922 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2018
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen. The Cohen Commission’s complicated
science-focused evidence energized Wendy (and gave her new nonchicken
related cocktail party stories).
The second experience was the opportunity to act as hearing counsel for
the Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation (“SSN”) on the SSN’s own environmental
review of a mining project in the Jacko Lake area traditionally
known as Pípsell.
The SSN review panel, made up of 46 members (including elected chiefs
and councillors as well as elders, youth and family appointees), sat for a
week of hearings outdoors in the Tk’emlúps pow wow grounds, with Wendy
leading the panel through the evidence of over 70 witnesses (literally in
sun, wind and rain). The review panel equally weighed Indigenous and
western environmental values with a view that Pípsell was “uniquely situated
to serve as a place of sharing between Indigenous and non-Indigenous
people”. The Honouring Our Sacred Connection to Pípsell report was a key
piece of evidence relied on by the provincial government in its decision
about the mine.
Wendy is the co-founder of Sisters in Law (“SIL”), a networking group
focused on increasing the visibility and profile of Vancouver’s many excellent
senior female civil litigators (and on telling a few war stories over
strong cocktails). It is interesting to note the number of judges who have
recently been appointed from among the SIL ranks.
Under the title of “what happens in Vegas”, Wendy was on the planning
committee of the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C.’s Women Trial Lawyers’
Retreat since 2008. In 2017 this retreat was named the top-ranked CLE in
North America and has featured important speakers such as the Honourable
Louise Arbour and the Honourable Justice Suzanne Côté of the
Supreme Court of Canada. The impact of this retreat is even more remarkable
when one considers that the vast majority of it takes place in spa robes.
With the delivery of the SSN review panel report, Wendy asked, “What’s
next?” With her amazing kids, Peter and Sarah, in university and with the
support of her husband, Kelly, the chance to serve the community as a
judge seemed like the next natural step.
Even with such a busy professional life Wendy has always made family a
priority. Wendy starts her judicial career with the support of her immediate
family as well as Kelly’s extended family throughout Quebec, Washington
and Haida Gwaii.
Wendy is known for her brilliance, loyalty, kindness, open-mindedness
and integrity. The entire province is extremely fortunate to have someone
of Wendy’s thoughtfulness, dedication and compassion as one of the newest
members of the Supreme Court of British Columbia.