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volume 18, number 6

Effective Law Reform, One Meeting at a Time CBA legislation and law reform agenda ensures Bar input


hile politics can and does lead to the occasional public dispute between the Canadian Bar Association and Attorneys General, the important work of legislation and law reform carries on regardless of media headlines. The CBA has long served as a resource and advocate in the development of laws by federal, provincial and territorial governments. As part of the National law reform agenda, the CBA co-sponsors with the Department of Justice an annual meeting of Section leaders and federal government lawyers involved in legislation and law reform activities. On November 3, 2006, more than 275 CBA and DOJ lawyers and senior staff met in Ottawa for a full day of briefings and consultation on current and proposed legislation. This was the 18th year of the joint meeting, and this year set a new record for attendance and scope of issues covered. The day consisted of 22 separate and concurrent meetings, each focussing on specific areas of law and covering a host of legal issues facing Canadians. Among the hundreds of topics covered were some of the following highlights: • environmental protection (Green Plan II) • aboriginal matrimonial property rights • self-defence, mandatory firearms penalties, and age of protection • separated/divorced parent consents on passport applications • Unified Family Court

• health records and the U.S. Patriot Act • federal mandatory mediation • PIPEDA and the Access to Information Act • NAFTA/Softwood Lumber Agreement • objections and appeals under charities law • Canada Labour Code • maritime law reform • time limits for discharge of mortgages “This meeting is a tribute to the invaluable relationship that exists between the Canadian Bar Association and the federal Department of Justice,” said Janet Fuhrer, Chair of the National Sections Council and co-host of the meeting. “The development of good law requires taking the time to talk through the policy rationale and “real life” implications of change, and this meeting offers a professional, open forum for that discussion.” At the Branch level, the CBABC is often asked for input on proposed changes in the law and to the justice system. Each year, hundreds of lawyers provide their time and expertise pro bono to help ensure the development of the law in B.C. “CBA lawyers are essential partners in the development of the law in Canada,” said CBABC President Frits Verhoeven. “Lawyers have the expertise and experience to pinpoint potential legal problems before they occur, and the fact that our members volunteer their time and energy to this work every year is something that deserves our recognition and thanks.” BT



From the President


Executive Director


National News


10 12 13

Section Update Practice Talk



Executive Appointment | Equality Committee


Effective and Affordable Civil Justice

The Report of the Civil Justice Reform Working Group by Chief Justice Donald Brenner and Deputy Attorney General Allan P. Seckel, QC

by David J. Bilinsky

Nothing Official


A Day in the Life of a Public Interest Lawyer by Pat MacDonald and Leigha Worth


Crime, Safety and Chronic Offenders: Social-Justice Integration

by Tony Wilson

On the Web by Patricia Jordan


volume 18, number 6

Acts in Force


by Hon. Wally Oppal, QC

20 HOLIDAYS: Spelling It Out! by Nancy Payeur 21




Member Services



Bar Moves | Bravo


Continuing Legal Education Society The Law Foundation of B.C.


Classified Ads

Electronic Survey Plans a Reality in 2006 by Rick Hargraves

Ten Common Sense Financial Advice Tips by Eric Mass and Dave Hodgson

Partners | Membership

Let Us Know What You Think


BarTalk is published six times per year, and sent to the entire legal profession in B.C. With so much information available in print and online, we want to be sure that we continue to keep BarTalk relevant. Is there a topic you think we should cover? Do you want to submit an idea or article? Let us know! E-mail

BARTALK December 2006

Canadian Bar Association, B.C. Branch 10th Floor, 845 Cambie Street Vancouver, B.C. V6B 5T3 Tel: 604-687-3404 Toll-free (in B.C.): 1-888-687-3404

BarTalk is published six times per year by the Canadian Bar Association, British Columbia Branch. BarTalk Senior Editors Caroline Nevin Jesse Tarbotton BarTalk Editor Deborah Carfrae Staff Contributors Fran Hodgkins Brian Rodriguez Editorial Board Chair David Dundee Editorial Board Members James M. Bond Jack Micner Pamela Murray Gurminder Sandhu Barinder Sanghara Veronica Singer Dierk Ullrich Miriam Vale Craig Watson © Copyright the British Columbia Branch of the Canadian Bar Association 2006. This publication is intended for information purposes only and the information herein should not be applied to specific fact circumstances without the advice of counsel. The Canadian Bar Association, British Columbia Branch represents more than 6,200 B.C. members and is dedicated to improving and promoting access to justice, reviewing legislation, initiating law reform measures and advancing and improving the administration of justice.

BarTalk Publication Sales Agreement #40741008

CBA/UBC Mentorship Program Reception – Unprecedented Turnout and a Big Success!

Send your Letters to the Editor to: Caroline Nevin, BarTalk Senior Editor Canadian Bar Association, B.C. Branch Fax: 604-669-9601 Toll-free fax: 1-877-669-9601 E-mail:

This year’s CBA/UBC Mentorship Program, jointly sponsored by both the Canadian Bar Association and the UBC Faculty of Law Career Services Office culminated in the CBA/UBC Mentorship Program Reception held at Cecil Green House on the evening of October 24th, 2006. The purpose of the CBA/UBC Mentorship Program is to facilitate and build mentoring relationships between the practicing bar in the Greater Vancouver area and law students. It is a way to try to bridge the gap between the study and practice of law, and an opportunity for students to learn from and network with lawyers. This year over 170 local lawyers were matched with UBC Law students, which is about a 25 per cent increase from last year’s program. While most mentees were first year students, there were also a large number of second year mentees, and even a handful of third years. The turnout at the reception doubled from last year, and one could feel the energy of all the mentors and mentees at Cecil Green House at UBC, as they drank, ate, mingled. It was a successful networking event and many mentees and mentors found themselves in conversations with mentees or mentors other than their own. It was also a great chance for students to catch up with their friends, and for lawyers to catch up with their peers who they may not have seen each other for awhile due to their busy practices. Two prestigious CBA Awards were also awarded at the ceremony to two students for their outstanding academic achievement, as well as their service to the law school and the community. This year’s recipient of the CBA B.C. Branch Award was Ashleigh Keall, Law II, and the recipient of the CBA Finance Services Award was Stephanie Case, Law III. As the CBA/UBC Representative, Candace Cho wanted to thank all of the lawyers who signed up to be mentors and to all who attended the Mentorship Reception. She encourages you all to follow-up with your mentees throughout the year, and to arrange for other, more casual meetings over coffee or lunch to continue building on your mentorship relationships. If you have any questions, concerns or feedback about the mentorship program, please don’t hesitate to e-mail Candace Cho, at

Have you moved? Let us know! If you have changed firms, addresses, e-mail addresses, or phone/fax numbers, you need to let us know. E-mail us at, phone 604-687-3404 or fax 604-669-9601 or contact us toll-free (phone 1-888-687-3404, fax 1-877-669-9601).

December 2006 BARTALK

from the president

frits verhoeven

The Experience Gap


’ve often thought about for purely selfish reasons. Here are how fortunate I am to be some advantages for the mentor: working in a profession that 1. The ability to delegate work, leading to the capacity to rewards experience as much take on more work, as the practice of law. Experience including more interesting or makes us better lawyers. The remunerative work; public knows this and is generally 2. Practising collaboratively, prepared to pay more for a more leading to greater satisfaction experienced lawyer. This is of with practice, and better great comfort as our personal legal quality of work; odometers pack on the miles. Frits Verhoeven 3. Backup for vacations, or By definition, lawyers newly President 2006/2007 for spending time on other called to the Bar don’t have B.C. Branch endeavours, such as Bar or experience. The experience gap Canadian Bar Association community activities; between junior and senior lawyers 4. Enhanced associate retention; results in a natural collaboration between them. This 5. Revitalization of practice; doesn’t only apply to newly called lawyers. Even after 6. The inherent satisfaction that comes many years at the bar, we benefit from the advice and from teaching. assistance of others more experienced generally or in There is plenty of written material on the topic relation to the specific matter at hand. of mentoring. There are several good articles on Lawyers have always been very generous CBA Practice Link: Just to each other in terms of providing advice and type in the word “mentor” and several articles will guidance to colleagues. CBABC’s Practice Advisory appear. Other articles are available on the website Panels are an example of that. So are CLE courses of the American Bar Association Law Practice and CLE’s wonderful practice manuals. In my own Management Section: experience, whenever I have called a lawyer for CBABC’s Women Lawyers Forum has an assistance, time was freely and generously given, active mentoring program. Over the course of the even if I did not know the lawyer I was calling past three years, it has matched approximately 238 beforehand. It is ironic and amazing that most women. Information about this mentoring program lawyers readily give away the very commodity that is available on the CBABC website in the Women they make their living by selling. Collegiality in Lawyers Forum area. the legal profession may be threatened, but it is far The Branch also has mentoring programs in from gone. conjunction with both the UBC and UVIC Faculties Whether formalized or not, mentoring has of Law. Information about these programs is available always been a vital part of the practice of law. on the Branch website. We usually think about mentoring from the However, the Branch does not presently operate point of view of the benefits to the mentee. But in fact a mentoring program for all members. Please let me everybody benefits from mentoring: the mentor, the know if you think we should. BT­ mentee, the law firm, the public, and the profession. It makes perfect sense to become a mentor even

