Lawyer’s group celebrates Filipino Heritage Month with Justices

Toronto, Ontario

 Canada’s three Filipino-Canadian justices in webinar on June 1st, 2022

Tony A. San Juan, OCT-Retired


In celebration of “Filipino Heritage Month” the Filipino Canadian Lawyers Network ( FCLN) will feature Canada’s three first Filipino-Canadian justices across Canada. The Filipino-descent justices will speak and engage in a webinar on June 1, 2022 (Wednesday) at 5:30 PM EDT.

The free online event is sponsored by the Filipino Canadian Lawyers Network( FCLN). Established in 2021, FCLN is a “national not-for-profit organization connecting Filipino Canadian lawyers and justice system actors.” Based in Ottawa, Ontario, it is a federal corporation entity registered with Corporations Canada on May 19, 2021.

Joining  a panel discussion are Justice Steve A. Coroza of the Ontario Court of Appeal, Justice L. Bernette Ho of the Alberta Court of Appeal, and Justice Gail Gatchalian of the Nova Scotia Superior Court of Justice.

Justice Steve A. Coroza was appointed as Justice of the Court of Appeal for Ontario on April 6, 2020. A son of Filipino immigrants, he is the first and only Canadian Filipino appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal. Justice Coroza received his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Windsor and was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 1997. He also received a Master of Laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2003.

The Honourable Justice Ho emigrated from the  Philippines to Canada with her parents when she was six months old. She completed all of her early education in Cochrane, Alberta and earned a B.A. (Honours) in Communication Studies from the University of Calgary in 1992. Justice Ho completed her Bachelor of Laws from the University of Alberta in 1995) and was called to the Bar of Alberta in 1996. She was appointed as Justice on August 6, 2021.

Lawyer Gail L. Gatchalian was appointed as Justice with the Superior Court of Nova Scotia in April 2021. Justice Gatchalian, who immigrated from the Philippines, is the first female Canadian Filipino to be appointed to a provincial Supreme Court. Gatchalian graduated from Dalhousie University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science degree (Honours) and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Toronto in 1996. With a Queen’s Counsel(Q.C.) designation, she specialized in labour, employment, human rights and constitutional law for over 20 years.

First launched on June 1, 2021, the second annual celebration of Filipino Heritage Month is an occasion that provides for members of Canada’s legal community and the public to gather and celebrate by “recognizing the importance of the legal community in vocalizing support for equity-seeking groups across Canada, and for an “equity-seeking association and legal affinity group…. to bring awareness to legal issues and barriers affecting the Filipino community across Canada.”

There is no fee for this event, according to FCLN. Interested parties are requested to contact 613-566-7045 or email: or register through Eventbrite:

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