A Renewed Hope

Advocacy after the election

A Renewed Hope

With the provincial election complete, and the appointment of a new Cabinet, CBABC will renew its advocacy to bring legislation and law reforms and justice policy solutions to the attention of MLAs and press for those changes.

Work is underway on CBABC’s Agenda for Justice 2021 (“Agenda”), which will launch in January. It contains a series of CBABC recommendations to government in a wide range of areas. The Agenda explains how the solutions offered are necessary to strengthen the economic environment for everyone in BC, to protect vulnerable citizens, and to recognize and harness the knowledge from diverse demographics in our province. The documents are in plain language to help expand public understanding of how justice system issues affect day-to-day life in BC.

How was the Agenda developed? By the CBABC membership. Over the past weeks, Sections, committees and working groups reviewed from CBABC Submissions over the past few years, progress and relevancy of past Agenda recommendations, justice system partner recommendations, and recent feedback from members through the Thoughtexchanges issued through News + Jobs and to specific CBABC groups. This includes conservations with and review of information from the Association of Legal Aid Lawyers, BC Law Institute, the First Nations Justice Council, the BC Human Rights Commission, and many more.

If you haven’t yet participated in a Thoughtexchange, I hope you will soon. You’ll see them in your weekly
e-blast, News + Jobs. The crowdsourcing software platform allows participants to make suggestions anonymously and then rate other’s suggestions. The behind-the-scenes data analysis and the rating system means the most popular ideas in the conversation rise to the top, allowing us to gauge support before making recommendations. The reports generated from members’ participation in Thoughtexchanges have provided a further source of information to CBABC groups to inform their decisions. They help us ensure we have a fair and informed source of information as the Board sets the advocacy priorities and agenda.

Following the release of the Agenda, President Brun, myself, the Board of Directors and subject-matter experts from the CBABC membership will continue to engage with the MLAs through formal meetings, written submissions, and committee appearances. Building relationships with new Cabinet ministers is key to CBABC’s advocacy with the provincial government. We will lead initiatives on behalf of the legal profession and in partnership with our justice system partners.

This brings me to some recent formal feedback you gave us. In August, the CBA Nanos Survey revealed that 42.6% of BC members answering the survey say that CBA delivers on its promise for advocacy better than other organizations, with 26% saying we meet the same level as others. The Board of Directors works hard to ensure the necessary resources of volunteers, staff support, and technological resources to meet and exceed members’ expectations.

The Nanos Survey results are another important part of receiving member feedback and assessing our progress. Beginning in 2017, CBA partnered with NANOS to survey members once or twice a year about everything from professional development programming to advocacy priorities and everything in between. The results are considered by the CBABC Board and CBA National Board when setting advocacy and strategic priorities and by staff to introduce new programs and services and retire others. This “member intelligence” as we call it, gives you a voice about what you value, what is important, and how we are doing in delivering the benefits of membership.

The political landscape of our province and indeed the world is changing, providing opportunity for ideas to be accelerated into action. There is renewed energy to bring legislative and justice reforms forward and see further progress for the benefit of clients, the rule of law, the administration of justice, and a sound foundation for democracy. Your contributions as CBABC members make that possible. Thank you!

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