Transcript: Lawyers and Compelling Diversity | Nov 28, 2017

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, blue shirt, and checked blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Lawyers and enforcing diversity. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says THE GOVERNING BODY FOR
LAWYERS IN THIS PROVINCE - SOON
TO BE RENAMED THE LAW SOCIETY OF
ONTARIO - RECENTLY ADOPTED AN
ACTION PLAN AIMED AT COMBATTING
RACISM AND IMPROVING DIVERSITY
IN THE PROFESSION.
IT HASN'T EXACTLY BEEN SMOOTH
SAILING, AND ONE PART OF THE LAW
SOCIETY'S PLAN IS NOW THE
SUBJECT OF A LEGAL ACTION
ITSELF.
JOINING US FOR THEIR VIEWS ON
THE PLAN AND THE WIDER QUESTIONS
OF DIVERSITY IN THE PROFESSION,
CAN WE WELCOME:
KATHERINE HENSEL, LAWYER, HENSEL BARRISTERS...

Katherine is in her mid-forties, with shoulder-length wavy brown hair. She's wearing rounded glasses and a black blouse.

Steve continues ROCCO ACHAMPONG, LAWYER,
ROCCO K. ACHAMPONG LAW OFFICE...

Rocco is in his late thirties, with short-cropped black hair and a stubble. He's wearing a gray three-piece suit, white shirt, and champagne tie.

Steve continues ROYLAND MORIAH, LAWYER WITH
MORIAH LAW...

Royland is in his late thirties, with short-cropped black hair and a stubble. He's wearing a brown suit, blue shirt, and striped brown tie.

Steve continues SADIE ETEMAD, LAWYER, S.E.T LAW...

Sadie is in her thirties, with black hair in a bob. She's wearing a black blazer over a black and white blouse.

Steve continues AND JULIAN FALCONER, CO-CHAIR OF
THE LAW SOCIETY'S EQUITY AND
INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS COMMITTEE.

Julian is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with receding white hair. He's wearing a gray three-piece suit, white shirt, and purple tie.

Steve continues It's a pleasure to have you
August people here around our
table here this evening for a
very timely discussion, and I
want to start by putting up,
Sheldon, if you would, this
graphic, which will lay out in
cursory detail some of what the
new rules state.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "The new rules."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
Through a written set of
principles, all licensees must
acknowledge their obligation to
promote equality, diversity, and
inclusion.
Every firm with ten or more
licensees must implement a human
rights and diversity policy.
That's what the Law Society of
Upper Canada, as it is still
known until the name change
comes in, has as one of the key
planks in its working together
for change platform.
Julian Falconer, let's start
with you.
What led to this decision?

The caption changes to "Julian Falconer. Law Society of Upper Canada."
Then, it changes again to "What's the idea?"

Julian says WHAT LED
TO THIS DECISION WAS REALLY AN
EXPRESSION OF CONCERN, STEVE,
ACROSS THE BOARD, IN TERMS OF
BARRIERS BEING FACED BY OUR
RACIALIZED LICENSEES.
I SAY LICENSEES BECAUSE THE LAW
SOCIETY REGULATES BOTH LAWYERS
AND PARALEGALS.
WE CONDUCTED CONSULTATIONS
BETWEEN 2012 AND 2016
EXTENSIVELY ACROSS THE PROVINCE,
ORGANIZATIONS, INDIVIDUALS, AND
WE SENT TIME AND WE LISTENED AND
WHAT WE HEARD WASN'T EASY TO
HEAR.
WE HEARD THAT APPROXIMATELY 40 percent
OF RACIALIZED LICENSEES IDENTIFY
THEIR RACE AS A BARRIER IN THEIR
WORK.
INTERESTINGLY, 3 percent OF
NON-RACIALIZED LICENSEES SEE
RACE AS A FACTOR.
WE HEARD THE SAME THINGS YOU
WOULD HAVE HEARD 10 AND 20 YEARS
AGO, MEANING WE SIMPLY HAVEN'T
MADE PROGRESS AROUND ISSUES OF
SYSTEMIC RACISM, AND I DON'T
THINK IT'S CONFINED TO THE LEGAL
INDUSTRY.
I THINK AS A SOCIETY WE HAVE A
DIFFICULT ISSUE TO GRAPPLE WITH.
HENCE, IT WAS TIME TO ACTUALLY
TAKE POSITIVE STEPS AND TO NOT
TALK IN PLATITUDES, NOT TALK IN
HOPES, NOT TALK IN APOLOGIES,
BUT TO TAKE POSITIVE ACTION AND
THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE SEEING.

Steve says WE HAVE ACTUALLY A
FEW MORE NUMBERS WE CAN SHARE,
ONE OF WHICH YOU JUST GAVE.
HERE'S THE LAY OF THE LEGAL LAND
IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "The lay of the legal land."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
THERE ARE 61,000 LAWYERS AND
PARALEGALS, LICENSED, LICENSEES,
BY THE LAW SOCIETY.
IN 2015, 18.6 percent OF LAWYERS
IDENTIFIED AS RACIALIZED.
26 percent OF THE PROVINCE IDENTIFIES
THAT WAY.
A SURVEY FROM 2013 SHOWED, AS
JULIAN JUST INDICATED, THAT 40 percent
OF RACIALIZED LICENSEES SAID
THAT THEIR ETHNIC IDENTITY WAS A
BARRIER TO ENTRY.
AND 43 percent SAID IT WAS A BARRIER TO
ADVANCEMENT.
LET US JUST OFF THE TOP HERE
ESTABLISH, BECAUSE YOU USED THE
EXPRESSION AS WELL,
"RACIALIZED."
WE HEAR THAT A LOT NOWADAYS AND
I'M NOT SURE EVERYBODY
UNDERSTANDS IT TO MEAN THE SAME
THING.
SO JUST TELL US WHAT YOU MEAN IT
TO MEAN.

