SABA Toronto International Women’s Day Spotlight Interview with Minister Anita Anand

Happy International Women’s Day 2021!

In honour of International Women’s Day, SABA presents a SABA Spotlight interview profiling the career of The Honourable Anita Anand.

Minister Anita Anand was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Oakville in 2019.

Minister Anand is a scholar, lawyer, researcher, and mother of four children. Born and raised in rural Nova Scotia, she moved to Ontario in 1985.

Minister Anand is a devoted leader with a proven record of service. In her Oakville community, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Lighthouse Foundation for Grieving Children, the Oakville Hospital Foundation, and Oakville Hydro Electricity Distribution Inc.

For the past two decades, Minister Anand has been a legal academic, employed most recently as a Professor of Law at the University of Toronto where she held the J.R. Kimber Chair in Investor Protection and Corporate Governance. She served as Associate Dean and was a member of the Governing Board of Massey College and the Director of Policy and Research at the Capital Markets Research Institute, Rotman School of Management. She has also taught law at Yale Law School, Queen’s University, and Western University.

Minister Anand has completed extensive research on the regulation of financial markets, corporate governance, and shareholder rights, and has appeared regularly in the media to discuss these topics. In 2015, she was appointed to the Government of Ontario’s Expert Committee to Consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives. She has conducted research for Ontario’s Five-Year Review Committee, the federal Wise Person’s Committee, and the Task Force to Modernize Securities Legislation in Canada. In 2019, the Royal Society of Canada awarded her the Yvan Allaire medal for outstanding contributions in governance relating to private and public organizations.

Minister Anand holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Political Studies from Queen’s University, a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Jurisprudence from the University of Oxford, a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University, and a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto. She was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1994.

Minister Anand and her husband, John, raised their four children in Oakville.

Interviewed by:

Jasmine Singh

SABA Toronto Vice President & CO-Chair of SABA's Women's Committee

Richa Sandill

Co-Chair of SABA's Women's Committee


For Immediate Release, February 11, 2021


TORONTO, ONTARIO – The South Asian Bar Association of Toronto is deeply concerned with reports of violence and human rights violations against protesting farmers and journalists in India. Over the past several months, hundreds of thousands of farmers in India have protested the implementation of new agricultural legislation that would impact a decades-old system of crop price guarantees, government loans, and other support for farmers, including payments when crops are destroyed in natural disasters. Farmers peacefully marched towards New Delhi at the end of last year and have been protesting in and around the city since that time.

Unfortunately, many independent reports indicate that the police have responded to the protestors with police brutality and violent crowd dispersion tactics, including batons, water cannons, and tear gas. There are also reports of the arrest and alleged assault of protestors and protest leaders while in detention. In addition, reports indicate online social media attacks on those supporting the protestors, including the use of racist and sexist language and threats of sexual violence, along with concerning reports of internet blackouts at protest sites. Unhindered access to information, including the internet, is fundamental to the freedom of expression and a hallmark of a thriving democracy.

We feel we must speak up to defend the right of peaceful protesters to voice their views and concerns and the right of journalists to maintain a free press without the threat of arrests, intimidation or violence. We call on the Indian Government to put a halt to the use of these violent and unjust tactics and for all stakeholders to engage in peaceful activity. As the world’s largest democracy and a country with a deep history of nonviolent protest, India has a special obligation to ensure that these farmers’ right to be heard is honoured and that the rule of law is maintained in the country. It is our sincere hope that the farmers’ protests will lead to a constructive dialogue between the Indian government and India’s farming community so that a peaceful and equitable resolution for all parties can be found.

About SABA Toronto
The South Asian Bar Association of Toronto is Canada’s largest equity-seeking bar organization, dedicated to promoting the objectives of South Asian members of the legal profession. SABA represents South Asian legal professionals and ensures that their interests are recognized, respected and voiced with the Law Society of Ontario and various levels of provincial and federal government. SABA aims to unite its over 800 members, deliver programming for professional growth and advancement, promote access to justice and give back to South Asian communities.

Its membership is dynamic, ever-expanding and includes legal professionals from large and small law firms, sole practitioners, government agencies and departments, nonprofit organizations, and corporations. Members of the judiciary, academics and law students also form an integral part of SABA Toronto.

Aaron Bains
President – SABA Toronto



Jasmine is a Legal Counsel for BMO Financial Group. She is a derivatives lawyer based in Toronto. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from York University and Juris Doctor from Bond University. She has been a SABA member and volunteer for many years. Prior to being appointed to her current position as a Vice President, she has previously held the role of Director of Communication and Treasurer. She is also currently co-chair of SABA Women’s Committee and Pro Bono Committee. Jasmine is an advocate for the advancement of equity, justice and opportunity for women and racialized lawyers in the Canadian legal community.

