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Catherine Chaisson awarded 2016 Distinguished Community Service AwardJune 24, 2016In early 2007, the Law Society was approached by Nancy and Derek Key to assist in establishing the Distinguished Community Service Award “to honour, recognize and celebrate the valuable contribution that members have made to various community organizations at the local, provincial or national level, as well as to showcase the vast spectrum of voluntary services that members provide to the community at large”.

The 2016 Distinguished Community Service Award Nomination Committee is pleased to present this years award to Catherine Chaisson.

Catherine Chaisson was raised in Emyvale, PEI. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1986 from UPEI and her Law Degree from Dalhousie University in 1992.  Cathy was admitted to the Bar of Prince Edward Island in 1993 and has been practising law in Charlottetown at Legal Aid in various capacities for many years.  She is the proud mom of her 3 children, Jess, Jean-Luc & Patrick.  Her husband Marc Dugay is here with her this evening.

Cathy is an avid volunteer, generously giving of her time and skills to serve others.  She has focused her efforts on the legal community, access to justice, vulnerable sector housing, family violence, children and youth, as well as at-risk members of society.  She is devoted to public legal education and is skilled as a facilitator, leader and organizer. Cathy is also the current co-Chair of Collaborative Practice PEI.

Cathy has been an active member of the Law Society throughout her career, having served on the Ethics Committee for the past 10 years.  She has also acted as the monitor in a sensitive discipline matter.  She has been involved with the Community Legal Information Association for almost a decade as a Board Member and consultant.  She has also been a presenter for several of CLIA’s public interest education sessions, as well as other organizations.  She has served the Kings Square Non-Profit Housing Corporation in several executive positions.  Currently Cathy serves as the Chair of PEI’s Victim Services Advisory Committee and has acted as liaison for the Transition House Association.

The issue that Cathy is most passionate about, however, is learning difficulties in children.  This led her to spearhead and obtain funding for an initiative to bring “Arrowsmith”, an internationally recognized program to help children, youth and adults with learning difficulties to achieve academic success, to PEI in 2012-13. 

Cathy truly believes in the concept of giving back to her community and exemplifies the criteria which have been established for the Distinguished Community Services Award. Her contributions are reflected in her clear commitment to public service, to families and to the youth of PEI.

In conjunction with this award, a $2,500 donation will be made to the charity of Cathy’s choice.  I would now call upon Cathy to come forward to receive her award. Please help me in recognizing her achievement.