BARTALK December 2006

frank kraemer, QC

executive director

CBABC’s Member Services Activities Member deals or member frustration


oth the B.C. Branch this reason that we advise of the Canadian Bar members to enquire as to the Association and the lowest available rates. National organization Some of our B.C. member operate member services programs. services provide undoubted value Indeed, the B.C. Branch is the only to members and generate few if Branch to operate its own member any complaints. One of the best services program. that springs to mind is our ability The National member services to provide lawyers’ briefcases and program offers services such as car barristers’ bags with custom emborentals and national hotels and, ssing at very competitive prices. Frank Kraemer, QC through the related organizations Hockey tickets and ski passes are Executive Director of Canadian Bar Insurance other top-of-mind examples. B.C. Branch Association and Canadian Bar There is no question though Canadian Bar Association Financial Services Corporation, that from time to time members insurance and financial services feel that they are in fact, not including an RRSP program. getting preferred rates from those suppliers The Branch has arrangements for such things endorsed by the Branch. This leads me to ask as Canuck hockey tickets, Whistler/Blackcomb the question: should the Branch bother with such ski passes, some live theatre performances, local arrangements at all? They do take up a substantial hotels, and so forth. The Branch program is amount of staff time to negotiate the arrangements, developed and monitored by our diligent Member to advertise them, to collect the orders and to Services Committee chaired by Victoria member distribute the products. Hunter Gordon. On the other hand, many service providers From time to time, I have experienced the furnish the Branch with direct revenue in exchange wrath of members who have made enquiries of for access to our membership. That revenue assists member service providers, particularly car rental the Branch to enhance the services it can provide to and hotel accommodation providers, where the rates members because this is revenue generated over and that have been quoted to them as CBA members above membership dues. are substantially higher than rates they are quoted I raise all of this to invite members to provide their without reference to their CBA membership. views to me as to whether or not the Branch should When we receive those complaints, we continue providing these types of member services. investigate them and almost invariably, the lower It is my intention to raise this question directly with rates have been provided because either the car the Branch’s Member Services Committee as part of rental company has put on a special deal or the hotel its annual work. Also, if there are other services you has a substantial number of vacant rooms and wants would like the Branch to make available, I would to fill them. Although we have negotiated that our like to hear about them. Please feel free to contact members will never pay above the CBA rate, we me here at the Branch, 10th Floor, 845 Cambie have never been able to negotiate that they will Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 5T3 or by always receive the lowest possible rate. It is for e-mail BT December 2006 BARTALK

national news

CBA Advises Caution on Proceeds of Crime Amendments The CBA told the Finance Committee studying Proceeds of Crime Act amendments that Bill C-25 is being rushed through without adequate time for stakeholders to assess the full impact. For example, the bill would significantly expand the regime for sharing information with foreign governments. Ron Skolrood, of Vancouver, Chair of the National Constitutional and Human Rights Law Section, appeared before the Commons Committee on Nov. 2. At the same time, he noted the CBA “commends the government for recognizing the fundamental importance of solicitor-client privilege by explicitly removing legal counsel and law firms from the reporting requirements under the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act.” Read more uuu _Releases/2006-11-02_c25.aspx.

CBA Proposes Amendments to Accountability Act While many aspects of the Federal Accountability Act – Bill C-2 – are commendable, the CBA says that parts of the legislation may hinder the administration of justice and the rule of law, and thwart the very goals the Act was meant to promote. The CBA’s 21-page submission (presented on Oct. 23 to the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs by National First VicePresident Bernard Amyot) focuses on four key points:

CBA Condemns Proposed Changes to Judicial Appointment Process The CBA fears that changes to the judicial appointment process – and the way they were introduced – could seriously undermine public confidence in the process, said CBA President J. Parker MacCarthy in a letter to federal Justice Minister Vic Toews. While the CBA supports some of the changes, “we must conclude that the overall impact is to undermine the purpose of identifying the best candidates and removing partisan influences,” says the letter. The CBA is calling for consultation and debate on the issue. The Nov. 17 letter to the Minister followed a CBA news release issued Nov. 10, immediately after the changes were announced. Parker MacCarthy said the new proposals “stack the deck” in the committees, increasing the appearance of politicization and creating greater opportunities for patronage. The Globe and Mail, National Post and many CanWest newspapers across Canada, as well as CBC Radio and Vancouver’s CKNW interviewed Parker MacCarthy at length. Letter to Justice Minister uuu pdf/06-51-eng.pdf. News release uuu 2006-11-10_judicial.aspx.

• Lobbying Act: “The proposed requirement of monthly reporting of communication between lobbyists and senior public officers would drastically increase the risk that lawyers would be forced to violate their ethical duty to maintain client confidentiality. There should be a clear exemption for communications where confidentiality is required by law.” • Access to Information Act: Amendments to the Access to Information Act will reduce accountability and transparency in government. The CBA proposes a “public interest” override – already in place in many Canadian jurisdictions – and that time limits apply to all exemptions. • Whistleblowing legislation: The CBA notes the bill gives incomplete protection to whistleblowers, and it recommends an expansion of the legislation. Whistleblower legislation should protect not only public officials who make disclosures that are lawfully required, but also those who make disclosures that are lawfully permitted. • Director of Public Prosecutions: While it is important that prosecutors be free from political interference, there is simply no need for a Director of Public Prosecutions, says the CBA. Existing agencies and procedures make a proposed DPP redundant – a “solution in search of a problem.” Read more uuu 

BARTALK December 2006

National news

Keep Conditional Sentences, Says CBA The National Criminal Justice Section says that Criminal Code amendments (Bill C-9) calling for the elimination of conditional sentences for many categories of offences should not be enacted, and proposes alternatives that would better protect public safety by disallowing their use for serious, violent offences. “The CBA supports measures that will lead to a safer society,” says Adrian Brooks of Victoria, member of the National Criminal Justice Section. “However, that goal requires more than relying only on incarceration. Conditional sentences provide an important alternative, and are often appropriate for less serious or non-violent offences.” The CBA favours an approach that takes into account all sentencing principles and that relies on judicial discretion in sentencing. “A wide range of sentencing options enables trial judges to design a balanced, just and appropriate sentence for each individual case,” says the CBA submission, presented to the Commons Committee on Justice and Human Rights on Oct. 4. News release uuu 2006_Releases/200610-04_conditional.aspx. Submission uuu

Ethics Edition Now Online The Canadian Bar Review Special Edition on Ethics, Volume 84 (2005), Issue 3, is available online ( Review/Main/) and is available in print in December. Articles include: • Who Are “Clients?” (And Why it Matters), by Allan C. Hutchinson • Beyond Conflicts of Interest to the Duty of Loyalty: from Martin v. Gray to R. v. Neil, by Richard F. Devlin and Victoria Rees • Service of the Crown: Are Ethical Obligations Different for Government Counsel? by Deborah MacNair Members interested in receiving a copy are asked to e-mail

Expansion of Legal Aid Services to Family Clients “We are making a number of improvements so we can do more to help people solve their problems without going to court and, in situations where all else fails, to make sure people with serious problems get the legal representation they need,” says Executive Director Mark Benton. “Our focus continues to be early intervention and early resolution,” Benton adds, noting that it’s important to provide the type and amount of service that is appropriate for each client’s circumstances. The improvements broaden existing legal advice and representation services.

Call to Action for Court Challenges Program The CBA has called on the federal government to reinstate the Court Challenges Program and the Law Commission of Canada, and provide longterm financial stability for both programs through increased funding. That was the message delivered by CBA Counsel Melina Buckley of Vancouver, and CBA Director of Legislation and Law Reform Tamra Thomson of Ottawa, to the Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights on Nov. 6. That presentation was the latest step in the CBA’s strategy designed to ensure that the language and equality rights of all Canadians are guaranteed. In October, President J. Parker MacCarthy, QC, wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper following the September announcement of the cuts. As part of the strategy, the CBA has sent a letter to opposition Justice critics and lawyer MPs to encourage them to support reinstatement of the CCP and to bring that message to their caucuses. For the full CBA strategy – including what individual members can do – please visit the CBA website. Read more uuu

