Election Statement

I am running for re-election as Bencher for the Central East Region in order to help sustain the momentum of recent advancements at the Law Society, including important developments on issues related to equity, diversity and inclusion within the profession, and Access to Justice.
As a bencher and through my past experiences, I have assisted Indigenous communities, women, and diverse ethno-racial, faith-based and LGBTQ communities in Ontario and across the country in promoting Access to Justice and equity and diversity in the legal system. I have also worked towards combating racism and discrimination across Canada. I am proud to have been able to continue this important work in my capacity as Bencher from 2015-2019.
I am currently Chair of the Law Society’s Equity and Indigenous Affairs Committee. I also serve or have served on a number of other committees, task forces and working groups at the Law Society, including:
  • Professional Development & Competence Committee;
  • Governance Task Force;
  • Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group;
  • Chair of Keshen Review Panel;
  • FLSC Truth and Reconciliation Advisory Committee;
  • The Law Society Awards/LL.D. Advisory Committee;
  • Priority Planning Committee;
  • Mental Health Working Group; and
  • The Strategic Planning Steering Group.
As a Bencher, I was a strong proponent for the adoption of both the Statement of Principles and the new CPD requirement focused on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. If re-elected, I will continue to advocate for greater equity, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, as well as enhanced Access to Justice for all Ontarians.
As Managing Partner of a small law firm, I also understand and appreciate the challenges faced by sole and small firm practitioners in Ontario. While local bar associations do their best to provide members with resources, I believe the Law Society can do more to improve the services and supports offered to practitioners in Ontario.
Finally, I am committed to further strengthening the programs and resources available to both licensing candidates and lawyers. This includes, but is not limited to, greater access to quality, affordable CPD programs as well as improved mentorship opportunities for licensing candidates and new lawyers.

Biographical Data

Background

Born and raised on Manitoulin Island. Currently living in in Minesing, Ontario with her husband and two children.

Education

LL.B. University of Toronto Faculty of Law, 1996, HBSW., Laurentian University

Practice Area:

Aboriginal law, with a concentration on Aboriginal and Treaty rights for First Nations. Dianne represents First Nations in Ontario, Québec and Alberta.
Dianne was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1998.

Professional Service

  • Bencher of the Law Society of Ontario, Central East Electoral Region (2015-2019);
  • Chair of the National Secretariat Against Hate and Racism in Canada (2003-2006);
  • President and Board Member of the Indigenous Bar Association (2000-2005).

CLE

Frequent lecturer, author and contributor on issues involving Indigenous law and Indigenous Peoples.

Honours / Awards

  • Indspire Award for Law & Justice (2019);
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Counsel designation (2013);
  • Canada’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers, Changemaker Category (Canadian Lawyer Magazine, August 2012).