I fully support the recommendations made in the "Challenges Facing Racialized Licensees" report, including the adoption of a Statement of Principles. It is important that we acknowledge the lived experience of systemic racism that impacts racialized licensees. The SOP is a small step towards achieving equity in our profession.
Funding Pro Bono Services
Access to Justice is a key part of my platform. The LSO can play an important role in promoting access to justice by supporting legal aid and supporting licensees who want to provide pro bono services. However, the LSO must consult widely with members of the profession, if it wishes to become a funder of pro bono services.
The LSO must consider the impact on its budget, the cost of raising licensee fees on those in our profession who work in small workplaces, and whether becoming a funder opens the door for others to apply for funding (like Legal Aid Ontario).
This issue requires further consultation within our profession before an informed decision can be made.
My own work includes significant advocacy on gender and race equity. It is critical for the LSO to continue to examine issues related to gender equity. Women in our profession continue to face barriers to advancement, including a gender wage gap and inadequate support for parental leave. The LSO must consider whether current policies go far enough in advancing equity within our profession.