The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

CBA/ABC National

Annual meeting 2017

Meet the new president: Kerry L. Simmons Q.C.

By CBA/ABC National August 17, 2017 17 August 2017

 

In the above video, Kerry L. Simmons, Q.C., of Victoria, talks about her priorities for her upcoming year as president of the Canadian Bar Association.

Simmons, who first became involved with the CBA in law school, promises to focus the association’s energies on building membership and completing the CBA’s governance and operational transformation.

Her message to member: “Use the CBA to become a better lawyer.”

She called upon members in attendance to spread the word to others, whether its because they see membership as a core aspect of being a professional, or as a way to build credibility in a practice area by speaking to government committees on proposed legislation, or working on a law reform project.

On the operational side, Simmons promised to focus on the sharing of funding among branches, CCCA and other functions.

“We will also develop a process for strategically focusing and co-ordinating our advocacy efforts at the national and federal level,” she said.

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Annual meeting 2017

A new beginning for the CBA

By CBA/ABC National August 17, 2017 17 August 2017

A new beginning for the CBA

The debate over how associations are best governed is at least as old as associations themselves.

Now a new chapter begins, as the Canadian Bar Association’s annual meeting gets under way in Montreal today with members in attendance either virtually or in-person to debate and vote on new bylaws, following a decision last year to adopt a new governance structure.

A new Board, with an emphasis on diversity, will begin its mandate on September 1, and will be composed of one member from each province and territory plus incoming CBA President Kerry L. Simmons, Q.C.  Simmons is taking over from outgoing president René Basque of Moncton, N.B.

“What's different this year is that hundreds of people are participating through local CBA hubs across the country to debate the resolutions," says Simmons. "The CBA is taking a more modern approach to listening to what its members are saying, and this is a big step in building a more member-centric and transparent association."

The changes are part of a larger effort by the CBA to focus on being more responsive to the needs of its members, taking a more client-centric approach to redesigning its product and service offering, including conferences and events.

 

 

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The Supreme Court

SCC appointment process: tradition of regional representation respected

By CBA/ABC National July 17, 2017 17 July 2017

SCC appointment process: tradition of regional representation respected

The appointments process is now open to select the next justice of the Supreme Court of Canada who will fill retiring of Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin’s seat.

As was the case in 2016, when Justice Malcolm Rowe was appointed, an independent and non-partisan Advisory Board will be formed to identify candidates suitable for the position.

What’s different this time around is that the appointments process now explicitly recognizes regional convention, meaning that it open only to candidates from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon. The Chief Justice initially appointed as a Puisne Justice in 1989 from the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Traditionally, two seats are held by Western Canada.  Justice Russell Brown is currently the other member of the top court from the region.

“Honouring regional representation means that our highest court will continue to represent all regions of Canada,” CBA President René Basque said in a statement.

In June, Basque wrote to the government to reiterate the CBA’s request that the government uphold the convention of regional representation as a core element of diversity

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Droit du travail

La négociation collective: L’apport du juge Louis LeBel

By CBA/ABC National July 5, 2017 5 July 2017

La négociation collective: L’apport du juge Louis LeBel

Dans le dernier numéro de la Revue du Barreau canadien, Renée-Claude Drouin, Nicolas Pochet et Gilles Trudeau se penchent sur  l’apport de l’ancien juge Louis LeBel au développement du droit du travail.  Les auteurs estiment que son legs principal dans ce domaine, à une époque marquée par la transition vers la nouvelle économie, réside dans sa réaffirmation de l’importance de la négociation collective comme liberté fondamentale :

L’attachement du juge LeBel à la représentation collective des travailleurs et à la négociation collective s’explique par la conviction qu’elles constituent fondamentalement des moyens de pouvoir dont les travailleurs se sont dotés afin de lutter contre l’inégalité inhérente à la relation de travail. Il ressort de ses décisions que c’est à ce titre que ces institutions méritent d’être préservées. La constitutionnalisation de la négociation collective et la réponse qu’il donne à la question de la relation entre les différentes sources de normativité s’appliquant aux rapports collectifs du travail auront été l’occasion de mettre en œuvre ses convictions.

Avec le débat constitutionnel relative à l’extension de la protection de la liberté d’association à la négociation collective, il propose de s’exonérer de l’emprise d’un modèle législatif particulier de relations de travail pour s’en tenir aux conditions fondamentaux d’un débat équitable entre employeur et employés sur la détermination des condition de travail. La démarche qu’il adopte est convaincante et, fondant les préceptes de la négociation collective dans l’histoire des relations de travail, il évite ainsi le piège de relativiser la protection du processus de négociation. Parce qu’ils n’ont qu’entériné la situation factuelle à la quelle était parvenus les travailleurs de façon autonome, les régimes législatifs, fédéral et provinciaux, qui ont disséminé le modèle Wagner à l’échelle du Canada, n’auront été qu’accessoires à la consécration constitutionnelle  de la négociation collective.

L’oeuvre judiciaire du juge Louis LeBel, dont son apport à l’évolution du droit du travail, du droit administratif et du droit criminel au Québec et au Canada, a fait l’objet d’un colloque organisé par l’association du Barreau canadien, division Québec, en 2014.  La Revue du Barreau canadien a publié les textes que les conférenciers ont accepté de rédiger dans son dernier numéro.

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Big picture

The long road to reconciliation

By CBA/ABC National June 19, 2017 19 June 2017

The long road to reconciliation

 

In 1996, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples issued a roadmap for transforming the relationship between Aboriginal peoples and the Crown. The majority of its recommendations were never implemented. But its findings “opened people’s eyes and changed the conversation about the reality for Aboriginal people in this country,” the Truth & Reconciliation Commission later wrote.

In 2016, Canada declared its full support for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ rights to self-determination, language, equality and land, among others.

Despite some progress, however, the issues identified more than 20 years ago remain a pressing concern. As Canada prepares to mark National Aboriginal Day on June 21, here is a snapshot of the community.

Source: Aboriginal Peoples in Canada: First Nations People, Métis and Inuit, 2011 National Household Survey, Statistics Canada.

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