Marie Henein is my kinda
gal broad lawyer. She’s the powerhouse who got former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi off on sexual assault charges. And, she’s in the news again leading Vice-Admiral Mark Norman’s defence team. He’s the Canadian military bigwig who according to a Globe and Mail article by Janice Dickson on March 6, 2019, “was suspended as the military’s second-in-command on Jan. 16, 2017, and charged last year with breach of trust for allegedly leaking government secrets in an attempt to influence cabinet’s decision on a $700-million shipbuilding contract with Quebec’s Davie shipyard.” Yikes! Sounds serious. Not only did Henein get Norman off but the Canadian government must now reimburse him for his legal fees, which all but bankrupted him. Very impressive.
So who is the lady with the brass balls, killer dragon manicure and the coolest haircut ever? She’s someone I’d absolutely want to defend me if I’m ever in trouble with the law. So far I’ve managed to keep my nose clean for 70+years but things could change. If anyone ever finds out about those jelly beans I stole from the open bin in the Beamish store in my hometown when I was about six or seven years old, well, there could be trouble. Hopefully that falls under the seven-year statute of limitations. Or that time in the seventies when I left one movie and immediately walked into another one in the adjacent theatre while only paying for one ticket. I know these crimes seem minor but they’re crimes nonetheless and I still bear the guilt. I’d like to know that Marie Henein would be there to plead my case.
There was a time when I could not understand why a brilliant lawyer and professed feminist would choose to represent unpopular defendants like Jian Ghomeshi, former Nova Scotia Premier Gerald Regan who was also charged with sexual misconduct, and former Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant who was charged with criminal negligence causing death when a bike courier died as a result of a confrontation with Bryant. Everyone is entitled to a fair trial and legal representation. Some can just afford better representation than others and Henein is effective.
I once saw her interviewed on CTV’s The Social and was very impressed with her intelligence, her logic and her sense of humour. She also has a killer wardrobe and would be a formidable role model for any aspiring criminal lawyer, male or female. Ever since that two-movies-for-the-price-of-one incident, I’ve walked a pretty straight line when it comes to breaking the law. You’ll never catch me stepping a toe off the curb before the light turns green or not rinsing out my plastic and glass recycling before putting it into the bin.
I’m committed to being a good, law-abiding citizen but should I slip up and get caught for some unknown infraction, I’m for sure going to hire Marie Henein. I’m prepared to sell the house and get my husband a paper route—whatever it takes to pay for her services. I’m too old to do hard time in a cold institution with a high-carb diet and no access to HBO.
When we were kids in school, we were told that Ontario’s official flower, the trillium, is a protected species and it’s illegal to pick them. Since then I’ve always been terrified of accidently tramping on one during a walk in the woods in case there’s a policeman lurking behind the next tree ready to cuff me and lock me up. My fear of the law runs deep. It’s trillium season now so be very, very careful. Don’t cheat on your taxes; don’t text and drive, and do not under any circumstances park in the handicapped spot while you “just nip in for a minute”. But, if you do slip up, call Marie Henein. You can always start driving for Uber or have a yard sale to cover the cost. It’ll be worth it. And maybe she’ll give you the name of her hairdresser.