OTTAWA – Brad Regehr of Winnipeg begins his year-long tenure as CBA President today, taking the helm of the 124-year-old Association in an unprecedented time for the legal profession. A member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, he is the first Indigenous person to hold the position. He takes over from Vivene Salmon, who coincidentally was the first Black lawyer to serve as CBA President. Stephen Rotstein of Toronto begins his term as Vice-President.
The CBA Board of Directors also welcomed new members as of today: Eden Alexander of Yukon, David O’Brien, Q.C., of New Brunswick, Jonathan Coady, Q.C., of PEI, Brittany Scott of NWT, Susan Johnson of Nova Scotia, and John Stefaniuk of Manitoba. They join Board members who are entering the second year of their two-year terms. Melanie Mortensen won a mid-term election in British Columbia to replace William Veenstra, who was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in June.
As President, Regehr will co-Chair the CBA’s Task Force on Justice Issues Arising from COVID-19 with immediate Past President Vivene Salmon. The task force addresses the growing list of legal issues resulting from the pandemic. The new Board has adopted the modernization of justice systems as its advocacy priority for the year.
“My personal priority this year will be to advance the work of the CBA’s Truth and Reconciliation initiative, which has done some great work in the past year, including in May when it launched The Path, which is about increasing awareness of the legacy of the Indian residential school system,” says Regehr. “Wellness is another priority – the stress and isolation of COVID-19 is weighing on everyone this year. I will also continue the Association’s focus on young lawyers. They are an important part of everything we do.”
Member outreach is a top-of-mind issue for the new CBA President, since many of the normal channels – travel to Branches and in-person meetings with volunteers and partner firms – will not be available due to COVID-19 restrictions. One way he will speak to members is through the podcast Conversations with the President, which this year will focus on the Calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report.
Brad Regehr is a partner with Maurice Law in its Winnipeg office, where his practice focuses on Aboriginal law, civil litigation and administrative law. He recently completed a two-year term as President of the CBA’s Manitoba Branch, and has held a variety of positions at both the Branch and National levels of the CBA, where he has been a member since 1996.
- Brad Regehr received his LL.B at the University of Manitoba in 1996.
- He was called to the Bar in Manitoba in 1997.
- He was part of the legal team that successfully defended a challenge to a First Nation’s tax laws under the First Nations Fiscal Management Act, the first litigation involving that statute.
- A passionate amateur actor, he has been involved in eight productions of The Lawyers Play, a joint fundraising production between the Manitoba Bar Association and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.
For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact Kim Covert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CBA Board of Directors
Interview with CBA President Brad Regehr