LAW UNION OF ONTARIO CONFERENCE – PANEL DESCRIPTION & SPEAKERS

FRIDAY, MAY 8, 2015
TIME: 6:30-8 PM
LOCATION: Friends House – 60 Lowther Avenue, Toronto: http://www.torontoquakermeeting.org/contact.html

PANEL TITLE: Bill C-51: Privacy, Power & Politics
SPEAKERS: Paula Todd, Ziyaad Mia and Sukanya Pillay

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SATURDAY, MAY 9, 2015
LOCATION: Ryerson Student Centre – 55 Gould Street: http://ryersonstudentcentre.ca/contact/directions

TIME: 9-10:30 AM
Professionalism Plenary: Group Care and the Legal Workplace Part 2: Transforming Hierarchical Professional Relationships

Location: Tecumseh Auditorium

Last year we looked at resources for legal professionals struggling at work. This year the professionalism panel looks at some structures that cause these struggles: individualism, hierarchy, and systems of domination. Panelists will offer strategies and guidance based on intersectional and anti-colonial analysis, relational legal theory, and Indigenous knowledge frameworks to address these structures and transform our relationships with clients, legal institutions, and each other.

SPEAKERS: Rathika Vasavithasan, Aaron Mills, Sophie Nunnelley and Carolyn Carter.

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TIME: 10:45 AM -12:15 PM

A. Legal Education, Inequality, and Jobs

Location: Thomas Lounge

This panel will be taking a candid and broad look at the state of legal education and the legal services industry labour market. The panel will be tackling some of the systemic and structural problems facing the legal profession and will be discussing what can be done. The LPP, articling crisis, privatized legal education, unpaid labour, and the problems facing equity seeking groups will be discussed.

SPEAKERS: Andrea Demchuk, Josh Mandryk, Claire Seaborn, Omar Ha-Redeye and Andrew Langille.

B. Beyond Private Practice: Discovering Diverse Careers in the Law

Location: Oakham Lounge

Pursue your passion! Our distinguished panel will discuss their careers outside of private practice and a certified career coach will speak about choosing a career that aligns with your own values. Come learn about the range of diverse career paths in the law beyond “Bay Street”.

SPEAKERS: Darcy Belisle, Reema Patel, Paulette Pommells and Mae J. Nam.

C. Prison Justice: Voices on the ground and Strategy

Location: Tecumseh Auditorium

Join us to hear perspectives and experiences from prison justice organizers and activists about current issues and impacts that legislation and policy changes have had on people inside. As part of the panel, we will be screening a short film by Peter Collins and audio of Renee Acoby, both of whom are currently federal prisoners and activists. We will then move the panel into a strategy session to address prison justice organizing in Toronto, what is currently being done and what we as lawyers, paralegals, activists and community members can do to further support prisoners both inside and outside of institutions.

SPEAKERS: Najla Edwards, Women’s Prison Program Coordinator, PASAN; Shane Martinez, Toronto based Criminal Defence Lawyer; Renee Acoby, Mother, Poet, Activist; Molly Bannerman, Toronto Prisoner Justice Coalition; Stephanie Massey, Provincial Prison Program Coordinator, PASAN; and Peter Collins, Film-maker, Activist and Artist

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LUNCH: 12:15-1 PM – A student lunch will be available in the Oakham Lounge

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TIME: 1-2:30 PM

A. Overrepresentation of African-Canadian children and youth in child welfare and school suspension

Location: Thomas Lounge

Numbers obtained by the Toronto Star indicate that 41% of children and youth in the care of the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto are African Canadian, yet only 8.2% of Toronto’s population under the age of 18 is African Canadian. Further, in the Toronto District School Board, African Canadian students make up approximately 12% of high school students, yet these students are disturbingly overrepresented as making up 31% of all suspensions.[1] Panelists will discuss these discrepancies and share what is currently being done to address this and what we as lawyers, paralegals, activists and community members can do to address these issues.

[1] African Canadian Legal Clinic: Fact Sheet on African Canadians, 2nd African Canadian Summit: Critical Crossroad and Crisis in the African Canadian Community, 2015.

SPEAKERS: Nicole Bonnie, Anthony Morgan, Renatta Austin, Andrea Luey and Nicole Perryman.

B. Workers’ Compensation Law

Location: Tecumseh Auditorium

A century in Ontario, the Workers’ Compensation system arose out of a ‘historic compromise’ facilitated by then Chief Justice of Ontario, Sir William Meredith, after widespread public consultation. Workers gave up their right to sue (Torts) in exchange for a public trust agency that agreed to provide for those injured at work, “while the disability lasts”. The foundation of the system was the principle of ‘collective liability’.

Panellists will discuss issues affecting workers post-injury, in terms of access to benefits, current issues in healthcare, and the administration of justice when dealing with the driving down of costs at the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB). The presentations will be followed by a Q&A session.

SPEAKERS: Orlando Buonastella, Joel Schwartz and Indira Rupchand.

C. Rights Not Rescue: Resisting the Criminalization of Women & our Families

Location: Oakham Lounge

Canadian (colonial) law is often engaged as a tool to combat violence against women (including trans women), Two Spirit people and their families. But what happens when the law does more harm than good–all in the name of “saving” us? Muslim women, sex working women, Indigenous women and many more are seeing an increase in the criminalization of our communities but no reduction in violence. This panel will explore diverse voices on what it means to listen to survivors of violence about the harmful impacts of using surveillance, arrest, incarceration as well as alternative solutions that build power, safety and self-determination for women (including trans women) and Two Spirit people.

SPEAKERS: Christa Big Canoe, Farrah Khan, Deepa Mattoo and Chanelle Gallant.

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TIME: 2:45-4:15 PM

A. Police Violence and Racial Profiling

Location: Tecumseh Auditorium

From Toronto to Baltimore to Ferguson, folks are organizing and rallying against racial profiling and discriminatory policing. This panel will look at what it means to think about racial profiling beyond carding, and will shed light on the deep historical roots of police violence against particular communities. Panelists will also share their research, work and personal experiences around police violence and racial profiling.

SPEAKERS: janaya (j) khan, Andrea Anderson and Shadya Yasin.

B. Immigration Workshop: Did you know… Indefinite detention is legal in Canada?

Location: Thomas Lounge

Join us for an interactive workshop (not a panel!) exploring the grim realities of the Canadian immigration detention system, as well as the potential for legal/non legal strategies for fighting this system, particularly while also prioritizing the needs and voices of detainees.

The workshop will include speakers from the End Immigration Detention Network (EIDN) as well as members of the Immigration Legal Committee including Swathi Sekhar, Nicole Veitch, Jean Vecina, Mac Scott and Karin Baki.

Toronto based artist Farrah Miranda will also provide insight on intersection of performance and legal systems.

 

C. Aboriginal Jury Representation

Location: Oakham Lounge

This panel will review the problem of First Nations underrepresentation on Ontario juries. The cases, which exposed this problem, in addition to the systemic reasons underlying it, will be canvassed.

SPEAKERS: Christa Big Canoe, Jessica Orkin, Stephen John Ford and Katherine Hensel

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TIME: 4:30-6 PM

Indigenous Legal Traditions

Location: Tecumseh Auditorium

SPEAKERS: Beverley Jacobs, Dawnis Kennedy, Jeffrey Hewitt and Signa A. Daum Shanks

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