Honourable Wally Oppal, Q.C.

Commissioner of Inquiry

Wally has dedicated his entire working life to improving social justice and community safety. He was born in the Vancouver-Fraserview neighbourhood, attended law school at UBC, and then practised law for 14 years. He was Crown Counsel and Defence Counsel on numerous high-profile criminal cases.

Wally was appointed to the County Court of British Columbia in 1981 and to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 1985. In 2003, he was appointed to the British Columbia Court of Appeal.

Wally served as Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism from 2005 to 2009.

Wally’s passion for the Canadian legal system is exemplified by the various positions he has held throughout the years:

• Frequent guest lecturer for Continuing Legal Education Society seminars
• Frequent lecturer and speaker on criminal justice, violence against women and women’s justice issues
• President, Law Courts Education Society of British Columbia
• Former Director, Family Services of Greater Vancouver
• Member, Advisory Committee, Law Reform Commission of Canada
• Member, 1993 Ad Hoc Advisory Committee for a National Strategy on Community Safety and Crime Prevention
• Former Director, B.C. Coalition for Safer Communities
• Past Member, Supreme Court National Criminal Law Programme Judges Criminal Law Committee
• Member, Delegation to South Africa on Access to Justice
• Author, 1994 Oppal Report on Policing

Wally has been recognized with several awards, including:

• Georges A. Goyer, QC, Distinguished Service Award (2000)
• Lawyers Assistance Program of B.C., Lawyer Helping Lawyer Award (2007)
• Anthony P. Pantages, QC, Medal for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Public Safety (2005)
• RBC Mehfil Magazine, Lifetime Achievement Award (2010)
• Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of the Fraser Valley (2010)

Wally has recently been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation and is currently the Chancellor for Thompson Rivers University.

Wally is an avid reader, enjoys staying physically fit by playing basketball, as well as coaching in the Steve Nash basketball league.