Law Times

December 11, 2017

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Page 20 December 11, 2017 • Law Times 2017 SOAR MEDAL WINNERS Lawyers Lilian Ma and Avvy Go have won the 2017 SOAR Medal. The annual award from the Society of Ontario Adjudica- tors and Regulators recognizes outstanding contributions to the province's administrative justice community. Go, a bencher at the Law So- ciety of Upper Canada, is the clinic director of the Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic and has worked in the adminis- trative justice sector in a number of different capacities, from liti- gant to adjudicator. In 2014, she received the Order of Ontario. Go says she was taken by surprised when she was told she had won the SOAR medal. "I will try to live up to the honour by continuing my work to remove barriers in accessing the administrative tribunal for all marginalized communities including racialized and immigrant communities," Go said in an email. Ma is the executive director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and has had an impressive career in admin- istrative justice, having served as chairwoman of the Landlord and Tenant Board. "In her role as chair and member of several CCAT committees, Dr. Ma brought attention to key areas where the administrative justice system was failing applicants and then led the development of tools to build excellence in these areas," said Marilyn McNamara, the vice president of the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals. GOVERNMENT RELEASES STATS Of the 74 new judges appointed across Canada over the last year, just three were indigenous. The information was part of new demographic data the federal government released on judi- cial applicants and appointees. The government pledged in Oct. 2016 that it would collect and publish such statistics. In the following year, it received 997 applications total and assessed 441 of those candidates. Just four of the 74 appointed came from the LGBTQ2 community, nine are visible minorities and 15 belong to an "ethnic/cultural group or other." LSUC BENCHERS REJECT EXEMPTION The Law Society of Upper Canada's governing board re- jected a motion that would have given conscientious objectors an exemption to the regulator's state- ment of principles requirement. Bencher Joe Groia put for- ward the motion, which was defeated by a vote of 38-16. The benchers who voted in favour of the motion were Robert Arm- strong, Peter Beach, Chris- topher Bredt, Seymour Ep- stein, Joe Groia, Carol Hart- man, David Howell, Vern Krishna, Jeffrey Lem, Mi- chael Lerner, Marian Lippa, Virginia MacLean, Harvey Strosberg, Sidney Troister, Jerry Udell and Anne Vespry. YES, I AGREE 79 % 21 % NO, I DO NOT AGREE LAW TIMES POLL Some lawyers say the pending centralization of Toronto's sat- ellite provincial courts to a new courthouse downtown will make accessing the justice sys- tem more difficult. Readers were asked if they agree. Roughly 79 per cent of re- spondents said yes, amalgam- ating all the locations into one downtown courthouse will not help lawyers or their clients. The remaining 21 per cent said no, centralizing all court- houses will improve efficiency for everyone. LT u Bizarre Briefs By Viola James u The InsIde story Avvy Go is a winner of the 2017 SOAR medal, from the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators. BOY CALLS SANTA'S BLUFF NEW YORK — A six-year-old Virginia boy has shaken up social media with an all-too-skeptical letter to Santa Claus in which he says he knows that jolly Saint Nick's life is empty and that San- ta had no idea whether he had been naughty or nice, reports Reuters. "Im only doing this for the class," the letter says. "I know your notty list is emty. And your good list is emty. And your life is emty. You dont know the troubles Ive had in my life. Good bye." The boy signs off with "love" but refuses to identify himself, writing, "Im not telling you my name." His mother Sarah McCammon, a reporter on National Public Radio's national desk, said she has always told her children that Santa is a "fun story" and that Christmas presents come from real people. "We've encouraged them to keep the truth about Santa to themselves at school," she said via email. But then her younger son was asked to write a letter to Santa at school. "So he did," she wrote on a Twitter post ac- companying a photo of the hand-written letter. Some people responding on Twitter were impressed with the boy's wisdom, while oth- ers expressed concern. McCammon was obvi- ously proud of her first-grader, calling the letter "amazing." IRELAND FIGHTING FAKE NEWS BELFAST — While the U.S. investigates Rus- sia's alleged role in propagating so-called "fake news" during the 2016 presidential election, Ireland's Fianna Fáil party hopes to proactively avoid mass confusion by making the active promotion of fake news and the use of internet bots to inf luence political debate illegal, reports The legislation was proposed by representa- tive James Lawless of Fianna Fáil. The bill is currently before the Irish parlia- ment, which is called the Houses of the Oireach- tas and has two houses, the Dáil Éireann and the Seanad Éireann. "Evidence suggests that an army of fake so- cial media accounts is being amassed to dis- rupt the democratic process in the future, with journalists and prominent public figures high- lighting an upsurge in the number of dubious accounts following them on social media plat- forms," Lawless said to Those seeking space for political advertising will also be required to display a "transparency notice" announcing the aim of the ad and the target audience, said If Lawless' legislation becomes the law, a per- son using a robot, which controls 25 or more social media accounts and which is aimed at affecting the political activity of multiple social media users, could be on the hook for a fine, or between six months and five years in prison. YETI EVIDENCE WASHINGTON — For fans of the yeti, Reuters reports newly published genetic research on purported specimens of the legendary ape-like beast said to dwell in the Himalayan region may be too much to bear — literally. Scientists said recently that genetic analysis of nine bone, tooth, skin, hair and fecal samples from museum and private collections attrib- uted to the yeti, also called the Abominable Snowman, found that eight came from Asian black bears, Himalayan brown bears or Tibetan brown bears and one came from a dog. "This strongly suggests that the yeti legend has a root in biological facts and that it has to do with bears that are living in the region today," said biologist Charlotte Lindqvist of the Uni- versity at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences in New York and Nanyang Technological Uni- versity, Singapore, who led the study published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Lindqvist called the study the most rigor- ous analysis to date of purported yeti speci- mens. LT The invention of r-discovery * (* rock discovery) THE ULTIMATE SOURCE For Today's Legal Profession | 416.609.3800 | 1.800.387.5164 Online Free preview Subscribe today! ONE-YEAR SUBSCRIPTION INCLUDES: • 10 issues print and digital editions • FREE exclusive access to Canadian Lawyer digital edition archives • FREE weekly e-newsletter: Canadian Legal Newswire CHANGEMAKERS HUMAN RIGHTS, ADVOCACY AND CRIMINAL IN-HOUSE COUNSEL GOVERNMENT/NON-PROFITS/ASSOCIATIONS CORPORATE-COMMERCIAL PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT # 40766500 SPECIAL SECTION: CANADIAN LAWYER 4STUDENTS P.49 $ 1 0 A u g u s t 2 0 1 7 making an impact meet the canadian lawyers and who are judges Untitled-3 1 2017-12-01 2:11 PM

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