Read more uuu December 2006 BARTALK

section update

Section Update Keep your practice current

The following are brief summaries of several recent Section meetings held throughout the province. More detailed information, minutes, and Section Papers from the Section meetings are accessible online at for enrolled CBA members. Administrative Law – Vancouver, Labour and Constitutional/Civil Liberties JOINT Meeting: October 18, 2006 Speakers: Paul Pearlman, QC, Fuller, Pearlman,

meaningful conflict resolution processes, with an emphasis on mediation. He discussed his recent experience in Uganda where at the university in Kampala he taught and worked with professionals McNeill; Frank Falzon, Frank A V Falzon Law Corporation; and Masters students in Peace and Conflict Studies. Neena Sharma, Ministry of the Attorney General Culture is “the shared and learned patterns of Topic: Commentary on McKenzie v. Minister of Public thought and behaviour, characteristic of a given Safety and Solicitor General et al. (2006) BCSC 1372 population.” Conflict is described as “a difference At this meeting attended by 47 Section members, that matters.” Terry emphasized that all behaviour counsel for the parties discussed highlights of the makes sense and that as conflict resolvers we need decision and provided their perspectives. Paul to be curious about how and why. We must be Pearlman, QC, laid out the facts of the case and stated it very aware of one’s own embedded cultural norms was the product of an “amazing” collaboration. Mary in conflict and try to take a broader “worldview,” McKenzie was determined to i.e. listening to the conflict story, go forward with her case and finding out what is real for the to not accept the consequences Join a Section listserv! players and what is valuable, pay of the government’s actions. attention to metaphors and similes Listservs are convenient ways for Frank Falzon emphasized which are attached to powerful Section members to share information, this case’s significance to interests. Mr. Harris presented and ask and answer questions through the administrative justice detailed notes to members on this e-mail. Section listservs are intended to community, the Bar and the meeting topic. provide an effective and active vehicle public and he praised the for member communication. Learn efforts of the B.C. Council of Criminal Justice – more about this Section enrolment Vancouver Administrative Tribunals to benefit online at under Meeting: October 18, 2006 become involved. Mr. Falzon “Practice Resources.” Speakers: Terry Milewski, outlined several reasons why Reporter for the CBC National; Kim this case is important. Ms. Bolan, Reporter for the Vancouver Sharma was not involved as Sun; Joe Bellows, QC, Crown Counsel counsel for this case but teaches administrative Topic: The Role of the Media in Criminal Law law and expressed how this case was an important Mr. Milewski focused on the issues that journalists example of the intersection between tribunal and face when covering criminal law proceedings. He constitutional law addressed the gap between the concept of freedom ADR – Vancouver of publication/expression and the criminal law trial Meeting: September 19, 2006 process. Some examples of impediments to the Speaker: Terence W.E. Harris, Mediator and Lawyer press are: publication bans, the failure to notify the Topic: Cultural Assumptions in Conflict: Perspectives media of upcoming applications for discretionary for Conflict Resolution publication bans, reporters’ inability to access court Mr. Harris shared his insights into how cultural exhibits, as well as reporters’ inability to record assumptions affect one’s ability to engage in court proceedings. Ms. Bolan, a Vancouver Sun 

BARTALK December 2006

reporter since 1984, said that a journalist’s role is to expose the truth about important issues, noting that reporting often occurs before charges are laid or the matter is in court. She described the press as being the public’s representatives who are “bridges” between what the public perceives is going on in the courts and what is actually happening. Joe Bellows, QC, senior Crown Counsel, identified conflicting interests and perceptions in relation to media and criminal trials. Mr. Bellows advised that if Crown counsel is unwilling or unavailable for comment, the Provincial Crown has a Communications Section whose representative is Stan Lowe. He noted that the B.C. Criminal Justice Branch Communications Section is the only one of its kind in Canada. Family Law – Westminster Meeting: October 18, 2006 Speaker: Master Peter Keighley Topic: Supreme Court Judicial Case Conferences

Master Keighley outlined and discussed with members what can be achieved and how to best prepare to achieve the desired results at Judicial Case Conferences. Master Keighley gives the clients an introductory explanation of the JCC process at the beginning of the JCC and talks about confidentiality, the meaning of “without prejudice” negotiations and the type of orders that can be made. The purpose is education and to set the clients at ease so that they can participate in the process. Some items on his “Do” list for a successful JCC include: make full documentary and financial disclosure in advance of the JCC, particularly if there is real property or substantial financial investments involved as disclosure reduces suspicions between the parties; and formulate a settlement proposal in advance. Wills and Trusts – Vancouver Meeting: September 26, 2006 Speaker: D. Peter Ramsay, QC, Chair of the British Columbia Law Institute’s Succession Law Reform Project Topic: Wills, Estates and Succession: A Modern Legal Framework (June 2006) – Report of the BCLI’s Succession Law Reform Project

This meeting, attended by 52 Section members, heard Mr. Ramsay outline the key recommendations for law reform set out in the project committee’s report in the areas of wills, the Wills Variation Act, intestacy, estate administration, survivorship presumptions,

the administration of small estates and certain miscellaneous issues. He informed the members that the report was delivered to the Attorney General in June 2006. Consultation meetings with respect to the report between the project committee and Ministry of Attorney General staff responsible for policy and legislation were underway. The Executive Summary contained in the report can be found at It highlights the key recommendations for law reform. Women Rainmakers – Vancouver Island Meeting: September 28, 2006 Speaker: Anne Chopra, Equity Ombudsperson Topic: Role of the Equity Ombudsperson

Members attending this informative meeting heard Anne Chopra discuss her role as the Equity Ombudsperson at the Law Society of B.C. that funds her services though she is independent of the LSBC. Ms. Chopra’s position exists to help counter workplace discrimination and encourage workplace practices that promote equity. The services through Ms. Chopra are confidential and are available free of charge to law firm staff, law and articling students, lawyers, human resource administrators, and law firm managing partners. Ms. Chopra, in her role as Equity Ombudsperson, helps prevent discrimination, resolves concerns over possible discrimination, and promotes healthy work environments. The presentation outlined situational issues and experiences, types of discrimination and the available options if you are being victimized. BT

Try Out a Section Meeting For Free! Interested in an area of law you haven’t yet signed up for? See a fascinating topic coming up in another Section? Not yet a CBA member but want to see what we offer? Come to any meeting of your choice – just fill out the form included with this month’s BarTalk, and bring it to the meeting. Go to and click on Sections to see the full calendar of events and speakers to pick from!

December 2006 BARTALK

Practice Talk

david j. bilinsky

Helping Those Help Themselves Being supportive brings its own rewards

Don’t forget this fact, you can’t get it back; cocaine

club drugs, prescriptions drugs, steroids, coffee) and behaviours (gambling, eating disorders, Words and Music: compulsive sexual behaviour, comJ.J. Cale, recorded by pulsive Internet use). Each one has E. Clapton its own effects on the individual, family and the workplace and place their own demands on those nearby erhaps you have noticed in order to be overcome. unexplained changes in So what can a supportive the mood and behavlegal employer do for its staff to iour of a long-standing David J. Bilinsky is the Practice assist them in overcoming their employee. Or it could be that a Management Advisor at the struggles with addiction? Here is partner has started to show signs Law Society of B.C. a selection of suggestions put forth of increased stress, their weight has E-mail: in this regard: undergone a change, they are acting out of character and the interest in • Flexible Work Arrangements: their work has dropped off dramatically. Or it could be There are many ways for an organizathat you are becoming concerned about how you are tion to allow staff members to keep their using alcohol to forget problems and relax (Columbia job while working thru their treatment for University Medical Centre defines “heavy drinking” as an addiction. Assuming that their treatfive drinks/day, five times/week). Any of these could ment involves attending a nearby treatment be signs that someone may be dropping into addiction. facility on a fairly constant basis, the law firm In any case, the cost of addictions is staggering – The could offer flexible work arrangements that United Way (2003) states that the health, social, and include working at home, flex time (where economic costs of substance abuse to Canadian society longer hours are banked to allow for absences in a single year is estimated at $18 billion. from the job), job sharing and time off or While we entrust the treatment of addictions to reduced work hours to attend treatment. professionals, law firms must deal with the effects • Leaves of Absence: If the treatment is more of the addictions – on their staff, on their partners, intense and involves a period of time in treatment, on their clients and of course, on themselves. the employer could offer job guaranteed leave Most importantly, once a person recognizes their to attend the treatment, dependent on the addiction and turns for help in conquering this most successful completion of the treatment program, difficult of problems is how a caring and supportive without jeopardizing either the person’s career firm can assist a valued staff member or partner to advancement or position in the firm. overcome their addiction and be integrated back • Employee Assistance Programs (EAP’s): Interlock services are available to lawyers, into the workplace with a minimum of turmoil and articled students and their immediate families disruption, to the benefit of both the organization (, while and the person involved. the Lawyer’s Assistance Program (LAP) is There are many types of addictions: they are usuavailable to lawyers, their families, support ally divided into: substances (Drugs, alcohol, tobacco, staff and articled students ( cocaine, opiates, stimulants, hallucinogens, inhalants,



BARTALK December 2006

Both of these services are funded by The Law Society of British Columbia. In addition, legal employers may also establish EAP’s for their staff to assist not only with addictions but also with a wider range of personal issues. • Recommendation of Treatment: The Hazelden Foundation conducted a “Workplace Addiction Survey” in 2003 of HR professionals at 200 U.S. companies – from Fortune 500 giants to small businesses. This study revealed that: o Almost all (over 80 per cent) would recommend treatment for an addicted executive or a rank-and-file worker alike, rather than merely firing them. o Nearly three quarters (72.6 per cent) of respondents believe that employees who sought treatment later returned to work as productive members of the workforce. o Finally, 89 per cent of respondents believe that addiction treatment programs are effective in helping employees beat addiction. However, it appears to be especially important for the recovering person to attempt to hold onto their current position while undergoing treatment. The same study found that “nearly one in four human resources (HR) professionals surveyed reveal that their companies are less likely to hire a job candidate if the person is in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction – even though 89 per cent believe treatment is effective in helping those employees fight addiction.” • Supportiveness of Workplaces and Culture: There are many ways that a legal employer can offer a supportive workplace. An employer can take personal needs into consideration in making work allocations. Proactively, you can offer ongoing assistance to help persons achieve a positive work-life balance. You can make information on resources available to staff via seminars, postings on intranets and in other communications. Larger organizations can offer to subsidize career counselling or management leadership programs to those in supervisory positions. All organizations can educate those dealing in human resource issues on how to respond to the workfamily needs of employees in general and in dealing with dependencies in particular. Furthermore, when you notice a problem,

