588 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 4 JULY 2018
ally adjusted. He learned to skate, to play hockey in winter and baseball in
summer, and in his words, to be Canadian.
Three years later, the family moved to Burnaby. Again it was January.
Again Mark was in shock, this time with the cold rain. And again, he
adapted, learning to ski, to dress for the weather and to be a West Coaster.
The family lived in North Burnaby throughout Mark’s later elementary
and high school years and then his attendance at Simon Fraser University,
where he obtained a B.A. with a double major in history and political science.
While at university, Mark and his buddies made regular trips to the
Railway Club to drink and socialize. It was on a busy night there that he met
his future wife, Sandra. Mark asked whether he and his group could sit at
her less-than-full table, as the place was jammed. Sandra said no. But they
somehow parlayed this inauspicious beginning into Mark, the oldest of five,
marrying Sandra, the youngest of five. Over 30 years later the marriage is
still going strong.
Sandra hails from Victoria, which was a significant factor in Mark’s decision
to enrol at the UVic law school. He graduated in 1990 and articled in a
litigation practice with Ian Donaldson and Adrian Chaster at Oliver and
Company. While Mark was exceptional at both civil and criminal litigation,
to Adrian’s chagrin he gravitated away from the civil and towards the criminal
side. In 1999 Mark and Ian formed Donaldson Jetté. In 2010 Mark
joined James Sutherland to form Sutherland Jetté until, like James before
him, he was elevated to the Provincial Court bench. Before that happy
event, Mark’s practice was almost exclusively criminal with a smattering of
extradition cases. While most of the files were defence, it is a sign of the
respect in which Mark is held that over the years, he was retained by the
Crown a number of times to handle difficult special investigations and prosecutions,
as well as by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner to
represent the commissioner at public hearings into allegations of police
With the occasional interregnum for life events such as living in Victoria
while Mark went to law school or having children, Sandra has worked in
supervisory and managerial capacities at the British Columbia Institute of
Technology for as long as Mark has known her. As to children, there are
three: Emily (24), Sophia (18) and Sam (15). The girls are pursuing higher
education, and Sam, now in grade 10, looks to be heading in that direction
too. Each of the children is doing well, and there is every sign that they will
be able to support their parents in their dotage.
Mark likes to ski and ride his mountain bike, and he golfs as little as possible.
Time for such activities has been limited by the demands not only of