A History of Women Judges in Ontario

The Honourable Pamela Thomson is a retired judge and a member of WLAO since about 1963.

Justice Thomson has written a book briefly surveilling women judges from Ontario who have been appointed to the Bench.

A new edition been published on the Osgoode Legal History Society website and  during a seminar on the book she realized women lawyers might find some encouragement from reading about their ancestors.

The book on women judges in Ontario was originally published in 2019 and has been updated. Here is the updated version from September 2021.

A brief history of Ontario women on the bench from the first woman appointed in 1922 to 1990 with appendices to the present day.

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Position Available – Strategic Policy Counsel, Policy – Law Society of Ontario

OVERVIEW

JOB PURPOSE:

Strategic Policy Counsel provides advice and support for the policy-making function of the Law Society where it tackles issues that require creative, proactive and strategic approaches.  Strategic Policy Counsel takes on some of the toughest policy challenges confronting the Law Society and is required to think big and differently.  Strategic Policy Counsel has in-depth understanding (local, national and international) of developments, emerging issues and trends in the regulation of legal and other professions; of developments and trends in the delivery of legal services by lawyers and paralegals, of practice, ethical and business issues related to the delivery of legal services by lawyers and paralegals, of the challenges in the administration of justice and in promoting access to justice and of equity, diversity and inclusion challenges in the legal professions. Relying on this knowledge, Strategic Policy Counsel thinks creatively to craft options for approaches to policy challenges that strategically align with the Law Society’s priorities, are comprehensive, are practical, are creative, innovative and progressive and ensure that the Law Society, not only keeps pace with developments, but also leads, in regulation.  Strategic Policy Counsel works with working groups and task forces that are established to deal with a discrete issue within a fixed period of time.  Strategic Policy Counsel also works with standing committees of Convocation when they are dealing with more complex issues.

 

 

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

 

  • An LL.B. / J.D. and a lawyer licensee in good standing with the Law Society*.
  • Strategic Policy Counsel is expected to work collaboratively as well as independently, conducting research of considerable importance to the Law Society and providing creative and proactive guidance and advice on policy to benchers and staff, requiring a minimum of 10 years’ experience working for a professional governing body, government, legal organization or in legal practice or similar professional setting.  A minimum of 5 years (of the 10 years’ experience) must be in a position wherein the incumbent provided strategic policy advice.  Equivalent experience may be considered.
  • The incumbent may be required to travel in Ontario and throughout Canada (and, on occasion, internationally), primarily related to consultations, but also to present at meetings and conferences.
  • Solid understanding of the Law Society Act and its regulations and by-laws, Law Society policies, and the Law Society’s mandate and its policy-making processes, or willingness to learn.
  • Proven ability, on a superior level, to quickly and thoroughly research and analyze complex legal and policy issues.
  • Strong statutory interpretation skills.
  • Proven ability, on a superior level, to work in a wide range of legal areas and fields of policy.
  • Substantial knowledge of public policy, public administration and regulatory policy processes and procedural issues.
  • Comprehensive knowledge and use of research tools including data analysis.
  • Familiarity with consultation and analysis techniques.
  • Proven ability, on a superior level, to prepare concise, well-written reports.
  • Proven ability, on a superior level, to communicate both orally and in writing complex information in audience appropriate language and format.
  • Expressive and persuasive in both spoken and written language facilitating effective decision-making.
  • Computer literacy, including familiarity with word processing and applications, and social media.
  • Sound judgment, tact and sensitivity to functioning as non-partisan staff in a “government” setting.
  • Proven ability to work under pressure.
  • Proven ability to assess challenges from multiple and different perspectives, to think big and differently and to craft creative solutions.

*By submitting your application for employment, you agree to a clearance check of your regulatory history with the Law Society, and to the use of this information in assessing suitability for employment at the Law Society.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES

Client / Customer Service Delivery

 

  • Provides support to benchers and staff by assessing problems, situations and challenges, identifying core and consequential issues, analyzing research and other input and, drawing on their assessments, analyses and knowledge, advising on possible solutions, their impacts and risks.
  • Prepares a variety of reports, documents and papers in aid of providing support to benchers and staff as outlined above.
  • Assists in developing and analyzing consultations with stakeholders, legal professionals and the public.
  • Attends at meetings and functions, including external consultations on policy options.
  • Makes presentations to committees, working groups and task forces, including providing “in camera” information and analyses.
  • Conducts a variety of comprehensive legal, policy and other research, consults with internal and operational staff on challenges and opportunities, synthesizes and analyzes data/information gathered from the research and consultations, prepares a variety of reports, documents and papers as a result of the research and consultations and delivers oral briefings on the research and consultations.
  • Acts as secretary to committees, working groups and task forces, drafts and circulates reports for the committees, working groups and task forces, prepares agenda, minutes, and summaries of meetings, and manages time lines to meet reporting requirements.

