At the opening of proceedings at the Supreme Court of Canada on December 8, 2020, Chief Justice Richard Wagner made the following remarks about Joseph Arvay, Q.C.:
Before we begin this morning, I would like to take a few moments to express our sadness at the news of the sudden passing of Joseph Arvay, Q.C. of British Columbia, a well-known advocate here at the Supreme Court of Canada and a much-admired member of the bar. I speak on behalf of all of my colleagues when I say his advocacy skills were second-to-none. Some have referred to him as the “court whisperer” given his long line of victories here at the Court. He defended the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms with great passion and regardless of the odds. He has been quoted as saying, “If I must lose, I would like to lose the right way.” Mr. Arvay became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2018. It was recalled at the time that “with keen legal acumen and dedication to social justice, he has played an unparalleled role in shaping the interpretation of the law on matters of civil rights and liberties.” Mr. Arvay’s legacy is outstanding. We extend our most heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.
Joe passed away on December 7, 2020 at the age of 71. Watch the video of Chief Justice Wagner’s remarks on Twitter.