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145 King Street West, Suite 2200 | Toronto, Ontario | M5H 4G2 | 416 362 3711

Jerry S. Grafstein QC, Honorable

Counsel Emeritus

p: (416) 362-3711
f: (416) 864-9223

Client Services

Core Specialties

  • Broadcasting and Entertainment
  • Charities
  • Communication
  • Corporate and Finance
  • E-Commerce
  • International Finance
Image: Jerry Grafstein, Q.C. Image: Jerry Grafstein Image: Jerry Grafstein

A graduate of the University of Western Ontario in 1955 and of the University of Toronto Law School in 1958 when he received his degree of Juris Doctor from the Governing Council of the University of Toronto, Mr. Grafstein was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 1960.  He lectured in Commercial Law and later instructed in the Bar Admissions Course at Osgoode Hall Law School.  He has given lectures to law students on the role of lawyers in civil society and to Certified General Accountants.  He served as Chairman of the Media and Communications Law subsection of the Canadian and Ontario Bar Associations.

He was appointed Queen's Counsel by the Province of Ontario in 1972.

In January 1984 he was appointed to the Senate by then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.  In July 2007 he was elected Vice President of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), the largest governmental human rights organization in the world, consisting of 56 parliamentary states from Vancouver to Vladivostok. He belonged to interparliamentary groups and associations in Europe, Asia and Latin America and was a member of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs.  He was Co-chair of the Canada-US Interparliamentary Group, the largest parliamentary group in Canada for 15 years.  He was Co-chair of the 1988 Toronto Economic Summit Preparation Committee. He was Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce and during his chairmanship completed 20 reports.

Mr. Grafstein served on every Senate Committee, including the Legal and Constitutional Affairs, and was the longest serving member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.  He retired from the Senate on January 2, 2010.

Mr. Grafstein is a Co-founder and advisor to communications and e-commerce corporations in North America, South America and Europe. 

Published articles, lectures, panel appearances and conference leadership have been in the areas of technology, television, cable, film, broadcasting and finance – corporate and international. 

Mr. Grafstein was a member of the Executive of the 2008 Toronto Olympic Bid Committee. He is a patron of many Arts and Health organizations.  He spearheaded the 2001 “Canada Loves New York Weekend,” the Rolling Stones concert in 2003, and the Tsunami Relief Canada for Asia telethon in 2004.  He was named an Honourary Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps and an Honourary Fire Chief of New York City by the Canada-US Interparliamentary Group.  In 2005 he was named one of Canada’s top 100 Public Intellectuals; and was made Duke of Friulani in Italy.  He currently serves on a number of communications media boards.

Industry Expertise

Professional Affiliations

  • Senior Officer of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary
  • Metropolitan Toronto Lawyers Association
  • Law Society of Ontario
  • American Bar Association (associate)
  • Society of the Americans
  • Interparliamentary Union Organization of Security Economic Co-operation Parliamentary Assembly
  • Canada-France Interparliamentary Association
  • Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association
  • Canada-Latin America Parliamentary Association
  • Canada-Japanese Friendship Association
  • Broadcast Executives Society
  • Canadian Institute of International Affairs
  • Canada-Germany Parliamentary Group
  • Canada-US Interparliamentary Group
  • Member of Atlantik Brucke Committee (Canada-Germany Group)
  • Member of the Executive Committee of Toronto Olympic Bid Committee, Year 2008 Assembly
  • Head of the Liberal Democratic Reform (LDR) Group
  • Co-founder and Chair of the Advisory Board to The Penn Ave Post

Additional Publications

  • Co-founder and Chair of the Advisory Board to The Penn Ave Post:
  • “Law and Technology - A Technological Bill of Rights”
  • “Law and Technology”
  • “Fast Glance Back, Fast Forward - Pay TV and Specialty Services: Is Enough Enough?”
  • “Broadcasting in the Eighties”
  •  “The Chinese are Coming: The Twinning of Chongqing and Toronto”
  • “The Future of Television”
  • Founder and Co-editor:  “Journal of Liberal Thought” 1962-1964
  • Editor Book:  Beyond Imagination - Anthology by Canadian Writers  1995
  • The Parliamentary Poet Laureate  2002
  • The Idea of Canada and the Idea of the New Europe and the “Electronic Cannon” - A glimpse at television, politics and culture in our times
  • Contributor:  Chicken Soup for the Canadian Soul
  • Suicide Bombing:  Parliament Speaks  2012
    In process:  “One Voice - Principles or Politics”  Speeches on Public Policy

Special Reports

(During Chairmanship to the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade, and Commerce)

  • Falling Behind: Answering the Wake-up Call;
  • What can be done to improve Canada’s Productivity Performance?
  • The Public Good and Private Funds:
  • The Federal Tax Treatment of Charitable Giving By Individuals and Corporations
  • Passports and PASS Cards, Identity and Citizenship: Implementing the WHTI
  • Stemming the Flow of Illicit Money:
  • A Priority for Canada: Parliamentary Review of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act
  • The Demographic Time Bomb: Mitigating the Effects of Demographic Change in Canada
  • Consumer Protection in the Financial Services Sector: The Unfinished Agenda

Awards or Achievements

  • Honorary Chief, New York Fire Department
  • Honorary Commandant of the US Marine Corp

Community Involvement

  • Board Member – Shaw Festival
  • Co-chair – Toronto Committee for the Group of Seven Economic Summit
  • Co-organized – Canada for Asia
  • Co-organized – Canada Loves New York
  • Co-organized - Toronto Rocks
  • Executive Member – 2008 and 2012 Toronto Olympic Bid Committees
  • Planning Committee – Toronto International Film Festival

In the News

Jerry S. Grafstein QC, Honorable

Counsel Emeritus

T: (416) 362-3711
F: (416) 864-9223
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  • Admitted to the Ontario Bar 1960
  • University of Toronto – LLB, 1958
  • Western University – 1955

Special Designations

  • Elected (Retired) member of the Canadian Senate January 13, 1984
  • Queen's Counsel 1972

Joined Minden Gross



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