Research

 

  • Has strategic and in-depth understanding (local, national and international) of developments, emerging issues and trends in the regulation of the legal and other professions, of developments and trends in the delivery of legal services by lawyers and paralegals, of practice, ethical and business issues related to the delivery of legal services by lawyers and paralegals, of the challenges in the administration of justice and in promoting access to justice and of equity, diversity and inclusion issues in the legal professions.
  • Conducts a variety of comprehensive legal policy and other research; consults with internal and operational staff on challenges and opportunities; analyzes research and other information; undertakes risk analysis and evaluation of policy options and mitigation strategies; assists in the preparation of financial and resource impact analyses; assists in developing and analyzing consultation with stakeholders, legal professionals and the public.
  • Strategic Policy Counsel is required to conduct research in areas where there may be few, if any, precedents, requiring ingenuity and innovation.

Special Projects and Initiatives

  • Drafts submissions, correspondence, presentations, articles, etc., on behalf of benchers and staff.
  • Attends, addresses and participates in meetings, conferences, symposia, etc.
  • May lead and/or support consultation and stakeholder initiatives related to policy development.
  • May undertake a variety of other projects as assigned or required.

Relationship and Alliance Building

 

  • Acts as a public face of the Law Society to outside parties, locally, nationally and internationally, including other law societies, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, other legal organizations and law schools, and Canadian provincial and federal governments.
  • Prepares and presents submissions on behalf of the Law Society, and other stakeholders as assigned, in order to influence and inform policy, regulations and legislation affecting the legal professions.
  • Develops and maintains a network of key stakeholders and decision makers, communicating the position of the Law Society, and building good will and credible influence among interested parties.

Team Development

 

  • Works closely with other staff within the Law Society at all levels, to ensure a strategic, comprehensive and consistent approach to policy development within the Law Society.
  • Facilitates the development of a broader team‑based approach throughout the Law Society by ensuring comprehensive and timely dissemination of information, as appropriate, and coordination and collaboration of efforts by staff.

ACCOMMODATION

The Law Society of Ontario values and respects diversity.  We are committed to creating an accessible, barrier-free and inclusive workplace in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Please make any requirement you may have for accommodation during the recruitment process known when contacted.  If you are unable to apply to this position due to the requirement for an accommodation of any kind, please email us at recruitment@lso.ca or call 416 947-3475.

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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.

The Pandemic and Reshaping Firms – Opinion

Our world turned upside down in 2020!

As the COVID-19 pandemic grasped the world, it shone a spotlight on gender inequality and systemic racism. As the world navigated tremendous societal upheaval and tragedy, I questioned my personal beliefs, biases and privileges as many others did. I wanted to understand the intersectionality of lived experiences that disproportionally impacted women, Black and Indigenous people and people of colour and use the upheaval and reflection to advance women in the legal profession.

The profession recognizes that women in leadership roles are integral to business success, financial performance, and corporate culture. Having different leadership styles and perspectives will better address client needs and reflect society as a whole.

In February 2013, Ontario’s Law Society of Upper Canada developed the Justicia Guide to Women’s Leadership in Law Firms. The Justicia Guide identified challenges facing women in leadership, including leadership fatigue, work-life balance, systemic biases and attitudes, compensation, tokenism, law firm culture and politics, and lack of access to mentors and sponsors. This list is dishearteningly similar to what women still face in law in 2021, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Justicia Guide also identified strategies to overcome the challenges both for women and law firms, including developing leadership skills and goals through coaching and training, finding role models and sponsors, creating inclusive leadership structures, and promoting women to leadership in law firms and the profession.

