Nov 13, 2009
The Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Ontario has appointed The Honourable Justice John
Douglas Cunningham as the Commissioner of the Judicial Inquiry following Mississauga Council's
decision to have a judicial inquiry conducted into the conflicts of interest with respect to
the City's purchase of lands within the City Centre.
"Justice Cunningham will determine the timing and set all the rules and parameters
surrounding the judicial inquiry including how information will be gathered and be released
publicly," said City Solicitor Mary Ellen Bench. She added: "A judicial inquiry has
two key parts to it. First, the gathering of relevant information, and secondly to hold a
public hearing into issues defined by the Commissioner that will allow the Commissioner to make
findings of fact and recommendations based on those findings."
The Honourable Justice John Douglas Cunningham is the Associate Chief Justice of the Superior
Court of Justice of Ontario. He is a former director of the Advocates' Society of Ontario and
was a Specialist in Civil Litigation. Justice Cunningham was appointed as Queen's Counsel in
1980, and appointed as a Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice, General Division, in Ottawa
in 1991. In June 2000, he was appointed as Regional Senior Justice for the East Region, and has
served as the Associate Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario since
William C. McDowell has been appointed as Commission Counsel. Mr. McDowell was formerly the
Associate Deputy Minister of Justice of Canada responsible for civil litigation, national
security and central agencies issues. Mr. McDowell was responsible for the design and oversight
of a number of major public inquiries, and for the implementation of the recommendations which
came from them. He is the joint recipient of a Department of Justice National Award for his
work in resolving the Maher Arar vs. Canada case. Mr. McDowell also acted as counsel to a
corporate party in the 2002-2003 Waterloo judicial inquiry. Mr. McDowell practises civil and
commercial litigation, including professional discipline, defamation and human rights. Mr.
McDowell is a partner at Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP in Toronto.
Naomi Loewith, has been named Associate Commission Counsel. She is a graduate of Harvard Law
School and a former law clerk at both the Supreme Court of Canada and the International
Criminal Tribunal in Rwanda. Ms. Loewith also practices civil litigation at Lenczner Slaght
Royce Smith Griffin LLP in Toronto.
Clifford Lax has been retained as to represent the City in this matter. Mr. Lax practices civil
and commercial litigation and is also called upon to act as a mediator and arbitrator. He has
been featured as one of Canada's top 25 corporate/commercial counsel by Lexpert and Chambers
Global had featured him as one of the Worlds Leading Lawyers 2002-2009. Mr. Lax acted as
counsel to the Inquiry by Mr. Justice Archie Campbell in the Police Investigation of Paul
Bernardo and Karla Homolka, and has participated in a number of major public inquiries
including Walkerton and the Toronto MFP Inquiry. Mr. Lax is a partner at Lax O'Sullivan Scott
LLP, in Toronto. He will be assisted by Tracey Wynne, an experienced litigator who also
practices at this firm.
As Canada's sixth largest city, Mississauga is home to 730,000 residents and 55,000 businesses,
including 61 Fortune 500 companies with Canadian head offices or major divisional head offices.
A diverse, progressive and award-winning municipality located on the shores of Lake Ontario in
the heart of the Greater Toronto Area, Mississauga is one of Greater Toronto's Top 90 Employers
for 2010. Enhancing its citizens quality of life by providing superior services, revitalizing
its infrastructure and conserving the environment, Mississauga is committed to innovation,
operational excellence and fiscal responsibility which is reflected in its motto: "Leading
Today for Tomorrow."
Senior Communications Advisor, Transportation & Works
Phone: 905-615-3200 x5046