Problem #1 - The SOP is Unjustified Compelled SpeechRequirement 3(1) requires every licensee “to adopt … a statement”. Simply put: to require is to compel; and a statement is speech. Thus, the SOP requirement constitutes compelled speech. You don't have to believe it, but you do have to say it. In National Bank of Canada v. Retail Clerks' International Union, Mr. Justice Beetz of the Supreme Court of Canada said that forcing someone to express opinions that they do not have “is totalitarian and as such alien to the tradition of free nations like Canada, even for the repression of the most serious crimes.”
A state-imposed regulator is never justified in forcing this cognitive dissonance on its members. In the Western legal tradition, the state may not require citizens to adopt an officially-sanctioned version of morality, ethics or personal values. This new duty to promote equality, diversity and inclusion forces all Ontario lawyers and paralegals to subscribe to a set of personal values which our regulator (LSO) wants advanced in our profession.
The promotion of mandated values goes beyond respecting the dignity of individuals, abiding by human rights laws, and treating all persons equally without discrimination. The SOP imposes an obligation on individual lawyers and paralegals to express their personal valuing of the concepts of equality, diversity and inclusion, the definitions and interpretations of which will be in the exclusive domain of the LSO. In effect, they are social or economic constructs into which our regulator will pour its requirements to carry out a particular progressive agenda (called an “accelerated culture shift”). These constructs co-opt the thought, beliefs and opinions of individual members, contrary to our fundamental freedoms under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The #StopSOP Slate of Candidates is committed to repealing Requirement 3(1) of the EDI initiative.