Call for Nominations for the FACL Board of Directors!

FACL Ontario is calling for nominations for Full Member Directors and Student Directors!

Persons interested in serving for a two-year term as a Full Member Director or Student Director should send a resume/CV and a Statement of Interest (maximum 500 words) to facl.ontario@facl.ca by 5:00 pm on Friday, July 1, 2022.

Applicants are asked to indicate which of the following committees they would be interested in serving:

  • Advocacy and Policy Committee
  • Mentorship Committee
  • Community Outreach Committee
  • GTA North Committee
  • ESL / Foreign-Qualified Lawyers Committee
  • FACL Ottawa Committee
  • Awards Committee
  • Podcast Committee
  • Women’s Committee
  • Events Committee
  • Communications Committee

A “Full Member” means an individual who self-identifies as Asian Canadian and is a lawyer in good standing with a Law Society in Canada, a judge of a court in Canada or a full-time member of the faculty of a law school in Canada and who, in each case, supports the objects of the Corporation.

A “Student Member” means an individual who self-identifies as Asian Canadian and is a student-at-law in good standing with a Society in Canada, a student of the faculty of an accredited law school in Canada, or an NCA student, and who, in each case, supports the objects of the Corporation.

Each Director shall:

1.1.1                    be, at the date of election of the Member and thereafter remain throughout the term of office, a Full Member (or Student Member as applicable) of the Corporation who is qualified by the terms of this Section 3.5 to hold office;

1.1.2                    be at least eighteen (18) years of age, with power under law to enter into Contracts;

1.1.3                    not be an undischarged bankrupt or a mentally incompetent person;

1.1.4                    have been, at the date of the election, a Member for a minimum of twelve (12) months;

1.1.5                    not have, within the five (5) years immediately preceding the date of the election and through the term of the office:

1.1.5.1              been found guilty of professional misconduct by a Society;

1.1.5.2              been found guilty of, or convicted of, any criminal offence under a statute in Canada; and

1.1.6                    not be, as of the date of the election and thereafter throughout the term of office, the subject of a notice of referral by a Law Society.

All nominations are expected to abide by the FACL Ontario By-laws.

Statement of Support and Solidarity – National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

For the first time in Canadian history, September 30, 2021 marks a National Day for Truth and
Reconciliation. Created by Parliament in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action #80, this federal holiday honours and commemorates the Indigenous children who died at residential schools, as well as the Indigenous Survivors, their families, and communities. This day recognizes the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools and asks Canadians to contemplate what reconciliation means to them.

From the 1870s -1990s, the Canadian government forcibly took Indigenous children between the ages of four and sixteen years from their families to attend the government-funded, Catholic Church-run residential schools with the purpose of completely eliminating parental involvement in the spiritual, cultural and intellectual development of Indigenous children. More than 150,000 First Nations, Inuit, and Metis children were taken to attend these schools, some of which were hundreds of miles from their homes. Although no one knows the exact number because of missing and destroyed records, it is estimated that between 4,000-6,000 children died in residential schools due to physical abuse, malnutrition, disease, neglect, suicide, and in trying to escape. This year, the horrifying discoveries of the remains of 215 Indigenous children found on the site of the former Kamloops residential School on May 27, and the 751 unmarked graves on the site of the former Marieval residential School on June 24, serve as stark reminders of the atrocities inflicted upon the Indigenous Peoples of Canada.

Prior to the Canadian federal holiday, September 30 was Orange Shirt Day, which reminded people to learn about residential schools, fight racism and bullying, and to every day uphold that “Every Child Matters”. Orange Shirt Day highlights the story of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, whose grandmother made her an orange shirt, which was taken away from her, along with all her other clothes, on her first day of residential school, and never returned. It is this time of the year that for over 100 years, Indigenous children were stolen from their homes.

The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL) – Ontario acknowledges that the cumulative impact of residential schools is a legacy of unresolved trauma passed from generation to generation and has had a profound effect on the relationship between Indigenous people and other Canadians.

FACL stands in solidarity with all Indigenous Peoples, families, and communities who were and continue to be impacted by the tragedies of colonialism, structural violence, and systemic racism that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s process aims to heal.

We take the opportunity that the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation gives us to grapple with this disturbing reality of our national identity.

FACL understands the deep and rich history that Indigenous communities share with the land all over Turtle Island and indeed globally. In our efforts to foster diversity in the legal field and wider community, it is FACL’s responsibility to recognize our shared synergy with the people who are Indigenous to the land we call Ontario. FACL celebrates its role in amplifying the voices and experiences of Indigenous communities in all the work we do, and to do so in humility and gratitude for being able to live, work and play on this land. FACL Ontario acknowledges, among others, the Mississaugas, the Anishnaabek and the Haudenosaunee who have a particular connection to this region.

