Canadian Lawyer Gives Millions to Social Justice Causes

Canadian Lawyer Gives Millions to Social Justice Causes 2

A media shy British Columbia lawyer has donated $30 million to help promote human rights and social justice, along with fighting corruption globally.

Peter Allard is a philanthropist and businessman as well as a lawyer, who has already donated many millions to social justice causes.

Peter Allard, a UBC law school grad, has donated $30-million to help the school promote human rights and social justice, as well as anti-corruption efforts around the world, the university said in a news release on Thursday. The donation is on top of $11.86-million Mr. Allard gave the school in 2011.

Mr. Allard was described by the university as “media shy,” and declined to be interviewed about his gift. Instead, he told the school he felt “it’s important for me to try and rebalance the system.”

“We all witness on a day-to-day basis horrendous abuses of power and corruption, and usually it’s by those that have the money and the ability to illegally game the system or can pay for the influence,” Mr. Allard told UBC in an interview.

Mr. Allard graduated from UBC with a B.A. in history in 1968, and a LL.B. degree in 1971. He practised real estate and business law for 20 years, and founded his own law firm, Allard and Co.

He stopped practising in 1993 and established the Highbury Foundation, which has funded special projects and charities such as the B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Vancouver Aquarium, the British Columbia Institute of Technology, the Emily Carr Institute Trust Fund, and others. Mr. Allard has also financed projects such as Vancouver’s now-closed Odyssey nightclub and Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in Barbados.

Three generations of family members worked along thousands of employees to create the gift that was given to UBC Law, Mr. Allard said.

Mary Anne Bobinski, dean of what will now be known as the Peter A. Allard School of Law, said students and faculty are already working on social justice initiatives, including an indigenous community legal clinic and a project dedicated to helping people pursue claims of wrongful conviction, she said.

Read more at The Globe & Mail

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