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WLAO 100th Anniversary Ontario Heritage Plaque Installation

On February 27, 2020, the Ontario Heritage Trust and the Women's Law Association of Ontario unveiled a provincial plaque to honour and celebrate WLAO's 100 years of advancing, advocating for and empowering women in the legal profession in the Great Hall at Osgoode Hall.  The WLAO was founded in 1919 and has been instrumental in supporting and moving the dial on laws and policy geared toward dismantling discrimination and enhancing equality in the legal profession.

Our efforts to have the plaque installed were thwarted by the Covid-19 pandemic, until early October 2021.  We hope you will drop by the south gardens at Osgoode Hall, 130 University Street, Toronto, to see the WLAO plaque and the Osgoode Hall plaque.

WLAO continues to be dedicated to our mission of empowering women in the legal profession by providing a collective voice and advocating for equality, diversity and change.

The plaque reads:

Women’s Law Association of Ontario

Founded in 1919, the Women’s Law Association of Ontario (WLAO) was the first organization to work actively to create a place for women at Osgoode Hall. With membership open to law students, lawyers, and judges, the non-profit organization advances issues relevant to women in law through networking, educational, and social events. Strengthened by the women’s rights movement, the WLAO’s first 100 years marked Canada’s first female lawyer being called to the bar, the election of the first female leader of the provincial bar, and the appointment of Canada’s first female Supreme Court of Canada judge. Its campaigns influenced legislators, policy-makers, lawyers and judges to dismantle discrimination and enhance equality through law. Through advocacy it fought employment and pay equity, criminal justice reform, and an end to gendered violence, racism, disability discrimination, homophobia and transphobia. The WLAO continues to empower women in the legal profession by providing a collective voice, and advocating for equality, diversity and change.

 

Please take a moment to read about our Contest below!

 

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Federal Court of Appeal and Federal Court 50th Anniversary Events

Federal Court of Appeal and Federal Court 50th Anniversary Events

To celebrate 50 years of service to Canadians, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Federal Court are publishing a book that reflects on the work of the Courts both from a historical perspective and looking forward. 

A formal launch will be held virtually on October 1. It will feature remarks from the Chief Justices of both Courts, an opening address by the Honourable Frank Iacobucci, and a discussion about the book by four of its authors, moderated by Justice Johanne Gauthier. Throughout the months following the book launch, the Courts will present three webinars addressing issues that touch on three main areas of work for the Courts – immigration, national security, and intellectual property.  The webinars will allow experts in those fields to address these topics and encourage questions from participants about the issues raised. Members of the judiciary, the Bar, Academia and the wider public are invited to participate in these events.

Please visit the National Judicial Institute website for further information.

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Discrimination and Harassment Counsel (DHC) Program

The Treasurer of the Law Society of Ontario, Teresa Donnelly,  has written a blog on the Discrimination and Harassment Counsel (DHC) program funded by the Law Society of Ontario.  The DHC program is a very important part of the work of the Law Society on EDI.

English –  https://lso.ca/gazette/blog/discrimination-and-harassment-counsel 

French – https://lso.ca/gazette/blogue/conseil-juridique-en-matiere-de-discrimination-et-de-harcelement

The blog can be found at the links above as well as on the Law Society Gazette.  The blog has been  tweeted about it at @LSOTreasurer.

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2021 Annual Awards Gala Virtual Presentation

On June 10th, 2021 we had a wonderful evening celebrating five amazing and inspirational women at our
2021 Annual Awards Gala.

Please take a break grab a beverage of choice and enjoy the presentation.

President's Award recipient, Joanna Birenbaum;
General Counsel Chapter Award recipient, Hilda Wong;
Aird & Berlis LLP Equality Award recipient, Natalie Zhang;
The Honourable Sandra Chapnik Women-In-Law Award recipient, Amanda Welton-Hagen; and,
Torkin Manes LLP Trailblazer Award recipient, Madeleine Gottesman.

 

Again, our thanks to our special guests, The Honourable Chief Justice George Strathy, Attorney General Doug Downey, and the Treasurer of the Law Society, Teresa Donnelly, who offered their greetings and shared their wisdom during our presentation.

 

If you would like to contribute, we have a "Pay as you Can" portal below in support of our program.
Sponsored by:

 

 

 

 

The Women’s Law Association of Ontario is proud to announce that the 2021 recipient of the President’s Award is Joanna Birenbaum.

