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Former Mississauga City Solicitor Receives Municipal Law Excellence Award

Jun 18, 2019

Mary Ellen Bench, recently retired as the City of Mississauga’s City Solicitor, was recognized by the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) with its 2019 OBA Award of Excellence in Municipal Law.
The award was presented last evening at the Royal Canadian Military Institute and recognizes any single or combination of the following outstanding achievements:
Proven skills and expertise in the provision of legal services, including written and oral advocacy, legal advice, negotiation skills, and alternative dispute resolution;
Characteristically exhibits the highest degrees of professionalism, integrity and civility;
Significant contributions in the area of legal education or professional development;
Contribution to the community through pro bono activities, or other projects or initiatives;
Leadership in the municipal bar through the sharing of knowledge, experience, skill, commitment, and by acting as a role model and  mentor to new members of the profession and to his or her peers;
Enhancing the practice of municipal law in the Province of Ontario;
And/or Contribution to the development of municipal related policies, procedures, practice and legislation in the Province of Ontario.
“Mary Ellen has consistently demonstrated professionalism, integrity and leadership through her work at the City of Mississauga,” said Janice Baker, City Manager and Chief Administrative Officer. “Mary Ellen leaves us with a strong legacy of high standards in municipal law. She has contributed to many City projects, policies and procedures always putting the City’s best interests at the forefront. She has been an outstanding role model and mentor for our Legal Services team.”
Mary Ellen is the first recipient from the public sector to receive the award, instated in 2005, for her outstanding work in municipal law while at the City of Mississauga.
“This recognition is the result of the many opportunities the City of Mississauga afforded me to develop both as a lawyer and a leader,” said Mary Ellen Bench. “It was an honour and a privilege to be part of the City of Mississauga’s Legal Services for 18 years and work alongside such a dedicated and committed staff team and leadership team while helping the City grow into a thriving urban centre.”
To learn more about the OBA and the 2019 OBA Award of Excellence in Municipal Law, visit
Mary Ellen was one of the first lawyers in Canada to be certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in Municipal Law. In 2008, she received the designation of Local Government Fellows from the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA). In 2012, she received the IMLA’s Bruce A. Noble Award. In 2015, she received the Ontario Bar Association’s (OBA) Tom Marshall Award of Excellence for Public Sector Lawyers. In 2016, she was presented with the Osgoode Hall Law School Gold Key Award in the Public Sector category and was named President of the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA). Earlier this year, she was honoured by the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association (CCCA) with its Professional Contribution Award
Mary Ellen Bench, recently retired as the
City of Mississauga’s City Solicitor was recognized by the
Ontario Bar Association (OBA) with its 2019 OBA Award of Excellence in Municipal Law.
Media Contact:          
Catherine Monast
Senior Advisor Media and Public Information
City of Mississauga
905-615-3200, ext. 5406