FACL also resolutely supports our Indigenous allies in advancing reconciliation and holding the responsible governments, institutions, and Catholic Church entities to account for their perpetration of the systemic oppression and genocide of Indigenous Peoples. FACL again calls on the federal, provincial, and territorial governments to listen to Indigenous communities, and to undertake concrete efforts to fully implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ 231 Calls for Justice. On this day, we honor the lost children, the Survivors, their families, and their communities.

To learn more, see the resources provided by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (https://nctr.ca/records/reports/) and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (http://www.trc.ca/reconciliation.html). The National Residential School Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day for Survivors and family: 1-866-925-4419.

Notes to Further Reading

Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action # 80

FACL Statement of Solidarity – Kamloops Residential School

FACL Statement of Solidarity – Marieval Residential School

Avvy Go appointed to Federal Court

FACL congratulates our co-founder, the Honourable Justice Avvy Yao-Yao Go, on her appointment to the Federal Court. We appreciate Justice Go’s contributions to marginalized communities and to the legal profession

 

Statement of Support and Solidarity – Marieval Residential School

On June 24, 2021, the Cowessess First Nation and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous First Nation reported the discovery of 751 unmarked graves on the site of the former Marieval residential school. The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (Ontario) expresses its sincere condolences and stands in solidarity with the
Cowessess First Nation and all Indigenous Peoples impacted by this atrocity – a trauma arising from our history of colonialism and structural violence, and standing alongside the recent discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children at the former Kamloops residential school, the continuing investigation by the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation into the unmarked graves at the former Brandon residential school, and the reasonable and chilling expectation that similar discoveries are still to come.

We stand ready and committed to support our Indigenous allies in holding the responsible governments, institutions and Catholic Church entities to account for their perpetration of systemic oppression and genocide of Indigenous Peoples. FACL acknowledges the federal government’s passage of Bill C-15, which received Royal Assent on National Indigenous Peoples Day. Bill C-15 affirms that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (General Assembly Resolution 61/295, “UNDRIP”) applies in Canadian law and provides a framework for the government’s implementation of UNDRIP. But Bill C-15 does not actually implement UNDRIP.

Concrete action is necessary. FACL once again calls on the federal, provincial and territorial governments to fulfill its their commitment to redress and reconciliation by listening to Indigenous leaders and community members, and by fully implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ 231 Calls for Justice.

To learn more, see the resources provided by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (https://nctr.ca/records/reports/) and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (http://www.trc.ca/reconciliation.html). The National Residential School Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day for Survivors and family: 1-866-925-4419.

Statement Against Islamophobia

The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers Ontario is heartbroken to learn of the Islamophobic attack against a Muslim family in London, Ontario which took the lives of a grandmother, a father, a mother and their 15 year old daughter and left their 9 year old son hospitalized.

FACL Ontario stands in solidarity with Canada’s Muslim community who  have suffered an unspeakable loss and acknowledges that this is not an isolated incident. Muslim Canadians – and Muslim women in particular – continue to face discrimination and are made to feel unsafe because of their faith.   

Discrimination and hate, rooted in ignorance and misinformation, is a scourge upon our society. FACL Ontario remains committed to its mandate of promoting equity and justice in the face of such evils, and joins the Canadian Muslim Lawyers’ Association in solidarity. 

Tragic and despicable events such as this compel us to work harder to create an anti-racist society. We call on the legal community to stand up to racism and Islamophobia in all its insidious and harmful forms.

Statement of Support and Solidarity – Kamloops Residential School

On Thursday, May 27, 2021, the remains of 215 Indigenous children were found on the site of the former Kamloops residential school. The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (Ontario) expresses its sincere condolences and stands in solidarity with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and all Indigenous Peoples impacted by this horrifying discovery, especially the families and the communities from whom these children were stolen.

FACL Ontario is an equity-seeking organization. Like all Canadians, we must do more than talk about reconciliation – we must learn to practice it “within ourselves and our families, and in our communities, governments, places of worship, schools, and workplaces” (Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future: Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2015, p. 21). FACL Ontario honours the lives of the 215 children and re-affirms its commitment to active partnership with our Indigenous allies. We call on the federal and provincial governments to listen to Indigenous leaders and community members, to accept responsibility for the structural violence against and genocide of Indigenous Peoples, and to offer redress and advance reconciliation by fully implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ 231 Calls for Justice.