Ronald J. MacDonald, Q.C., named Federation President

Posted on November 15, 2010

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada is pleased to announce that Ronald J. MacDonald, Q.C., of Halifax has been elected as President of the Federation for a one year term. He had previously been Vice President and President-elect.

The decision was made at a meeting of the Federation Council on September 23, 2010, during which Council also named John J.L. Hunter, Q.C., of Vancouver as Vice President and President-elect, and elected Batonnier Gérald R. Tremblay, C.M., O.Q., Q.C., of Montreal as Vice President. John Campion becomes Past-President of the Federation.

Their terms of office continue until November 15, 2011.

Mr. MacDonald obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from Dalhousie University, and was admitted to the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society in 1985. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2002.

Mr. MacDonald is a Criminal Law Policy Advisor with the Nova Scotia Department of Justice. He has also worked extensively with the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society since 1987, serving as a member of its Council from 1992 to 2001 and as its President in 2005-2006. He joined the Federation Council in 2004 as the representative of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society.

There are few institutions in today’s society subject to more intense public scrutiny than the Canadian legal system, says the new Federation President. “Through the Federation, Canada’s law societies are very active at the national level, moving forward with initiatives for regulating the legal profession in order to uphold and protect the public interest.”

“We are developing national admission, discipline and ethical standards, and we have established a system of mobility within the legal profession that has created a truly Canadian lawyer”, Mr. MacDonald notes. “In the coming year, completing the work on the Model Code of Professional Conduct will be an ongoing goal for the Federation, and the implementation of recommendations of the Task Force on the Canadian Common Law Degree will require significant attention.”

The mobility agreement now in place with law societies is expected to be extended to Quebec notaries as well in the coming year. “While our focus has been on licensing and professional standards, law societies in Canada are also dealing with a variety of other important issues, such as how Canadians can better access legal services and legal resources,” Mr. MacDonald adds.

Those legal resources include legal information from CanLII, a non-profit organization created and funded by the Federation on behalf of its 14 member law societies. It was created to provide efficient and free access to the growing number of judicial decisions and legislative documents. The recent appointment of a new Board of Directors and a new five year agreement with CanLII’s principal technology service provider, Lexum Inc., is helping transform CanLII into a first-class electronic publishing business, which benefits all Canadians.

Mr. MacDonald is a dedicated community volunteer in his native Nova Scotia, working with a variety of community groups and coaching youth and university level sports teams. His volunteer work has been recognized by Atlantic University Sport, and he is a recipient of the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Heads of Prosecutions National Humanitarian Award, which honours professional excellence, exemplary service and outstanding achievements.