820 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2018
of her career in the trenches as a trial prosecutor in the Lower Mainland,
Surrey and Nanaimo conducting every type of case under the Criminal
Code. Of note: Margaret and the late Richard Wallenstein were the trial prosecutors
on R. v. Gladue, the seminal Supreme Court of Canada case on the
sentencing principles applicable to Aboriginal offenders.
Despite her extraordinary professional accomplishments over her 27-
year career, Margaret is the product of humble, hardworking pedigree. A
West Indian woman of East Indian ancestry who is believed to be descended
from the Hindu kings of Bareilly, she was born in 1965 on the small
Caribbean island of Trinidad off the east coast of South America near the
equator. Throughout her life, Margaret has carried with her an appreciation
of the diverse, multicultural land from which she came, where the culture
and institutions are by-products of colonization by the English, French and
Margaret is the youngest of four children. Her late father was born in
Grenada while her mother was also born in Trinidad. Margaret’s mother, a
strong supporter of women’s education, set high standards for her and
instilled in Margaret her persevering nature and compassion for others.
Margaret’s father was a well-educated teacher but because he was not
Trinidadian by birth he found it diff icult to advance to higher positions
within his profession. In the 1960s he chose to immigrate to Canada to make
a better life for himself and his family by working as a teacher f irst in New
Brunswick and then in British Columbia at schools in East Vancouver and
on the North Shore. Margaret arrived in B.C. at the age of three and became
a Canadian citizen within a few short years.
The family’s f irst house in Canada was a modest one near the railway
tracks in Pitt Meadows. The house shook at night when the heavy prairie
trains heading for the coast passed by. In 1970 the family moved to Point
Grey where Margaret’s father enrolled her in Carnarvon Elementary School
and later Canyon Heights Elementary School in North Vancouver. Margaret’s
parents stressed the importance of education. If she wanted to make
it in this world, she had to become independent and prove herself—and
excel she did, proving herself to be an exceptional student.
Margaret later attended Windsor Secondary School, graduating in 1983.
She then commuted daily to UBC until she completed her undergraduate
degree in political science in 1987. Joining her in those formative classes of
political science and history were some lifelong friends and colleagues
including Russell Brown (now a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada),
Paul Schwartz and Gabrielle Scorer (now both lawyers) and Fainula Kurji-
Rodriguez (now an international policy consultant).