604 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 79 PART 4 JULY 2021
The Honourable Madam Justice Jasmin Z.
Flin Flon, Manitoba is perhaps best known as the
hometown of Bobby Clarke and for its town mascot
and namesake Flintabbaty Flonatin.1 Move over
Bobby and Flinty! On September 9, 2020, Flin Flon
added another feather to its cap when one of its own,
Jasmin Z. Ahmad, Q.C., was appointed to the British
Columbia Supreme Court. Flin Flon may still have
some catching up to do to match its cross-Prairie judicial rival, Pincher
Creek, Alberta, but this appointment is a strong start.2
Jasmin’s story begins (as it does for many of us) with her parents. While
her parents originally came from disparate parts of the Commonwealth,
their paths crossed in England. Jasmin’s mother, Pat, grew up in Barbados
before moving to England as a teenager. Her father, Nazir, hails from Pakistan
and travelled to study agriculture at England’s Reading University.
After Nazir completed his graduate studies at Reading, they moved together
to Winnipeg to allow Nazir to pursue his Ph.D. in agriculture. Those studies
were interrupted by the birth of Jasmin and her fraternal twin sister, Suffia.
Jasmin and Suffia’s arrival led Nazir to switch career paths, and the family
went north to Flin Flon and Nazir’s new career in accounting.
As new Canadians in Flin Flon, the family quickly adapted to the local
culture. Hockey Night in Canada, cross-country skiing and Tommy Hunter
were very much a part of growing up in the Ahmad household, with a
healthy accompaniment of curry and roti. As time went on, other cultures
in the community added to the mix, particularly the strong Ukrainian influence
found throughout the Prairie provinces. Perogies and cabbage rolls
became Ahmad family favourites and, to this day, remain a traditional part
of celebratory meals anywhere members of the family gather. In that way,
Jasmin’s family is no different than many Canadian families who celebrate
and maintain (to varying degrees) the culture, food and traditions of their
foreparents and at the same time embrace the diversity of Canada.
For those who have not had the pleasure of visiting Flin Flon, it is a rural
mining town in northern Manitoba. The town is surrounded by beautiful
lakes nestled in the rocky Canadian Shield. Jasmin is proud to have grown
up in Flin Flon among the hardworking and friendly people that welcomed
her family. Manitoba’s licence plates’ declaration of “Friendly Manitoba” is
evidently no idle boast. To this day, Jasmin maintains many friendships
from her hometown despite not living there since she was 18.