Go awarded Order of Ontario

Posted: 01/27/2014

Avvy Yao Yao Go wearing Order of OntarioRespected lawyer and Law Society Bencher Avvy Yao Yao Go, was invested with the Order of Ontario on Jan. 23.

The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, honoured 25 appointees at a Queen’s Park ceremony. Each was chosen for their contributions to the arts, law, science, medicine, history, politics, or philanthropy.

Ms. Go was called to the Ontario Bar in 1991. Since then, she has worked exclusively in the legal clinic system, serving the legal needs of low income immigrants with linguistic and other barriers in accessing the legal system.

Ms. Go is the clinic director of the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, serving in that role since 1992.

The announcement naming the honourees, made by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, states: “Avvy Yao Yao Go uses her law degree to advance the rights of Toronto’s marginalized communities. She has built coalitions across different communities on issues of anti-racism, human rights and equity and most recently co-founded the “Colour of Poverty Campaign.”

Go earned her LLM in Constitutional Law from Osgoode Hall Law School (1999), and her LLB from the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto (1989).

She graduated from the University of Waterloo with a BA in Economics and Management Science (1986).

“Ms. Go helps tens of thousands of immigrants and refugees navigate a complex system,” states part of the citation read on the day of the investiture. “She has influenced a number of important legal and policy reforms, such as the Employment Equity Act, and played a significant role in Canada’s redress for the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act, which resulted in a parliamentary apology in 2006.”

Law Society Treasurer Thomas G. Conway shared the news with benchers and said, “On behalf of Convocation, I would like to congratulate Avvy Go on this significant achievement and recognition. Congratulations!”

In 2007, Go organized and launched the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers along with Superior Court Justice Maryka Omatsu and lawyer Julia Shin-Doi.

She is the recipient of City of Toronto’s William P. Hubbard Human Rights Award (2008) and the Women’s Law Association of Ontario President’s Award (2002).

Created in 1986, the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest official honour, recognizes the highest level of individual excellence and achievement in any field.