Sections Update | April 2021

Updates on Elder Law Initiatives - Diversity & Inclusion - SOGIC - Aboriginal Law

April 2021

Sections Update | April 2021

At the CBA Annual AGM, held on February 17, 2021, the Elder Law Section proposed and passed Resolution 21-03-A, Improvement of Long-Term Care and Support for Older Canadians, which provided a response to the issues disproportionately facing seniors in long-term care facilities during the pandemic. The resolution urges federal, provincial, and territorial governments to work together to fast-track the establishment and enforcement of National Quality Standards in long-term care, improve infection prevention controls, and create pan-Canadian strategies to better care for seniors.

In addition, members of the Elder Law Section are in discussion to reform Section 331 of the Criminal Code of Canada to address the abuse of Power of Attorney holders. This reform, proposed by Elder Law Section member Peter Lockhart Gordon, QC, emphasizes the difficulty in proving wrongdoing, thus, the onus of proof must be reversed from the person challenging the conduct of a POA holder to the POA holders themselves.


During the month of February, several Sections offered a slate of meetings that offered guidance on how to be culturally competent in the practice of law, and knowledge on issues affecting LGBTQ2SI+, First Nations and other systematically disadvantaged individuals:


SOGIC hosted Don’t Guess, Just Ask, a Professional Development event on the use of pronouns in practice following the adoption of the Pronouns Policy in the BC courts. They also hosted Trans/forming the Queer Legal Landscape — Emerging Legal Issues, which outlined queer and legal trans history, and discussed topical issues such as emerging family forms, current practice directives, and more. In addition to Professional Development events, SOGIC also hosted a Section meeting on the study involving the serious legal problems of LGBTQ2SI+ people in Western Canada. They also hosted Outlaws, outreach events for law students in BC.

Aboriginal Law

Aboriginal Law — Vancouver Section hosted Myrna McCallum, Jessica Magonet, and River Shannon to discuss some of the ways to incorporate cultural humility and trauma-informed practices into the legal practice. Aboriginal Law — Vancouver Island Section, on the other hand, hosted Dr. Mary Turpel-Lafond who discussed her findings in her report In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in BC Health Care. The report found that a majority of the Indigenous respondents have experienced racism within the health care system. In response, Dr. Turpel-Lafond recommends that the BC government operate in alignment with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and to work jointly with First Nations peoples to create culturally-appropriate health facilities.

Social Justice

The Social Justice Section invited Garth Mullins, Kali Sedgemore and Caitlin Shane to lead an engaging and critical discussion on what a more effective and compassionate societal drug policy might look like. During the meeting, they touched upon the role of each level of government in contributing to the war on drugs, as well as the importance of including people with lived/living experience to inform law reform.