you can encourage those individuals facing addiction issues to deal with them while retaining their employment – which builds trust and hope, at a time when both may be rather scarce commodities – rather than having the individuals face dismissal, which only adds to their problems. Contrary to popular belief, those facing addictions need not hit “rock bottom” before realizing they have a problem and seek out help, particularly when they are committed to seeking a solution. • Health Care Benefits/TTD benefits: Many people may be fearful over the costs of seeking treatment to addiction. A legal employer can investigate whether they can offer insurance benefits or other health care programs to offset the costs (and worry) involved in successfully overcoming addiction. • Other Resources: Organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and others have been helping addicts and their families deal with addictions for a long time. Legal employers could allow staff to attend meetings at noon or during the day to assist in their recovery or to stay clean, without having to have the employee justify their extended absences to other staff members. • Assisting in Self-Worth: The benefits for supporting someone thru a problem such as an addiction can pay benefits far beyond the immediate person involved. People like to help and they also like to see others being helped. Extending a hand to someone going thru a crises such as an addiction puts a few check marks in the “positive karma” side of the ledger that is seen by all other staff members. The kind of support and goodwill that this creates cannot be bought. While those who have used or abused drugs or alcohol can’t get their lost time back, they can at least start to get their lives back with the help of professionals as well as the assistance of those near them…including understanding and supportive legal employers and partners. BT The views expressed herein are strictly those of the author and may not be shared by the author’s employer, the Law Society of B.C. December 2006 BARTALK


nothing official

tony wilson

To Boldly Go Where No He/She/It Has Gone Before Trouble in the Gender Neutral Zone


icture, if you will, a which automatically replaces complicated securities words and phrases in documents transaction involving with other words and phrases a gaggle of lawyers (somewhat like the Transporter representing issuers, underwriters, but with more accidents). Lawyer investors, and securities “A” tells “B” “I made the changes commissions. Now picture, if you we agreed on regarding gender will, a deadline, speeding toward neutral drafting.” But time is tight the lawyers at Warp Factor 9, and deadlines are upon them, which as we know from old Star so “B” only glances at the now Trek reruns, is really fast. Now desexualized and emasculated Tony Wilson is a Franchise picture, if you will, various grim document, which coincidently, is and Trademark Lawyer at a realities like this: if the Prospectus what is about to happen to him firm that would probably just isn’t filed by the deadline, the once the documents are executed as soon not be associated with this article. Until now, he has financials will become stale dated and filed with SEDAR for the never used the word “tit” in and a new audit will be required. whole universe to see. any piece he has ever written. Or the tax advantage everyone And then the call comes from was counting on is scheduled to the securities commission: “Did change, the investors will back out and phasers will one of you write for Benny Hill or Austin Powers?” be set on “kill” rather than merely “stun.” “Ahhh no, why do you ask?” says lawyer “A.” “Well” Enter two lawyers drafting one or more parts of the says the commission, “Your Prospectus is full of tits.” documentation. Personal histories must be disclosed It’s relayed to the lawyers that there’s something about officers and directors. Employment agreements like 41 tits (a strange number you might think), 12 titys and restrictive covenants must be prepared. In any and a host of other titillating mistakes throughout the event, the documents go back and forth between the Prospectus. Lawyer “A” it seems, forgot that other button lawyers by e-mail so many times, there are tracks on in “Find and Replace” that says “Whole Words Only.” the tracking, and before you know it, the documents When you change the word “he” to “it” without limiting look like Jackson Pollock’s dribble art. the change to “Whole Words Only,” it also changes the Lawyer “A,” however, wants to boldly go into the very useful words “the,” and “they.” Consequently, all Gender Neutral Zone, which is a place where your the the’s are turned to tits, all the theys becomes titys shields and sensors must be on high, because bad things and all the lawyers turn into complete boobs. can happen there. “A” argues that all the documents I guess the breast thing to learn from this cock-up should be gender neutral to be in compliance with the is to enter the Gender Neutral Zone carefully, ass Law Society’s Policy on gender neutral drafting, which tit might be a nipple embarrassing to discover an to summarize for comic effect, says “all the “he’s” and unexpected and sexually charged tit in a document “she’s” in the universe must hereafter become “its,” but you thong was suppository to be gender neutral. because we like jargon you can keep all the hereafters.” Lawyers should remember that “Find and Replace” Lawyer “B” says: “Whatever. Your issue. You draft it.” may be what your firm does to you when you don’t It’s at this point where Lawyer “A” uses a wonderful enter the Gender Neutral Zone with your shields up function in Microsoft Word called “Find and Replace,” and consequently render your career “thes up.” BT 12

BARTALK December 2006


on the web

Membership Online


he Canadian Bar more. For more information, visit Association (CBA) “Law Student and Young Lawyer welcomes you. With Resources” in “Practice Resources” over 37,000 members, at the CBA is the largest volunteer Canadian Corporate association representing the legal Counsel Association profession’s interests in Canada. CBA members have the option of As a member of the CBA, you joining the Canadian Corporate join an innovative organization Counsel Association (CCCA) committed to enhancing the at no charge. The CCCA is the professional and commercial Patricia Jordan is the CBABC only member organization in interests of a diverse membership Manager, Interactive Media. Canada providing a dedicated and protecting the independence She welcomes your comments, national forum and voice for of the judiciary and the Bar. questions and suggestions. in-house counsel and their lawyers. Tel: 604-646-7861 The CBA mandate is excelVisit to E-mail: lence in service to the members learn more. and compelling advocacy in the interests of the legal profession. Join Online We have the reputation, expertise and infrastructure Joining the CBA couldn’t be easier. to help you make the most of being part of Canada’s Membership is just a few clicks away with the legal profession. Visit the CBA online at convenient online form at in org/bc to join online. “Membership.” The whole process takes just a few minutes. You can pay online through secured CBA Membership has its Advantages access by Visa or MasterCard or by cheque. The CBA membership is a privilege available only to CBA also has the economical option of paying by members of the legal profession. Membership gives monthly instalments. you access to legal information, direct services, collegial events and active participation in policy and law Update Your Member Profile Online reform both at home and abroad. We offer the widest Current CBA members can update their profile, array of opportunities for lawyers to be heard, to learn including address and practice information, using and to stay connected. the online form at in “Membership.” Law School Students Or you can send your updated information to Jineane Payne, CBABC Database Administrator, As a law school student, you can enjoy all the at benefits of CBA membership for just $20. Join For detailed information about fees and eligibility, and take advantage of everything the CBA has payment options, member savings and benefits, to offer you, including legal updates, networking special programs and more, visit “Membership” at and access to a variety of benefits and services such BT as Sections, practice advisory panels, publications and online resources, member services, and much December 2006 BARTALK


legislative update

acts in force

Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided to you in this article but the information should not be relied upon. Lawyers should refer to the specific legislative or regulatory provision. You will see a reference in some cases to the number of the Bill when it was introduced in the House. This number may be different from the chapter number of the new Act which is quoted after the title of the Act and which is the proper citation for the Act. The Bill number has been given to make it easier for you to note up the Bills you may have in your library.


acts in force EDUCATION STATUTES AMENDMENT ACT, 2004, S.B.C. 2004, C. 17 (BILL 12) Sections 1 and 2 are in force September 8, 2006

Legislative Update is provided as part of the CBABC legislative and law reform program. It is a service funded by CBA membership fees, and is therefore provided as a benefit of CBA membership. The full version of Legislative Update is now published online, available to CBA members exclusively at


MOTOR DEALER AMENDMENT ACT, 2004, S.B.C. 2004, C. 24 (BILL 24)

Sections 35 and 37 are in force October 25, 2006

Sections 1(b) and (d) and 2 are in force December 1, 2006

5K Law Week Fun Run – April 1, 2007 The CBABC Law Week Committee invites members of the legal community and their family and friends to participate as runners or walkers in the fourth annual Law Week Fun Run. B.C. law firms are also encouraged to sponsor firm teams comprised of both lawyers and staff to compete in the event. This year’s Law Week Fun Run will take place at Locarno Beach Park on Sunday, April 1, 2007 at 10 a.m. from Locarno Beach to Spanish Banks and back. The 5 km course will be stroller and wheelchair accessible. Individual trophies/medals will be awarded for the fastest male, female and junior (under 14) competitors, while group trophies will be awarded for the fastest large and small firm teams. The cost per individual is $25, which includes a T-shirt and refreshments. Children under 14 are free. This is one of those rare events where the bench, bar, law school students, professors and everyone else in the legal community come together to take part in a fun activity and support the B.C. Branch’s Law Week events. Registration info uuu main/law_week.aspx.


BARTALK December 2006

Amend Bill C-17 to Protect Judicial Independence On Oct. 25, the CBA called for amendments to Bill C-17 (amendments to the Judges Act) to reflect the recommendations of the 2003 Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission in order to protect the independence and impartiality of Canada’s judges. The 2003 Commission had recommended a salary increase for judges effective April 1, 2004. The federal government rejected that proposal and substituted a lower amount. The CBA says the government’s explanation for not following the 2003 Commission Report may not comply with constitutional requirements to provide adequate reasons. “The government response is too vague and does not follow established constitutional principles. The response must provide specific details about its ‘other priorities,’ including costs,” says CBA President J. Parker MacCarthy, QC, of Duncan, B.C. Without adequate reasons for not following the recommendations of the 2003 Commission, the CBA says the government “is sending a message that it has chosen to disregard the Commission’s recommendations because it does not agree with them. Such a perception risks damaging judicial independence and public support for the administration of justice,” says Parker MacCarthy.


