Human Rights Awards
Held in commemoration of International Human Rights Day, these awards are meant to recognize those in our community who are actively promoting, fulfilling, protecting or educating on human rights, and making our communities a place where all belong, are included and able to participate.
Every year awards are given out to recipients, who are local human rights champions who are building Edmonton as a human rights city. In 2016, we awarded our first winner from outside of Edmonton in our efforts to recognize Albertans making an impact. This is followed by the Gerald L. Gall Award for an individual who has made an outstanding contribution and has demonstrated excellence in the protection and promotion of human rights in Canada.
Robert P. Lee, the recipient the Gerald L. Gall award in 2016, explains what the award means to him, “Right now, there’s a little more failure than success in the work that I do. Because it is so challenging, in a way I feel that I’m not worthy of it yet. I hope to help the people that I’m representing- and I’m not there yet.” The lawyer, also a children's advocate, has represented victims of sexual abuse who he felt were not being treated fairly by the legal system.
This year we have Allan Garber, recipient of the 2017 Gerald L. Gall award as our keynote speaker:
Mr. Garber received his law degree from McGill University in Montreal in 1984 and was admitted to the bar in 1985. In a case that received national and international attention, he acted for about 150 Albertans who were sexually sterilized under Alberta's notorious eugenics program. On behalf of elderly Albertans, Mr. Garber commenced a class action concerning the fees charged by long term care facilities. Certification of the class action was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada. Mr. Garber has acted for many elderly victims of abuse and neglect, often on a pro bono basis. He has defended the rights of family members to visit their loved ones in long term care facilities. Recently, Mr. Garber worked with the Elder Advocates Society of Alberta to end age discrimination in Alberta. He is widely known as the "senior's lawyer."