Two Islanders receive Queen’s Counsel appointment
Gary Demeulenaere and Sophie MacDonald are the most recent recipients of the highest honour in the field of law.
“Only those who have demonstrated excellence in their field and who have made important contributions to Island communities and the justice system are considered for the Queen’s Counsel designation. Gary and Sophie are two very talented lawyers who exemplify what this honour represents. I want to once again congratulate them on this remarkable accomplishment.”
- Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General Bloyce Thompson
Dating back to the 16th century England, the Queen’s Counsel were the select senior barristers of the High Court entrusted to provide the Crown with legal counsel. The legacy of this honour today is presented to those known for their professional experience, leadership, their contribution public service or to their community, as well as excellence in the practice of law.
This year’s Queen’s Counsel recipients will be recognized by the Honourable Antoinette Perry, Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island at Government House in the new year.
Department of Justice and Public Safety
Gary Demeulenaere attended law school at the University of New Brunswick and was called to the PEI bar in 2005. He became a Partner at Stewart McKelvey in 2013 before leaving private practice in 2017 to take the position of Director of Legal & Policy Services with the Department of Justice & Public Safety. Gary returned to Stewart McKelvey as a Partner in 2019 and he has a diverse practice that focuses on civil litigation including insurance defence, medical malpractice, and security realization. He has also been involved in both regulatory and discipline matters. He acts as an agent for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and has appeared at all levels of court on PEI.
A proud first-generation Canadian born to Belgian parents, Gary is one of eleven children. He has served on a number of volunteer boards like the Prince Edward Island Farm Centre, and Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and is currently a member of Board of Directors of the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada. He is an alumni and supporter of the University of Prince Edward Men’s Soccer program and a long-time youth soccer coach. He lives in Stratford with his wife, Jennifer, and they have four children.
After completing her undergraduate work, Sophie went on to complete her Bachelor of Law degree at the Université de Montreal in 1998, as well as a Bachelor of Law at the Université de Moncton in 1999. She was called to the Bar in Prince Edward Island in 2000, and again in Ontario three years later. Sophie currently practices law as a Partner with Stewart McKelvey where her primary area of focus is family law as well as litigation and alternative dispute resolution. She represents clients in family issues including separation, adoption, surrogacy and custody, as well as small businesses and insurance companies.
Sophie is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, and formerly on the executive of the Prince Edward Island branch, as well as a member of the national board of directors of the Canadian Bar Association. She has been a member on various committees of the PEI Law Society, currently serving on a discipline committee. Sophie is a member of the Prince Edward Island access to justice committee, and is the Prince Edward Island representative on the national action committee on access to justice in civil and family matters.
Sophie lives in Stratford with her spouse, Norman, and their three children, Gabrielle, Blake and Dylan.