The Honourable R. Roy McMurtry, Q.C., has a long-standing record of public and community service. McMurtry practiced law as a trial counsel for 17 years before being elected to the Ontario legislature in 1975. Upon election, he was appointed to the Cabinet of Premier William G. Davis as the Attorney General of Ontario, a position he held until 1985. As Attorney General, he oversaw important reforms to Ontario’s justice system including bilingualism in the courts, multiculturalism and family law reform. He took an active part in the negotiations that led to the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution and the creation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. During that period he also served for four years as the Solicitor General for Ontario.
In 1985, McMurtry was appointed Canada’s High Commissioner to Great Britain, a post which he held until late 1988. In 1991 he was appointed Associate Chief Justice of the Superior Court in Ontario and then Chief Justice of that court in 1994. In February 1996 he was appointed Chief Justice of Ontario, a capacity in which he served for over 11 years until May 30, 2007.
McMurtry was selected as a recipient of the Order of Ontario in 2007 and an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2009. He has been the chancellor for York University since 2008.