  1. What initially attracted you to become a lawyer?My path to becoming a lawyer was not a direct one. I didn’t always know that I wanted to be a lawyer. I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and was initially attracted to a corporate career. After completing my undergraduate studies, I knew I wanted to pursue a post-graduate degree. I initially thought about doing an MBA but a professor recommended going to law school. I decided that made the most sense for me at the time. Before attending law school, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to actually practice law. However after two weeks of law school, I realized that using analytical skills to tackle issues resonated with me. So I knew law was the right path for me.
  2. What area of law do you practice and how did you get interested in that area?I practice derivatives law at BMO. My practice focuses on energy commodity derivatives and securities financing. My files require me to understand complex products, and advise on the regulatory landscapes within which BMO’s businesses operate.As a law student in Australia, I was initially drawn to criminal law and business law. When I finished law school, I wanted to come back to Canada, so I went through the OCI process from Australia. All the interviews I received were corporate based, which paved the path for me. I articled in-house at Loblaw Companies Limited, where I did general corporate work, assisted with litigation, real estate, and labour and employment matters.  After articling, I began my legal career with George Weston Limited, Canada’s largest retail conglomerate, where I gained experience managing commercial litigation for subsidiary and affiliated entities and assisted in negotiating a breadth of commercial transactions. These experiences led me to my current role at BMO.

    Though I didn’t have a securities background, I viewed my current role as an exciting opportunity to transition into a specialized practice area and was able to do so by leveraging the set of skills I developed through my past experiences.

  3. What is your favourite memory from being part of SABA?As a Co-Chair of the Women’s Committee, I along with Richa Sandill had the unique opportunity  to engage in advocacy efforts with the Prime Minister of Canada and another government representative at a roundtable discussion. We discussed the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women in Canada. We talked about discrimination and harassment faced by South Asian lawyers and the systemic barriers for women in our profession and the need for diverse judicial representation at the Supreme Court of Canada.SABA has provided me with an amazing platform to engage in advocacy work that I am passionate about and to voice these issues at the highest levels with the hope of creating an impact in the community.
  4. What is your favourite pastime during the pandemic?Regularly exercising has always been an important part of my daily routine, but during the pandemic, it has proven to be an even more crucial part of my routine. It offers a mental escape and is always a mood booster. When the weather was better, I also found myself going on a lot more walks on routes through the city that I hadn’t explored before.
  5. What advice do you have for aspiring lawyers?It’s important to introspect to ensure that a legal career will be fulfilling. Make sure you really want to either be a lawyer or that a legal education will contribute to your future career of choice.  I was the first in my family to practice law, and an important part of my decision was speaking to practicing lawyers who could provide insight. If you can find someone who can connect you with a lawyer and who can tell you what it’s like to practice law on a day to day basis, that’s important. Some may only picture the work of a litigator or criminal lawyer when they think of a lawyer at work, but there are so many different practice areas. I would recommend trying to gain as much exposure as you can to see what resonates with what you want to do.

Written by: Vipal Jain

Canadian Law Awards 2021 – Call for nominations

Presented by Lexpert and supported by Canadian Lawyer and InHouse magazines, the Canadian Law Awards is returning to celebrate the nation’s leading law firms, in-house legal teams, individuals, deals and cases. It’s a true reflection of excellence in the legal profession over the past year. The event will be taking place virtually on May 20, 2021.

They are seeking nominations across 26 award categories and we encourage you to put forward your colleagues, firm, company, peers or yourself. The online nomination process is straightforward, free and open until Friday, Feb. 5, 2021 (end of day).

Finalists will be announced in Lexpert and supporting publications Canadian Lawyer and InHouse in March and April 2021.

Winners will be selected by an esteemed independent judging panel and revealed virtually on May 20, 2021. Winners will also be featured in extensive profile-raising media coverage, including the annual Lexpert Special Edition on the Canadian Law Awards.

To review the full list of categories or submit an online nomination, visit

Online nominations open NOW until February 5, 2021

Osler South Asian Network – Best Practices for Small Businesses Operating amid a Global Pandemic

The Osler South Asian Network is hosting a one-hour webinar for small businesses on legal best practices for operating in the midst of a global pandemic, from a banking & financial services, employment and privacy perspective. Topics discussed include:

  • A review of liquidity options available in the market
  • A review of risk mitigation strategies in dealing with employees on Deemed Emergency Leave
  • A discussion on personal information, privacy policies, and consent

Following the broadcast, participate in our live Q&A session.

Meet the Speakers

  • Arshia Asif, Associate, Banking and Financial Services
  • Niveda Anandan, Employment and Labour Lawyer
  • Komil Joshi, Associate, Privacy & Data Management

The panel will be moderated by Kristin Ali, an Associate in our Privacy & Data Management group. 

Thursday, September 17, 2020
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET

Young Women in Law – Call for Applications

Young Women in Law (YWL) is a
not-for-profit organization that aims to provide young women lawyers in their
early stages of practice with a platform and the tools to connect with other
lawyers, enhance their skills and give back to their community. YWL also
provides support to young women lawyers as they navigate the early stages of
their career, seek to make career transitions and strive to balance work with
their personal life.

