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The Lincoln Alexander Award was established in 2002 and is awarded annually in recognition of an Ontario lawyer who has demonstrated long-standing interest and commitment to the public and to the pursuit of community service on behalf of residents of Ontario. The award was created in honour of The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander, PC, CC, OOnt, CD, QC, LSM, to reward his dedication to the people of Ontario and the legal community.

The honour is granted only to members of the Law Society of Upper Canada or in recognition of service given while a member of the Law Society.

2017 recipient

Thora H. Espinet is the 2017 Lincoln Alexander Award recipient.

Called to the Bar in 1984, Thora Espinet is recognized as one of the first black women lawyers in Ontario. She has demonstrated a passion towards community service and leadership in promoting social change as well as addressing issues of discrimination and equality.

Past recipients

Mary Lou Dingle, 2016
Paul Le Vay, 2015
Nigel G. Gilby, 2014
Frank E. Walwyn, 2013
Keith J.F. Jobbitt, 2012
Stanley M. Tick, QC, 2011
Aly N. Alibhai, 2010
Sandra Thomas, 2009
Morley Wolfe, QC, 2008
Roger Rowe, 2007
Patricia DeGuire, F.C.I.P., LLM, 2006
Keith M. Landy, 2005
Keith C. Norton, QC, 2004
David Lepofsky, 2003
Jean Teillet, 2002

About The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander

lincoln alexander awardBorn in Toronto, Ont., in 1922, Lincoln MacCauley Alexander graduated from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., in 1949 and Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto in 1953.

He practised law in Hamilton and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1965. In 1968, only a few years after going into politics, Mr. Alexander was elected a Member of Parliament representing Hamilton West, thus becoming the first Black MP in Canada. He was re-elected in 1972, 1974, 1979 and 1980.

In 1985, he was appointed the 24th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, becoming the first person of colour in Canada to be named to the viceregal position.

Mr. Alexander was made an honorary bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1992 and he received the Law Society Medal in 2002.

He received countless honours and awards over his lifetime. In 1992, he was appointed both an Officer of the Order of Ontario and a Companion of the Order of Canada. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers in 1997 and has been awarded honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from five universities.

Lincoln Alexander died on October 19, 2012, in Hamilton, at the age of 90.