 

Joanna is one of Canada’s leading lawyers in the areas of women’s equality and sexual violence, including civil sexual assault claims, employment law, human rights and workplace investigations, representing complainants in sexual history and records applications in criminal sexual assault proceedings, and defamation law.

 

Current leading cases in which Joanna is counsel include anti-SLAPP applications in Ontario and B.C. to protect survivors of sexual violence from retaliatory lawsuits in defamation and malicious prosecution, and a systemic equality rights Charter claim against the London Police Services Board for discriminatory investigations of sexual assault.

 

Joanna also represented the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, the archive established to preserve the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s records, in its efforts to preserve the records and history of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools.
Joanna has lectured and published in the areas of violence against women and women’s equality rights; her most recent publication is a book, co-authored with Professor Karen Busby, Achieving Fairness: A Guide to Campus Sexual Violence Complaints, published by Thomson Reuters (2020).

 

Congratulations, Joanna! We thank you for your service in helping women attain equality and justice.
Please join us at the virtual WLAO Annual Awards Gala to celebrate Joanna Birenbaum and hear her message to the profession.

 

2021 General Counsel Chapter Award Winner - Hilda Wong.

Hilda is the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for First National Financial LP and oversees all aspects of First National’s legal affairs including formation of legal policy and strategy, compliance and regulatory matters, board and governance matters, contract negotiation and documentation. She is also First National’s Chief Privacy Officer and Chief Anti Money Laundering Officer.

Prior to joining First National in 2007, Ms. Wong was a partner with the national law firm of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP and an associate with the law firms of Smith, Lyons LLP and Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. Ms. Wong holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Toronto and has been in practice since 1993. Ms. Wong also serves as a director on the boards of The Barbara Schlifer Commemorative Clinic and the Women General Counsel Canada Network and is a co-founder of the National GC Network.

Please join us at the virtual WLAO Annual Awards Gala on June 10, 2021 to celebrate Joanna Birenbaum, Hilda Wong, and our student award winners.

Congratulations to our Student Award Winners and thank you to the individuals and firms who have supported these awards:
The Honourable Sandra Chapnik Women-in-Law Award
Amanda Welton-Hagen
Windsor University
Faculty of Law
The Aird & Berlis LLP
Equality Award
Ningjing (Natalie) Zhang
Queen’s University
Faculty of Law
The Torkin Manes LLP
Trailblazer Award
Madeleine Gottesman
University of Toronto
Faculty of Law

 

Please register to attend our program below.

 

Pay as You Can - 2021 Virtual Awards Gala

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Please join us Thursday, June 10th for the Annual Awards Gala (Virtual)!

Women's Law Association of Ontario invites you to join us as we celebrate five inspiring women, and their hard work and dedication,

Women's Law Association of Ontario invites you to join us as we celebrate five inspiring women, and their hard work and dedication, Thursday, June 10th at 6 PM. Please feel free to forward this email to anyone you feel might be interested in attending.

WLAO will be hosting a virtual Award Gala to recognize our esteemed 2021 Award recipients. We are honoured to be presenting awards to:

President's Award recipient, Joanna Birenbaum;

General Counsel Chapter Award recipient, Hilda Wong;

Aird & Berlis LLP Equality Award recipient, Natalie Zhang;

The Honourable Sandra Chapnik Women-In-Law Award recipient, Amanda Welton-Hagen; and,

Torkin Manes LLP Trailblazer Award recipient, Madeleine Gottesman.

We are delighted and pleased to have the support of The Honourable Chief Justice George Strathy, The Honourable Doug Downey, and the Treasurer of the Law Society, Teresa Donnelly, who will each be offering their greetings during our presentation.

After the presentation there will be an opportunity to e-meet our award winners. We will also have a live chat session during the program so you can make comments about our amazing award winners!

We have a "Pay as you Can" registration portal in support of our program. Any donation is appreciated but not necessary to attend.
You must register to receive event login details. This event is open to all who would like to attend. There will be an opportunity after the presentation to e-meet all of our Award winners via Zoom at approximately 7PM.

Closed Captioning will be provided.

Please visit our Event Page to register or click here.

 

Sponsored by:

 

 

 

 

The Women’s Law Association of Ontario is proud to announce that the 2021 recipient of the President’s Award is Joanna Birenbaum.

