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Press Release

January 28, 2021

2021 Women General Counsel Canada (WGCC) Scholarship Award Winners

WGCC is proud to announce our 2021 scholarship winners:

Anita Cardinal-Stewart

Jennifer Linde

Kassandra Neranjan

 Jennifer Linde and Kassandra Neranjan have been selected as the 2021 Women General Counsel Canada Scholarship winners and Anita Cardinal-Stewart as the 2021 Women General Counsel Canada Indigenous Scholarship winner. 

2021 Women General Counsel Canada Scholarship Award Winners  

Jennifer Linde is a second-year law student at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law with a particular interest in human rights law. In addition to her Dean’s Honours List standing, Jennifer is involved in many extracurricular activities. Among other involvements, she serves as an Associate Editor of the Ottawa Law Review, Vice President Internal of the Regroupement étudiant de common law en français (her program’s student association), and as a part-time podcast host of The Law School Show where she aims to highlight the work of women in the legal profession. Jennifer is also involved in two mentorship programs through which she has four female law student “mentees” to whom she provides guidance, encouragement, and empowerment.  

Kassandra Neranjan is a second-year student at McGill’s Faculty of Law who strives to make the law accessible and empowering for other women.  In addition to her studies, Kassandra engages in a large number of extracurricular activities. Among other involvements, she presently consults with Islamic Relief Canada to promote feminist access to justice for women refugees in Bangladesh and is an executive editor with Inter Gentes: Journal of International Law and Legal Pluralism; she is also a vice-president with the Women of Colour Collective, where she is piloting a mentorship program for young racialized women, trans, and non-binary CEGEP and undergraduate students interested in law.  Her ambition is to work in International Law, advocating for the rights of women and girls globally and deconstructing hierarchies structured to oppress the

We received a large number of truly exceptional applicants for our scholarship award. We would also like to congratulate the following scholarship finalists:

  • Zain Abdulla  (McGill University)
  • Saranjit Dhindsa  (University of Calgary)
  • Emmaline English  (University of Victoria)
  • Kendra Landry  (McGill University) 

2021 Women General Counsel Indigenous Scholarship Award Winner

Anita Cardinal-Stewart is a second-year law student at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law focusing on advocacy.  She has worked hard her whole life to be an advocate for Indigenous women’s rights and to be a role model for youth and specifically Indigenous students at the law faculty.  In addition to her personal responsibilities and responsibilities as a student , among her many extra-curricular activities, she is the President of the Indigenous Law Student Association this year and was on the executive of this group in 2019/2020. Anita is currently the Edmonton Program Leader for Level Justice IYOP and one of the writers for ReconciliAction YEG blog this year aiming to progress the initiatives that strive towards Reconciliation, including mandatory Indigenous Law classes.  Most recently, Anita was appointed the new President of NILSA (National Indigenous Law Students Association) for 2021.

To qualify for the WGCC Scholarships, nominees must be a current Canadian law student in the second year of a JD or LLB program or in the 2nd or 3rd year of combined JD/LLB degree program and must demonstrate a commitment to the mission of WGCC and to the advancement of women in the legal profession.   In addition to all of the qualifications above, nominees of the WCGG Indigenous Scholarship 2021 must be an Indigenous (First Nations [status and non-status], Metis or Inuit student and to have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of Indigenous women and/or the principles of Truth & Reconciliation.

A large number of truly exceptional applications were received for the WGCC scholarship awards from law students across Canada and we thank them all for their applications; we are inspired by and thankful for these young leaders.  We also recognize our excellent Jury members for both scholarships for their thoughtful, committed, and engaged contribution in a difficult, but tremendously rewarding and enjoyable selection process.   

We received many  truly exceptional applicants for our inaugural Indigenous scholarship award.  We are thrilled to name the following individuals as finalists for our Indigenous Scholarship:

  • Louis-Philippe Boivin Grenon  (Université de Montréal)
  • Catherine Lafferty  (University of Victoria)
  • Laurie-Ann Laveau  (Université Laval)
  • Cassandra Sawers  (University of Calgary) 

2020 President’s Award Winner

The 2020 President’s Award goes to Bindu Cudjoe,  Bindu is the SVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the CWB Financial Group.  The WGCC President’s Awards are awarded annually to up to two women general counsel who have served on the WGCC Board and have, in the previous year, made a significant contribution to the Mission of the WGCC at either the national or chapter levels.  

Bindu Cudjoe

Bindu has been involved with WGCC since 2016 and was an incorporating director of WGCC.  During her time with the organization, Bindu has served as a Director, a member of the Executive Committee, a Conference Co-Chair and, most recently, our Vice-President.  In her roles, Bindu has built strategic alliances between WGCC and other likeminded organizations,  assisted in shaping the vision and mission of WGCC, and significantly enhanced engagement with our members. In the past few years, Bindu founded and led our growing Prairies Chapter and actively supported the development of our other Chapters, thereby continuing our development as an interconnected national organization.  This year, she has helped to form and lead an EDI Committee and, together with fellow director Lisa Marcuzzi, has developed our EDI Action Plan.  She served as a Jury member of our first annual WGCC Indigenous Scholarship.  Bindu was instrumental in continuing WGCC programming during the pandemic and in co-leading our strategic planning.   Most importantly, Bindu is a team player and booster of others in our organization, shining her light and bringing her many talents to the work and passion projects of others and simply rising to every challenge presented to her, while avoiding the spotlight.     With Bindu’s many leadership contributions, WGCC has rapidly grown from its grassroots beginnings to the highly respected, well-loved organization that it is today.  We value the warmth, enthusiasm, and friendship Bindu brings to everything she does and we believe her to exemplify our WGCC values: Working together, Growing, Connecting, and Contributing. 

Congratulations Bindu!

WGCC Board Update

The WGCC thanks its outgoing Board members Elizabeth Fanjoy (Director – Memberships and Awards), Judy Naiberg(Secretary), Alena Thouin (Ontario Chapter Lead) and Erika Tse (BC Chapter Lead), each of these exceptional women has made a significant and lasting contribution to WGCC.  We also thank Larissa Donovan (Administrative Assistant) for her tireless support, and wish her well as she prepares to enter the profession.

We look forward to the year ahead with our WGCC 2021 BoardAlexa Abiscott (President), Elspeth Hagan (Past President), Andrea Cotroneo (Vice President), Hilda Wong (Treasurer), Kimberley Graham  (Secretary), Bindu Cudjoe (Director - Partnerships and Sponsorships), Angela Nikolakakos (Director – Memberships and Awards), Lisa Marcuzzi (Director - Communications and Website), Dorothy Quann (Emeritus Members), Catherine Lau (BC Chapter Lead),  Jennifer Addison (Prairies Chapter Lead), Lara Speirs (Ontario Chapter Lead), Deborah Greenberg (Quebec Chapter Lead), Elspeth Hagan (Atlantic Chapter Lead), and welcome new members: Alison Harnick and Heather Mullen – 2022 Conference Co-Chairs.  

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