Gian Paolo Vescio
General counsel, Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association
Gian Paolo Vescio knows the egal ins and outs of solving major crises.
An anti-vaccine-mandate blockade in 2021 shut down traffic at the Ambassador Bridge that connects Windsor and Detroit, costing the automotive industry on both sides of the border billions of dollars. Key to ending the standoff was Vescio, general counsel for the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, and his boss, President Flavio Volpe.
With the help of a Windsor law firm, the APMA filed an injunction to compel police to enforce laws that prohibit impeding traffic. That action was responsible for removal of the blockade.
Vescio was also instrumental in helping the industry pivot to producing personal protective equipment when demand for automotive parts fell to nearly zero during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vescio, 37, said there was a host of legal issues — including intellectual-property rights — that had to be worked through “in record speed.”
Vescio joined the APMA in 2018, coming from a private firm where he practised civil litigation, criminal and real estate law.
IN HIS OWN WORDS:
“When the blockade happened and it lasted more than a day, we were a little miffed as to why it wasn’t removed. It was clearly infringing on the [Highway Traffic Act], not to mention other acts. We successfully argued in court, irrespective of the reason why people are protesting — everybody has the right to protest — but the idea of blockading a highway or breaking the law in order to protest a law you disagree with is not protected in the Charter.”