The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, Ontario (“FACL Ontario”) was pleased to see that in a recent tweet, the Law Society of Ontario (“LSO”) wrote that it supports and stands in solidarity with its diversity partners and stakeholders. We have been a longtime diversity partner and stakeholder, and have provided input to the LSO on various issues of equity, diversity and inclusion. In doing so, we have sought to go beyond words and to translate our deep belief in the need for a more equitable society–including a more equitable legal profession and administration of justice–into concrete actions. Without systemic change, words are merely empty promises.
While we were encouraged to see the LSO’s recent reaffirmation of its commitment to its diversity partners, we hope that the LSO’s commitment will go beyond words. One of the most immediate ways of demonstrating this is to elect a Treasurer with a demonstrated track record of being an active ally on equity issues: Teresa Donnelly.
The Treasurer has a vital role to play within the LSO with respect to equity and diversity issues, including appointing members to the Equity and Indigenous Affairs Committee and deciding what issues are heard before Convocation and when. Accordingly, the upcoming Treasurer’s election is an opportunity for the LSO to do more than just talk about change. It is an opportunity for the LSO to maintain public confidence by actively committing to equity, diversity and inclusion. Now more than ever, we need our public institutions to not only acknowledge that systemic racism exists but to fight it. We need our public institutions to go beyond words. The confidence of the public demands no less.