Wally Oppal is presently involved as a mediator and arbitrator, particularly in commercial disputes involving business, Government and First Nations. Also, Wally is an adjudicator and commissioner in disciplinary matters under the Police Act of British Columbia.
In 2017, the Government of British Columbia awarded Wally with the Order of British Columbia which is awarded to persons who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in the service of the Province. In 2018, the Government of Canada appointed Wally as panelist to resolve disputes on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (now United States, Mexico, Canada Trade Agreement).
After graduation from the University of British Columbia Law School, Wally went into private practice for a number of years. During this time he was appointed as a Special Prosecutor on many high profile criminal and commercial cases. He served as a judge in the County Court of British Columbia from 1981 to 1985, and in the B.C. Supreme Court from 1985 to 2003, when he was appointed to the B.C. Court of Appeal. While he sat on the Supreme Court bench he was appointed to conduct a commission of inquiry into policing in British Columbia. The inquiry was called after a number of police shootings of civilians.
In 2005, he was appointed as Attorney General of British Columbia and served as Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism until 2009. Wally was involved in many significant reforms of the justice system, including the establishment of Canada’s first community court to deal with chronic offenders, developing new Rules of Court in order to promote quicker resolution of disputes and developing new initiatives in dealing with violence against women.
A lifetime resident of British Columbia, Wally has dedicated his entire working life to the pursuit of social justice and community safety. His landmark report on policing in British Columbia led to many policing reforms after its publication in 1994. Wally’s service to the public of this province, most recently as Commissioner of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, is of special significance.