I started this blog in 2011. At the time, I was seeking to create a forum for discussion of all matters relating to Canadian constitutional law. Since then, there have been over a hundred posts on a variety of constitutional issues, ranging from the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the division of powers and federalism, parliamentary issues, constitutional principles and in particular as of recently, aboriginal rights and the role of Indigenous nations and their laws in our federation. It is fair to say that the Canadian constitution provides a fascinating backdrop for diverse issues. In 2011, I said on this page:
I believe that a constitution should reflect the country that it regulates. It is, after all, the constitutional skeleton from which all other legal flesh and tendons is hung. It must embody the soul of the people it governs – or perhaps more accurately, its people’s soul must govern it.
I would alter that statement today to say that a constitution should present the ideal or “hoped for” society of the country that it regulates. It should be inspirational and not merely reflective. As the last years have shown us, our existing society has all sorts of blemishes and imperfections and our constitution should help us strive to do better. I hope to write about this concept more as I brush off this blog and resume posting.
About Arthur Grant
Arthur Grant works with Harris & Company LLP, a civil litigation firm focused on workplace law and advocacy in Vancouver, British Columbia. Raised in small towns around the province, Art attended University of British Columbia where he obtained his Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) in 1980. While attending UBC, Art joined the UBC Thunderbird Rowing Crew, rowing with the crew for four years, a sport he still loves and competes in today.
Art then went to University of Ottawa, taking courses in both English and in French from both the Common Law and Civil Law programs. After graduating from Ottawa, he clerked with the British Columbia Supreme Court and then completed his articles with a large Vancouver law firm. In 1986, he and his young family moved to Gatineau, Quebec, and he pursued his Masters of Law under the Civil Law section’s supervision. His thesis, written in French, focused on a theory of judicial review that would be appropriate for the definition of constitutional rights and freedoms under the then new Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. While doing his Masters, Art worked as part-time law professor and as a researcher for the Law Reform Commission of Canada. He then clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada, first for Mr. Justice William McIntyre and later for Madam Justice Beverley McLachlin (later Chief Justice). It was during these years, that Art’s passion for constitutional law was cemented.
Art and his family then returned to Vancouver where he has practised as a civil litigator ever since. He has co-authored The Canadian Law of Architecture and Engineering, the 3rd ed. with Beverley McLachlin. He has acted as counsel and has appeared in every level of court, from Provincial Court to the Supreme Court of Canada. He has been the Chair or Co-Chair of the Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties Section of British Columbia. He has served on the national executive of the Constitutional Law and Human Rights Section of the Canadian Bar Association including as Chair, the national Policy Committee, and the national Access to Justice Subcommittee, and, provincially, on the Access to Justice Committee (including as Chair), the Equality and Diversity Committee, the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, the Judicial Advisory Committee and the Governmental Relations Committee. He is a member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Medical Assistance in Dying Committee. He is a member of the Institute of Parliamentary and Political Law. He is also on the Board of Directors for Rowing BC.
In his time outside of the office, Art is either rowing with the Deep Cove Masters Rowing Crew, swimming with the North Vancouver Masters Swim Club or enjoying time with his family either in the mountains of North Vancouver or up the Sunshine Coast.
Request for input
If you know of a constitutional issue or case that you think would be of interest to Canadian constitution-watchers, please let me know. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note to readers
The opinions and comments contained in this blog are those of Arthur Grant only. They are not and are not intended to be the representations of any law firm, association or organization that Arthur Grant may be associated with. They are not intended to be legal opinions. This blog and its contents are subject to copyright asserted by Arthur Grant. Anyone wishing to reproduce any part of this blog may request permission to do so from Arthur Grant.