June 12, 2023

CCCL Fellows hold their 26th Annual Conference


CCCL Fellows hold their 26th Annual Conference

Calgary, June 12th, 2023

The Canadian College of Construction Lawyers held its Twenty-Sixth Annual Conference from May 25 to 28, 2023. Under the theme of “Back to Business: Construction Law in a New Era”, almost one hundred Fellows gathered in person at the stunning Four Seasons Resort in Whistler, BC to hear colleagues, guest speakers, and panelists share their industry insights covering a wide range of topics and issues related to Construction Law and the Construction Industry.

Patricia L. Morrison, K.C., President

The agenda kicked off on Thursday afternoon with the Annual Meeting of the CCCL Board of Governors followed by a cocktail reception and dinner at various local restaurants.

The next day’s Conference modules began with a panel discussion moderated by Doug Stollery (Edmonton) addressing the differences, benefits and disadvantages between pursuing a dispute through either Arbitration or Litigation.  The panel consisted of Honorary Fellow The Honourable Mr. Justice Robert W. Jenkins (Vancouver), and Fellows Sandra Astolfo (Toronto), Bruce Reynolds (Toronto) and John Logan (Vancouver).  A second Module addressed the role of Indigenous Governments and participation in construction projects and successful development, with guest panelists Lhpatq, Maxine Joseph Bruce, Elected Leader of the Lil’wat Nation, President & Director of the Lil’wat Business Group and Territory Stewardship Manager for the Lil’wat Nation, and David Dorrans of McLean & Armstrong LLP, legal counsel to Lil’wat Nation, and Fellows Andrew Heal (Toronto) and Stefan Gruszka (Calgary).  The third module of the morning addressed recoverability of damages, focusing on defining consequential damages and limits of recovery, moderated by Scott Hammel (Edmonton) with a panel including Jason Annibale (Toronto), Karen Martin (Vancouver) and Tyler Galbraith (Vancouver).

The Fellows were then provided an informative presentation by guest speaker Amanda Farrell, Chief Executive Officer at Transportation Investment Corporation on new project on the horizon in British Columbia. 

After the College’s outgoing President Geoff Machum, K.C. (Halifax) shared his views of the College after a year at the helm, Day One continued with a presentation titled The Hot Potato of Design Responsibility, moderated by Honourary Fellow Doug Oles (Seattle) and featuring panellists David Little (Vancouver), Jamie MacNeil (Dartmouth) and Andrea Lee (Toronto).  The final presentation of the day addressed material price escalation in construction contracts, moderated by Doug Sanders (Vancouver), with panelists Richard Wong (Toronto), Brendan Bowles (Toronto), Patrice Morin (Montreal) and Catriona Otto-Johnston (Calgary).

Day Two of the Conference began with the College’s Annual General Meeting. New appointments and designations made at the AGM included:

  • Patricia L. Morrison, K.C.– President
  • Geoff Machum, K.C. – Immediate Past President
  • Glenn Ackerley – Vice-President
  • Nicolas Gagnon – Secretary
  • Stephanie Hickman, K.C. – Treasurer
  • Sharon Vogel – Program Coordinator
  • David Little – Governor
  • Claudia Dery – Governor
  • Simon Grégoire – Governor
  • Marcia Oliver – Governor
  • Andrew Wallace – Governor
  • Brendan Bowles – Governor

Following the AGM, a session of five fast-paced Hot Topics in Construction Law was presented to conclude the substantive program:

  • Two Significant Cases from the East: 1) New Brunswick Highway Corporation v. MRDC Operations Corporation (NBCA); and 2) Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan v. HB Construction Company (NBCA), by Tom O’Neil (Saint John)
  • ESG issues and their role in Construction, by Seema Lal (Vancouver)
  • Ontario’s “New” Construction Act, 5 Years Later – What’s working and what’s not, by Glenn Ackerley (Toronto)
  • COVID South of the Border: Developments in U.S. Case Law on COVID claims on Construction Projects, by Shelly Ewald (ACCL president)
  • Two Significant Ontario Cases: 1) Tall Ships Development Inc. v. Brockville (City): The Ontario Court of Appeal Addresses the Basis for Setting Aside Arbitral Awards; and 2) Aroma Franchise Company v. Aroma Espresso, by Joel Richler (Toronto).

The Conference ended with a Gala dinner that featured:

  • remarks by incoming President Trish Morrison on the future of the College;
  • a presentation by keynote speaker former Supreme Court of Canada Justice The Honourable Thomas Cromwell, who spoke about the importance of legal judgement and providing practical advice to clients, mentorship, and access to justice; and
  • the induction of ten (10) new Fellows from across Canada to the College by Immediate Past-President, Geoff Machum, President Trish Morrison, and Vice President Glenn Ackerley:

David Curtis, Fasken LLP, Vancouver

Joe McArthur, Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP, Vancouver

Mike Preston, McLean & Armstrong LLP, Vancouver

David de Groot, Burnet Duckworth & Palmer LLP, Calgary

Corbin Devlin, McLennan Ross LLP, Edmonton

Chris Petrucci, Bennett Jones LLP, Calgary

Denise Bambrough, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Toronto

Roger Gillott, Osler Hoskin Harcourt LLP, Toronto

Annie Bernard, Fasken LLP, Montreal

Sophie Truesdell-Menard, Des Solutions en Construction, Québec

The 2023 Conference was expertly steered by Program Coordinator Stephanie Hickman, K.C. (St. John’s) and Assistant Program Coordinator Sharon Vogel (Toronto), with the assistance of Chris Armstrong (Vancouver). Incoming President Trish Morrison is looking forward to leading the College to the 27th Annual Conference, which is scheduled to take place in Montreal, Quebec, in May 2024.

The Canadian College of Construction Lawyers strives to facilitate and encourage the association of outstanding lawyers who are distinguished for their skill, experience and high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the practice or teaching of construction law, and who are dedicated to excellence in the specialized practice of construction law. For more information about the College and its Fellows, visit their website at www.cccl.org.

Patricia L. Morrison, K.C.

President, CCCL

Tel:  403.232.9472    Email:

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