Executive Committee 2006/2007 Equality Committee Representative LINDA LOCKE

Linda D. Locke, barrister, solicitor and advocate was called to the Bar in November 17, 1989. After Linda obtained her law degree at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, she taught Native Studies at the University of Saskatchewan for two years and then commenced Articles with Mandel Pinder Law Firm, sponsored by the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs in Vancouver. Linda experienced two highlights in her Articles: participating as an intern at the Human Rights Centre with “Indigenous Populations” in Geneva Switzerland and making a contribution to the Gitxsan Wet’suwet’en Delgamuux Case. Linda worked as a family lawyer/co-manager at the Lax Ghel’s Native Law Centre in Terrace for two years then moved to the Upper Skeena and Legal Assistance Society (USCLAS) in 1994 and became the managing lawyer for family, criminal and poverty law. Despite losing all its funding in 2002, Linda’s dedication to providing access to justice to the northern population enabled the USCLAS to carry on as a Law Centre providing family, criminal and poverty law services. The USCLAS provides advocacy services with the help of the Law Foundation of B.C. Linda became a member of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) as a law student in the 1980s. For the last 14 years, Linda has been an active member and served as chair for the National Aboriginal Law Section, County of Prince Rupert General Practitioner’s Section and the Vancouver Poverty Law Section. She was a Board of Director for Continuing Legal Education Society for six years and served on many committees. She was honored to serve as a CBA Observer for the first South African Democratic Election in 1994. In 2003, Linda received the CBABC Community Service Award for the County of Prince Rupert. In 2005, Linda became the elected member of the Provincial Council for the County of Prince Rupert.

Equality Committee, CBABC The Equality Committee of the Canadian Bar Association, B.C. Branch plays a vital role in advising and assisting the Executive in the implementation of strategies and programs to assist in the recognition, reflection and promotion of equality and diversity within the CBABC, the profession as a whole and the justice system. Over the summer months, the Committee worked tirelessly to promote its resolution to reinstate an Equality Representative on the Executive which, we are happy to say, passed unanimously at the CBABC Annual General Meeting on September 30, 2006. Accordingly, Linda Locke (see accompanying profile) was designated the current Equality Representative on the Executive. Subsequently, during the fall months, the Committee was busy putting together nomination packages and preparing supporting letters for selected candidates to receive the title of Queen’s Counsel in an effort to promote diversity in the awarding of this distinction. Some of the Committee’s longer term projects include assisting in the establishment of a CBABC scholarship for at least two aboriginal pre-law or first-year law students as well as working together with the Law Society of B.C. Women in the Legal Profession Task Force, and potentially the LSBC Equity and Diversity Committee, to promote a Diversity Commitments Program here, similar to what has been established and embraced by the San Francisco and Chicago Bars. This is just some of the exciting work in which the Equality Committee is currently involved. Please feel free to contact the Equality Committee to find out more. BT December 2006 BARTALK



chief justice donald brenner and deputy attorney general allan P. seckel, QC

Effective and Affordable Civil Justice The Report of the Civil Justice Reform Working Group

Too expensive, too locally and abroad. We found complex and too slow.” remarkable consistency in These are the words the trends and concerns in all used by many members jurisdictions relating to the of the public and litigants of all deteriorating effectiveness types in British Columbia to of their civil justice systems. describe the present civil jusWhile we found a wide variety tice system. While the system of proposed and implemented Co-Chairs Chief Justice Donald Brenner has many excellent features, reforms to address those and Deputy Attorney General Allan P. maintaining the status quo is concerns we knew that the Seckel, QC not an option; fundamental reforms we recommended change is necessary. must be suited specifically to Exploring such fundamental change for all types the unique B.C. milieu. We gave broad opportunities of non-family civil matters was the mandate of the for input and invited comments and suggestions from Civil Justice Reform Working Group (CJRWG), the B.C. legal community, business community and formed in September 2004 by the Justice Review the public. We received over 40 written submissions Task Force. As co-chairs of the CJRWG we worked and inquiries, each of which provided great assistance with the other members (noted below) to develop in the CJRWG’s deliberations. We participated in the a vision that provides everyone, regardless of their “Restructuring Justice” conference in June 2005 which means, with access to effective and affordable civil provided an excellent opportunity for learning and justice through two broad strategies: dialogue on these important issues. Probably the most memorable part of that conference for many people • Providing integrated information and services to supwas the Client Panel during which representatives port those who want to resolve their legal problems of large business, small business and individual on their own before entering the court system; and litigants provided their assessment of the present • Providing a streamlined, accessible Supreme system. Their feedback was sobering and supported Court system where matters that can be settled the need for swift and fundamental change. are settled quickly and affordably and matters Our report was unanimously approved by the that need a trial get to trial quickly and affordably. Justice Review Task Force in October and released Our work was informed by five key principles: in mid-November 2006. It is available online at • Preservation of the rule of law The CJRWG’s report • Proportionality, which means that the amount provides three key recommendations: of process will be proportional to the value, 1. Introducing a “hub,” a single place where people complexity and importance of the case can go to get the information and services they • Flexibility and matching of process to the dispute need to solve legal problems on their own. and needs of the parties 2. Requiring parties to Supreme Court civil non• More active judicial involvement in the family actions to personally attend a case planning management and resolution of cases conference (CPC) before they engage the system • An expanded role for lawyers in helping their clients beyond initiating and responding to a claim. arrive at just solutions for their legal problems. 3. Rewriting the Supreme Court Rules. We conducted extensive research into reforms


BARTALK December 2006

Our third recommendation incorporates a number of reforms of particular interest to B.C. Supreme Court litigants and litigators including: • Proportionality: An explicit overriding objective that all proceedings are dealt with justly and pursuant to the principles of proportionality • A new case initiation and defence process which state the facts and the issues in dispute and to provide a written plan for conducting the case and achieving a resolution • Limits on both oral and documentary discovery: o eliminating interrogatories o requiring the parties to produce only those documents: • referred to in the party’s pleading • to which the party intends to refer at trial, or • in the party’s control that could be used by any party at trial to prove or disprove a material fact o for cases valued at $100,000 or less, absent leave or consent, eliminating oral discovery o for cases valued at greater than $100,000, absent leave, requiring each party to be available for oral discovery by all parties adverse in interest for a maximum (in total) of one day (the parties may consent to one additional day of discovery) o requiring the parties, by a date to be set at the CPC, to exchange “will-say” statements. • Restrictions on expert evidence: o adopting a new rule to establish an overriding duty of an expert to help the court on the matters within his or her expertise and requiring the expert to certify (in the expert’s report) that he or she is aware of and understands this duty o requiring the parameters of expert testimony to be discussed at the CPC and requiring the CPC judge to provide directions, based upon proportionality principles, on the use of experts o unless otherwise ordered, in cases valued at $100,000 or less, limiting each party to one expert only, plus one expert to rebut the evidence of the opposing expert, if necessary o requiring experts who give evidence in the proceeding to disclose only the facts, including test results, upon which they relied in forming their opinion. These are only highlights of the recommendations. We invite you to carefully review the entire report

and provide us with your comments and suggestions. There are a number of ways in which you can learn more about these recommendations and provide your input: • Local Sections of the CBA, B.C. Branch, will be featuring members of the CJRWG at upcoming meetings • The first such meeting is for members of the Vancouver ADR and Civil Litigation sections to be held on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at the Law Courts Inn from 12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. Contact Esterina Dragan at 604-687-5744 • The business community will be sponsoring discussion sessions at several Chambers of Commerce around the province. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce for more information • You can provide written comments to us via e-mail to or by mail or fax to: Dispute Resolution Office Ministry of Attorney General P.O. Box 9222, Stn. Prov. Govt. Victoria, British Columbia V8W 9J1 Facsimile: 250-387-1189 We look forward to hearing from you. BT

The members of the CJRWG are: Chief Justice Donald Brenner, Supreme Court of B.C., Co-Chair Deputy Attorney General Allan P. Seckel, QC, Co-Chair Madam Justice Laura Gerow, Supreme Court of B.C. Master William McCallum, Supreme Court of B.C. Judge Dennis Schmidt, Provincial Court of B.C. James D. Vilvang, QC, representing the Canadian Bar Association, B.C. Branch Richard S. Margetts, QC, representing the Law Society Helen Pedneault, Assistant Deputy Minister, Court Services Branch Carol McEown, Legal Services Society George K. Macintosh, QC, Farris & Company, Member at Large Barbara Young, QC, Berge Horn, Member at Large Craig P. Dennis, Sugden, McFee & Roos, Member at Large December 2006 BARTALK



