Election and referendum results

Bencher elections for 2004-2005 term

Seven new Benchers have been elected and 14 Benchers re-elected for the 2004-2005 term, following elections held November 17. As a result of a tie vote in the election of a Bencher to represent District 6 (Okanagan), the Executive Committee has authorized a by-election in that district, in accordance with the Law Society Rules. That new Bencher will be elected on January 21.

New to the Benchers table to represent District 1 (Vancouver) in 2004 are: Joost Blom, QC, of the UBC Faculty of Law, Gavin H.G. Hume, QC, of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, returning Bencher Terence E. La Liberté, QC, of La Liberté and Company and Arthur E. Vertlieb, QC, of Vertlieb Anderson MacKay. Re-elected are Ian Donaldson, QC, Anna K. Fung, QC, John J.L. Hunter, QC, Margaret Ostrowski, QC, Ross D. Tunnicliffe, Gordon Turriff, QC, James D. Vilvang, QC and David A. Zacks, QC. President William M. Everett, QC also continues to serve as a Bencher for Vancouver to the end of 2004.

Completing their terms of service for Vancouver and attaining the position of Life Bencher at the end of 2003 are Robert D. Diebolt, QC, David W. Gibbons, QC and Robert W. Gourlay, QC (all of whom have served as Benchers since 1996) and William J. Sullivan, QC (who has served since 1997).

Anne K. Wallace, QC was re-elected a Bencher for District 2 (Victoria) by acclamation. Ralston S. Alexander, QC, Second Vice-President in 2004, also continues as a Bencher for the district.

In District 3 (Nanaimo) G. Glen Ridgway, QC was re-elected by acclamation.

Carol W. Hickman was elected and Grant C. Taylor was re-elected as Benchers for District 4 (Westminster). Also continuing as a Bencher for the district is First Vice-President Peter J. Keighley, QC. After 12 years of service, Russell S. Tretiak, QC completed his last term as a Bencher at the end of 2003 and has become a Life Bencher.

Bruce A. LeRose, of Thompson LeRose & Brown in Trail, is newly elected in District No 5 (Kootenay), replacing Gerald J. Kambeitz, QC who has completed eight years of service and is now a Life Bencher.

Re-elected in District 7 (Cariboo) are Patricia L. Schmit, QC and William Jackson.

Darrell J. O'Byrne, of Peters & O'Byrne in Prince Rupert, was elected by acclamation in District No. 8 (Prince Rupert), replacing G. Ronald Toews, QC who became a Life Bencher at the end of 2003 after serving as Bencher for the district for eight years.

Robert W. McDiarmid, QC was re-elected by acclamation in District No. 9 (Kamloops).


More than two-thirds of the members voting in a referendum on November 17 approved referendum Questions 1 and 2. As a result, the Benchers are authorized to amend the Law Society Rules to allow for webcasting of Law Society general meetings and to change the minimum number of members required to requisition a special general meeting from 150 members to 5% of members in good standing. (At their December meeting, the Benchers amended Rule 1-9 to implement this latter reform.)

Less than the requisite two-thirds majority of members approved Questions 3 and 4 in the referendum and the Benchers are accordingly not authorized to change the Law Society Rules to increase the maximum number of Bencher terms as proposed.