I want to be a voice for the Northwest Region and Outside Toronto at Convocation. If elected I will continue to seek the input from the membership, and the public, so that I can advance the voice of these regions appropriately.
Some of the priorities that I have identified in my campaign which the LSO must do include the following:
– The LSO needs to be seen in the North. If the regulator is responsible for all of Ontario, it must be seen in the North.
– The LSO must ensure that disciplinary processes are advanced in a way that is timely and efficient so that the public can have confidence that the LSO is capable of self-regulating our profession in the public interest. The 2018 Review Panel on Regulatory and Hearing Processes Affecting Indigenous Peoples suggests that the LSO is not meeting the minimum standards in this regard.
– Access to Justice is a very concerning issue especially for those who reside in remote areas of the province. We need to continue to find ways to break down barriers. One barrier to Access to Justice, which is getting very concerning, is the rising costs of legal education. We also need to continue the equity, diversity and inclusion work as set out in the racialized licensee challenges report, and continue the work aimed at the retention of women in the profession, as these issues have a significant impact on Access to Justice.
– Any reforms or changes to the licencing process, or expansion of legal services that can be provided by paralegals, must have “competency” as the overriding principle in the decision making on such issues.
– If the LSO is going to continue to offer CPD programming, it must do so on a cost recovery basis at the very least. Any profits from this programming must be used to decrease the costs that are being downloaded to the membership by way of fees. CPD programming must be offered, live, to the members in the northern locations of the province as well. The public in all parts of this province has the same interest in ensuring that the membership is competent. CPD events also facilitate mentorship/networking opportunities that we must harness for all areas of this province and not just those who have the means to travel to the south.
– The LSO must continue to be mindful and make technology an issue that will be addressed at Convocation. Technology is rapidly expanding, and we have no choice but to accept this reality and try to keep up. The LSO must continue to become technologically accessible as well.
– We must continue to search for efficiencies so that the costs downloaded to the membership are minimal. Any additional financial pressures we place on the membership have the effect of having a detrimental impact on the public we serve.