PAT MACDONALD and Leigha Worth

A Day in the Life of a Public Interest Lawyer


ritish Columbia Terasen Gas, ICBC, etc.) with Public Interest the interests of our client groups Advocacy Centre in mind and when we choose (BCPIAC) is a small to intervene, we present their non-profit law office located in interests to the Commission downtown Vancouver. It is a during negotiated settlements, provincial organization with written, and oral hearing cases, clients, and contacts processes. Although our client throughout the province. We are lists are somewhat limited, we funded primarily through cost like to think everyone in B.C. awards and grants from the Law benefits from our efforts to Pat MacDonald and Leigha Worth Foundation – yes, the interest keep the utilities actions in line Staff Lawyers from pooled lawyers trust funds with our societal values and our B.C. Public Interest Advocacy Centre (BCPIAC) hard at work! Our apolitical bills relatively low. financial backing allows us the The other major focus freedom to advocate on behalf of our clients without of our work is test case litigation relating to the limitations imposed by the current government’s concerns of people who are reliant on income policies and therefore our clients or client groups’ support programs, such as social assistance, to interests are always our main concern, whether we are meet their basic needs for food, clothing, and tackling a regulatory or poverty law case. housing. The overriding factor in the decision to Our clients are predominantly seniors, disabled adopt a case is whether a systemic problem exists and the poor. One of the best parts about working as BCPIAC only has the resources to take on a with BCPIAC is that we always know that we few cases at any one time. Three of the exciting are on the side of the angels. It is our clients who cases we’ve worked on in the last year include a make BCPIAC what it is. They help us to focus on Community Groups complaint to the Ombudsman the issues that are important and keep us grounded about administrative unfairness at the Ministry in reality. of Employment and Income Assistance, systemic Although regulatory law is only one-half of problems in the farm labour contracting industry, and BCPIAC’s mandate, it can be its most technical and the interpretation of dependency relationships and logistically challenging. A regulatory law practitioner “overpayments” in income assistance and disability must be a legal Jill or Jack-Of-All-Trades: a sharp benefits legislation. solicitor and cutthroat courtroom player with a We feel that we are doing what we went to law liberal smattering of negotiator, analyst, and even school for: working with people we respect on cases futurist thrown into the mix. To be honest, there we are proud to litigate. are times while wading through tens of thousands Leigha Worth joined BCPIAC in March of 2006, of pages of filings by the regulated utilities when and now represents the interests of low-income consumer we wonder if insanity isn’t another regulatory groups in insurance, gas and hydro hearings. Pat practitioner prerequisite. MacDonald has been with BCPIAC since 1997. She does At BCPIAC, we examine all applications to equality and poverty law as well as telecommunications the Utilities Commission (including BC Hydro, and gas utility hearings. BT 18

BARTALK December 2006

hon. wally oppal, qc


Crime, Safety and Chronic Offenders: Social-Justice Integration


n October 2005, the B.C. services systems. Introduction justice review task force of this court in Vancouver is released the report of the underway, with a target launch street crime working group date of September 2007. The community court will have the entitled, Beyond the Revolving Door: power to impose a broad range A New Response to Chronic Offenders. of responses, from jail sentences The report identified the to rehabilitation and repayment need to make the justice system to the community. It will better more effective, both through the link offenders to health and integration of the criminal justice, social supports. It will also offer health and social welfare systems, Hon. Wally Oppal, QC improved opportunities for as well as through changes in Attorney General and Minister community engagement. processing criminal cases. This Responsible for Multiculturalism Through changes to criminal report proposed justice reforms, case processing, we expect street crime prosecutions including the creation of a community court, to to proceed swiftly, with fewer court appearances, alleviate the problem of street crime. early case resolution and accountability for offenders. Approximately 1,500 individuals are brought Community court will also try to address the probto court for committing street crime offences in lems that bring offenders into the court in the first downtown Vancouver each year. Many are also place. It is my hope that the community court pilot receiving health and social service system support. will serve as an impetus for change throughout the The need for ongoing co-ordination and timely access criminal justice system in British Columbia. is a challenge. Many are prolific offenders coming My ministry is working closely with the Ministry before the justice system several times a year. The of Public Safety and Solicitor General and other partoffences themselves are relatively minor, but often ners to build a criminal justice system with effective, have a significant impact on both the victims and the efficient and responsive services for these offenders community. Time and significant resources are often – a system that has a strong connection to the public it spent on multiple court appearances and preparing serves. A number of initiatives, such as the Vancouver cases for trial that are ultimately resolved through a Police Department chronic offender program, the guilty plea. Those who assert their right to a fair trial Vancouver Drug Treatment Court, the Vancouver can face delays. intensive supervision unit and the province’s crystal Research tells us that offenders who suffer from meth action plan, are being developed to enhance mental illness, substance use problems and homelessintegration between the justice, health and social ness need more than a jail sentence to rebuild their lives welfare systems. as healthy members of society. I am further concerned British Columbia can take pride in having one of that sentences are often delayed and not meaningful or the best criminal justice systems in the world. These have no significant impact on either the offenders or changes will help to improve the way chronic offendthe level of street crime in the community. ers are managed. I look forward to working with I have publicly stated my support for a the justice system partners to achieve future benefits community court and initiatives aimed at better integration among the justice, health and social through innovative and integrated approaches. BT December 2006 BARTALK



NANCY Payeur

HOLIDAYS: Spelling It Out!


ope – sharing hope Inner Calm – is what you and joy with others feel when your daily life stays is what this season is connected to your values. During really about! Hang the rush of the season and suronto that spirit and allow it to rounded by media hype, it’s easy guide your choices. The caring that to be distracted – remember your only you can give to others is what personal priorities and live them. makes the difference. This – as Make room for the big stuff. they say in the commercials – is Decline to spend time priceless. In a few years, they won’t doing things that drain you. remember what gifts you gave, Decompressing from a jam-packed Nancy Payeur, MSW, RSW but they’ll remember the fun you Director of Services schedule is more essential to Interlock had together stringing popcorn or your happiness than spending decorating the tree. Of course, not hours on elaborate decorating everyone has a close family nor do or entertaining. Keep it simple. Embrace the anti-Martha within! we all celebrate Christmas. If you are alone, consider what you can give back, whether it’s volunteering Assess – and Act. Reflect on what you’ve for the Food Bank or visiting an elderly friend. By enjoyed about past holidays and make these things helping others, we often help ourselves. happen. Whether it’s listening to music, visiting Santa with your niece or quiet walks with your partner, Open – as in, being open to new traditions. make deliberate choices that fit your needs today. Keep what works and discard or adapt what isn’t working for you and your family. Remember, Yearly rituals are helpful when they bring a sense of continuity and comfort to hectic lives. what worked previously may no longer be a fit for The best traditions remind us of whom we are – our this stage of your lives. Talk about holiday plans personal and family histories. They become with family and friends in advance, and be honest something familiar we anticipate – even those as about your preferences, bringing up ideas for new simple as treasured ornaments or special recipes. celebrations. One way to simplify is cutting back on gifts, either by setting a dollar limit or exchanging Serendipity is defined as the ability for names. Some clans have gotten really creative – happening upon fortunate discoveries when we least adopting a “tacky or used gifts only” rule – keeping expect them. Make sure you make room in your the fun and taking the stress out of gift giving. holidays for unexpected and magical pleasures. Merry Christmas. BT Love – The Beatles sang “all you need is love” and Freud said love and work are what matter. If you’re feeling a lack of love in your life these days, If you are struggling with personal or professional resolve to do something now to change that reality. issues, call 1-800-663-9099 or 604-431-8200 (Lower Not easy but important. Reaching out to long lost Mainland). Interlock provides professional, confidential friends, taking time to get to know those around you, counselling to B.C. lawyers and their immediate family getting involved in a cause you believe in with others members. The Program is available at no charge to who share your passion – all of these can gradually members of the Law Society of B.C. help bring more connection into your world. 20

BARTALK December 2006



Electronic Survey Plans a Reality in 2006


fter more than 150 the world, an electronic plan fully years of hard copy protected by a digital signature survey plan submiscan be sent to several locations at sions to the registries the same time for review and sign in British Columbia, a significant off. Furthermore, the traditional milestone was realized in 2006. registration set of plans does not The submission of electronic surhave to be physically delivered for vey plans became a reality on July deposit at the registries. Once all 24 when amendments to the Land the consents have been assembled, Act, Land Title Act, Land Survey Act an electronic plan application and and the Land Surveyors Act came the electronic plan may be submitted Rick Hargraves, BCLS into force. The amendments allow through EFS. The provisions appliSurveyor General and Director legal survey plans to be submitted cable to electronic plan applications through the Electronic Filing and electronic plans can be found System of the Land Title and Survey Authority of under Division 2.1 of Part 10.1 of the Land Title Act. B.C. This business improvement is in keeping with From the Authority’s perspective, it is more the Authority’s goal of enhancing client services efficient for the staff to review and confirm plans that through electronic technology. are submitted electronically and then automatically The first release of the Digital Survey Plan system push them through the system to the electronic allows for the submission of an electronic survey plan database for customer retrieval. Unlike hard copy (in PDF format), together with associated signatory plans, electronic plans do not need to be scanned documents of surveys prepared pursuant to the into the image database. The automated flow of Land Act, Petroleum and Natural Gas Act, Mineral electronic plans will result in a better image being Tenure Act and the Coal Act. We are pleased to see made available for customer retrieval purposes. that the land surveying community is using this new While submission of electronic survey plans is technology. From the “red hot” oil and gas sector we completely voluntary, we expect the cost and time have received a significant number of well site plans saving benefits of these types of plans will help drive in electronic format. Early in 2007, we expect to be in usage of this new technology. So far, that seems to be a full production pilot for electronic plans prepared the case. under the Land Title Act. The Authority has successfully used its There are several key benefits to the use of electronic filing system for the submission of land electronic survey plans. Firstly, plans no longer need title documents and, as such, has paved the way for to be drafted onto a mylar sheet. Secondly, the plan smooth integration of electronic survey plans. The does not need to be physically sent to all the owners combination of electronic documents and survey and consenting signatories for signatures. Consenting plans provide the foundation for further electronic signatories to survey plans will not sign the face of service enhancements by the Authority. the mylar plan as in the past, but will sign a separate The Land Title and Survey Authority of B.C. is a document. This allows signatures to be acquired not-for-profit, non-share capital corporation responsiconcurrently, rather than one after the other. Instead ble for managing, operating and maintaining British of shipping a survey plan around the country or Columbia’s land title and land survey systems. BT December 2006 BARTALK