 

Joanna is one of Canada’s leading lawyers in the areas of women’s equality and sexual violence, including civil sexual assault claims, employment law, human rights and workplace investigations, representing complainants in sexual history and records applications in criminal sexual assault proceedings, and defamation law.

 

Current leading cases in which Joanna is counsel include anti-SLAPP applications in Ontario and B.C. to protect survivors of sexual violence from retaliatory lawsuits in defamation and malicious prosecution, and a systemic equality rights Charter claim against the London Police Services Board for discriminatory investigations of sexual assault.

 

Joanna also represented the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, the archive established to preserve the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s records, in its efforts to preserve the records and history of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools.
Joanna has lectured and published in the areas of violence against women and women’s equality rights; her most recent publication is a book, co-authored with Professor Karen Busby, Achieving Fairness: A Guide to Campus Sexual Violence Complaints, published by Thomson Reuters (2020).

 

Congratulations, Joanna! We thank you for your service in helping women attain equality and justice.
Please join us at the virtual WLAO Annual Awards Gala to celebrate Joanna Birenbaum and hear her message to the profession.

 

2021 General Counsel Chapter Award Winner - Hilda Wong.

Hilda is the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for First National Financial LP and oversees all aspects of First National’s legal affairs including formation of legal policy and strategy, compliance and regulatory matters, board and governance matters, contract negotiation and documentation. She is also First National’s Chief Privacy Officer and Chief Anti Money Laundering Officer.

Prior to joining First National in 2007, Ms. Wong was a partner with the national law firm of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP and an associate with the law firms of Smith, Lyons LLP and Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. Ms. Wong holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Toronto and has been in practice since 1993. Ms. Wong also serves as a director on the boards of The Barbara Schlifer Commemorative Clinic and the Women General Counsel Canada Network and is a co-founder of the National GC Network.

Please join us at the virtual WLAO Annual Awards Gala on June 10, 2021 to celebrate Joanna Birenbaum, Hilda Wong, and our student award winners.

Congratulations to our Student Award Winners and thank you to the individuals and firms who have supported these awards:
The Honourable Sandra Chapnik Women-in-Law Award
Amanda Welton-Hagen
Windsor University
Faculty of Law
The Aird & Berlis LLP
Equality Award
Ningjing (Natalie) Zhang
Queen’s University
Faculty of Law
The Torkin Manes LLP
Trailblazer Award
Madeleine Gottesman
University of Toronto
Faculty of Law

Click here

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Practice Direction Concerning Public and Media Remote Observation of Oral Hearings During the COVID-19 Pandemic

January 25th, 2021, the Court of Appeal for Ontario posted a new COVID-related practice direction.

This practice direction is titled “Practice Direction Concerning Public and Media Remote Observation of Oral Hearings During the COVID-19 Pandemic”. The English version of the practice direction can be found here https://www.ontariocourts.ca/coa/en/notices/covid-19/practice-direction-observer-access.pdf ; the French version can be found here  https://www.ontariocourts.ca/coa/fr/notices/covid-19/practice-direction-observer-access.pdf .

The practice direction explains that, unless there is a legal provision or a court order that requires a hearing to be held in camera, members of the public and the media may observe hearings remotely by connecting to the hearing by Zoom or by telephone. The practice direction also explains that those who wish to observe a hearing, so long as it is not in camera, may obtain the Zoom connection information from the parties or their counsel or from the Office of the Registrar.

Finally, the practice direction explains that the Court of Appeal has revised and renamed its counsel slip. It is now called “Counsel Slip and Hearing Information Form”. The English version of the Counsel Slip and Hearing Information Form can be found here https://www.ontariocourts.ca/coa/en/notices/covid-19/ochome.htm ; the French version can be found here . https://www.ontariocourts.ca/coa/fr/notices/covid-19/ochome.htm.  This new form asks questions about privacy and publication concerns. It will be required in single judge motions filed on or after Feb. 1, 2021. It will be required in panel motions and appeals heard on or after Feb. 8, 2021.

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WLAO Members Appointed to Order of Ontario

TORONTO — Today, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and Chancellor of the Order of Ontario, announced 47 new appointments to the Order of Ontario, the province's highest honour, for 2019 and 2020. The Order of Ontario honours individuals whose exceptional achievements have left a lasting legacy in the province, in Canada, and beyond. Members of the Order of Ontario come from all walks of life, represent diverse fields of endeavour, and have played an important role in shaping the province.  

