The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL) Ontario honoured Raj Anand, WeirFoulds Senior Partner and Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada, with their 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Raj has championed the advancement of human rights in Canada over the last 30 years. He has served as a Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission and was the founding Chair of the Ontario Human Rights Legal Support Centre.
The award was presented to Raj during the FACL 11th Annual Conference and Gala on November 18.
During the conference, Raj moderated a discussion on the topic, “Advancing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion”. The discussion centred on the “Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees” Working Group of which Raj was the co-chair.
The Working Group’s final report offered recommendations to address issues of systemic racism in the legal profession. On December 2, 2016, the Law Society of Upper Canada voted to adopt the recommendations.
Raj says he is honoured to be part of a ground-breaking initiative by a legal regulator.
“We have directed the professions to implement detailed steps to achieve culture change and remove barriers that unfairly impede the progress of minorities and women,” he said.
“When they are able to compete on their own merit, everyone benefits – law firms, clients, and the public at large.”
This award adds to an array of recognitions that Raj has received throughout his career, including recently being named one of Canadian Lawyer’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers for 2017 in the Human Rights, Advocacy and Criminal law category.
The FACL Ontario lifetime achievement award recognizes an Asian-Canadian legal professional who has practised law for a minimum of 25 years, and has made significant and longstanding contributions to the legal community and for positive contributions made to social justice and/or the Asian community.
We congratulate our friend and colleague on this honour.