September 08, 2020

I would like to address the removal of the Begbie statue from the Law Society foyer that is the subject of a member’s resolution and recent Vancouver Sun column by Ian Mulgrew. As I stated in 2017, the points raised in the resolution and the column miss the rationale for the decision that the Benchers made.

When the Benchers unanimously voted to remove the Begbie statue, it was because the necessary work of the Law Society in addressing reconciliation was hindered by the prominence of a statue that made an important segment of the public feel unwelcome when visiting our offices. The Law Society must be an open and inclusive environment in order to do its job of protecting the public interest in the administration of justice for all.

The debate about the historical legacy of Chief Justice Begbie reflects different views about the man and his work, but the debate should not impede the Law Society from being open and able to fulfill its mandate to protect the interests of all the public.