Canadian Lawyer

December/January 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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16 www.canadianlawyermag.com FEATURE CROSS EXAMINED The following are some of the leadership roles and recognition Osler has had for his community-facing work: 2021 Member, Calgary Influential Women in Business Awards Advisory Selection Committee 2020 Recipient of Male Champion Award, Calgary Influential Women in Business 2019-present Director, Calgary Economic Development Authority 2012 – present Chairman, McCarthy Tétrault Foundation 2015 – 2018 Co-chairman, Calgary Cancer Centre/ Concerned Citizens for the Calgary Cancer Centre ENGAGING WITH THE COMMUNITY corporate work and clients, it is when he talks about his community engagement that he really becomes animated. Internally, Osler has been the chairman of the McCarthy Tétrault Foundation, which Osler says is uniquely structured for a Canadian law firm. "McCarthy Tétrault was the first firm and may still be the only firm to have a large chari- table foundation." The foundation, Osler says, has given many lawyers an opportunity for community involvement. "That's just a wonderful thing to be able to do in the legal profession, where we are essen- tially selling a relationship and when we can enhance and strengthen those relationships by mutual contributions to our communities." Osler also cites his involvement in the cancer advocacy groups that resulted in a soon-to-be-constructed cancer centre in Calgary. This advocacy took place over various years and different provincial governments, where funding was promised and then lost. His work took on even more significance when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2007, which has been in remission since 2012. "I'm proud to say that, through our efforts — and it was a group effort — the comprehen- sive cancer centre that we sought is about 70 per cent of the way to completion." For Osler, the charitable and community focused work is not in addition to the business of the firm, it is integrated with how the firm runs its business. He cites the firm's "Inclusion Now" program as a key example. "There's probably nothing that our clients talk to me about more than our Inclusion Now program. It is a hot topic with clients; it's a hot topic with people in our community. "I'm 57. And we have a lot of folks in their 20s and 30s. And to see just how important diversity and inclusion is to that demographic and to see how excited they are about it and how they are going to develop careers based on those values is probably where it resonates the most with me." Working in Alberta, now, however, Osler fears that much of the positive work that is being done in the community is at risk in a poor economy. "It's probably the most challenging busi- ness climate that I've seen in my career and certainly in Calgary and Alberta." For Osler, the key to addressing this issue is to build the community on the national level, which means keeping Canada's energy industry strong. "What I find curious is there doesn't seem to be a lot of national leadership that accepts the proposition that to get to a greener economy . . . the energy industry has to play an essen- tial role. . . . Without that, I fear for all of the things that are important to me. Diversity and inclusion, making our communities better, that doesn't just happen. That takes a strong economy, to bring those pieces of our commu- nities along." "[Running a charitable foundation] is just a wonderful thing to be able to do in the legal profession, where we are essentially selling a relationship and when we can enhance and strengthen those relationships by mutual contributions to our communities."

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