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By CBA/ABC National December 6, 2016 6 December 2016

Latest news


Meet CBA’s new CEO: Cheryl Farrow

On November 7th, Cheryl Farrow began her tenure as chief executive, making her the first female CEO in the association’s 120-year history. She replaces John Hoyles who is retiring after 20 years with the CBA.

An experienced professional association executive with more than 15 years of senior management experience in the not-for-profit sector, Farrow has worked with boards through periods of change and evolution. This experience will serve her well as she guides the association toward a new CBA, transitioning to a new governance model and exploring new ways to serve its members. To get to know her better, CBA National  asked Farrow about her thoughts on associations and her vision for the CBA.

CBA National: What do associations today need to do to stay relevant?

Cheryl Farrow: Associations first need to be able to properly define their membership, which may include a number of different segments with different needs. Based on that segmentation, we need to understand what members value and we need to understand members’ “pain points” and position the association as a valued partner in addressing those challenges. We need to embrace technology as a key enabler in providing relevant programs and services, while also recognizing that members are bombarded on all sides by electronic communications. Whenever we can turn our communications activities from “push” strategies into dialogue with members, that’s how we will gain the necessary intelligence to ensure our relevance.

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Creative licence

By CBA/ABC National December 6, 2016 6 December 2016

Creative licence

“Practising law can be creative, but sculpting allows for a different form of creativity and part of a balance in life that has been most satisfying. Besides, “hitting rock” is a good outlet for my aggression that might otherwise be directed against my partners, clients or family!”

Robert Cohen Q.C., Partner at Blaney McMurtry, has been sculpting stone for over 30 years and has participated in  a number of art shows.

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CBA influence

Protecting the non-default position on gender identity

By CBA/ABC National December 2, 2016 2 December 2016

If you’re cis-gendered, chances are that somebody in the past 10 years has had to explain that term to you – and chances are equally good that you asked why the term was necessary, because to embody the gender you’re born with is generally the default human condition. It’s all those other people who are living hyphenated lives.

That may be true, but it’s just as true that the cis-gendered mayn’t have the first clue of how difficult life can be when you’re not the default, and the law doesn’t protect your difference.

The Nunavut Branch of the CBA, along with the Association’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Community Forum, have written to the Nunavut government asking that it amend the territory’s Human Rights Act to include both gender identity and gender expression as prohibited grounds of discrimination.

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CBA influence

Oversight without access to information

By CBA/ABC National November 29, 2016 29 November 2016

Do you need a mechanism to rein in the watchers watching the watchers?

Bill C-22, currently making its way through Parliament, seems to put a few too many constraints on a proposed Parliamentary committee that would provide oversight of all national security activity, suggests a CBA submission.

In its 2015 submission on the previous government’s Bill C-51, the CBA recommended the creation of a Parliamentary committee “with access to secret information.” But it will not recommend passage of Bill C-22 without important amendments first being made.

Bill C-22 contains a number of mechanisms that would actually prevent the committee from carrying out its mandate – by limiting its access to the information it needs, for example, or calling its independence into question. Essentially, the submission suggests, these proscriptions imply a lack of trust in the MPs and Senators who would sit on the committee.

 “Without trust in the members to act responsibly in the national interest, there is little point in forming a Committee,” the submission says. “If there is trust in the members of the Committee, there is no need for unnecessary restrictions that undermine its work and role...”

The CBA’s greatest concern lies with section 16, which would allow Ministers and departments to refuse to provide information on vague national security grounds – an exemption that seems “unnecessary and illogical” because the MPs and Senators that a Minister might prevent from seeing any particular information “have the same lawful authority to see that information as the Minister him or herself.”

The Association’s concerns with this section are severe enough that it would oppose passage of the bill if it is not removed, the submission says.

“Put simply, section 16 would gut the proposed law and preclude the Parliamentary Committee from achieving its objective. It would create a broad and largely standardless ‘out clause’ for Ministers to exempt themselves from the Committee’s disclosure regime.”

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CBA influence

Laws of gravity: Aviation ownership and security

By CBA/ABC National November 28, 2016 28 November 2016


Look up in the sky! It’s a plane! Is it Canadian?

That last question is a little harder to answer when it comes to a globalized aviation industry, as the CBA’s Air and Space Law Section notes in its response to the Canada Transportation Act Review Report. The Section’s response deals specifically with Chapter 9 of the report on air transport, and addresses issues of economic policy, aviation safety and customer complaints.

The Section suggests that economic policy and competition related to air transport should be the purview of the Canada Transportation Agency (CTA), not Transport Canada. Canada appears to be the only Chicago Convention signatory-nation where economic policy matters are addressed by the same regulator that oversees aviation security.

Recommendation 4 in the Air Transport chapter, which advises the government to allow foreigners to own up to 49 per cent of an air carrier, up from the current 25 per cent, raises the question of de facto control vs. de jure control. The Section notes that any time the Minister has previously allowed a foreign company 49 per cent ownership, this has, “notwithstanding regulatory decisions to the contrary, resulted in clear de facto control residing outside of the Canadian jurisdiction. For these reasons, should this recommendation be adopted, changes would also be necessary to the Act insofar as the de facto control provisions are concerned.”

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