Lawyer Clayton Ruby to receive Order of Canada

Clayton Ruby, prominent Toronto defence lawyer and one of York’s first graduates, will soon receive his insignia as a newly minted Member of the Order of Canada.

Right: Clayton Ruby talks to media about the rights of squeegee kids in 1999

Governor General Michaëlle Jean announced in February that Ruby was among 38 new members honoured for a lifetime of distinguished service, including York University President & Vice-Chancellor Lorna Marsden (see YFile Feb. 7).

“I spent all my professional life fighting injustice, and it’s kind of neat to get an award that I never dreamed of getting,” Ruby said.

A member of York’s first graduating class, Ruby earned a BA in 1963 when the fledgling University was still located at Glendon. He earned a law degree from the University of Toronto in 1969 and a master’s of law from the University of California at Berkeley in 1973.

Over the next 32 years, as a partner with the Toronto law firm of Ruby & Edwardh, he gained a reputation as a formidable defence lawyer concerned with civil and human rights and environmental issues. He has defended such high-profile clients as Atif Rafay and Glen Sebastian Burns, al Qaeda member Abdurahman Khadr, NDP MP Svend Robinson on theft charges and falsely accused murderer Guy Paul Morin.

Ruby is the editor of Canadian Rights Reporter and director of PEN Canada, dedicated to freedom of expression, and the Greenpeace Canada Charitable Foundation.

This article was submitted to YFile by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny.