2009 Annual General Meeting
This year’s Annual General Meeting was held in 12 locations around the province. In total, 200 members and 12 students participated in the meeting. President Gordon Turriff, QC ably chaired the meeting, which had to consider several procedural motions over the course of nearly two hours.
Bruce LeRose, QC was acclaimed as 2010 Second Vice-President, and Rita Andreone, speaking to his nomination, noted that LeRose will be the first President from the County of Kootenay in the 125-year history of the Law Society.
The members approved setting the 2010 practice fee at $1,633.50, the same amount as in 2009. In recommending no increase in the practice fee for 2010, First Vice-President Glen Ridgway, QC, Chair of the Finance Committee, noted that the Benchers considered the current economic climate and the impact this has had on a number of members. Ridgway also noted that the Benchers reduced the Special Compensation Fund fee by $100 and approved an increase in the Insurance fee of $200.
A majority voting at the AGM passed three resolutions put forward by Karen Whonnock and Linda Locke, QC regarding improving Aboriginal participation in the legal profession. The resolutions called on the Law Society to:
1. amend the 2009-2011 Strategic Plan so as to include the retention of Aboriginal lawyers as a priority at Strategy 1-3 on page 4;
2. strike a working committee comprised of Benchers, Aboriginal lawyers and Aboriginal law students that will review and update the 2000 report on Addressing Discriminatory Barriers facing Aboriginal Law Students and Lawyers; and
3. establish a full-time staff lawyer position whose sole purpose is to support Aboriginal law students, articling students and lawyers.
The Benchers will consider the resolutions at a future meeting.