Law Times

September 12, 2016

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BY ALEX ROBINSON Law Times A s the Law Practice Program en- ters the third and final year of its pilot, the Law Society of Up- per Canada is set to embark on a review of the articling alternative. The law society's Professional Devel- opment and Competence Committee is set to introduce a report to Convocation at its meeting in late September, kicking off a review that will determine the fate of the LPP. Opponents of the LPP say the review needs to be comprehensive and should in- clude both objective and subjective mea- sures. "Because of the concern about creat- ing further problems by adding the LPP program, I think it's absolutely impor- tant that we see a few different things that come out of this evaluation," says Toronto lawyer Renatta Austin. Austin says it is critical for the review to include extensive statistics on the can- didates who have participated in the LPP, including demographic information, the law school they attended, whether they were hired afterwards, as well as whether they chose to be in the LPP as a first choice or because they could not get an articling position. "We're going to need metrics across the board, but that is number one to address the issue of creating a two-tiered system," she says. When first approved by Convocation in 2012, the program faced some oppo- sition from within the legal community, but it passed by a vote of 35-21. The LPP was first proposed as a way to help tackle a shortage in articling placements and consists of a four-month course and a four-month placement. Opponents voiced concerns it could create a two-tiered system, in which some employers would perceive LPP candi- dates as a lower tier. Other concerns in- cluded higher costs for candidates in the LPP. A number of benchers who were op- posed to the LPP called for the scrapping of articling altogether and the adoption of a different system. Austin, who is not a bencher but ran in last year's bencher election, said she would like to see an integrated legal program implemented, similar to that at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University. The law society's new treasurer, Paul Schabas, has been a vocal opponent of the LPP in the past and voted against approv- ing the program in 2012. In an interview after his recent elec- tion, Schabas told Law Times that under his direction the law society would be taking "a hard look" at how well the pro- gram is working. Genetic discrimination bill to begin debate BY DALE SMITH For Law Times O TTAWA — A Senate bill that proposes to use the federal government's criminal law powers to stop genetic discrimination starts debate in the House of Commons next week, after years of resistance from the insurance industry. Can- ada remains the only comparable Western country without laws to prohibit discrimination on the ba- sis of genetic characteristics. "As the number of genetic tests explodes, and more and more information about people is out there, people are beginning to re- alize that there are very legitimate privacy concerns," says Liberal Senator James Cowan, the bill's author, and a partner with Stewart McKelvey LLP. Bill S-201, short-titled the Ge- netic Non-Discrimination Act, is the third attempt by Cowan to pass a bill on protecting genetic privacy, but it's only the first one to have passed the Senate. The second at- tempt was gutted by Senate Con- servatives in 2015 in advance of the election call, but with the change in government, a redrafted bill passed the upper chamber in April of this year. The bill amends the Criminal Code with regard to genetic testing and the ability to refuse to undergo a test or to disclose the results un- der penalty of a fine not exceed- ing $1 million, imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both. The bill also adds genetic characteristics to the Canada La- bour Code and the Canadian Hu- man Rights Act. "If you file a complaint under the Human Rights Code, then you're al- most on trial and you've got to carry the burden of the investigation," says Cowan. "When you're talking about a bad practice like discrimination, then there's a role for the state to move in and use its machinery and its systems to carry the ball." Cowan calls the federal crimi- nal law powers a better way to deal with it, and offers a consistent re- HSC LITIGATION Humane Society behaved reprehensibly: judge P4 ASSAULT SURVIVORS Government stealing from victims, says lawyer P5 FOCUS ON Human Rights Law P8 See Bill, page 2 See Nothing, page 2 PM #40762529 $5.00 • Vol. 27, No.28 September 12, 2016 L AW TIMES C O V E R I N G O N T A R I O ' S L E G A L S C E N E • W W W . L A W T I M E S N E W S . C O M Renatta Austin says it's important for a review of the LPP to include extensive statistics on the candidates who have participated. Photo: Robin Kuniski LSUC to put LPP under magnifying glass & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM Chantal Bernier says she supports the concrete application of privacy law to genetic information. When you're working, we're working. End-To-End Legal Marketing Solutions. Visit LawyerMarketingCanada.com Untitled-1 1 2016-09-06 9:29 AM TORONTO | BARRIE | HAMILTON | KITCHENER 1-866-685-3311 | mcleishorlando.com cLeish Orlando_LT_Jan_20_14.indd 1 14-01-15 3:15 PM

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