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Monday, January 5, 2009


On Dec. 30, Governor General Michaëlle Jean announced 60 new appointments to the Order of Canada including lawyers Barry Strayer and David Matas.

Strayer , a longstanding judge of the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal who was born in Moose Jaw, Sask. has been named as officer of the Order of Canada for his contributions to the Canadian legal profession, especially in the field of constitutional law, and for his role in bringing about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Winnipeg immigration lawyer Matas was named a member of the Order of Canada for his contributions to human rights legislation and immigration and refugee law.

Recipients will be invited to accept their insignia at a ceremony to be held at a later date.


Justice Thomas Cromwell will be sworn in as a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada on Jan. 5. Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin will preside over the private ceremony.

The official welcome ceremony for Cromwell will take place at 10:30 a.m., on Feb. 16, in the main courtroom of the SCC. Remarks are expected from McLachlin, representatives of the Government of Canada, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Canadian Bar Association, and the Law Society of Nova Scotia.

On Dec. 22, 2008, Cromwell was appointed to the SCC by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Parliamentary hearings were not held prior to the appointment.


The end of 2008 was also the end of an era for historian and lawyer Don Coxe, who retired from his position as global portfolio strategist for BMO Capital Markets.

Coxe will remain a portfolio consultant to BMO’s Coxe Commodity Fund and will continue to provide insight to BMO Nesbitt Burns Investment Advisors and their clients during 2009 through the publication of his portfolio strategy journal, Basic Points. He will also establish his own independent advisory firm, Coxe Advisors LLC.

Coxe served as associate editor of the National Review magazine in New York, practised law in Toronto, and served as general manager for the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and general counsel for the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.

He has been CEO of a major Canadian investment counselling firm, research director and strategist for a leading institutional dealer, a strategist on Wall Street and CEO and chief investment officer for Harris Investment Management Inc., which, in 2005, was ranked number one overall as the best-performing mutual fund organization in the U.S.


Reporters Without Borders secretary general Jean-François Julliard has called on Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, the head of the Iranian judicial system, to explain why Hossein Derakhshan, a leading blogger with Iranian and Canadian dual nationality, has been detained since Nov. 1.

According to a Dec. 30 Reporters Without Borders press release, Iranian judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi confirmed Derakhshan's detention saying one of the reasons for his arrest was what he had written about leading Shiite figures in his blog ( He would be held while an investigation was carried out, said Jamshidi.

Iran was the most repressive country in the world towards bloggers in 2008. Approximately 20 were arrested or attacked because of their blogs and five are currently detained. The government has said it is filtering more than five million web sites, according to Reporters Without Borders.

The authorities closed down Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi's Human Rights Defenders Centre on Dec. 21. Launched in 2002, the Tehran-based centre provided free legal aid to journalists and human rights activists.

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