Donna M. Turko, Q.C. graduated from Dalhousie Law School in 1991. She also holds a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Sociology from the University of B.C. In 2017, she was appointed Queen’s Counsel in B.C. and also received the Canadian Bar Association Harry Rankin Pro Bono Award. Donna is currently on the Board of Directors for the Legal Services Society of B.C. and is an executive member of the Advisory Committee for the Criminal Defence Advocacy Society (C-DAS).
Throughout her career Donna has been active with the CBA serving on various of committees including the Government Relations, Advisory Committee to the Judicial Council, Legal Aid Advisory, Editorial Board for Bartalk Magazine, and the Criminal Subsection Committee for Sentencing and Release.
Donna has been invited to speak at numerous conferences for judges and lawyers, including the National Judicial Conference, CBA Continuing Legal Education and Trial Lawyers Association. For many years, she has been a participant in the Inns of Court programme where judges and lawyers join to mentor junior counsel. She has been Principal to over 25 articling students and continues to mentor in various groups, formally and informally.
Prior to attending law school, Ms. Turko worked for BCTV, CTV, and CBC Almanac and CBC Newsworld. As a lawyer, Donna was contracted by CBC as a commentator for the Pickton trial and the Missing Women’s Inquiry. She continues to be called upon by the media to give legal commentary and has written for legal publications: The Advocate and The Verdict.
She is a member of the Law Society of B.C., Canadian Bar Association, Prison Lawyers Association, The Advocate Society and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, Women’s White Collar Criminal Defence Association and the National Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers.
Donna’s courtroom victories in trial and appeal courts at every level of court for the past 28 years speak for themselves. Her notable Supreme Court of Canada victory May et. al. has been a precedent setting case in the area of proper disclosure in administrative legal proceedings and upholding the right to Habeas Corpus in our Supreme Courts.