Adrienne Smith is a human rights activist and drug policy lawyer. They graduated from UBC law school in 2013 and were called to the bar in British Columbia in 2014. Adrienne lives and works in the Downtown Eastside, where they are working to reduce the harm that law causes for marginalized communities. Their recent work involves litigation and advocacy on behalf of drug users, prisoners in provincial correctional facilities, and transgender people.
Adrienne made arguments about the deleterious effects of mandatory minimum sentences on women, Aboriginal offenders and drug users at the Supreme Court of Canada and the BC Court of Appeal in their first two years of call. They recently settled a BC Supreme Court case that changed provincial prison policy and secured access to opiate replacement therapy for prisoners in BC jails.
They spoke at the Vancouver School Board and Park Board meetings in support of trans inclusion policies. As part of a group of activists they worked to introduce trans inclusion policies in their political party at the provincial and federal levels.
They presented at the 2016 Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health conference on legal issued faced by transgender people in the Downtown Eastside, and in 2017 about barriers transgender women face while attempting to access emergency shelters in the DTES.
They volunteer in a summary legal advice clinic as part of the Catherine White Holman Wellness Centre, a community health and wellness program organized by and for transgender people. At the centre, they give free human rights, criminal, family, and employment law advice, and notarize name change forms.
They also participated in producing the transrightsbc.ca know-your-rights web tool, and they run workshops on this and on other legal issues for service providers and members of their community.
They make frequent public appearances in person and in the media, where they are an inspiration to others by being an out non-binary transgender lawyer.
Adrienne currently works as a Regional Representative for the Canadian Labour Congress, where they deliver union education; support the work of regional labour councils; and work to win a Pharmacare plan for everyone.