Based on the LSUC database as of Aug. 3, 2012, the Justicia Guide reported that only 7 per cent of partners in private practice were women. The 2020 Law Society of Ontario Annual Report, released on May 6th, 2020, reports that women represent 11.16 per cent of lawyers in private practice (sole owner and partners) and 26.47 per cent of partners in private practice.

While women leaders made inroads into law leadership since 2012, these advances have occurred at a glacial pace. But perhaps there is hope and opportunity to accelerate the advancement of women into law firm leadership.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for practising law, accessing justice, engaging with clients, and managing additional duties of home life (childcare/eldercare/education). However, as we move through the COVID-19 pandemic, we see a renewed focus on wellness and work-life balance, lawyer engagement, and commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion as critical elements of law firm culture.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also taught a profession entrenched in tradition that modernization and effective change is possible. The COVID-19 pandemic broke the “facetime” model for law practice within days, and at most, weeks. It is now clear that lawyers can work from home productively and profitably; we are and have been for 15 months. With these benefits, though, comes increased stress and juggling home and professional responsibilities.

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin encouraged the attendees at the Canadian Lawyer 2021 Women in Law Summit in February 2021 to think about equality for all in our discussions. She said, “we are at a time when many of the ideas and institutions that we took for granted are unravelling. Something will have to take its place. The wounds will have to be knit up. A new society, a different society will emerge.”

The opportunity the COVID-19 pandemic offers to reshape law firm leadership cannot be allowed to slip through our fingers. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the responsibilities of families, caring for one another and building strong communities. Continued flexible and WFH options, implementation of equity, diversity and inclusion policies, focus on authentic leadership, and opportunities for promotion and advancement increases the bottom line, meets client demands, and allows women to lead in law.

Acknowledgement and acceptance by law firm leadership that there are many effective, productive and profitable ways to lead and that the solution is not for women to adopt the male leadership qualities is vital to increasing equality and women in law leadership.

Change can (and must) happen and at a pace never before experienced! Women and men in leadership positions are ideally situated to advocate for the benefits of inclusive leadership and embrace women in law leadership in our post-pandemic society.

Jacquelyn Stevens is the WLAO Past President.

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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

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Prime Minister launches process to select the next justice of the Supreme Court of Canada

February 19, 2021
Ottawa, Ontario

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today launched the process to select the next justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, who will fill the vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella.

The Prime Minister also announced the members of the Independent Advisory Board for Supreme Court of Canada Judicial Appointments. This non-partisan board is responsible for identifying candidates who are jurists of the highest caliber, functionally bilingual, and representative of the diversity of our country. The seven-member advisory board will be chaired by former Prime Minister Kim Campbell. The advisory board will review applications, and submit a shortlist of highly qualified candidates for consideration by the Prime Minister.

Justice Abella was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada from the Ontario Court of Appeal in 2004. In recognition of the convention of regional representation, the process will be open to all qualified applicants from Ontario.

Quote

“To appoint the next justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, we are launching an open and independent process that will identify the most exceptional Canadian lawyers and judges, while recognizing regional representation and the diversity of our country. On behalf of all Canadians, I also thank Justice Abella, the court’s longest-serving member, for her leadership, excellence, and dedication on our highest court over the past 17 years.”The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Quick Facts

  • Qualifying candidates who wish to be considered for the upcoming vacancy must submit an application package no later than 23:59 Pacific time on April 2, 2021.
  • Those interested in applying are encouraged to first review the statutory requirements set out in the Supreme Court Act, and the qualifications and assessment criteria that will guide the advisory board in evaluating a candidate’s suitability.
  • Candidates may demonstrate they satisfy the geographical requirement by reference to their bar membership, judicial appointment, or other relationship with the province of Ontario.
  • In 2016, the Government of Canada announced a new process for Supreme Court of Canada judicial appointments. It included the creation of an independent and non-partisan advisory board to identify qualified and suitable candidates for appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada.
  • The following members have been named to the advisory board:
    • The Right Honourable Kim Campbell (Chairperson): former Prime Minister of Canada and Canadian Consul General, and the Founding Principal of the Peter Lougheed Leadership College at the University of Alberta.
    • Erika ChamberlainDean of Law, University of Western Ontario.
    • The Honourable Louise Charron: retired justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.
    • Signa A. Daum ShanksProfessor, Osgoode Hall Law School.
    • David Henry:Chief Executive Officer, Association des services de réhabilitation sociale du Québec.
    • Jill Perry:Managing lawyer, Nova Scotia Legal Aid.
    • Beverley Noel Salmon: former municipal councillor, and Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission.
  • Justice Abella will retire from the Supreme Court of Canada effective July 1, 2021.