Julian says WELL, THE TERM IS USED, AND
THERE'S NO PRECISION TO THIS.
I'VE GOT... SADLY, I'M AN OLD
MAN.
I HAVE 25 TO 30 YEARS IN ON
HUMAN RIGHTS LEGISLATION AND THE
EXPRESSIONS CHANGE WITH THE
TIMES.
SO THE TERM "RACIALIZED" IS
ACTUALLY USED ACADEMICALLY AS A
TERM BY THE HUMAN RIGHTS
COMMISSION AND IT'S DEFINED.
IT QUITE CLEARLY REFERS TO FOLKS
THAT WOULD FIT INTO VISIBLE
MINORITY CATEGORIES.
I WANT TO EMPHASIZE IT IS ABOUT
SELF-IDENTIFICATION.
SO IT'S NOT ABOUT BIG BROTHER
IMPOSING A LABEL.
PEOPLE SELF-IDENTIFY ACCORDING
TO OUR GATHERING OF DATA.
BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, WHAT
IT'S REALLY MEANT TO DO IS
IDENTIFY THOSE WHO WOULD HAVE
THE GREATEST VULNERABILITY ON
ISSUES AROUND SYSTEMIC RACISM,
AND THAT'S WHO WE'RE TALKING
ABOUT.

Steve says LET'S GET SOME
REACTION FROM AROUND THE TABLE.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS BY THE ATTEMPT
OF THE LAW SOCIETY OF UPPER
CANADA, SOON TO BE LAW SOCIETY
OF ONTARIO, TO DO THIS.
SADIE, WHAT DO YOU SAY?

The caption changes to "Sadie Etemad. S.E.T. Law."

Sadie says I WAS JUST SURPRISED THAT I, BY MY
BACKGROUND, FIT INTO THIS
CATEGORY.
BUT IT IS A SELF-IDENTIFIED
CATEGORY, AND I PROBABLY HAVE
TICKED THE BOX OF MIDDLE
EASTERN, LET'S SAY, WHEN I WAS
FILLING OUT MY APPLICATION TO
THE LAW SOCIETY.
BUT JUST BEING LABELED AS A
RACIALIZED LAWYER OR LICENSEE,
IT'S JUST PUTTING ME IN ANOTHER
BOX.

Steve says DO YOU CONSIDER
YOURSELF A RACIALIZED LAWYER?

Sadie says WHEN I HEAR THE WORD
"RACIALIZED," I THINK I WAS
DISADVANTAGED.
I MEAN, I HEAR THAT I WAS
DISADVANTAGED IN SOME WAY, AND
THAT'S WHY I'M FITTING INTO THIS
CATEGORY, BUT I NEVER IN MY LIFE
HAVE FELT RACIALIZED IN CANADIAN
SOCIETY.
EVEN WHEN I LIVED IN ENGLAND, I
DIDN'T FEEL RACIALIZED BY THE
BRITISH SOCIETY...

Steve says BUT APPARENTLY 40 percent
OF YOUR COLLEAGUES DO.
SO WHAT DO WE DO WITH THAT?

Sadie says WELL, I THINK THAT'S A BIGGER
POLITICAL PROBLEM OF
OVERSENSITIVITY, POLITICAL
CULTURE THAT THERE IS.
I DON'T KNOW HOW MY COLLEAGUES
FEEL, BUT I HAVE NEVER... I
THINK IF I WAS RACIALIZED, I
WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN A LAWYER IN
CANADA AFTER 15 YEARS OF
IMMIGRATING HERE.

Steve says LET'S GET SOME MORE
REACTION.

Sadie says THAT'S WHAT I THINK.

Steve says I GOTCHA.
ROY, WHAT DO YOU SAY?

The caption changes to "Royland Moriah. Moriah Law."

Royland says I THINK
THAT SOME OF THE NUMBERS THAT
JULIAN HAS SPOKEN ABOUT REALLY
REFLECT THE DIFFICULTIES THAT WE
HAVE AS A PROFESSION, AND WHAT'S
IMPORTANT IS THAT WE ARE A
SELF-GOVERNING PROFESSION, AND
WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO SOCIETY
AT LARGE, AND IT'S VERY
DIFFICULT FOR US TO BE ABLE TO
UPHOLD THAT OBLIGATION,
PARTICULARLY THE CONFIDENCE
THAT'S REQUIRED WITHIN THE
SYSTEM THAT WE WORK, THE
CONFIDENCE THAT THE PUBLIC IS
GOING TO HAVE ABOUT THE LEGAL
SYSTEM.
I'M A CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER,
AND WE KNOW THAT THAT'S A REAL
CONCERN ALREADY, THAT THERE'S A
SIGNIFICANT CONCERN ABOUT PUBLIC
CONFIDENCE IN THE ADMINISTRATION
OF JUSTICE.
AND WHEN WE HAVE A SITUATION
WHERE WE ARE STILL DEALING WITH
REAL CONCERNS ABOUT
DISCRIMINATION, ABOUT RACISM,
ABOUT INCLUSION WITHIN THAT
SYSTEM, THAT SIGNIFICANTLY
IMPACTS THE PUBLIC CONFIDENCE IN
THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

Steve says I'LL ASK THE SAME QUESTION.
DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A
QUOTE, UNQUOTE, RACIALIZED LAWYER.

Royland says I THINK I AM A RACIALIZED
LAWYER, IF I WAS ASKED TO
SELF-IDENTIFY AS SUCH, I WOULD.
I'M AN IMMIGRANT.
I WAS FORTUNATE TO BE BROUGHT
HERE BY MY PARENTS AND HAD MANY
OPPORTUNITIES GIVEN TO ME THAT I
WOULD NOT HAVE HAD.
BUT I ALSO APPRECIATE THAT MY
REALITY AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES
WITHIN WHICH I CAME TO BECOME A
LAWYER HERE IN ONTARIO ARE
DIFFERENT THAN OTHER RACIALIZED
GROUPS.
AND SO WE HAVE TO APPRECIATE
THAT WHILE WE MAY SELF-IDENTIFY
AND WE MAY NOT NECESSARILY FEEL
THAT WE HAVE THE SAME CONCERNS
AS OTHERS, THAT THERE ARE
OTHERS, AND CLEARLY THERE ARE
OTHERS BASED ON THE NUMBERS THAT
WE'VE HEARD, THAT DO HAVE ISSUES
AND WE HAVE TO ADDRESS THOSE
THINGS.