The WLAO 2020 and 2019 Member Appointees to the Order of Ontario are:

  • Hon. Karen Weiler (2020)
  • Linda Silver Dranoff (2019)

"As Chancellor of the Order of Ontario, it is with great pride that I congratulate the 2019 and 2020 Order of Ontario appointees," said Her Honour, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. "The announcement on January 1 is special. New Year's Day is a day for reflection, rejuvenation, and re-setting of goals and priorities. We have seen the best of Ontarians this year, and many of these new appointees are being honoured for a lifetime of service to this province, laying the groundwork of resilience and community that each one of us was called to act upon in this historic global pandemic. Let these appointees inspire you and encourage you to honour those around you by nominating them to be recognized by the province. We have much to be proud of."

"The Ontario government is proud to recognize and congratulate the 2019 and 2020 Order of Ontario appointees," said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. "These exceptional individuals inspire us and represent the very best of our great province. I ask all Ontarians to join me in honouring them and celebrating their accomplishments."

The Lieutenant Governor will bestow the honour upon the newest appointees during an investiture ceremony at Queen's Park, at a point in time in the future, when the Chief Medical Officer of Health deems gatherings possible once again in the province.   

Jennifer Gold

Legal Aid Ontario welcomes Jennifer Gold to Board of Directors

Published: December 2020

On behalf of Legal Aid Ontario, I’m pleased to welcome Jennifer Gold to the Board of LAO. Jennifer brings a wealth of experience, particularly in her practice of Family Law and Mediation with Wood Gold LLP, and as President of the Women’s Law Association of Ontario. We are all looking forward to having Jennifer work with the Board as we work to promote access to justice for low‑income Ontarians.

– Charles Harnick, Chair, Legal Aid Ontario

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WLAO Virtual Holiday Gift Guide Event

Do you need inspiration for your holiday gift list this year? Are you looking for unique, one of a kind, locally sourced holiday gifts? Shop the Gift Guide!
Thanks to all of our Vendors and participants in the 1st WLAO Virtual Gift Guide Event. We had a fantastic turnout and we encourage everyone to take advantage of the amazing deals being offered by our Vendors. Most deals end on December 9th (though several go well past this date) so be sure to utilize the Vendor Gift Guide you were sent upon registration.
Not able to attend? Are you looking for unique, one of a kind, locally sourced holiday gifts? Not to worry – contact wlao@cogeco.ca. If you register a donation below, we will automatically send you the Gift Guide as well!


WLAO is helping you give the gift that keeps on giving this season – support to our local Vendors, and support to local families through Red Door Family Shelter.

The WLAO Holiday Gift Guide will help you find the perfect locally sourced holiday gifts; fantastic offers, first-look items, and opportunities to participate in the 2020 Trends!
Come shop with us and help your favourite retailers flourish through the holidays! We have a rich and diverse array of online “Holiday Gift Guide” offerings featuring local Ontario women and diversity based businesses. Check out our vendors below:

Our Charity

In support of keeping families in a warm, safe place this winter, we have set-up a “Pay-as-you-can” registration system with a portion of proceeds going to The Red Door Family Shelters, so be generous if you can! Red Door has a selection of merchandise (some branded) and fantastic services available for purchase to donate to a needy family in their Gifts to Empower collection.

Our Speakers

Thanks to Alison Boudreau who filled in for Marie Fraser to speak about “Shop Local”.   Shop Local Ontario was founded in April 2020 as a response to the economic hardship experienced by small Ontario Businesses resulting from COVID-19. Shop Local started as an online farmer’s market, but has grown to a place where small businesses can thrive, and customers can easily support local production.
Our “Sustainability” expert, Danielle Reid, MSc, imparted some very interesting information about the state of the sustainability strategy started by Longo’s which is based on three key elements: environmental stewardship, responsible sourcing and healthy, happy people. A synopsis of Danielle’s talk will be available shortly.
Thanks again to participants and vendors for making our venture such a great success!

Donate today!

09
Feb
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Effective Career Transitions - February 9, 2023

WLAO Virtual Holiday Gift Guide Event
Meetings / Mentoring

Mail

Women’s Law Association of Ontario
1 Toronto Street, Suite 900
Toronto, ON M5C 2V6

Phone

416-410-7267

toll free: 1-888-723-8883

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