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James Peterson Toronto Lawyer

Hon. James S. Peterson (阁下)

Counsel Fasken
Governments decisions can have profound impacts on you.
Jurisdiction Ontario, 1966
Language(s) English, French
Office(s) Toronto


A former federal Minister and Secretary of State, Jim Peterson has extensive knowledge and first-hand experience of government affairs. He served as the Government of Canada as Minister of International Trade, Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions), and Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.

A former Minister of International Trade between 2003 and 2006, Jim has extensive experience in trade policy and trade disputes. While minister, Jim represented Canada at the World Trade Organization’s Doha round of negotiations, which were focused on expanding trade and investment in leading emerging markets Brazil, Russia, India and China, and with complex issues related to trade with Canada's NAFTA partners, the European Union, the Middle East and the Americas.

While Secretary of State from 1997 to 2002, Jim was instrumental in piloting significant financial institution reforms through Parliament including legislation permitting foreign bank branching and aligning Canada with international standards in the fight against money laundering and terrorism. He also handled the insurance industry demutualization file. Working with caucus and stakeholders, Jim approved major financial institution mergers including BNS – National Trust, Great West Life – London Life, Clarica – Met Life, and TD – Canada Trust.

Jim served as Chair of the House of Commons Finance Committee between 1993 and 1997. While there, he began the practice of public pre-budget hearings and completed a number of major studies including a review of Canada's value added tax (the GST).

Jim retired from the House of Commons in 2007 after 23 years of public service as the Member of Parliament for Willowdale (Toronto).

Career & Education


  • DCL McGill University
  • LLM Columbia University
  • Certificate d'Assistance The Hague Academy of International Law
  • Diploma, French Civilization La Sorbonne University
  • LLB University of Western Ontario
  • BA University of Western Ontario

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Co-Chair, Canada-US Law Institute
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Ontario Bar Association

Fasken Institute



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