THE ADVOCATE 93
VOL. 77 PART 1 JANUARY 2019
The Honourable Judge Peter Robb LaPrairie
Anyone who has been asked to contribute to a biography
of a new judge realizes the difficulty. A new
judge like Peter LaPrairie provides such a challenge.
Peter’s devotion to the legal system and his family is
well known. The danger of wading through a glut of
superlatives, although deserved, does not, however,
provide a template for fully knowing Peter. So what
is the secret to understanding Peter? He has had a stellar legal career that
would be the envy of anyone pursuing criminal law. He has achieved recognition
as an expert in his field. He has selflessly shared his expertise with
others and acted as a mentor and role model to other lawyers. But this article
will focus on the fun things he likes to do or quirky stories about him.
His success in life can be distilled into a single concept: Peter is content.
He is content in his role as husband, father, brother, uncle, friend, lawyer
and now judge. He was sworn in on January 16, 2017 and has been assigned
to the Fraser Region with chambers in Surrey.
Peter was born in Toronto, the eldest of four children. His parents, Leon
LaPrairie, P.Eng. and Carol LaPrairie, Ph.D. were leaders in their respective
fields. Both are deceased. Leon prospected in the North after graduating
from U of T. He was well known within the mining community for his promotion
of mining ventures across Canada from the NWT and Yukon to Newfoundland.
Carol was considered the preeminent scholar on Aboriginal
justice issues. She authored groundbreaking reports, essays and books
including Will the Circle Be Unbroken? Aboriginal Communities, Restorative
Justice, and the Challenges of Conflict and Change (co-authored with Jane
Peter moved to Vancouver in 1976 after his parents divorced. He was a
source of support for his mother as she began her life as a single parent. He
attended University Hill Secondary School and later graduated from Caledonia
Secondary School in Terrace after the family moved north. During his
high school years he was instrumental in attempting to have tiddlywinks
declared an intramural sport. His love of tiddlywinks has endured.
After graduating from high school Peter attended Simon Fraser University
and then the University of Ottawa, where he graduated with a bachelor’s
degree in political science. He also attended the Université de Savoie
in Chambéry, France, where he obtained a certificate in French as a second
language. (Où sont les tiddlywinks?)