Osgoode professors to climb Mount Kilimanjaro this summer

Osgoode Professor Jamie Cameron and her husband, Chris Bredt, a partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP and adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, share a commitment to education and literacy.

Left: Jamie Cameron (right) and her husband Chris Bredt train in a sea kayak during a recent trip to British Columbia 

Cameron has been a member of the full-time faculty at Osgoode since 1984, where her teaching and research interests have focused on constitutional law, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, American constitutional law, and freedom of expression. Bredt practises constitutional and corporate/commercial litigation, and for many years has co-taught a seminar on Freedom of Expression and the Press with Cameron.

This July, the couple will undertake a challenge of a different sort in their educational quest. They will climb the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro in northeastern Tanzania – which, at 5,895 metres or 19,340 feet, is the highest free-standing mountain in the world – in an effort to raise $50,000 to support the Canadian Organization for Development through Education (CODE) and its programs for children’s literacy in Africa. All funds they raise on behalf of CODE will go to the Miembesaba School Library in Tanzania.

CODE is a Canadian charitable organization that has been engaged in literacy work in the developing world for more than 40 years, and has won numerous prizes for its efforts, including the UNESCO International Prize for Literacy.

Bredt is the Chair of CODE’s board of directors this year, and the climb, which is named the Summit of Literacy, was his idea. He became involved more than 12 years ago, after receiving a flyer in the mail describing CODE’s overseas literacy programs. Since then, he has worked actively to promote a cause that both he and his wife strongly support.

Right: Mount Kilimanjaro

In addition to Osgoode’s Cameron and Bredt, the Summit of Literacy climbers will include George Anderson, also of CODE, and his partner Anita Bohez; Christina Litt and Steve Winder of the Toronto and Vancouver offices, respectively, of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP; and Judy Hauserman, whose daughter, Bridget, is an Osgoode student and Cameron’s research assistant.

The team will be accompanied by experienced mountaineering guides and will take 11 days to ascend the great peak, which is non-technical by nature but physically demanding, and two days to descend. “Chris and I are adventurers who like physically active vacations but neither of us has done hiking on this scale before,” said Cameron. She is working hard in the gym and at yoga, and hopes that this training will help her cope with the altitude.

Cameron and Bredt have just started to collect pledges for their climb. Already they are greatly encouraged by friends and colleagues who have indicated their willingness to support this cause.

After completing the climb, they will visit some of the Tanzanian schools in CODE’s “adopt-a-library” program, before returning to Toronto. “For me,” Cameron says, “the opportunity to see CODE at work in local schools will be the most rewarding part of the trip.”

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the Summit of Literacy Climb, contact Cameron by e-mail at jcameron@osgoode.yorku.ca or make a secure donation online.