eric mass and dave hodgson

Ten Common Sense Financial Advice Tips How to make your money work harder for you


eed a good financial tip? Here are ten common sense financial tips that can help you keep more of your money and reach your goals faster. 1. Treat you’re money as if it were going into three separate buckets. a) The first bucket is for the money you need to cover your immediate expenses such as loan payments and other household costs. b) The second is your short-term savings bucket. This should contain enough money to cover at least six months worth of your fixed expenses. c) The third bucket is for the money you regularly contribute to retirement savings such as an RRSP. 2. Pay the least amount in taxes possible. Consult a qualified expert to help you pay less tax. For many people, the cost of their advice is more than offset by the savings. 3. Don’t invest your money in things you don’t understand. Take the time to learn about an investment before you jump in. 4. Make monthly contributions to your RRSP rather than a single annual amount. Many investments see an increase in value brought about by significant last minute contributions near the end of the RRSP season. The value of these funds can sometimes decline once the season ends leaving you with less than the alternate value had you spread out your contributions. 5. Don’t procrastinate about your investment choices. If you know you need to do something

about your money, be proactive. Time can be your friend, but if you wait too long, it will be your enemy. 6. Be aware of your investment fees and reduce them whenever possible. Even a small decrease in your investment fees can add several thousand of dollars to your savings over time. 7. Ignore investment hype. There is a ceiling to how high any investment can go and eventually the bubble will burst and values will fall. It is often better to wait until the hype passes and then buy the investment while it’s low. 8. Never get into any financial arrangement with friends or relatives unless all terms and conditions are clearly understood and in writing. Nothing can drive people apart like a disagreement over money. take your 9. Never good health for granted. Purchase protection like life and disability insurance. Age and health factors will increase the cost and the older you get; the greater the likelihood you’ll not be able to buy this coverage. 10. Surround yourself with trusted experts. Be realistic about your own knowledge and skills and seek out companies and people who have proven themselves trustworthy with others you know. Eric and Dave are your CBIA Authorized Representatives for the province, and are available to assist you with your insurance and retirement needs. You can reach them in Vancouver at 604-688-8790 or toll free at 1-888-477-5630. For more information about the CBIA visit their website at For CBA Financial, please visit BT




BARTALK December 2006


 


Halifax to Host World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights Halifax will host more than a thousand international delegates for the World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights from August 23-29, 2009. The congress is recognized as one of the most significant events on the world calendar in promoting the protection of children. It has received a United Nations award for services to the family. Its future seems assured and hence the hope of achieving beneficial change for many of the world’s children, attainable. For more information on the World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights, please visit or contact Jeff Turner at 902-423-1752 or

6th Annual Lawyer Show Just Announced! Murder, charity and just a pinch of madness combine in this hilarious black farce:

Arsenic and Old Lace Starring the finest acting talents of Vancouver’s legal community Directed by Katrina Dunn Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage April 13th and April 14th Tickets on sale December, 2006 The 6th Annual Lawyer Show has just been announced! The Arts Club Theatre Company and Touchstone Theatre are pleased to present “Arsenic and Old Lace,” Joseph Kesselring’s hilarious black farce, starring the finest acting talents of Vancouver’s legal community. Get your tickets starting December 1st for this very limited engagement, April 13th and 14th at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage.

Lawyers on Stage – Victoria Lawyers on Stage (LOST) Victoria will be presenting the Broadway show “Working” on February 23 and 24, 2007 at the McPherson Theatre, in Victoria. This is an annual fundraiser for Kaleidoscope Theatre, Victoria’s professional theatre company for young audiences. Look for more information about Lawyers on Stage in upcoming issues.

(see for details)

Branch and Bar Calendar

December 2006 – January 2007 December 6

Lawyers Assistance Program of British Columbia Workshop: Stressed? (Dorchester Hotel, Nanaimo)

December 6

Lawyers Assistance Program of British Columbia: Burns Book Group

December 8

New Westminster Bar Association Christmas Party

December 12

Lawyers Assistance Program of B.C.: Healthy Living as Lawyers (Kelowna)

December 13

Lawyers Assistance Program of British Columbia: Burns Book Group

December 14

Kamloops Bar Association AGM Bench & Bar Dinner

December 27

Lawyers Assistance Program of British Columbia: Burns Book Group

January 11

CBABC Chief Judges Dinner

January 12

CBABC Executive Committee Meeting (CBABC Boardroom)

January 26

CBABC/LCBA Presidents Meeting (Delta Airport Hotel, Richmond)

January 27

CBABC Provincial Council (Delta Airport Hotel, Richmond) December 2006 BARTALK


member services

Alpine Resort Ski/ Snowboard Passes Get yours now, these will sell out fast!

British Columbia is home to a number of world-renowned winter sport resorts, and CBA members throughout the province get incredible deals at some of the best. Whether you spend your winters at scenic Sun Peaks, breathtaking Silver Star, unforgettable Big White, thrilling Mount Washington, or home of the 2010 Winter Olympics Whistler/Blackcomb, there is a resort near you where your CBA membership gives you more than you expected for less than you bargained for! Check the “Member Savings” section of the CBABC website for details on how to order.

Big White / Silver Star Alpine Resorts When it comes to snow, it’s tough to beat Big White & Silver Star. With Big White’s world famous “Snow Ghosts,” Silver Star’s Victorian-inspired accommodations, and both of their breathtaking scenery, it is no wonder that people come from around the world to visit these two world renowned Ski Resorts. Both mountains are conveniently ski-in / ski-out, so the fun never has to stop! The two mountains have been under the same ownership for five years, meaning you get to experience the best of both, and as a CBABC member, you’ll get it for 10 per cent less! Visit the CBABC Member Savings page for details on how to plan your trip today.

Mount Washington Alpine Resort The “Mountain on the Island” has seen incredible growth in its 27 year history, and shows no signs of slowing down! Mount Washington Alpine Resort, located right near the popular Comox Valley, is a fully serviced Alpine Resort located on Vancouver Island with over 1,200 acres of terrain to tackle, and CBABC members can now save 10 per cent on every Single-Day Lift Ticket! Visit the CBABC member Savings page online to get yours!

Sun Peaks Resort By far the “sunniest” Alpine Resort in British Columbia, with over 2000 hours of sunshine each year, Sun Peaks Resort boasts more than just great


BARTALK December 2006

mountain weather! With 121 trails to choose from, there is something for everyone here, and it’s only getting better! The resort is in the middle of huge expansions that will ultimately encompass five mountains, two villages, and one unforgettable experience. CBABC members get even more out of this already incredible resort by getting a full day of skiing or snowboarding for the Half-Day ticket price! Visit the CBABC Member Savings page online to get yours!

Whistler Blackcomb What can you say about the home of the 2010 Winter Olympics that hasn’t already been said? As one of the world’s top Alpine Resorts, Whistler Blackcomb has a reputation for exceeding expectations, and now CBABC members can be blown away for even less! Members save up to 25 per cent off of the ticket window price on lift tickets, EDGE cards, and equipment rentals! Visit the CBABC Member Savings page online to get yours!

Vancouver East Cultural Centre CBABC Member Services is excited to announce a brand new program; it is starting with the Vancouver East Cultural Centre! We will be able to offer discounted tickets to CBABC members for selected shows at the VECC throughout the season. This is a very exciting new program, as well as a very exciting time for the historic Cultural Centre as well, which is in the midst of some incredible renovations. Check the CBABC Member Savings page online for updates on performances.

Vancouver Opera CBABC members save up to 35 per cent on performances at the Vancouver Opera! Here’s what’s coming up in January and February of 2007: The Vancouver Opera is proud and excited to present their new production of Mozart’s fascinating opera, “The Magic Flute” at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The performance is the product of a team of talented theatre designers and First Nations artists, bringing a fresh and unique vision to Mozart’s timeless masterpiece. It is a performance of color and energy, not to be missed.

bar moves | BRAVO


Bar Moves


Have you recently changed firms or opened a new firm? Send submissions (maximum 25 words) to Bar Moves at

Kendelle L. Pollitt has left Baker, Newby to join Waterstone Law

Group’s Langley office effective Sept. 5, 2006 where she will be practicing personal injury and general civil litigation. Nicole McLoughlin has joined the firm of McQuarrie Hunter as an associate

where she will be practicing in the office located at 10430 - 144th Street in Surrey in the areas of general corporate and commercial law and real property law. Murray Rankin, QC has left Arvay Finlay to join the firm of Heenan

Blaikie. He will work out of their Victoria office. Gail Sahota has joined the firm Gosal & Company where she will practice

in the area of WCB and CPP Disability Appeals. Catherine W. Chow is now the Director of Legal Services of Keg Restaurants. Previously, she practiced in property and business law at notable firms in downtown Calgary and Vancouver.

