Lakehead Faculty of Law – Another Step Forward for Thunder Bay


Lakehead University Law School campus
photo by Derek Silver - all rights reserved by photographer
THUNDER BAY – Editorial – In politics, nothing is moved unless it is pushed. In Thunder Bay, on May 19th, a task force was formed. The Chancellor’s Task Force is headed by Arthur V. Mauro, Chancellor of Lakehead University, and prominent lawyer and businessman. The Task Force will focus its efforts on securing the provincial funding necessary to support the operation of the Lakehead University Faculty of Law. The Task Force comprises prominent members of the legal and business communities from the region as well as Simcoe County, and includes: Arthur Mauro, Chair, Brian Stevenson, Vice-Chair, and members Catherine Beamish, Kristen Bucci, Richard Buset, Cam Clark, Sylvio Di Grigorio, Karen Drake, Maria Dufresne, Lee Gould, The Honourable Doug Lewis, Ross Murray, Rod Shewchuck, and Nishnawbe Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief Terry Waboose.

Our two MPPs, Bill Mauro and Michael Gravelle took this idea forward to cabinet, and pushed for the Law School too. Today, the results are that in 2013, there will be Ontario’s first new law school in almost half a century.

The decision to approve the new law school at Lakehead University took efforts from all of those involved. Success as they say has many fathers, and mothers. The vision to get rolling on this project was city-wide. Former Lakehead University President Fred Gilbert is one of those who must be smiling too.

Thunder Bay is in the midst of a major shift, our economy is changing. The knowledge-based economy that has been promised is looking increasingly closer to what was promised. The Lakehead University Faculty of Law is a part of that change.

The Faculty of Law will provide an educational focus on legal issues related to the resource-based Northern Ontario economy. Lakehead University’s Faculty of Law will help redress declining participation in sole- and small- law firm practice, provide access in Northern Ontario to a Canadian law school, and emphasize working with Aboriginal peoples to address the legal needs of Aboriginal communities in the North.

Moving forward means change. Those who are not excited by change might find that Thunder Bay is doing a lot of catching up, and it isn’t over yet.

Our future is ahead of us. Today, a day after the approval of the Faculty of Law, we can see the impact of the efforts of many in our community who are focused on the future. It is our solid conviction at that Thunder Bay’s best days are ahead of us. That said, the changes happening in our city are presenting us with new opportunities. They are fueling a growing spirit of optimism, and engaging the future.

It is a welcome step forward.

James Murray

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