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Law Society Appointments to External Boards – Justices of the Peace Review Council

La version française suit le texte anglais. 

Law Society appointments to external boards – Justices of the Peace Review Council

As part of its mandate, the Law Society recommends potential appointees to a variety of external boards, councils and committees.

The Law Society recognizes the importance of diversity in our appointments process and will take into account membership in equality-seeking communities and knowledge of equality, diversity and inclusion issues.

We are currently seeking applications from qualified candidates for the Justices of the Peace Review Council.  The Review Council investigates complaints made by the public about the conduct of justices of the peace; approves the continuing education plan for justices of the peace; and approves criteria for continuation in office and standards of conduct. The Council considers applications by justices of the peace to engage in extra-remunerative work and may also make an order to accommodate the needs of a justice of the peace who, because of a disability, is unable to perform the duties of judicial office. As well, a lawyer member may be asked to sit on public hearings of complaints.

The Council generally meets 3-4 times per year in Toronto or virtually. In addition, throughout the year, complaints are assigned for review and investigation to a complaints committee consisting of a judge, a justice of the peace and a lawyer or community member of the Review Council. Once the investigation is complete, the committee determines the appropriate disposition of the complaint. 

The Justices of the Peace Review Council plays a very important role in the administration of justice.  

Information on the call for applications is available on the Law Society website at the following link:  https://lso.ca/about-lso/careers/working-with-the-law-society/recommendations-for-external-appointments-application

The deadline for Applications is March 8, 2021.

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Objet : Recommandations du Barreau à des nominations externes – Conseil d’évaluation des juges de paix

Dans le cadre de son mandat, le Barreau recommande des candidats à divers conseils, commissions et comités.

Le Barreau reconnait l’importance de la diversité dans son processus de nomination et tiendra compte de l’appartenance à des communautés cherchant l’égalité et de la connaissance des questions liées à l’égalité, la diversité et l’inclusion.

Nous sommes présentement à la recherche de candidats qualifiés pour une nomination au Conseil d’évaluation des juges de paix. Le Conseil d’évaluation enquête sur les plaintes déposées par le public sur la conduite des juges de paix ; approuve des plans de formation continue ; approuve des critères pour le maintien en fonction et des normes de conduite. Le Conseil examine les demandes de juges de paix qui souhaitent entreprendre un autre travail rémunéré, et peut également rendre une ordonnance pour accommoder les juges de paix qui, en raison d’une incapacité, ne peuvent pas exercer les fonctions de leur charge judiciaire. En outre, un avocat membre peut être invité à participer aux audiences publiques sur les plaintes.

Le Conseil se réunit généralement 3 à 4 fois par année à Toronto ou virtuellement. De plus, pendant l’année, les plaintes sont renvoyées pour examen et enquête à un comité des plaintes composé d’un juge, d’un juge de paix et d’un avocat ou d’un membre du Conseil. Une fois l’enquête terminée, le comité détermine le traitement approprié de la plainte. 

Le Conseil d’évaluation des juges de paix joue un rôle très important dans l’administration de la justice.  

Vous trouverez des renseignements sur les demandes de nominations sur le site Web du Barreau au lien suivant : https://lso.ca/a-propos-du-barreau/emplois/travailler-au-barreau/recommandations-de-nominations-externes

La date limite pour postuler est le 8 mars 2021.

Career Opportunity: Ombudsman, City of Toronto

Position Title: Ombudsman, City of Toronto

Reports to: City Council

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Listening. Investigating. Improving City Services.

THE ORGANIZATION

The Office of the Ombudsman officially opened in April 2009, and Toronto is the only Ontario municipality with a legislated Ombudsman. In the City of Toronto Act, 2006, the provincial government created the role of Ombudsman as part of an independent Accountability Framework for the City. This Framework, designed to ensure the City remains open and transparent, comprises four Accountability Officers which include the Ombudsman, the Auditor General, the Integrity Commission, and the Lobbyist Registrar. Since 2015, the four Accountability Offices have operated under a Memorandum of Understanding which provides for co-operation and collaboration among them in fulfilling their respective mandates, and enhances the fairness, efficiency and effectiveness of the Accountability Framework.