Nicole McLoughlin

Amber van Drielen has joined the firm of McQuarrie Hunter as an associate where she will be practicing at the New Westminster office in the areas of general litigation and personal injury. ARI M. SHACK, formerly of Taylor Wray Business Lawyers, has joined

Synergy Business Lawyers where he will continue his practice of corporate and commercial law as well as private financing. The Quadra Legal Centre of Victoria ( is pleased to announce that Karrie Wolfe will be joining Colin Robinson, Mary Mouat, Odette Coccola and Mike Holmes in the practice of law. As of August 14, 2006, Hardeep Sangha has joined the Attorney General of B.C., Criminal Justice Branch as a prosecutor in Surrey, B.C. He previously practiced as a barrister at Allan Francis Pringle in Vernon, B.C.

Amber van Drielen

Jennifer A. Scott has joined Charron Favell Anctil as a partner. In 2005, Ms.

Scott founded Urban Law (, a boutique firm in Kitsilano. E-mail Jennifer at and Tako van Popta has been appointed Managing Partner of the firm of

McQuarrie Hunter. Tako practices at McQuarrie Hunter’s Surrey Office in the areas of corporate and commercial law and real estate development.

Congratulations to Alexander Holburn Beaudin Lang LLP on their recent Award for their Student Recruitment Campaign at the Legal Marketing Association’s Annual conference (third place in North America).

Ari M. Shack

December 2006 BARTALK


cbabc partners | Membership

NEW MEMBERS CLEBC Update A library is fundamental to good legal practice. CLEBC recognizes that you may need a hand selecting resources that are crucial to your practice, or you may just be looking for advice on the latest publications and services we offer. Call or make an appointment to visit Karen Kerfoot, CLEBC’s resident expert. With more than 34 years of experience in the legal publishing field, she will help you understand the options available among the multitude of CLEBC titles of printed materials and electronic products within each area of practice so that you can select what’s best suited for your current and future needs. Contact Karen by: Direct phone 604-893-2110, or send an e-mail to

Announcing A New CLEBC Publication Watch for CLEBC’s new Introducing Evidence at Trial: A British Columbia Handbook, a practical resource for litigators, to be released in Spring 2007. Written and reviewed by a team of wellrespected judges and litigators, Introducing Evidence at Trial is a portable, quick-reference guide for lawyers on how to confidently and effectively introduce evidence in a trial. Divided alphabetically by evidentiary topic, this handbook provides “how to” advice including an overview of foundation principles, practice tips, checklists of key considerations, examples, and sample scripts.

CBA CEO John Hoyles receives Pinnacle Award

The CBABC Branch welcomes its newest members! The following new members have joined in the months of September and October of 2006:

Regular Members Jonathan G. Dykstra Gordon J. Dykstra Personal Law Corporation, Abbotsford Katrina Harry Vancouver

Mark Gordon Norton Vancouver Lara Percy Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Vancouver

Kaila M.B. Mikkelsen UBC Human Resources Dept, Vancouver

Articling Students Bonny Blake Burnaby

Sarah Louw West Vancouver

Andrew Breen Shapiro Hankinson & Knutson, Vancouver

Kevin Love Community Legal Assistance Society, Vancouver

Joanna Gislason BCGEU, Vancouver Mark Hamilton Richards Buell Sutton LLP, Vancouver Jonathan Harbut Davis & Company LLP, Vancouver Caley Howard Paul Smith Intellectual Property Law, Vancouver Kris Hsieh Vanderburgh & Company, Williams Lake William E. Larose Andrew Croll Law Corporation, Nanaimo

Andrew Mickelson Ministry of Attorney General, Victoria Martina Quail Stern & Albert, Surrey Michelle Quigg Vancouver Cheyenne Reese Davis & Company LLP, Vancouver Sarah Stanton Woodward & Company, Victoria Zahara Suleman B.C. Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Vancouver

To view all new members, including the 218 Law Students, please visit uuu pdf/bartalk/student_12_06.pdf.

CBA Chief Executive Officer John D.V. Hoyles was recently honoured with the prestigious Pinnacle Award by the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) at its 2006 National Conference and Showcase, held in Edmonton. The award recognizes exceptional and outstanding leadership qualities within an association, volunteer contributions to other organizations and the community-at-large, and to CSAE. CBA President J. Parker MacCarthy, QC, congratulated John on receiving this recognition from his peers, and for his outstanding contribution to the Association and the legal profession.


BARTALK December 2006


Application Documents Letter of Intent forms, application guidelines and application forms for the above funding initiatives may be obtained from:; by e-mailing; by calling 604-688-2337; or by writing the Law Foundation of B.C., 1340-605 Robson Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 5J3

2006 Projects Initiative The Law Foundation has established a projects budget of $500,000 for 2007 for one-time projects. The maximum amount available for each project is $75,000. To be considered, please submit a Letter of Intent form by 3 p.m., Friday, January 19, 2007.

Graduate Fellowships 2007/2008 Value: Up to four (4) Awards of $13,750 each (subject to change). CLOSING DATE: January 4, 2007. FIELD OF STUDY/ ELIGIBILITY: Full-time graduate studies in law or a law-related area. Applicants must

either be residents of British Columbia; graduates of a British Columbia law school; or members of the British Columbia Bar. WHERE TENABLE: Recognized universities in Canada, the U.S. or abroad. NOTE: The Law Foundation Graduate Fellowship is not available for the graduate programs of the Faculties of Law at the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria as the Law Foundation makes separate grants to the Graduate Fellowship programs at these universities.

Notice of New Agreement Canadian Western Bank Law Foundation Chair, Warren Wilson, QC, commends the Canadian Western Bank for its commitment to paying a competitive rate of return on lawyers’ pooled trust accounts. Recognizing the overall impact of protracted low interest rates on the Law Foundation’s revenues, a new interest rate agreement was recently concluded. A new interest rate agreement on lawyers’ pooled trust accounts has been signed that, depending on the balance, will pay a net rate of return in the range of prime less 2.50 per cent. The system changes to facilitate this new pricing are expected to be implemented in early 2007. Thanks go to Greg Sprung, Vice President and Regional Manager, for the leadership shown in making this new agreement possible. Increased revenues enable the Law Foundation to fund programs that make the justice system accessible to British Columbians, particularly those people who have the greatest access problems as a result of their economic, social, physical or mental special needs. The funded programs include professional legal education, public legal education, law reform, legal research, legal aid and law libraries. The Canadian Bar Association (B.C. Branch), the Law Foundation, and the Law Society encourage lawyers to consider which financial institutions provide the best support to the Law Foundation when deciding where to place their trust accounts.

December 2006 BARTALK


classified ads



Classified (per line)

CBABC Members/Firms Commercial Organizations Next deadline: January 12

$25 $50


3” x 2.5” CBABC Members/Firms Commercial Organizations 6” x 2.5” CBABC Members/Firms Commercial Organizations Next deadline: January 12

insert (all of B.C.)

CBABC Members/Firms Commercial Organizations Next deadline: January 20 Next mailing: February 9

$450 $900 $810 $1,620

$1,200 $2,400

Direct BarTalk advertising inquiries to: Jesse Tarbotton Communications Co-ordinator Tel: 604-646-7856 or 1-888-687-3404 E-mail:

intellectual property: Let us assist you in providing protection for your clients. Douglas B. Thompson Law Corporation – Registered Patent Agent, Registered Trade Mark Agent. Practice restricted to Intellectual Property. Victoria, B.C. ( E-mail: Eldercare assessment, consulting, care management. Professional support to your older clients and their family members. Diamond Geriatrics, Inc. 604-874-7764.

OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE Suite 304-3320 Richter Street, Kelowna. One or two lawyers invited to share bright, new office space with existing two lawyer practice (Mission Law Group). E-mail:


2007 DIRECTORY B.C.’s most comprehensive and up-to-date listing of lawyers and legal resources.

Member Price 1-5 copies: 6-25 copies: 26-49 copies: 50+ copies:

$41 per book $40 per book $39 per book $38 per book

Firms with more than 85 per cent CBA membership can order all Directories at the CBA rate.


Canadian Bar Association British Columbia

Firms with less than 85 per cent CBA membership can order up to two Directories for each CBA member; additional Directories charged at non-member rate.



Non-Member Price $72.00 per book 12 month online license: $100 ea.

Practice Restricted to Intellectual Property Law

Phone: (250) 418-3250

E-mail: Tel: 604-687-3404 Toll-Free: 1-888-687-3404

Practice Restricted To WCB Sec. 257 Determinations, Opinions and Court Applications on referral Endorsed by:

Visit Us Online:


BARTALK December 2006

604-267-3033 Claims and appeals Vice Chair at Review Board for 6 years More than 25 years personal injury litigation

Ishkanian & Company Barristers & Solicitors Cell 604-868-3034 Fax 604-264-6133

BarTalk | December 2006  
BarTalk | December 2006  

BarTalk is published six times per year by the British Columbia Branch of the Canadian Bar Association, the leader and voice of Canada’s leg...