CBC’s Vassy Kapelos will examine pandemic response and federal-provincial relations for Leitch Lecture

Virtual event reintroduces speaker whose 2020 talk was cancelled by COVID-19

Helen Metella - 04 March 2021

Vassy Kapelos, host of CBC TV’s Power & Politics will deliver the 2021 Merv Leitch QC Memorial Lecture in a virtual presentation on March 9, to the Faculty of Law communities of the University of Alberta and University of Calgary.

Kapelos was originally scheduled to deliver the 2020 Leitch Lecture but the event was abruptly cancelled in March 2020 when the COVID-19 health crisis prompted a nation-wide lockdown.

The topic of her address this year is, "Did the pandemic make the federation stronger than ever or is it falling apart?"

Kapelos will share her knowledge of the co-operation and opposition that has gone on behind the scenes as the federal government and the provinces have tackled the pandemic, and what might happen next in their relationship.

Student awards

The Merv Leitch, QC Memorial Lecture was established in honor of C. Mervin Leitch, BA, LLB, QC, who died in 1990, by the late Peter Lougheed and other friends and associates of Leitch. They created an endowment which funds the lecture to honor the significant contributions he made while serving his fellow Albertans.

Each fall, the endowment also bestows several awards on students from each of the faculties of law, and their names are acknowledged at the lecture. This year, the 2019 and 2020 recipients are being acknowledged at the same time. They are:

2019 Merv Leitch Q.C. Prize: Nahanni Fellenz, and Zachary Wilson

2019 Merv Leitch Q.C. Leadership Scholarship in Law: Emily Stolz and Viviana Heather

2020 Merv Leitch Q.C. Prize: Kelsey Fortier and Rielle Gagnon

2019 Merv Leitch Q.C. Leadership Scholarship in Law: Avram Heisler and Jessica Kim

Leitch served in the Royal Canadian Navy and was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 1971 to 1982, during which he served as attorney general, provincial treasurer, and minister of Energy and Natural Resources. Outside of his time in politics he was a partner with Macleod Dixon (now Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP) in Calgary, served as president of the Calgary Bar Association and as a bencher of the Law Society of Alberta. In addition to acting as a director for several Canadian corporations, he was also on the board of the Canadian Institute of Resources Law at the University of Calgary.

The Merv Leitch, QC, Memorial Lecture will be delivered virtually to both the University of Alberta and University of Calgary's Faculties of Law on March 9, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.