The CBA is delighted to welcome its new President for 2021-2022, Stephen Rotstein

  • August 30, 2021

OTTAWA – Stephen Rotstein of Toronto begins his year-long tenure as President of the Canadian Bar Association today, taking the helm of the 125-year-old Association of over 36,000 lawyers, notaries, law teachers and law students across Canada. He succeeds Bradley D. Regehr of Winnipeg. Steeves Bujold of Montreal begins his term as Vice-President.

“My priority for the year is to empower lawyers to strengthen themselves and their communities,” says Rotstein, the first public sector lawyer to become CBA President. “The pandemic has meant increased workloads for many of our members and highlighted how difficult it can be to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Wellness and mental health are top of mind for many of our members. My focus will be to ensure CBA members have the necessary resources to be the best version of themselves and bolster their resiliency in these challenging times. I also want to encourage our members to further strengthen their own communities by volunteering and getting involved in various local initiatives. Giving back benefits both the individual and the community.”

In addition, the new CBA President wants to focus on younger legal professionals who may be contemplating non-traditional career paths. “I worked as a lawyer in government, business, the not-for-profit sector and now for a regulatory body. While historically many lawyers spent their entire careers in private practice others – especially now – want to practice differently, by going into government, in-house or the not-for-profit sector, for instance. The Association is there to help them shape careers they’ll find rewarding and to support them.”

The new CBA President looks forward to meeting volunteers and partner firms to speak about well-being initiatives and to hear about matters of importance to them. Building on the success of past CBA presidents, Stephen looks forward to engaging members through the Conversations with the President podcast, which will focus in 2021-2022 on ways we can strengthen our community, featuring guests who have done so in different and important ways.

The CBA Board of Directors also welcomes new members as of today: Steven J.R. Seiferling of Saskatchewan, James Attila Barsby of Nunavut, Melanie del Rizzo Q.C. of Newfoundland and Labrador, Lynne M. J. Vicars of Ontario and Mike McKinney Q.C. of Alberta. They join Board members who are entering the second year of their two-year terms: Melanie J. Mortensen of British Columbia, Brittany J.A. Scott of the Northwest Territories, Susan M. Johnson of Nova Scotia, David G. O’Brien, Q.C. of New Brunswick, John D. Stefaniuk of Manitoba, Jonathan Coady of Prince Edward Island and Eden F. Alexander of the

Yukon. The advocacy priority for the new Board is the transformation of justice systems with a focus on sustainable changes to serve legal needs and ensure equal access to justice in Canada.

Stephen Rotstein is Director, Global and Domestic Affairs at the Ontario Securities Commission. As part of the Executive Management Team, Stephen provides strategic counsel on a broad range of issues relating to capital markets, systemic risk and international standard setting work.

Prior, Stephen was Vice-President, Policy & Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel at FP Canada (formerly Financial Planning Standards Council) where he oversaw all public policy and regulatory matters related to financial planning and practiced corporate, commercial, employment, intellectual property, corporate governance, and non-profit law. He also serves as Chair of the Credit Counseling Society (CCS) and previously was Chair of the Four Villages Community Health Centre.

Quick facts:

  • Stephen Rotstein received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from the University of Western Ontario in 1993.
  • He obtained his Bachelor of Law (LL.B) degree from York University – Osgoode Hall Law School in 1996.
  • He was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1998 and in New York State in 1999. He obtained his CIC.C certification from CCCA/Roman Business School at the University of Toronto in 2015.
  • He served as Director of Government Relations and General Counsel at the Human Resources Professionals Association. As part of that role Stephen led the Association’s intervention in Honda vs. Keays at the Supreme Court of Canada.
  • He has been a member of the CBA since 1998; he served as a member of the CBA Board of Directors (2016-2017 and since 2019), as Chair of the CBA Finance Committee (2019-2020) and Chair of the CBA Governance and Equality Committee (2020-2021). In addition, he was Chair of the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association (2016-2017) after having served as CCCA Vice-Chair (2015-2016). He is also currently Chair of the In-House Counsel Worldwide (ICW).
  • He is a long-distance runner who enjoys spending time outdoors. He is married to Christina and has two daughters.