Steve says LET ME CONFIRM WITH
YOU: DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF
PART OF THE 40 percent OF RACIALIZED
LICENSEES WHO SAY THEIR ETHNIC
IDENTITY WAS A BARRIER TO ENTRY
IN THE PROFESSION?

Royland says THAT'S A DIFFICULT QUESTION.
I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS WE DO
RECOGNIZE NOW IS THAT RACISM AND
DISCRIMINATION ARE NOT
NECESSARILY ALWAYS OVERT THINGS.
AND WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT,
WHILE LOOKING BACK OVER THE
COURSE OF, YOU KNOW, MY TIME,
WHETHER IT WOULD BE IN MY
UNDERGRAD YEARS OR WHETHER IT'S
IN LAW SCHOOL OR WHETHER IT'S AS
A YOUNG LAWYER SORT OF MOVING MY
WAY UP THROUGH THE PROCESS,
THERE PROBABLY WERE TIMES THAT
IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN AND THERE MAY
HAVE BEEN TIMES THAT I DIDN'T
EVEN RECOGNIZE THAT IT HAPPENED.

Steve says YOU MAY NOT HAVE
KNOWN IT.

Royland says MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN IT.

Steve says KATHERINE, YOUR
INITIAL REACTION TO WHAT THE LAW
SOCIETY IS ATTEMPTING?

The caption changes to "Katherine Hensel. Hensel Barristers."

Katherine says I UNFORTUNATELY THINK IT IS A
NECESSARY STEP.
IT SHOULDN'T BE NECESSARY.
WE'RE ALREADY REQUIRED NOT TO
DISCRIMINATE.
WE'RE REQUIRED UNDER THE RULES
OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT TO DO
EXACTLY WHAT THE STATEMENT
REQUIRES US TO ACKNOWLEDGE.
BUT WHAT I SEE IN THE
PROFESSION, WHAT I SEE IN THE
COURTS, WHAT I SEE WITH MY
COLLEAGUES, AND WHAT I SEE IN
THE LEGAL PROFESSION'S
ENGAGEMENT WITH BROADER SOCIETY
BELIES THAT OBLIGATION.

Steve says WHAT'S THAT A
REFERENCE TO, WHAT YOU SEE?

Katherine says I SEE MANY, MANY LEGAL
ORGANIZATIONS AND LAW FIRMS IN
THE UPPER RANKS DOMINATED BY,
FOR LACK OF A BETTER TERM,
NON-RACIALIZED...

Steve says WHY NOT JUST SAY WHITE MEN?

Katherine says WHITE MEN.
I SEE LAWYERS WHO WORK WITH
THEIR VULNERABLE CLIENTS OR AS
OPPOSING COUNSEL WITH... I'M
INDIGENOUS MYSELF.
I HAVE SEEN AND HEARD MEMBERS OF
THE PROFESSION SAY THINGS, DO
THINGS WITH RESPECT TO ME AND MY
CLIENTS THAT WERE OVERTLY
DISCRIMINATORY.

Steve says EXAMPLE, PLEASE.

Katherine says QUESTIONING WHETHER I AM A
LAWYER, SUGGESTING THAT I AM A
TOKEN, THAT I'M NOT A COMPETENT
LITIGATOR, DENIGRATING MY
CLIENT'S ENGAGEMENT WITH THEIR
CULTURE AND THEIR DESIRE AND
INSISTENCE TO LIVE AS INDIGENOUS
PEOPLE WITHIN THEIR OWN
TERRITORIES, OPEN CONTEMPT OF
THAT INCLUDING ON THE RECORD IN
COURT.

Steve says WHEN THAT HAPPENS, WHAT DO YOU DO?

Katherine says I CHALLENGE IT.
I AT TIMES HAVE BEEN RENDERED
SPEECHLESS.
THERE'S A LACK OF APPRECIATION
OFTEN IN THE ROOM AMONGST MANY
OF THE LEGAL PLAYERS IN THE ROOM
ABOUT THE SIGNIFICANCE OF WHAT'S
JUST OCCURRED.
IT'S CONSIDERED FAIR GAME.
IT'S AN ADVERSARIAL SYSTEM.
YOU TAKE YOUR SHOTS WHERE YOU
CAN IN ORDER TO BE PERSUASIVE
AND ADVOCATE ON BEHALF OF YOUR
CLIENTS.
WHAT THIS SAYS, WHAT THIS
ACKNOWLEDGES... AND IT'S PART OF
A BROADER REGULATORY SCHEME
THAT'S GOT TO MOVE FORWARD TO
CHANGE WHAT JULIAN CORRECTLY
IDENTIFIED AS A VERY STUBBORN
PROBLEM IN SOCIETY AND IN THE
LEGAL CULTURE AND PROFESSION,
BUT TO REQUIRE LAWYERS TO TURN
THEIR MINDS TO AND ACKNOWLEDGE
THAT THAT IS ACTUALLY NOT FAIR
GAME.
THAT IS NOT A LEGITIMATE PART OF
ANY LEGAL PROCESS.
AND IT'S NOT OPEN TO US AS LEGAL
PROFESSIONALS, AS LICENSEES, TO
USE THAT KIND OF TACTIC AND
ESPOUSE THOSE TYPE OF VIEWS AS
PART OF THE LITIGATION OR OTHER
LEGAL PROCESSES.

Steve says GOTCHA.
ROCCO, WE HAVEN'T HEARD FROM YOU
YET.
LET'S HEAR FROM YOU ON THIS.
YOUR REACTION TO WHAT THE LAW
SOCIETY IS ATTEMPTING?

The caption changes to "Rocco Achampong. Rocco K Achampong Law Office."

Rocco says WELL, I
WAS SPEAKING WITH... WELL, I WAS
ASKING JULIAN EARLIER AS VICE
CHAIR OF THE WORKING GROUP.
YOU CAN'T DISAGREE WITH WHAT THE
LAW SOCIETY IS TRYING TO
ACCOMPLISH HERE.
I MEAN, NO HUMAN BEING IN THEIR
RIGHT MIND IN THE MODERN DAY
COULD SAY I'M OPPOSED TO
PROMOTING ANTIDISCRIMINATION,
I'M OPPOSED TO NOT BEING RACIST.

Steve says IN SPIRIT, YOU'RE
WITH HIM?

Rocco says NATURALLY.
THAT'S WHO I AM, AS A BLACK MALE
IN SOCIETY.
WHAT I ASKED JULIAN WAS: WHAT
DOES IT MEAN TO COMPLY?
WHAT DOES IT MEAN... BECAUSE I
THINK WHAT'S CONTEMPLATED IN THE
YEARS TO COME WOULD BE
COMPLIANCE AUDITS.
AND WHAT WILL BE HAPPENING IS,
THE LAW SOCIETY, BY SOME
CRITERIA, WILL WALK INTO A LAW
FIRM AND SEE WHETHER OR NOT YOU
ARE COMPLIANT WITH THE SPIRIT
AND LETTER OF WHAT IS BEING
SUGGESTED.

Steve says DO YOU HAVE A
PROBLEM WITH THAT?

Rocco says I DON'T.
BUT WHAT IS THE BASIS OF
COMPLIANCE?
DOES IT MEAN THEN THAT I HAVE
TO, SAY, FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU
HAVE, AS KATHERINE HAS POINTED
OUT, A LAW FIRM WHERE IT'S
MAJORITY WHITE MEN.
DO I HAVE TO GO OUT AND SEEK A
BLACK MAN TO BE IN COMPLIANCE?
ARE WE, IN A SENSE, LEGISLATING
ASSOCIATIONS IN THAT RESPECT?
ARE WE MAKING EMPLOYMENT
DECISIONS IN THAT RESPECT?
I CAN SEE WHERE CONSTITUTIONALLY
SOME WOULD HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT
THAT, AS IT HAS BEEN CHALLENGED
BY PROFESSOR ALFORD I BELIEVE UP
NORTH.
THE LAW SOCIETY IS WELL WITHIN
ITS AUTHORITY TO LEGISLATE IT.
I THINK THE CONSTITUTION
CONTEMPLATES IT.
SECTION 15, SUBSECTION 2 OF THE
CHARTER OF RIGHTS ALLOWS FOR THE
LAW SOCIETY TO HAVE PROGRAMS IF
IT DEEMS IT'S FOR HISTORICALLY
DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE.
I DON'T THINK ANYONE WOULD
DISAGREE THAT THE HISTORY OF
RELATIONS BETWEEN CULTURES IN
THIS COUNTRY HAS HAD SOME GROUPS
FACE AN HISTORICAL DISADVANTAGE.
WHAT WE WANT TO FLESH OUT IS
PARTICULARS.
IT SEEMS TOO VAGUE.
YOU READ, FOR EXAMPLE, IN YOUR
OWN GUIDELINES, IMMEDIATELY THAT
IT SOMEHOW UNDERCUTS THE POTENCY
OF WHAT THEY'RE TRYING TO
ACHIEVE.
THE REQUIREMENT DOES NOT CREATE
ANY OBLIGATION TO PROFESS ANY
BELIEF OR PERSUADE ANYONE ABOUT
ANYTHING.
BUT THAT'S PRECISELY WHAT WE'RE
TRYING TO DO.
DON'T BE RACIST.
RIGHT?
THEN YOU HAVE THE REQUIREMENT:
WILL BE SATISFIED BY LICENSEES
TO CEASE OR AVOID CONTACT THAT
CREATES ... OR OTHER
EQUALITY-SEEKING GROUPS WHICH I
THINK FLOWS FROM A RECOGNITION
THAT THE STATUS QUO, AS IT
CURRENTLY IS, IS RESTRICTIVE.
IT'S LIMITING.
THERE'S A REASON WHY YOU FIND
ROYLAND AND I AS SOLE
PRACTITIONERS.

Steve says I WAS GOING TO ASK
THAT BECAUSE YOU TWO ARE SOLE
PRACTITIONERS.
YOU TWO ARE NOT WITH... WHAT DO
THEY CALL THEM, THE SEVEN
SISTERS OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT?
YOU'RE A SOLE PRACTITIONER AS WELL?

Katherine says I HAD MY OWN FIRM.

Steve says IS THAT A COINCIDENCE?

Katherine says NO.

Steve says IT'S NOT A COINCIDENCE.

Rocco says I THINK THE LAW SOCIETY HAS
PROPOUNDED ON THIS IN A NUMBER
OF REPORTS THAT SUGGESTED THAT
QUOTE, UNQUOTE, RACIALIZED
LICENSEES, AND I DO DISAGREE
WITH THAT TERM...

The caption changes to "Lawyering while racialized."

Steve says YOU'VE RAISED COMPLIANCE.
I WANT TO GET JULIAN IN ON THAT.
IF, FOR EXAMPLE, THE FUTURE LAW
SOCIETY OF ONTARIO DEEMS A
SIGNIFICANT LAW FIRM IN THIS
PROVINCE NOT TO BE IN COMPLIANCE
WITH THE SPIRIT OR THE INTENT OF
WHAT YOU'RE TRYING TO ACHIEVE
HERE, WHAT REMEDY DO YOU SEE
BEING APPLIED?

The caption changes to "Julian Falconer, @FalconersLLP."

Julian says FIRST OF
ALL, LET'S BE CAREFUL WHAT WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE
REQUIREMENT IN THE STATEMENT OF
PRINCIPLES.
THERE ARE OTHER REQUIREMENTS
THAT ARE GOING TO KICK IN.
THERE IS DATA COLLECTION IN
RESPECT OF FIRMS OF 10 OR MORE
LICENSEES, THEN INCLUSION DATA
THAT'S GOING TO HAVE TO BE
PROVIDED BY FIRMS OF 25 OR MORE
LICENSEES.
SO THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING IN
TERMS OF PROACTIVE STEPS.
AND I WANT TO BE CLEAR ABOUT
THAT.
AND IT'S ONE OF THE REASONS IT'S
SO IMPORTANT THAT THIS
DISCUSSION HAPPEN NOW, SO IT
DOESN'T HAPPEN AS WE INCH ALONG.
THERE WAS A DECISION OF
CONVOCATION, WHICH IS THE GROUP
OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE
REGULATOR, TO PASS THIS ENTIRE
PACKAGE OF REFORMS TOGETHER.
IN THAT VEIN AND IN THAT SPIRIT,
LIKE ANY OTHER RULE OF THE LAW
SOCIETY, ULTIMATELY THERE HAS TO
BE A COMPLIANCE PLAN, AND THERE
IS.
TO ANSWER ROCCO'S QUESTION
DIRECTLY, FOR THE FIRST TWO
YEARS, THE EMPHASIS WILL BE ON
EDUCATION.
IT WILL BE ON EDUCATION AND IT
WILL BE ON CAUTIONS IN RESPECT
OF THOSE WHO AREN'T ABLE TO
COMPLY OR ARE NOT COMPLYING.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Steve says JUST UNDERSTANDING
HOW THAT WORKS.
SOMEBODY FROM THE LAW SOCIETY
WOULD GO TO FIRM X AND SAY,
"YOU'RE NOT REALLY IN COMPLIANCE
RIGHT NOW" AND... WHAT?

Julian says I WANT TO EMPHASIZE WHAT THAT
LOOKS LIKE SO WE'RE NOT
ARTIFICIAL ABOUT THIS.
WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE, IS THIS IS
COMBINED WITH A CPD
REQUIREMENT...

Steve says CPD?

Julian says PROFESSION DEVELOPMENT.
SO IN OTHER WORDS, WE ALSO HAVE
A CULTURAL COMPETENCE
REQUIREMENT OF TRAINING NOW THAT
IS GOING TO BE MANDATORY COURSES
ON ISSUES AROUND CULTURAL
COMPETENCE.
SO THIS EDUCATION EMPHASIS IS IN
THE FIRST TWO YEARS BECAUSE THIS
IS NEW, IT'S GROUND-BREAKING IN
TERMS OF ANY OTHER LAW SOCIETY
IN THE COUNTRY, AND SO WE'RE
GOING TO HELP OUR MEMBERS, OUR
LICENSEES, UNDERSTAND WHAT'S
EXPECTED OF THEM.
AFTER TWO YEARS, WE WILL
BASICALLY LEARN FROM THE
TWO-YEAR EXPERIENCE AND INITIATE
WHAT WE CALL PROGRESSIVE
COMPLIANCE.
SO LIKE ANY OTHER RULE OF THE
LAW SOCIETY, WE'RE A REGULATOR.

Steve says PROGRESSIVE
COMPLIANCE MEANS WHAT?

Julian says PROGRESSIVE COMPLIANCE MEANS
YOU GO UP THE LADDER.
WHEN YOU GO UP THE LADDER IT
STARTS WITH WARNINGS.
AND IF YOU'RE UNABLE...
REMEMBER, IT'S NOT ABOUT US
CHECKING OUT THE CONTENTS OF THE
STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES.
THERE'S A BOX REQUIRED ON YOUR
REPORTS, LIKE OTHER... YOU
SHOULD KNOW, THERE'S A WHOLE
SERIES OF DECLARATIONS YOU HAVE
TO MAKE AS A LAWYER, STARTING,
BY THE WAY, WITH AN OATH TO THE
QUEEN.
IT'S INTERESTING, THE DETRACTORS
AND OBJECTORS TODAY ARE NOT
PRESENT AT THE CALLS TO THE BAR
SAYING THERE'S NOTHING WRONG
WITH DECLARING YOUR OATH TO THE
QUEEN.
IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT A
BELIEF SYSTEM, I CAN'T THINK OF
SOMETHING MORE FUNDAMENTAL.
WE'RE TALKING HERE ABOUT
CONDUCT.
IN OTHER WORDS, AND I WANT TO BE
CLEAR, I MAY HAVE PERSONAL VIEWS
ABOUT HOW I WOULD LIKE PEOPLE'S
BELIEFS TO PLAY OUT, BUT THEY
HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH CONDUCT.
WE HAVE ONE ROLE AS A REGULATOR:
TO REGULATE THE CONDUCT OF
BARRISTERS AND SOLICITORS AND
PARALEGAL.
ROCCO, IT'S ON PURPOSE NOT ABOUT
BELIEFS.
IT'S ABOUT CONDUCT, BEHAVIOUR.
IF YOU LOOK UP THE WORD
"PRINCIPLE" IN THE DICTIONARY,
IT SAYS BELIEFS OR BEHAVIOUR.
WE'RE FOCUSED ON BEHAVIOUR.
SO IN THE WORKPLACE, YOUR
BEHAVIOUR CAN BE A BARRIER TO
RACIALIZED LICENSEES AND THE
ISSUE IS WE'RE HERE TO REGULATE
IT.

Rocco says I HOPE JULIAN IS NOT
MISAPPREHENDING WHAT I'M SAYING.
I CERTAINLY HAVE NOT TOUCHED ON
BELIEF.
I HAVE NO ISSUE WITH TAKING AN
OATH TO THE SOVEREIGN.
THE ISSUE IS, YOU SAY... I
DON'T... YOU SAY, TO FOLLOW UP,
YOU SAY YOU WILL WALK INTO A LAW
FIRM AND IT CLIMBS UP THE LADDER
AND BEGINS WITH A WARNING.
WHAT IS THE BASIS THAT WILL LEAD
TO THAT WARNING?

Julian says MANDATORY
REQUIREMENT FOR A STATEMENT OF
PRINCIPLE.
SO THERE'S A BOX, NOT DISSIMILAR
TO THE REAL ESTATE REQUIREMENT.
YOU HAVE TO HAVE INFORMED
YOURSELF ABOUT REALITIES OF
MORTGAGE FRAUD AND THEN GONE
FURTHER WITH THE TARIFF
REQUIREMENT AS IT RELATES TO
REAL ESTATE.
WHAT I'M TRYING TO SAY IS,
THERE'S A BOX YOU HAVE TO TICK
TO SAY YOU'VE DONE IT.
IF YOU DON'T TICK THE BOX OR YOU
ACTUALLY SAY...

Rocco says YOU ALSO
DON'T HAVE TO MAKE IT PUBLIC.

Julian says THAT'S RIGHT.

Rocco says EVEN
THOUGH THERE IS A REQUIREMENT
FOR YOU TO PROMOTE IT, YOU DON'T
HAVE TO MAKE IT PUBLIC.
I'M REMINDED OF... I'LL JUST
HASTEN TO JUST OFFER THIS
QUICKLY.
1970s, 1980s TELEVISION SHOW
"YES, MINISTER."
AND YOU HAVE HUMPHREY APPLEBY
AND ALL THE PROMINENT
SECRETARIES AROUND THE TABLE AND
IT WAS AN ISSUE ON POSITIVE
DISCRIMINATION, INCREASING THE
PRESENCE OF WOMEN OF THE BRITISH
CIVIL SERVICE.
OBVIOUSLY ALL THESE OXFORD
EDUCATED PERMANENT SECRETARIES,
CLOSED OFF TO LSC GRADUATES AND
ALL THE OTHER SO-CALLED INFERIOR
UNIVERSITIES, AND THEY ALL SAID,
WELL, WE DON'T DISAGREE WITH IT
IN PRINCIPLE, WE AGREE WITH IT
IN PRINCIPLE, BUT THERE WILL BE
PRACTICAL PROBLEMS WITH
IMPLEMENTATION IN MY DEPARTMENT.
BUT, YES, WE CAN ALL SIGN A
DOCUMENT BASICALLY SAYING WE
AGREE WITH IT.
AND IT'S NOT WHAT THE LAW
SOCIETY IS BASICALLY SAYING.
I WANT MEAT ON THE BONES.
THAT'S ALL I'M ASKING.

Steve says HANG ON.

The caption changes to "The right rules?"

Julian says WE HAVE 12
RECOMMENDATIONS.
I JUST WANT TO BE CLEAR.
THERE ARE 12 MORE
RECOMMENDATIONS THAT MAKE IT
CLEAR THERE'S MEAT ON THE BONES.
I MEAN, WE'RE GETTING CRITICIZED
FOR BEING TWO REGULATORY ABOUT
RACE.
YOU'RE CRITICIZING US FOR NOT
BEING REGULATORY ENOUGH.
THAT'S THE ESSENCE...

Sadie says I DON'T THINK
THAT'S WHAT WE'RE SAYING.
THERE'S AN INHERENT CONFLICT IN
WHAT THE LAW SOCIETY IS
PORTRAYING ABOUT THIS.
IF THIS IS JUST TICKING THE BOX
AND SOMETHING COSMETIC, THEN
IT'S NOT GOING TO ACHIEVE ITS
GOALS.
BUT IF THIS IS A SUBSTANTIVE
THING AND THIS IS GOING TO BE A
REGIME CHANGE, THEN IT IS
SOMETHING SUBSTANTIVE AND IT IS
KIND OF POLITICIZATION OF OUR
BAR TOWARDS A GREATER, HIGHER
PRINCIPLE THAT WE ALL HOLD IN
OUR SOCIETY, DIVERSITY.
BUT WE'RE NOT SAYING THAT THE
PRINCIPLE IS WRONG.
WE'RE JUST SAYING THAT... TELL
US WHETHER THIS IS JUST TICKING
THE BOX OR THIS IS A REGIME CHANGE.

Steve says LET ME FOLLOW UP ON
THAT WITH KATHERINE.
I WANT TO KNOW HOW YOU BECAME A
LAWYER GIVEN THAT YOU HAD TO
SWEAR TO THE CROWN WHICH AS AN
INDIGENOUS PERSON I CAN'T
IMAGINE YOU WOULD HAVE WANTED TO
HAVE DONE THAT.

The caption changes to "Katherine Hensel, @KatherineHensel."

Katherine says I DIDN'T.
WE'RE NOT REQUIRED TO ANYMORE.
LAWYERS WERE FOR MANY YEARS.
MOST LAWYERS DO.
BUT YOU'RE NOT REQUIRED TO STAND
AND DO IT.
AND YOU'RE CORRECT.
FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS, THAT
WOULD BE A SIGNIFICANT BARRIER
TO ME IN THE PROFESSION.
BUT IT BESPEAKS WHAT SADIE WAS
DESCRIBING AS THE POLITICIZATION
OF THE BAR, IT'S ALREADY DEEPLY
POLITICIZED.
OATH TO THE QUEEN.
ALL THE PRINCIPLES THAT WE ARE
REQUIRED TO UPHOLD AS LAWYERS
ARE DEEPLY EMBEDDED IN PRIMARILY
ANGLO, WHITE, BRITISH CULTURE IN
CANADA, AS IT MANIFESTS ITSELF
IN CANADA, AND THOSE PRINCIPLES
ARE ACTIVELY PROMOTED, THEY'RE
THE BARE PRECONDITION TO YOU
PRACTISING LAW, TO BECOMING A
LICENSEE.
AND ACROSS THE BOARD.
SO THE INTEGRITY, PROMOTION OF
THE RULE OF LAW AND THE
ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE...
THOSE ARE POLITICIZED OBJECTIVES
AS WELL.

Steve says WHEN YOU SAY YOU
DIDN'T HAVE TO SWEAR TO THE
CROWN, YOU BECAUSE YOU'RE
INDIGENOUS OR YOU BECAUSE
ANYBODY DOESN'T HAVE TO?

Katherine says NOW NOBODY HAS TO.
MOST PEOPLE STILL DO.
BUT I THINK IT WAS SEVERAL YEARS
BEFORE I WAS CALLED TO THE BAR,
ONE MOHAWK LAWYER REFUSED TO...
PROSPECTIVE LAWYER, REFUSED TO DO IT.
AND THERE WAS A BIT OF A
CONTROVERSY AROUND IT.
AND THEREAFTER, WITHIN A FEW
YEARS, THEY NOW TELL LICENSEES
THAT THEY NEEDN'T SWEAR.
BUT YOU ARE DISTINGUISHING
YOURSELF FROM YOUR COLLEAGUES
WHO ARE SWEARING, MAKING THAT OATH.

Steve says ROYLAND, DO YOU HAVE
A SENSE OF, QUOTE, UNQUOTE,
RACIALIZED LAWYERS AND WHETHER
THE MAJORITY SUPPORTS THESE
EFFORTS OR DOESN'T?

The caption changes to "Royland Moriah, @MoriahLaw."

Royland says I DON'T
KNOW THAT I DO HAVE A SENSE
SPECIFICALLY.
I MEAN, I CAN'T SPEAK TO ANY
SPECIFIC NUMBERS.
BUT I CAN SAY THAT THERE HAVE
BEEN A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT
ORGANIZATIONS THAT INHERENTLY
ACTUALLY REPRESENT RACIALIZED
LAWYERS THAT HAVE COME ON BOARD
AND HAVE SAID, THIS IS
IMPORTANT.
WE SUPPORT THE INITIATIVE THAT
THE LAW SOCIETY IS MOVING
FORWARD.
AND I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT, AS
JULIAN HAS SAID, IS THAT THIS IS
ONE OF MANY PARTS OF THIS
INITIATIVE.
SO WHILE I APPRECIATE WHAT'S
BEEN SAID HERE ABOUT WHETHER OR
NOT THERE'S THE MEAT ON THE
BONES, THE REALITY IS THAT, IF
WE CAN'T AT LEAST, AT A VERY
BASIC LEVEL, APPRECIATE THAT
THERE ARE CERTAIN PRINCIPLES AS
LAWYERS THAT WE NEED TO UPHOLD,
HOW DO WE GET TO THE POINT IN
TIME WHERE WE CAN START TO LOOK
AT HOW WE MOVE FROM PRINCIPLE TO
ACTION.

Julian says I CAN GIVE
YOU THE NUMBERS.
WE'VE HEARD FROM 18
ORGANIZATIONS.
IN THE SHORT TIME THIS DEBATE
ERUPTED, WE'VE HEARD FROM MANY,
20 TO 30 ORGANIZATIONS DURING
THE TIME WE COLLECTED DATA.

Steve says WHEN YOU SAY
ORGANIZATIONS, DO YOU MEAN LAW FIRMS?

Julian says ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTING
LAW FIRMS.
IT COULD BE THE CRIMINAL BAR
ASSOCIATION, THE BAR
ASSOCIATION, NATIONAL WOMEN IN
LAW... I WAS ABOUT TO SAY.
WE HEARD FROM LAWYERS THAT YOU
WOULD CALL REPRESENTING
STAKEHOLDERS, PARTICULARLY
RACIALIZED LICENSEES, SUCH AS
THE CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF
BLACK LAWYERS, FEDERATION OF
CANADIAN ASIAN LAWYERS.
I WOULD LIKE TO TELL YOU
SOMETHING VERY INTERESTING.
OF THE 18 ORGANIZATIONS WE HAVE
HEARD FROM IN THIS LATEST ROUND
OF DEBATES, NOT ONE IS OPPOSED
TO THE STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES.
NOT ONE WROTE A LETTER SAYING
THAT THE STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
WAS WRONG.
IN FACT, ALL 18 ORGANIZATIONS,
INCLUDING McGILL, UNIVERSITY
OF OTTAWA, ALL 18 ORGANIZATIONS
HAVE SUPPORTED IT.
WE HAVE HEARD FROM INDIVIDUALS
WHO HAVE EXPRESSIONS OF CONCERN
AND I DON'T WANT TO MINIMIZE
THAT BECAUSE I THINK IT'S
IMPORTANT TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT
THE ROLE OF DISSENT IN SOCIETY.

Steve says WITH TIME RUNNING
OUT HERE, I MEAN, DO YOU FIND
THAT MOVING, THE FACT THAT ALL
18, NO DISSENTERS AMONG THEM?

Rocco says I DON'T
THINK ANYONE WHO HAS EXPRESSED
OPPOSITION IN PUBLIC NEWS PRINT
OR IN OPPOSITION HAS SAID THAT
THE PRINCIPLES THAT FORM THE
CONTENT ARE DISAGREEABLE.
YOU'LL FIND THEY SAY NO.
WE DON'T DISAGREE WITH NOT BEING
RACIST.
THE ISSUE IS WHETHER THE LAW
SOCIETY CAN FORCE YOUR HAND...

Julian says EVERYBODY IN ONTARIO THINKS
THEY'RE A GOOD DRIVER AND FAIR
PERSON.
EVERYONE IN ONTARIO DOESN'T WANT
TO BE TOLD TO BE A GOOD DRIVER
AND FAIR PERSON.
BUT WHEN IT COMES TO DIALOGUING
ABOUT RACE, IT'S A DIFFICULT
DISCUSSION.
WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO... IT'S
NOT JUST TO DIRECT PEOPLE'S
MINDS TO THE ISSUES, BUT IT'S TO
SEND A SIGNAL TO RACIALIZED
LICENSEES THAT WE ACTUALLY HEAR
THEM AND THAT WHEN WE MAKE THIS
PLEDGE ABOUT OUR CONDUCT, NOT
OUR BELIEFS, ABOUT OUR CONDUCT,
IT IS SENDING A SIGNAL TO THEM
THAT WE'RE READY TO CHANGE.

Steve says KATHERINE?

Katherine says I THINK
IT'S MORE IMPORTANT WE SENDS A
SIGNAL TO THE PUBLIC AND OUR
CLIENTS AND THE COMMUNITIES THAT
WE SERVE, BECAUSE WE'RE ALL
TREMENDOUSLY PRIVILEGED AS
LAWYERS, RACIALIZED OR NOT,
VULNERABLE OR NOT, AND WHAT'S
MORE IMPORTANT AND WHAT'S MORE
AT THE CORE OF THE LAW SOCIETY'S
MANDATE AND OUR OBLIGATIONS AS A
PROFESSION IS SERVICE TO OUR
CLIENTS AND TO THE PUBLIC AND
ENSURING THAT THAT IS
NON-DISCRIMINATORY.

