Dear CBA members,
We hope you and your families are well and managing to keep a positive attitude despite the daily challenges you face in the pandemic crisis. The CBA is doing its part to support you at this time.
I am pleased to report the launch of the CBA Task Force on Justice Issues Arising from COVID-19 to address the growing list of legal issues resulting from the pandemic. The Task Force brings together key national partners in the justice system to act on:
- Immediate issues flowing from public restrictions
- Evolving need to deliver legal and justice services as pandemic disruptions continue
- Avoiding backlogs and other consequences as the country transitions into a recovery period
- What lessons from this crisis can we use to make the justice system more effective every day and to make it ready for future crises.
The CBA and its Branches are committed to delivering current information and resources for you and your practice during the pandemic. A national COVID-19 resource hub is updated regularly with news about the legal and justice systems, professional development offerings from across the country, and other resources for your well-being.
CBA National magazine is staying on top of developments in the legal system, including this article on cracks in the judicial system, and this article about the federal wage subsidy. Watch for an upcoming series of panel discussions and interviews about the justice system’s response to this crisis, and what needs to change for the next one, which will be available on our podcast channel.
We’ve created spots for two podcasts in May focusing on issues relevant to sole and small practitioners to help them navigate this crisis.
Our professional development teams across the country are offering online COVID-19-related programs, and recreating the programming affected when physical-distancing measures demanded that we cancel national conferences for the foreseeable future.
We’re working with the courts – first in figuring out how they needed to adapt to immediate closures, and now determining how to ensure access to justice in the face of probably longer closures, taking into account the particular needs of different areas of law.
In terms of advocacy, we’re watching the various support programs being rolled out by government, making sure that they’re taking the realities of the legal profession into account. For example, the initial announcement about the wage subsidy program included Canadian Controlled Private Corporations and not-for-profit and charitable organizations. The program has now expanded to include more employers, available to lawyers who work as sole practitioners, in partnerships or in LLPs. We know there’s more to be done, and we will to continue to keep your needs in mind as we advocate on your behalf.
If you have something to add to the resource hub, or have comments or questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.