready to take on.
Counsel, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Montreal, Que. An global lawyer who has recently settled in Canada, Arbour has certainly earned a place on the Canadian Lawyer's Top 25 Most Influential list again this season. She's a winner of the 2015 Simons Foundation Award, realizing world leaders who form and create an environment for a much safer and more just world. Arbour has spoken out from prolonged use of solitary confinement and has been inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. She has been a Supreme Court of Canada judge, an global war crimes prosecutor, and a law school professor. Her ability to pick up things quickly led her to various roles nationally and globally. Arbour says economic disparities between and within counties is the number-one inexcusable human rights issue at the moment. Constantly craving new and challenging surroundings, only last year she eventually did something she had never done: joined a law firm in Montreal where she proceeds to fight for individual rights. What Republicans needed to state:Her stunning contributions speak for themselves. International celebrity.
Executive director, Lawyers Without Borders Canada, Quebec City, Que. Also back to his second time around the Best 25, Paradis is an unstoppable force and also a fervent advocate for human rights, especially for women and kids. As a result of Paradis' initiative, the Quebec bar joined LWBC to act as international counsel in favour of Raif Badawi, the Saudi blogger condemned to prison and flogging for his remarks criticizing the plan. Since January 2015, Paradis and LWBC are leading a consortium of Canadian organizations working on a wide-range five-year project to foster justice. They aim to implement means of balancing and prevention for women victims of sexual violence and other persons affected by the Malian armed conflict. He also speaks at several international conferences on human rights issues. What voters had to say: He's left an extremely profitable position at a big national law firm to head LWBC for a very compact paycheque since he followed his heart and his enthusiasm. Canadian Immigration Services. Experts & Consultans Agency In Toronto.
Creator, Klippensteins Barristers & Solicitors, Toronto, Ont. Back for the second year on the Top 25, Klippenstein's continuing representation of 13 members of this indigenous Mayan Q'eqchi' population from El Estor, Guatemala, continues to make waves. Three related suits are before the Ontario courts against Canadian mining firm Hudbay Minerals over the brutal killing of Adolfo Ich and the gang rape of 11 women from Lote Ocho. In a precedent-setting judgment in July of 2013, an Ontario court determined that lawsuits could proceed to trial in Canada over the objections of Hudbay Minerals. At home he's also taking on the big men in a case against Encana Corp. that's challenging the regulation and practice of hydraulic fracking at Canada. What voters had to say: Kudos for standing up for, upholding Canadian values, where we function.
Executive manager, Pivot Legal Society, Vancouver, B.C. Pacey was recently appointed executive director of Pivot Legal and continues the fantastic work of her predecessors. Pivot focuses on issues related to health, police liability, drug coverage, and homelessness, poverty, and sex workers' rights. She may be best known for her role in the Bedford situation, however, Pivot is about more than that and often has intervener status in major Supreme Court of Canada cases, including the current one on mandatory minimums. She is also talented at bringing on board highly respected counsel to work pro bono on many of these instances that may really affect the lives of some of the city, and country's, most vulnerable citizens. What Republicans needed to say: Unbelievable dedication to social justice at every level with keen passionate intelligence. She's helped change draconian legislation that threaten the lives of sex trade workers and restore dignity to people who've been marginalized.