Meet the StopSOP Slate!
These 22 lawyers and one paralegal are running on a platform to eliminate the compelled Statement of Principles. They represent regions across the province. You may vote for candidates outside of your own region. Please consider voting for all of them (plus any non-slate candidates endorsed by StopSOP) and ONLY them to ensure that we achieve our goal of electing a Convocation that adheres to its statutory mandate, and gets out of the business of controlling the thoughts and speech of its members.
Our Law Society has recently sailed into dangerous waters in imposing on each individual lawyer a compulsory Statement of Principles (SOP) expressing a particular political ideology, an unprecedented incursion on our basic freedoms as lawyers and citizens. In addition to addressing that important issue, I would hope as a Bencher to use my extensive experience from decades of successful legal practice and law firm management to offer some thoughtful, prudent and solution-oriented input on behalf of the profession as a whole, and the public we serve.
The Compulsory, Politicized Statement of Principles
This is the reason I am offering myself as a candidate for Bencher, something I never in the past thought I would be interested in. Instead of a profession that serves the public based on the principle of equality, and that acknowledges and supports competence, effort, and contribution, and that seeks to help those who are disadvantaged or unfairly treated, the compulsory SOP enforces a “diversity ideology” that will create in the profession a culture of entitlement and preferential treatment based on the skin colour and sex chromosomes a person was born with, or on some self-proclaimed “identity”, and on suppression of free thinking and free expression. That is not what the profession of law should be. The enforced SOP takes us down a wrong road and should be rescinded.
Competence, Articling and Mentoring
Being competent is one way we lawyers can best serve the public. And learning competence is one of the best ways for young lawyers, including those from disadvantaged communities, to get ahead. Mentoring, along with the articling experience, is very important for developing competence, but good mentoring is hard work and not something that comes automatically. The Law Society could and should do more to encourage, teach and assist senior lawyers to be willing and able to be good mentors. The present approach, with all its burdens and restrictions, makes it hard to be a good mentor. Working on changing that over time offers real benefits to everyone.
I hope you will consider supporting me in this important election.
Three decades of litigation practice and managing a growing firm focused on access to justice;
o the family of Dudley George killed by police at Ipperwash, through litigation and public inquiry;
o Indigenous Mayan women suing a Canadian company for rape and murder at its mine in Guatemala;
o 1,000 individuals in a class action against police for mass-arrests at the 2010 G-20 Summit
o an Indigenous tribal council in Ontario’s far north
o environmental groups
o Canadian Lawyer Magazine – a “Top 25 Most Influential Lawyer”, 2014 and 2015
o Dianne Martin Medal for Social Justice Through Law
o Ontario Federation of Labour Human Rights Award
o Champion of Justice Award from Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto