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Jan Advocate 2017

122 V O L . 7 5 P A R T 1 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 THE ADVOCATE ensued) and Emilee, a black, mixed-breed cat who, believing herself to be a dog, comes running down the stairs to greet visitors at the front door alongside Kerry. For over a decade, Maria co-chaired the CLEBC Aboriginal Law Conference. She used this forum to open dialogue among First Nations, government and industry on current issues. She also encouraged newer lawyers to write and speak alongside more seasoned lawyers, and she often invited them to co-chair with her. She has spoken and published in the areas of employment and human rights, international trade, insurance law and Aboriginal law. In 2009, she was editor-in-chief of Aboriginal Law Since Delgamuukw, published by Canada Law Book. In 2012, Maria was elected a bencher for Vancouver County, a position she held until her appointment. As a bencher, Maria sat on numerous committees, including the Discipline Committee, the Equity and Diversity Committee, the Practice Standards Committee and the Finance and Audit Committee. She was a member of an ongoing Law Society task force committed to implementing the findings and recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She had previously served on a task force that developed and delivered a business case for retaining and advancing women lawyers in private practice. Maria is also active in the community, serving on the Lions Gate Hospital Foundation, as a guest instructor at the Allard School of Law and as a past council member of the Minerva Foundation for BC Women. While Maria’s talents and accomplishments are many, she does have one known weakness: she is mechanically “suspect.” She has been known to let her gas tank run down to empty, put her car into reverse rather than drive and somewhat overestimate the size of parking spots. But her many positive attributes swamp her small stock of human flaws. In addition to those attributes already listed, Maria is a wide-ranging reader. Recent favourites include Anthony Doerr’s deeply moral and engaging All the Light We Cannot See. She is committed to her spiritual practice, which includes silent retreats and being an active member of an Anglican congregation in North Vancouver. When asked about her interest in serving as a judge, Maria responds, “I hope to contribute as a judge by ensuring litigants are truly heard and dealt with fairly so that the outcome, whatever it might be, is seen as a legitimate one. We are trusted to manage the trial process in a way that is even-handed and balanced. Litigants may not win their case, but if they see that their point of view was thoughtfully considered, if the principled basis upon which the judge arrives at the result is made clear, then something of real


Jan Advocate 2017
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