Cameron Ward - Robin Hood, NotSaturday, December 01, 2007
I write and take pictures for a local city magazine called VLM (Vancouver Lifestyles Magazine). I can safely say that before Bob Mercer (both editor and art director) took over the magazine early this year, it was easily one of the worst magazines around. It is fun to work for an editor/art director as a writer photographer. Because of the space restrictions of emerging magazines (with no laundered cash stockpiles) Mercer and I have managed to produce one page profiles that seem to have a lot of content in few words. Here is an example from the current December/ January issue on lawyer Cameron Ward.
Vancouver lawyer Cameron Ward's office in the Dominion Building is tiny. The glass door makes one imagine that a woman in distress (with a .25 caliber automatic in her purse) might show up at any minute. A glance at the listings for the other occupants of the building (Green Party, etc.) suggests that the common thread is that many have a cause.
Ward, who is married and has two children and loves to play golf with a diverse group of friends ("We all love the game.") recently returned from his favourite course in the world, Royal Dornoch in Scotland. He rejects being labeled a Robin Hood lawyer.
"I don't steal from the rich, "he says. "I don't steal from anybody. I try to assist the poor whether it is working with disadvantaged people in the Downtown Eastside or Aboriginal groups, environmental activists and anti-war protesters. When these folks get tied up in legal battles and important legal principles are at stake, I try to help them because the legal system and process can be daunting."
Montreal-born Ward believes that the plight of the poor can extend to the plight of the Cambie Street Merchants. "They weren't poor when they started. I have one lawsuit pending and I am trying to work behind the scenes to try to achieve a political solution to their nightmare. It is outrageous that government [Federal, Provincial and City, or four levels if you consider Translink and Metro Vancouver] has not stepped in. It is outrageous that government officials who are building a multi-billion-dollar project [The Canada Line] have not set aside a fund that will help the merchants in their difficult time."
Ward is representing Hazel& Co. in the B.C. Supreme Court lawsuit against the members of the public private partnership building the Canada Line, seeking compensatory and punitive damages for business disruption caused by the construction.
"This is truly a David versus Goliath situation. But when I think of that I always remind myself that David won."
© 2007 VLM/Alex Waterhouse-Hayward