THE ADVOCATE 585
VOL. 79 PART 4 JULY 2021
Ian G. Waddell, Q.C.
“Who is the happy Warrior? Who is he.
That every man in arms should wish to be?”
–“Character of the Happy Warrior”,
William Wordsworth, 1806
In the political realm, many associate the expression
“happy warrior” with Hubert H. Humphrey, an
American politician of the last generation. The term, in fact, was coined by
William Wordsworth back in the early nineteenth century. But surely the
Canadian exemplar of the happy warrior was Ian Gardiner Waddell. Ian was
born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1942. He died in his beloved Vancouver on
March 15, 2021.
After his family emigrated to Toronto, Ian studied history at the University
of Toronto, where he received a teaching diploma. He initially taught at
Western Tech before returning to the University of Toronto to study law. He
graduated in 1967 and subsequently earned a master of international law
degree at the London School of Economics.
Ian and his family then moved to Vancouver. Older UBC alumni may
remember Ian’s mother, the diminutive Isabel, who served hot cinnamon
buns at the Bus Stop Café on campus. Ian inherited her irrepressible cheerfulness,
limitless energy, twinkling eyes and love of all people. Ian began
his career as an assistant city prosecutor and criminal defence lawyer
before becoming a storefront lawyer in the Downtown Eastside. He colaunched
perhaps the first class action lawsuit in British Columbia, Chastain
v. British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority.1 A number of co-plaintiffs
sued “on behalf of themselves and all others in residential premises being
required to pay security deposits or who have already paid such deposits to
the defendant for the supply of gas and electric power”. Justice McIntyre,
then of the B.C. Supreme Court, issued a declaration that BC Hydro had no
valid statutory authority “to require the plaintiffs to pay a security deposit
before gas and electrical services are provided or are continued to be provided”.
He also ordered an injunction to like effect, on behalf of the named
co-plaintiffs and “any member of the class represented in this action”. The
decision has been subsequently cited over two dozen times.
Of Ian’s many achievements, one of his proudest was serving in the 1970s
with the late Justice Tom Berger, as he then was, in the groundbreaking