BarTalk Goes Back in Time

  • February 01, 2019
30th Anniversary Issue

In 1989, membership in the CBA was mandatory for all lawyers in BC. That gave the BC Branch a solid financial base, which enabled us to provide excellent programs and services for our members. However, it also probably lulled us into a false sense of security when it came to communicating with our members to let them know about the benefits they were receiving from their CBA membership.

In the pre-email days, communication with the membership was expensive. We needed to pay printing and mailing costs. The idea of a Branch newsletter was not new, but we needed to make it a priority to fund it.

The first edition was six pages. Today’s version is about thirty six pages. I am certainly happy to see that BarTalk has continued to be an effective means of keeping the members informed, especially now that membership is no longer mandatory. Lawyers need to know what they are getting in exchange for their membership fees.

It is interesting to note that some of the topics addressed in that February 1989 first edition of BarTalk (view here) are the same issues the CBA deals with today: access to justice, the role of paralegals, use of technology, and lawyer and staff compensation.

I am proud of that first edition of BarTalk, and I am just as proud of the current version. Not only does BarTalk help me appreciate the benefits of CBA membership, to me personally, it also reminds me of the value of a strong independent legal profession to society as a whole.

James Vilvang, QC
1989 CBABC President

30 years ago...   In 1989...
  • The Canadian-American Free Trade Agreement came into effect
  • Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and President George H.W. Bush met in Ottawa to lay the groundwork for the Acid Rain Treaty
  • The Canadian Space Agency was created
  • The SkyDome opened in Toronto
  • Deborah Grey won a by-election to become the first Reform Party Member of Parliament
  • The Canadian public protested strongly when the federal government announced cuts in funding to VIA Rail
  • Audrey McLaughlin replaced NDP (New Democratic Party) Party Leader Ed Broadbent to become the first female to lead a federal political party
  • The World Wide Web was invented
  • The first Global Positioning System satellite went into orbit
  • The Berlin Wall came down