Royland says QUITE RIGHT.
THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS I SAID
AT THE VERY BEGINNING AND THAT'S
IMPORTANT.
WE ARE PRIVILEGED.
I THINK THAT IT'S VERY IMPORTANT
TO UNDERSTAND THAT AS LAWYERS
WE'RE PRIVILEGED TO HOLD THE
ROLE THAT WE DO IN SOCIETY.
AND WITH THAT COMES OBLIGATIONS
TO SOCIETY.
AS A SELF GOVERNING PROFESSION,
THERE ARE OBLIGATIONS WE HAVE TO
SOCIETY.
AS KATHERINE SAID, IT'S MORE
THAN LOOKING IN TOWARDS
OURSELVES AND WHAT WE ARE DOING
AS A PROFESSION AND AS LAWYERS.
IT'S ALSO HOW WE ARE PERCEIVED
IN SOCIETY AS WELL.
AND THIS IS A FIRST AND VERY
SMALL STEP IN THAT, BUT WE HAVE
A LONG WAY TO GO.

Sadie says I HAVE A QUESTION.
SO WE WANT TO BE MISSIONARIES OF
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION?
THAT'S WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO BE?

Julian says IT'S ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS, NOT POLITICS.
I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THIS.
IT ISN'T ABOUT TAKING A
POLITICAL POSITION.
SYSTEMIC RACISM AND OUR ABILITY
TO ADDRESS IT IS ABOUT HUMAN
RIGHTS.
I THINK THAT WORD POLITICAL AND
POLITICALLY CORRECT FORGETS
THAT.
HUMAN RIGHTS ARE FELT BY THOSE
WHO SUFFER THE VIOLATIONS.
AND I HAVE TROUBLE WITH THE WORD
"POLITICS" BECAUSE IT IGNORES
THE GENUINE DISCRIMINATION THAT
THEY'RE FEELING AND CALLS IT
SOMETHING ELSE.

Steve says LET ME FOLLOW UP
WITH SOMETHING ELSE.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THIS CAPITAL
CITY IN ONTARIO, IF YOU WERE
JEWISH AND WANTED TO PRACTISE
LAW, GOOD LUCK GETTING A JOB AT
ONE OF THE BIG FIRMS.
SO WHAT DID THE JEWISH COMMUNITY DO?
THEY SET UP THEIR OWN FIRMS.
NOW I THINK IT'S FAIR TO SAY
JEWS ARE DISPROPORTIONATELY
REPRESENTED AS A PERCENTAGE OF
THE POPULATION AS COMPARED TO
THE PERCENTAGE OF LAWYERS IN THE
PROVINCE.
A NAIVE QUESTION, PERHAPS.
WHY SHOULDN'T RACIALIZED
COMMUNITIES DO THE SAME THING?

Julian says I WANT TO EMPHASIZE, ONE IT'S HAPPENING.
AS A JEW AND THE SON OF A BLACK
JAMAICAN, I CAN COVER BOTH
BASES.
IT SHOULDN'T HAVE TO HAPPEN.
WHAT JEWISH COMMUNITIES HAD TO
DO IS WRONG.
THEY'RE ENTITLED TO DO IT.
THEY SHOULD DO IT.
MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN THE
BLACK COMMUNITY, IN ANY
COMMUNITY, SHOULD BE FREE TO BE
TOGETHER OR IN DIVERSE
POPULATIONS.
THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE TO DO IT.
WHAT YOU DESCRIBED IS WHAT THEY
HISTORICALLY HAD TO DO.
I THINK WE HAVE TO DIALOGUE
ABOUT RACE WITHOUT BEING AFRAID
TO DIALOGUE ABOUT RACE.

Royland says I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD BE
GETTING INTO THE FERGUSON
SEPARATE BUT EQUAL SCENARIO
BECAUSE ESSENTIALLY THAT'S WHAT
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.
WE KNOW THAT THAT WAS SHOWN, YOU
KNOW, TO NOT BE THE REALITY OF
WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE, AND
I THINK THAT'S IMPORTANT, IS
THAT LET'S NOT GET CAUGHT UP IN
THAT.
AND I THINK WHAT'S HAPPENING IS
WE HAVE PEOPLE THAT ARE TALKING
ABOUT CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION
AND BEING FORCED TO MAKE A
STATEMENT.
ULTIMATELY THAT'S NOT WHAT THIS
IS ABOUT.
THIS IS ABOUT RECOGNIZING THAT
AS LAWYERS WE HAVE CERTAIN
OBLIGATIONS AND THESE ARE
OBLIGATIONS WE ALREADY HAVE AS
PART OF OUR RULES OF
PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT.
THIS ISN'T SOMETHING THAT IS
NEW.
WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION AS LAWYERS
TO UPHOLD THE LAWS OF THE LAND
AND PART OF THOSE LAWS INCLUDE A
HUMAN RIGHTS CODE, PART OF THOSE
RIGHTS INCLUDE THE SECTION 15
GUARANTEES AROUND EQUALITY.
SO THIS IS JUST A STATEMENT THAT
HELPS US TO REMEMBER THAT WE
HAVE THAT OBLIGATION...

The caption changes to "Producer: Cara Stern, @carastern."

Steve says I'VE GOT TO JUMP IN.
FORGIVE ME.
I HAVE TO JUMP IN.
ONE OF MY OBLIGATIONS IS TO MAKE
SURE WE DON'T GO OVER AND OUR
TIME IS DONE.
I WANT TO THANK EVERYBODY FOR
PARTICIPATING.
WE HAVE REALLY I THINK SET THE
TABLE AND GIVEN PEOPLE A MUCH
BETTER SENSE ABOUT THIS WHOLE
DEBATE.
I WANT TO THANK EVERYBODY FOR
PARTICIPATING.
THANKS FOR COMING IN TO TVO
TONIGHT AND HELPING US OUT WITHTHIS.

Watch: Lawyers and Compelling Diversity