THE ADVOCATE 17 VOL. 77 PART 1 JANUARY 2019
Another aspect of leadership we have seen from Nancy is her sincere and
passionate support for the Law Society’s commitment to improving legal
aid. Master Sandra Dick, who hails from Nanaimo and who has worked with
Nancy over the years, notes:
When the legal aid crisis started and continued downwards, Nancy
stepped in and looked at ways to create assistance for families. She was
the driving force behind the Nanaimo Children’s Lawyer pilot project in
Nanaimo (a combination of a Hear the Child Report and a children’s
advocate), a service available on family files in both levels of court for
Nancy has always stepped up to f ind solutions and fill voids for those that
need it the most: the clients, the children and the public—often at her
own cost. She saw a need for mediators and arbitrators in mid-Vancouver
Island as well as the northern part of the island, so she obtained her qualif
ications in both fields so that these areas of the island would be better
served. Further, Nancy has always been willing to make her services
accessible through sliding scale fees and unbundled legal services. She is
always encouraging others in our profession to do the same.
The Honourable Judge Justine Saunders has also worked with Nancy
for years, first as a colleague and then as a Provincial Court judge. Judge
I f irst met Nancy in the early 1990s when I was a shy newcomer to
Nanaimo as an immigrant and new to the Canadian legal system. My f irst
file with Nancy scared me to death, as she was f ierce and knew her stuff.
I had to stay on top of my file. But her dry sense of humour has had me
in f its of laughter from that time on. She never ceases to amaze me with
her sharp mind and equally sharp and spontaneous wit. After meeting
her, I soon found her Achilles’ heel: her profound love of cats. I share this
passion with her.
Kristin Rongve, who is currently the chair of the City of Nanaimo Bar
Association, has also worked closely with Nancy. She is a colleague, friend
and long-time supporter who recognizes that ingenuity and diplomacy are
skills that leaders need. Referring to Nancy’s caring attitude and dedication
to helping others, she remarks:
Nancy cares deeply. She has always been committed to helping younger
lawyers, and she has served as a mentor to the profession in a variety of
ways. She has helped those in need on many occasions. She has always
been there to give practical advice and assistance during times of stress.
I do confess I appreciate that she has talked me down from that famous
and figurative ledge that I had climbed a few times.
Nicole Cederberg, who went to law school with Nancy and was a colleague
of hers in Nanaimo, writes: