Kenora lawyer Peter G. Kirby wins Sidney B. Linden Award

Posted on: Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Peter G. Kirby

Toronto – Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) has selected Peter G. Kirby as the 2012 recipient of its highest honour, the Sidney B. Linden Award, in recognition of his tireless advocacy for the neediest people in his community and beyond. LAO will present Mr. Kirby with this award at an invitation-only ceremony in Kenora in September.

“Peter Kirby’s longstanding history and commitment to helping the most vulnerable and marginalised members of society make him a very worthy and deserving award recipient,” said Aly Alibhai, Chair of the 2012 Award Selection Committee. “His unwavering dedication to ensuring access to justice for those who often don’t have a voice truly exemplifies the essence of Legal Aid Ontario’s Sidney B. Linden Award.”

Mr. Kirby has practiced family and criminal law in the Kenora district for the past 34 years. A driving force behind the development of the Kenora Community Legal Clinic, he was its first lawyer and director. He has gained respect throughout Ontario for his skills and sensitivity in representing children, youth, people who suffer addiction and people with mental health issues. Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Kirby is:

  • founder of the Kenora Lawyers Sentencing Group, which lobbies against legislation that can harm society’s most vulnerable people; he was invited to provide his findings to the Senate Committee on Bill C-10 on the impact of federal Bill C-10 (the Safe Streets and Communities Act)

  • a speaker at countless community legal education and information events to advocate for preventative and rehabilitative measures and oppose punitive sanctions

  • a committed participant in policy development, with numerous briefs submitted to House of Commons and Senate Standing Committees and the Ontario government; his tenacity in defending one client led to changes in Ontario’s Liquor License Act

  • a well-respected writer on legal issues, published in Kenora Daily Miner and News, Journal of Law and Social Policy and the Canadian Legal Aid Bulletin

  • an admired educator, has taught at Kenora’s Confederation College and Winnipeg’s Red River College since 1999

  • a passionate community activist: founding member of Amnesty International Kenora Chapter, chair of the Kenora Assembly of Resources (which oversees the operation of social support community projects), past president and current committee member of the Kenora District Law Association

Learn more about the Sidney B. Linden Award on the LAO website.


For questions or further information, please contact:

Kristian Justesen
Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Phone: 416-979-2352, ext.4782
Email: and/or