The Honourable Mary J.L. Gleason
Justice Gleason was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, lived most of her youth in Calgary, Alberta, and pursued her university studies in Ottawa and Halifax. She obtained a B.A.(Honours) in History (summa cum laude) from the University of Ottawa in 1981 and an Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from Dalhousie University in 1984, where she was awarded several prizes, including the Honourable Richard B. Hanson Prize for Constitutional Law and the Honourable Alistair Fraser Scholarship, for having made the greatest overall contribution to scholarship and student life.
Prior to her appointment, Justice Gleason was a senior partner with Norton Rose, LLP (formerly Ogilvy Renault, LLP) and practiced labour and employment law in Ottawa with that firm for nearly 26 years. Justice Gleason primarily represented national employers in the full range of labour and employment issues, including complex employment-related litigation, class proceedings, collective bargaining and interest arbitration of national collective agreements, human rights and constitutional law cases and other proceedings before the federal and provincial labour boards, arbitrators, the federal and Ontario courts. She was recognized as a leading labour and employment practitioner by Best Lawyers in Canada, L’Expert, PLC Which Lawyer?, Guide to the World’s Leading Labour and Employment Lawyers, and Canadian HR Reporter’s Canada’s Employment Law Directory.
Justice Gleason held a number of management positions within her firm, including that of co-managing partner of its Ottawa office and Ottawa Chair of its Employment and Labour Group. Justice Gleason frequently guest lectured at the University of Ottawa and taught a course in employment law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ottawa. She has written numerous articles and regularly presented papers to conferences hosted by a variety of organizations, including the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association, Insight, Lancaster House, the Council of Industrial Relations Executives of the Conference Board of Canada and the Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers (CACE), an association of Canadian management-side labour and employment practitioners. Justice Gleason was a founding member of CACE, its first (and to date only) female President and authored many of the position papers that CACE presented on federal law reform issues. She also was active in the Canadian Bar Association and the Ottawa Human Resource Professionals’ Association, where she held the portfolio of Government Affairs Liaison on its Board of Directors for a number of years. Prior to her appointment she was a member of the Canada Industrial Relations Board’s Client Consultation Committee and the Federal Court Labour Law, Human Rights, Privacy and Access Review Liaison Group.
Justice Gleason was appointed a Judge of the Federal Court and an ex-officio member of the Federal Court of Appeal on December 15, 2011.