2005 Symons Medal Lecture
The Honorable Roy McMurtry, Chief Justice of Ontario
Confederation Centre of the Arts was pleased to award the second annual Symons Medal to Hon. Roy McMurtry, Chief Justice of Ontario.
The Symons Medal is one of Canada’s most prestigious honours and recognizes a distinguished individual who has made an exceptional contribution to Canadian life.
Mr. McMurtry was called to the bar in 1958 and practiced law as a trial counsel for 17 years before being elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1975. Upon election, he was immediately appointed to the cabinet of Premier William G. Davis as the Attorney General for Ontario, and served in that position until 1985. He was deeply involved in the patriation of the Canadian Constitution and the creation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. During that period, he also served four years as the Solicitor General for Ontario.
In 1985, he was appointed Canada’s High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Great Britain, a post he held until late 1988. In 1991, he was appointed Associate Chief Justice of the Superior Court and then Chief Justice of that Court in 1994. In February 1996, he was appointed Chief Justice of Ontario, a position in which he served until May 30, 2007.
He also served as Chancellor of York University from 2008 to 2014.