Meet the Slate!
These 22 lawyers ran on a platform to eliminate the compelled Statement of Principles, known as StopSOP. They were elected with top votes from across the province and will serve the profession as benchers until 2023.
Their campaign was organized and led by the StopSOP Team, which included these non-bencher lawyers and paralegals and many others who helped in various capacities:
I was born and raised in communist Czechoslovakia. My parents, brothers and I left in 1969, leaving behind family, friends and employment because my father, a government functionary, was unwilling to publicly declare his support for the 1968 occupation by “the fraternal forces” of the Warsaw Pact and for the new regime and its “principles”.
The Law Society’s requirement of a Statement of Principles is abhorrent to me. To be clear, I am not opposed to diversity, but to the imposition of personal or political principles by our professional regulator on its members. Other members, who also support diversity, may not see the imposition of beliefs on all members as an erosion of their rights. My history makes me uniquely aware of the fundamental difference between encouraging laudable principles, and imposing them. My parents left everything they had to oppose the government’s imposition of required beliefs, and I will not betray their sacrifice by complying with the LSO’s directive.
I have therefore decided to run for bencher and join a slate of like-minded lawyers (http://stopsop.ca/) who object to the mandatory Statement of Principles.
We must also address the root problem which permitted this encroachment on individual rights. The LSO’s EDI initiative, which produced the compelled Statement of Principles, is a symptom of mission creep beyond its mandate of licensing and discipline. Democratically elected governments may quite properly regulate conduct that infringes on human rights, but even they would not compel citizens to state their agreement with mandatory principles.
Mission creep also results in an ever-expanding bureaucracy. The LSO’s 2019 budget calls for 619 full-time employees, with an average annual remuneration of $113,758, and total expenditures of $142,535,700. Comparatively, the LSO’s total expenditures for 2006 were $66,486,000. The 2019 budget represents a greater than 100% increase in just 13 years, which clearly isn’t sustainable.
The Law Society must re-focus on its core responsibilities of licensing and discipline and should not embark on new initiatives without directly consulting its members. I would be privileged to help get the LSO back on the proper track of professional regulation that previously earned my respect.
I practice civil litigation in Toronto in a 3- lawyer firm.
I am a member of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association and the Toronto Lawyers Association.
I was called to the Bar in 1983. LL.B. Windsor 1981
M.Sc. (Econ.) London School of Economics, 1978
B.A. University of Toronto 1977