Ombudsman Toronto’s influence comes from making necessary, reasonable and practical recommendations of ways to improve City services in the public interest.

Vision

Our vision is a City of Toronto government that treats all people fairly.

Mission

Ombudsman Toronto is an independent and effective voice for fairness at the City of Toronto.

We:

  • listen to the public’s concerns about City services and administration
  • investigate by asking questions, gathering information and analyzing evidence
  • explore ways to resolve individual cases without taking sides
  • shine a light on problems and recommend system improvements

Values

Independence and Impartiality:We operate at arm’s length from the City. This allows us to be unbiased and objective. We speak up for fairness.

Fairness and Equity:We investigate whether a decision, act or omission by the City was fair. We look at the process, the outcome, and how people are treated. We consider people’s circumstances and needs.

Accessibility:We make it easy for everyone to use our services. If we cannot help with someone’s complaint, we direct them to someone who can.

Respect and Empathy:We listen to the people we serve with an open mind. We understand we don’t have all the answers, so we ask members of the public and City staff lots of questions.

Willingness to HelpWe do our utmost to resolve complaints and concerns as quickly and informally as possible. We work constructively with City staff to ensure they serve the public fairly.

ProfessionalismWe are rigorous in our approach. We base our findings on evidence. We identify practical solutions and recommendations. We maintain confidentiality while clearly communicating the results of our work.

THE OPPORTUNITY

Toronto’s Ombudsman is an independent officer, appointed by and reporting to Toronto City Council, who overseeing an office that operates independently and at arm’s length from the City (approximately 15 staff and an operating budget of approximately $2 million). The Ombudsman carries the responsibilities, powers and duties as set out in Part V of the City of Toronto Act, 2006 and works to ensure fairness to all people in City of Toronto services and administration. This position oversees the work of Ombudsman Toronto, a complaints office of last resort and focused on investigating and resolving public complaints, covering a diverse range of issues involving administrative fairness and maladministration in City services across all City divisions and almost all City agencies, corporations and adjudicative bodies. The Ombudsman also identifies and takes action on systemic issues and works constructively with the City administration to improve fairness.

The Ombudsman is the consummate professional and trusted advisor in the public interest, with a vision and passion for creating sustainable change in the City of Toronto.

Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities:

  • Carry out in an independent manner the duties and responsibilities of their office as set out in Part V of the City of Toronto Act, 2006 and Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 3, Accountability Officers.
  • Assess and investigate complaints from the public related to the administration of City services when internal complaint systems have been exhausted.
  • Acts independently and impartially to advance the public’s right to fairness. Works to promote and ensure fair process, fair outcomes, and fair treatment.
  • Maintain accountability to City Council for budgets, office management and exercise of their duties under the “City of Toronto Act”
  • Identifies and investigates administrative decisions, acts and omissions of the City government that are unjust or discriminatory, and systems that serve the public poorly.
  • Sets the overall strategic direction for Ombudsman Toronto by independently establishing goals, objectives and priorities.
  • Provides leadership, guidance, and support to staff at Ombudsman Toronto, ensuring that the organizational principles of the office are respected and followed, including equity, impartiality, integrity, professionalism, timeliness, thoroughness and accuracy and meaningful responses to complaints.
  • Provides oversight and support to the Deputy Ombudsman on all operations of the Ombudsman Toronto office including investigations and resolutions, budget and financial responsibilities, human resources, legal issues, policy, research and data, stakeholder engagement, and office operations.
  • Provides ongoing leadership by using effective management techniques, implementing change management processes and developing staff to be able to respond to a challenging and always changing work environment, enhance the overall performance of the office and meet the expectations of Council, the public and the City administration.
  • Establishes systems, programs, processes and a structure within Ombudsman Toronto for management of information and decision-making to maximize effectiveness, efficiency, resource control and reporting and ensure the financial administration and organizational effectiveness of the office.
  • Oversees all aspects of the office’s human resources and staff relations.
  • Conducts short and long term financial planning and case load forecasting for the development of budgets and establishes financial management systems to ensure office budgets are effectively and responsibly managed.
  • Oversees the analysis of trends and research, and identifies patterns in complaints and potential systemic issues.
  • Identifies individual and systemic issues leading to unfairness to people and/or poor service by the City.
  • Makes recommendations and oversees the implementation of solutions to address systemic issues through the creation and/or modification of guidelines, policies and procedures, processes, and system improvements.
  • Issues public reports containing findings and recommendations to Council.
  • Works constructively but at arm’s length with leaders of the City’s Agencies, Boards, Corporations and Divisions to improve their service to the public.
  • Coordinate with other accountability officers on issues that intersect with other accountability mandates and processes.
  • Oversees and coordinates the policy framework and administration of Ombudsman Toronto services.
  • Manages media relations and represents Ombudsman Toronto in the media and other public forums.
  • Oversees and conducts extensive communications, education and outreach to the public, including vulnerable or equity-deserving communities, City Council members and City administration, to ensure that the requirements of administrative fairness and the role of Ombudsman Toronto are well-understood.
  • Promotes continuous improvement.
  • Demonstrates high level of commitment to ensuring compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • Prepares annual Ombudsman Toronto reports presented to City Council.
  • At the Ombudsman’s discretion, presents other public reports to City Council.