This year, the YWL Board of
Directors is accepting applications for the following positions. Please visit to view the full position descriptions:

  • Director of Events: In this role, you will be working
    collaboratively with the other two Directors of Events to plan and execute
    high-quality, responsive events that serve members and reflect YWL’s mission
    statement and objectives.
  • Director of Marketing & Communication: In this
    role, you will be working collaboratively with the other Director of Marketing
    & Communications to manage YWL’s website, social media, monthly newsletter,
    email communications and event advertising.
  • Director of Sponsorship: In this role, you will be
    working closely with the Events team and external sponsors to make sure every
    event is a success. In addition, the Director of Sponsorship liaises with other
    associations and organizations to identify partnership opportunities.
  • Independent Director: In this role, you will be
    working works closely with the Board of Directors to identify risks and
    opportunities, and to support the organization’s initiatives. The incoming
    Independent Director will also be responsible for YWL’s Career Coaching

How to apply

Click here
to complete an online application. Applications are due by 5:00 PM on
August 26, 2020

Please note
that this year YWL will be implementing a name-blind application process
whereby resumes and application forms will be anonymized before they are
reviewed by YWL’s Nomination Committee.



For Immediate Release, August 5, 2020


TORONTO, ONTARIO – The South Asian Bar Association of Toronto (SABA Toronto) held their Annual General Meeting on July 30, 2020. During the meeting, new board members and a new executive were also elected. SABA also recognized its Student Recognition Award Winners during this meeting.

SABA Board of Directors, 2020-2021

The 2020-2021 Board of Directors of SABA in alphabetical order by last name are:

Aarondeep Bains

Anisha Bhardwaj

Monty Dhaliwal

Amandeep Dhillon

Maneesha Gupta

Ravi Jain

Melissa Krishna

Sarah Malik

Ashok Menen

Devin Persaud

Richa Sandill

Janani Shanmuganathan

Jasmine Singh

Amrita Tamber

Annie Tayyab

SABA Toronto would like to thank all the outgoing Board members for their leadership and work.

SABA Board Executive

Aarondeep Bains of Aird & Berlis LLP has been re-elected as the President of the South Asian Bar Association of Toronto. “I look forward to working with our strong board and leading SABA Toronto as we work on important advocacy and diversity issues facing racialised licensees during the next year,” said Bains.

Jasmine Singh has been elected as Vice-President, Devin Persaud appointed as Treasurer, and Annie Tayyab elected as Secretary.

SABA Student Recognition Award Winners

SABA Toronto would also like to congratulate our Student Recognition Award Winners: Rono Khan from Queen’s University Faculty of Law, Shailaja Nadarajah from Queen’s University Faculty of Law, Gurvir Sangha from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and Jayashree Sivakumar from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. All award winners were selected due to their outstanding contributions to their schools, SALSA Chapters, local communities, and outstanding academic achievements.

About SABA Toronto

The South Asian Bar Association of Toronto is the GTA’s premier legal organization dedicated to promoting the objectives of South Asian members of the legal profession. Members of SABA Toronto include lawyers that self-identify as South Asian or are of South Asian origin, and lawyers that advocate on issues of relevance to the South Asian community. Our membership is dynamic, ever-expanding and includes lawyers from large and small law firms, sole practitioners, government agencies and departments, nonprofit organizations, and corporations. Members of the judiciary, academics and law students also form an integral part of SABA Toronto.

South Asian Bar Association of Toronto

Announcing SABA Toronto’s 2020-2021 Student Liaisons!

SABA Toronto is pleased to announce and introduce our new slate of Student Liaisons for the upcoming year.  Please meet:

  • Mathurhaen Sirikantharajah – Student Membership and Advocacy Liaison
  • Rono Khan – Student Social and CPD Liaison 
  • Miina Balasubramaniam – Co-Student Marketing Liaison
  • Shalini Ayalasomayajula –  Co-Student Marketing Liaison

Each of the individuals above brings with them a passion and demonstrable experience to uplift their communities and current environment. We are extremely excited to welcome them to the SABA team!

To learn more about your new Student Liaisons, follow them on their respective social media accounts, and join us at our AGM on July 30.

Mathurhaen Sirikantharajah

• LinkedIn:

• Instagram: @mathurhaen

• Facebook:

Rono Khan

• Linkedin:

• Instagram: @ronokhan_

• Facebook: /

Miina Balasubramaniam

• Instagram: @miina.bala

• Facebook: Miina Balasubramaniam

Shalini Ayalasomayajula

• LinkedIn: 

SABA Toronto 2020 AGM

SABA Toronto’s Annual Meeting of Members will be held virtually via the Zoom Platform at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 30, 2020 (“the Meeting”) for the following purposes:

1. to receive and consider the annual financial statements of SABA Toronto;

2. to elect up to seven (7) directors for a two (2) year term;

3. to transact such further or other business as may properly come before the Meeting (or any adjournment thereof).

Members of record as of the close of business on Thursday, July 23, 2020, will be entitled to vote at the Meeting. Members who are unable to attend the Meeting in person are requested to date and sign the form of proxy attached here.

The statements of interest of the candidate for election as directors are as follows:

  1. Dylan Bal
  2. Anisha Bhardwaj
  3. Rahul Gandotra
  4. Maneesha Gupta
  5. Ravi Jain
  6. Ashok Menen
  7. Devin Persaud
  8. Amrita Tamber
  9. Annie Tayyab
  10. Ajith Thiyagalingam