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Description found in Archives

Gérard V. La Forest fonds [multiple media]. 



Place of creation


25.66 m of textual records.
19.22 MB of textual records.
241 photographs b&w.
5 maps.
1 audio reel (30 min).
1 architectural drawing.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of documents, 1944-2005, from all phases of Gérard V. La Forest's career as well as his personal life. It includes documents relating to his studies in New Brunswick and his early professional activities as a consultant for the Department of Justice (1951-1961), as a professor of law at the University of New Brunswick (1956-1968) and as Dean of Law at the University of Alberta (1968-1970). The fonds contains records pertaining to his activities as Assistant Deputy Attorney General of Canada (1970-1974), Commissioner of the Law Reform Commission of Canada (1974-1979), Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa, Chairman on the Kouchibouguac National Park Inquiry (1980-1981), Judge for the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick (1981-1985) and Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada (1985-1997). The fonds also contains La Forest's files documenting his work as Counsel with the New Brunswick law firm of Stewart McKelvey Stirling Scales (1998-2005), as well as his work as chair, facilitator, or legal counsel on provincial and federal task force and arbitration panels (1998-2002), such as the New Brunswick Task Force on Aboriginal Issues, the Canadian Human Rights Review Panel, the Quebec-Newfoundland Turbot Dispute, and the Nova Scotia-Newfoundland Offshore Resources Arbitration. The fonds includes correspondence, personal documents, diaries, legal papers, speeches, case files, and publications written by Gérard V. La Forest. Fonds also contains 239 photographs, 1975-1980, which are comparative residential photos taken of the former John L. Vautour property and buildings before any of his personal possessions or any of the buildings were removed. These photos were used in the Kouchibouguac National Park Inquiry in Kent County, New Brunswick. Some photos by Guy Aubé. Fonds also contains maps (all 1:50 000), two air photographs and an architectural drawing, 1970-1977, relating to the creation of the Kouchibouguac National Park in New Brunswick, the dislodgement of former inhabitants of the area and the federal-provincial special inquiry on the park. Fonds also contains an audio reel, 13 January 1972, that is a dub of a broadcast on CKCH-AM with Gérard La Forest as the featured guest.

Textual records
Textual records: electronic
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
Sound recordings
90: Open
Cartographic material
90: Open
Architectural: technical drawings
90: Open
Textual records
10: Closed by creator/donor
from 7 to 10
from 59 to 61
10: Closed by creator/donor
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Terms of use

Photographs: No donor restrictions. Copyright: Unknown. Credit: National Archives of Canada.
Sound recording: Reproduction and use of any kind requires the written permission of the copyright holder.
Maps, two air photographs and an architectural drawing, 1970-1977: Reproduction and use require the written permission of the copyright owner.

Textual records The finding aid, prepared by Lucie Paquet and Warren Sinclair, is a list of records arranged in thematic, numerical, alphabetical or chronological order. MSS2066 90 (Electronic)

Sound recording See MISACS for item level descriptions. (Electronic)

Textual records The finding aid prepared in 2006 by Cathy Vye for the 2005 accrual, is a list of records arranged in alphabetical, thematic and chronological order. MSS2066 90 (Paper)

Biography / Administrative history

Born in Grand Falls, New Brunswick, on 1 April 1926, Gérard V. La Forest, Justice, Supreme Court of Canada, studied at Grand Falls primary and secondary schools, St. Francis Xavier University (1944-1946), University of New Brunswick (B.C.L. 1949), Oxford University (B.A. in Jurisprudence 1951, M.A. 1956) and Yale University (LL.M. 1965, J.S.D. 1966). Called to the Bar of New Brunswick in 1949 and created Q.C. in 1968, Gérard V. La Forest practised law in Grand Falls from 1951 to 1952. He was appointed Advisory Counsel to the Legal Branch at the Department of Justice in Ottawa from 1952 to 1955. In 1955 and 1956, he worked as a Legal Adviser for Irving Oil and Associated Companies in Saint John, New Brunswick.

La Forest became Associate Professor of Law (1956-1963) and a Professor (1963-1968) at the University of New Brunswick. He was also a frequent consultant to federal and provincial governments. He served on the Glassco Royal Commission on Government Organization in 1959 and on the Royal Commission on Pilotage in 1965. In 1968, he was appointed Dean of Law at the University of Alberta. In tandem with this occupation, he was Advisor to the Special Counsel on the Constitution to the Minister of Justice and the Prime Minister. He served as Assistant Deputy Attorney General of Canada (Research and Planning) from 1970 to 1974. He became Commissioner of the Law Reform Commission of Canada, 1974-1979. On leave from Law Reform Commission, La Forest served as Executive Vice-Chairman on the Canada Bar Association Committee on the Constitution, 1977-1978.

He was Professor of Law and Director to the Legislative Drafting Program at the University of Ottawa (Common Law Section) from 1979 to 1981 and Chairman on the Federal-Provincial Special Inquiry on Kouchibouguac National Park in 1980 and 1981.

Gérard V. La Forest was appointed Judge to the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick between 1981-1985, and Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1985. He received many honourary degrees and awards from universities and associations. He wrote numerous publications during his legal career.

Additional information

The archival records were donated to the National Archives of Canada by the Honourable Gérard V. La Forest in 1995, 1996,1997, and 2005.

A list of Gérard V. La Forest's publications has been placed at the end of the finding aid.

System details note
The textual records in electronic format were created with DOS and Windows based system computers.

Subject heading

1. Department of Justice. Attorney General of Canada.
2. Kouchibouguac National Park.
3. University of New Brunswick.
4. Court of Appeal, New Brunswick.
5. Supreme Court of Canada.


Other system control no.

Related control no.

1. 1996-038 DAP
2. 1997-0100 MISA
3. 123-020033-9
4. 1996-03057-4
5. 1997-00132-2
6. 2006-00415-8
7. MG31-E 115
8. MG31-E115