THE CANDIDATE

The ideal candidate will possess the following skills, knowledge, experience and attributes:

  • University degree in a field related to one or more of the following: law, social science, political science, psychology or public administration or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience. Advanced knowledge and understanding of administrative fairness, applicable legislation and legal principles that establish and underlie the Ombudsman’s mandate.
  • Extensive experience in administrative law and/or Ombudsman work at a senior management level in the public service, or in a legal/judicial institution. Proven, effective and highly respected leader and visionary in the field of Administrative Law or Ombudsman practice, with a broad knowledge of government structures and functions, Ombudsman work and issues affecting the citizens of Toronto.
  • A track record of garnering credibility and trust with multiple and diverse constituents; leads by example with evidence of excellent reputation and regard.
  • Extensive management experience leading, motivating and coaching a team, supporting the Toronto Public Service values and ensuring a culture that champions equity, diversity and respectful workplaces.
  • Extensive experience in, and an in-depth working knowledge of investigations, fact finding and mediation.
  • Extensive experience communicating and engaging with the diverse range of people, including members of the public from vulnerable or equity-deserving communities, individually and through the media.
  • Extensive experience in reports and/or decision writing, paired with excellent writing skills and the ability to interpret laws and make decisions on complex matters.
  • Excellent judgment, strong analytical skills, political acuity, process management, interpersonal and relationship-building skills, proven negotiation, coaching, persuasion, investigative skills, conflict resolution, highly developed written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to respond to questions from elected officials in a public forum. Ability to speak “truth to power” and address problems at the highest level, while remaining non-judgmental with complete impartiality, integrity and confidentiality.
  • Strong commitment to public service, quality in service delivery and application of administrative fairness.
  • Ability to navigate complex environments.
  • Media training is an asset.

The City of Toronto is committed to employment equity and encourages applications from Aboriginal people, people with disabilities, members of visible minority groups and women.

The City of Toronto strives to build an inclusive society and providing an accessible environment in which all individuals have access to the City’s services and programs in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.

Learn more about the City’s commitment to accommodation and employment equityShould you require accommodation in order to participate as a candidate in the hiring process, please communicate your needs to the LHH Knightsbridge executive search team.

CONTACT INFORMATION

If you are interested in being considered for this exciting and challenging senior executive leadership position, please submit your expression of interest (cover letter and current resume) by Friday, February 19, 2021 to Lindsay Millard, Senior Consultant, at lindsay.millard@lhhknightsbridge.com with “Ombudsman Toronto” in the subject line.

Should you have any questions regarding this opportunity, please contact a member of the Project Team:

Janice Kussner, Partner

416-640-4313, 

janice.kussner@lhhknightsbridge.com

Chris Sawyer, Partner

416-640-4312,  chris.sawyer@lhhknightsbridge.com

Lindsay Millard, Senior Consultant

416-928-4573,

 lindsay.millard@lhhknightsbridge.com

Oksana Krupa, Executive Assistant 

416-928-4612,

 oksana.krupa@lhhknightsbridge.com

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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