E-Brief: June 2021

Acknowledgement of the Kamloops Indian Residential School discovery

Confirmation of 215 children unceremoniously buried on the grounds of former Kamloops Indian Residential School is deeply saddening and a tragic reminder of Canada’s residential school system that has been traumatic for survivors and many others. We express our deepest condolences to Chief/Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir, the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Nation and other First Nations whose children never made it home from residential school, and to all residential school survivors and their families, who have carried this trauma for so long. We recognize that what occurred at Kamloops is not an isolated event. Earlier this week, the Honourable Murray Sinclair indicated that sites similar to Kamloops are going to come to light, and that, “We need to begin to prepare ourselves for that.”

The Law Society is committed to implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to ensure the history of Indigenous peoples is known and their voices are heard. While we will have more to say in the weeks ahead, we take this opportunity to remind you of the resources and supports available to those struggling with trauma, grief and anger. Residential school survivors and their families may reach the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line for 24/7 support by dialing 1.866.925.4419. The Indian Residential School Survivors Society offers support to survivors and may be reached at 1.800.721.0066. Within BC, the KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides Indigenous-specific crisis support, available 24/7 at 1.800.588.8717 or online at kuu-uscrisisline.com. All BC lawyers, articled students and their families may seek assistance from the Lawyers Assistance Program or LifeWorks.

Have your say: Access to Justice Advisory Committee seeks feedback on COVID-19 response measures

The Law Society is seeking feedback from members of the legal profession on the effectiveness of measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for improving access to legal services and access to the justice system, as well as your ideas for new measures to reduce regulatory barriers that impede clients’ access that the Law Society should explore. We want to hear from you on which measures worked and which did not, and ideas and suggestions on other regulatory requirements or measures of the courts, government and government agencies that are barriers to access to justice. For more information on the consultation, see our web page.

Gender inclusive language adopted in the Law Society Rules

The Benchers adopted changes to make the language in the Law Society Rules more inclusive, changing more than 100 instances of gendered pronouns to gender-neutral and non-binary terms. See highlights of amendments here.

Diversity Action Plan priorities

The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee’s Diversity Action Plan identifies 30 action items to improve diversity in the profession. The advisory committee has identified tracking demographics, increasing inclusivity in Law Society governance and conducting outreach as its top three priorities for this year.

Bencher by-election in District of Kamloops: Voting open now

Online voting is now open and will close at 5 pm on June 15, 2021, and votes will be counted on Tuesday, June 16, 2021. Voting instructions and voter credentials were sent to eligible voters in the District of Kamloops on June 1, 2021. Candidate biographies and election statements can be viewed here. For details of the Kamloops by-election, view the Notice to the Profession and Call for Nominations dated April 12, 2021.

Bencher by-election in County of Vancouver: Call for nominations

Nominations of candidates for election in the upcoming Bencher by-election in County of Vancouver close at 5 pm on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Please send nomination forms by email to BencherRelations@lsbc.org. Nomination forms may be downloaded from the Bencher election page on the Law Society website. For more information, see the Notice to the Profession.

Articling offers by downtown Vancouver firms to stay open until August 20

All offers of articling positions made in 2021 by law firms with offices in downtown Vancouver must remain open until 8 am on Friday, August 20, 2021. Downtown Vancouver is defined as the area in the city of Vancouver west of Carrall Street and north of False Creek. Set by the Credentials Committee under Rule 2-58, the deadline applies to offers made to both first- and second-year law students. The deadline does not affect offers made to third-year law students or offers of summer positions (temporary articles). For more information, read the web highlight.

Rule changes on conducting the annual general meeting electronically

The Benchers have amended the Law Society Rules on annual general meetings to permit them to be conducted entirely with in-person participation, as a combination of in-person participation and electronic participation, or entirely through electronic participation. See highlights of amendments here.

New Rule of Law Matters episode with Micheal Vonn on COVID-19 and returning to “normal”

In this new episode, we invited Micheal Vonn, Chief Executive Officer of PHS Community Services, to talk to us about COVID-19 and returning to the new “normal.” She shared her views on the rule of law in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, covering topics such as the need for a vaccine injury compensation program and transparent data, the importance of debate among scientists and doctors, and the work of PHS and how COVID restrictions bring further complications to marginalized groups. To listen to the Rule of Law Matters podcast, visit the Law Society’s website, or subscribe and find past episodes on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Call for QC nominations

Nominations for Queen's Counsel appointments are being accepted until 4:30 pm on Friday, July 16. For more information on eligibility requirements, the nomination process and applications, visit the Ministry of Justice website.

Continuing Legal Education Society of BC and Legal Aid BC board vacancies

The Law Society is currently seeking expressions of interest for appointments as the Law Society’s nominees to the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC board of directors and to the Legal Aid BC board of directors. Further information about these opportunities is available here. For more information about the appointments process and requirements for each board position, see our Appointments Guidebook. The deadline for applications is 5 pm, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. You may submit an application online.

LIF communications

A reminder that, as part of the Lawyers Indemnity Fund unveiling its new logo and brand, LIF is sending its own communications to lawyers directly. Notices from LIF are sent from this email address: noreply@lif.ca. For more information from LIF, visit their website or follow their Twitter account @LIFBC.

Home owner grant program

All property owners can now claim their current year home owner grant by submitting their application to the province. There are no changes to program eligibility requirements. Eligible home owners can apply for the 2021 home owner grant online or call 1.888.355.2700, Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5 pm. More information is available on the government’s website.

Land Owner Transparency Act compliance requirements for local governments

On behalf of LandSure and the Land Title and Survey Authority: Local governments (including municipalities, regional districts, townships or villages) are required to comply with the Land Owner Transparency Act (LOTA), which directs that an application to register an interest in land must be submitted together with a transparency declaration. This includes interests in land that are registered in the name of a local government, in the name of a wholly owned subsidiary of a local government, in the name of a corporate nominee or some other entity. For details, see the Land Title and Survey Authority’s news item here.


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Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in E-Brief is accurate. However, the information presented is necessarily a summary. When considering how any amendments or additions to the Legal Profession Act, Law Society Rules and Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia might affect their obligations and requirements, readers should refer to the complete text.