Congratulations to the 2016 FACL Award Winners!
Lawyer of Distinction Award: Sandra Nishikawa
"I am honoured and grateful to receive this award, but I am especially grateful to FACL for providing me with opportunities to build relationships, to learn and to lead over the past 10 years."
"My hope for the Asian Canadian legal community is that we continue to grow, that Asian Canadian lawyers find equity and inclusion at all levels of the profession and that we are able to foster toward a more just and equal society."
Corporate Diversity and Leadership Award: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
"It is a great honour for Osler to receive the FACL Corporate Diversity and Leadership Award. In 1968, we were one of the first large corporate law firms in Canada to admit a woman - Bertha Wilson - to partnership, and Osler has worked very hard at all levels to ensure that we foster a genuinely open and inclusive workplace culture that supports legal professionals of all backgrounds. To that end, we continue to partner with FACL and other organizations who share our goals. To receive recognition for our efforts is humbling and gratifying."
"The Asian-Canadian community is such a strong and vibrant part of the Canadian mosaic. With the support of the legal community including organizations such as FACL and the provincial law societies, we would like to see more mentoring and active support for Asian-Canadian lawyers to attain leadership roles in their legal careers, whether it be in private practice or in the public sphere."
Young Lawyer Award: Junaid Subhan
"Contrary to popular belief, the legal profession provides lawyers with opportunities to help others. This award is a recognition of the outstanding opportunities available for young lawyers to positively impact their communities."
"The remarkable diversity represented by the Asian-Canadian community and our shared values of hard work and commitment to service suggest that good things are to come. I hope to see more great examples of Asian-Canadian lawyers exhibiting professional achievement, spurring social progress and assuming positions of leadership."
Daniel Mark Public Sector Lawyer Award: Arif Virani
"Receiving an award dedicated to the memory of Daniel Mark is very meaningful to me--he was an esteemed colleague at the Ministry of the Attorney General whom all of us greatly respected and dearly miss."
"I hope that the Asian-Canadian legal community continues to grow in both size and influence. A more diverse bench and bar, is a goal that will benefit not only the Asian-Canadian community but Canadian society as a whole."
Lifetime Achievement Award: David Tsubouchi
"To be recognized by your peers in the Asian Canadian law profession is one of the highest honours one can receive. When I first became a lawyer there were few Asians in Canada and very few Asian lawyers. It gives me great satisfaction in seeing how far we have come and how much impact that we have on Canadian society."
"When I was young we had no role models and no mentors to guide us. It is my hope that through mentorship and cooperation through organizations like FACL that Asian Canadian lawyers can take key leadership roles in politics, business and humanitarian efforts in Canada and beyond."
Social Justice Award: Bennett Gastle Professional Corporation
"This award is recognition of all of the hard work by Bennett Gastle employees and the board of directors and volunteers of Cambodian Legal Education for Women (CLEW) over the last 8 years in helping to improve the lives of women in Cambodia. In Canada we have the privilege of living in a country where education is easily accessible for most people. In Cambodia the opportunity to be university educated is next to impossible without aid for young women from the countryside. Education in Cambodia can mean the difference between life and death as it provides the ability to survive the harsh environment where many of our poor students come from. By educating young women we are helping provide the tools for them to provide a living for themselves and to help their extended families and also to improve Women's Rights within Cambodia."
"We wish to show the Asian-Canadian community that a small charity such as CLEW run by a relatively small group of people can really make a difference. We are able to raise awareness about the lack of education and opportunity for women within Cambodia. We help to empower change with our students in Cambodia; which in turn, will help improve their families, communities, and country. To date, CLEW has almost 40 graduate law students who are now working and contributing to the community while helping to support their families."
Omatsu Scholarship: Yuan Stevens
"Receiving this award is like a dream come true for me. It is an incredible honour to be supported by FACL in this way and in the namesake of a woman—Honourable Madam Justice Maryka Omatsu—whose life work serves as inspiration and example for me in myriad ways. "
"In 2012, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said at a conference in Scotland that our judiciary at all levels largely remains comprised of "middle-aged white men in pinstriped trousers.” My hope for the Asian-Canadian legal community is that we would continue to fight for and receive parity and equality in spaces of legal leadership in Canada."
Omatsu Scholarship: Stefanie Wong
"Recognition for my contributions to fostering inclusiveness in the student legal community encourages me to continue to work towards raising awareness of diversity issues."
"I am hopeful that the future Asian-Canadian legal community will continue to expand with greater presence from under-represented communities and that Asian Canadian lawyers will be given more opportunities to succeed."