Touchstone Award

The Touchstone Award celebrates the accomplishments of an individual or an organization who has excelled in promoting equality in the legal profession, the judiciary, or the legal community in Canada. The award recognizes successful promotion or furthering of equality at the national level and/or a significant contribution relating to race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or other diversity issues in the recipient’s community.

Eligibility

  • Candidates shall be individuals or organizations who are connected to the legal profession, the judiciary, or the legal community in Canada;
  • There are no posthumous awards;
  • Current members of the Governance and Equality Committee, the Equality Subcommittee and the CBA Board of Directors are not eligible for this award.

Criteria

  • Consideration will be given to candidates who have successfully undertaken a national initiative to advance equality; and/or
  • Consideration will be given to candidates who have worked on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or other diversity issues in their community; and/or
  • Consideration will be given to candidates who have championed issues of equality within the institutions of the legal profession, including the CBA, the Law Societies, the judiciary, or law schools; and/or
  • Consideration will be given to candidates who have been involved in litigating important equality issues; and
  • Consideration will be given to past recipients to ensure a balance is maintained between organizations and individuals.

Nomination Procedure

Each nomination requires:

  • A letter of nomination by a CBA member stating reasons for the candidate’s nomination, providing confirmation that the candidate has been advised of the nomination, and including a copy of the candidate’s curriculum vitae
  • Letters of support from three (3) CBA members
  • A completed nomination form with contact information for the candidate, nominator and supporters
  • Completed application packages must be submitted using the online form.

Deadline for Applications

December 1, 2020

If you have questions please email touchstone@cba.org.

Selection Process

The Award is administered by the Equality Subcommittee.

Award

The Award takes the form of a soapstone sculpture which resides at the National Office in Ottawa. The recipient will receive a framed replica of the award, which will be presented at the President's Dinner on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 in Ottawa (subject to change based on the COVID-19 restrictions). If required, return airfare and one night’s accommodation will be provided by the CBA for the winner to attend the dinner and award presentation.  Recipients are also invited to bring one guest to the dinner.  Airfare and hotel for the guest would be the recipient’s responsibility.

Past Winners

  • 2018 - Justice Douglas R. Campbell
  • 2017 - No award given
  • 2016 - No award given
  • ​2015 - Lisa Addario  (Ottawa)
  • 2014 - Professor Martha Jackman (Ottawa)
  • 2013 - Chief Justice Catherine Fraser (Calgary)
  • 2012 - Valli Chettiar (Vancouver, BC)
  • 2011 - Patricia Blocksom, Q.C. (Calgary, AB)
  • 2010 - Dalhousie University’s IB & M Initiative (Halifax, NS)
  • 2009 - Kim Pate (Ottawa, ON)
  • 2008 - Judge Corrine Sparks (Dartmouth, NS)
  • 2007 - Margaret Ostrowski, Q.C. (Vancouver, BC)
  • 2006 - Daphne Dumont, Q.C. (Charlottetown, PEI)
  • 2005 - Judge Juanita Westmoreland-TraorĂ© (MontrĂ©al, QC)
  • 2004 - Sandra Jakab (Vancouver, BC)
  • 2003 - Claire L’Heureux-DubĂ© (QuĂ©bec, QC)
  • 2002 - Yvonne Peters (Winnipeg, MB)
  • 2001 - Mr. Justice RenĂ© Dussault (Sillery, QC)
  • 2000 - Professor Kathleen Mahoney (Calgary, AB)
  • 1999 - Kathy Louis, Regional Vice Chair, National Parole Board (Pacific Division, BC)
  • 1998 - Sheila Greckol (Edmonton, AB)
  • 1997 - Madam Justice Cecilia Johnstone (Edmonton, AB)
  • 1996 - Madam Justice Rosalie Abella (Toronto, ON)