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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ellen Irene Picard (born c. 1941) is a Canadian former law professor and judge. In 2017, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of her contributions as a legal scholar.

Early life and education

Picard was born in 1941[1] and raised in the Crowsnest Pass. Her family first landed in Quebec in 1665 from Picardy in France and settled in Southern Alberta.[2] She attended Strathcona High School and graduated in 1958 with the Grieedarf Trophy as an outstanding girl in the graduating class. During high school, she served as vice-president of the students' union, editor of the yearbook, and honorary president of the baton club.[3] She also received the Rotary Club's annual "Adventure in Citizenship" on the basis of all-round school activities and earned a trip to Ottawa.[4]


Picard completed her law degree from the University of Alberta and later joined their Faculty of Law as the first female full-time member and later served as Associate Dean.[2] During her time at the University of Alberta, Picard established the Health Law Institute, the first research institute in Canada in the field of health law.[5]

Picard was appointed to the Court of Queen's Bench in 1986, and elevated to the Court of Appeal in 1995.[6] As there were few women on the Queen's Bench, there was no changing area for the female judges to change into their gowns. As a result, Picard and Nina Foster took turns standing guard outside the washroom as they changed.[7] Upon being appointed in 1995, alongside Constance Hunt, Alberta Court of Appeal became the first province with more women than men sitting full time on its top court.[8] In recognition of her contributions as a legal scholar, Picard was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2017.[5]


  1. ^ "Picard, Ellen I., 1941-". Retrieved April 4, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Kroupina, Anna (January 11, 2017). "Order of Canada honours Crowsnest native Madam Justice Ellen Picard". Retrieved April 4, 2021.
  3. ^ "Grads Win Diplomas". Edmonton Journal. May 26, 1958. Retrieved April 4, 2021 – via
  4. ^ "Recalls highlights of trip to Ottawa". Edmonton Journal. May 26, 1958. Retrieved April 4, 2021 – via
  5. ^ a b "The Honourable Madam Justice Ellen Picard Named Officer of the Order of Canada". January 12, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2021.
  6. ^ "The Honourable Justice Ellen I. Picard" (PDF). Retrieved April 4, 2021.
  7. ^ "Ellen Picard". Calgary Herald. 18 September 1988. Retrieved April 4, 2021 – via
  8. ^ Bindman, Stephen (August 27, 1995). "Squeezing onto the bench". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved April 4, 2021 – via
This page was last edited on 5 April 2021, at 21:40
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