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Monday, December 12, 2016

LSUC ANNOUNCES HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD HONOUREES
The Law Society of Upper Canada has announced that Cindy Blackstock will receive one of its 2016 human rights awards.

Blackstock, who is the executive director of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada, has been heralded for her work taking on the federal government to advocate for First Nations children.

“I simply cannot sit still and allow the federal government to give less life opportunities to a generation of children simply because they are First Nations children,  and I am not alone,” says Blackstock.

She led a successful human rights complaint against the federal government at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, which found the government guilty of systemic discrimination by underfunding child welfare on reserves. Blackstock, a member of the Gitxsan First Nation of British Columbia, says the Human Rights Award recognizes all of the indigenous and non-indigenous people who have stood up for First Nations children.

The other winner of the 2016 award is Saudi Arabian human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair, who founded the Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia.

 In 2014, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for what human rights groups have said are unfounded terrorism charges.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony in 2017.

TORONTO LAWYER APPOINTED TO CCPPP BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships has named a partner with Dentons Canada LLP to serve on its board of directors.

Michael Ledgett will join a group of representatives from private and public institutions from across Canada on the board. The CCPPP is a non-profit that promotes public private partnerships.

Ledgett is co-chairman of Dentons’ National P3/Infrastructure Group and advises on private-public partnership projects across the world.

LAO STUDENTS VOTE TO JOIN UNION
Legal Aid Ontario articling students have voted to join the Society of Energy Professionals. LAO counted the ballots on Dec. 1, almost seven months after the students voted. They voted in favour by 29-4.

Lawyers representing the students said LAO used stall tactics to delay the vote count, but the agency said the dispute that was holding up the count was a normal part of the bargaining process.

The counting of the vote will mean the same union that represents LAO’s staff lawyers will do the same for its articling students.

LAW TIMES POLL
A recent Law Times column argues that the Anti-terrorism Act creates a chill on free speech by adding unclear sections to the Criminal Code.

Readers were asked if they feel the new laws will hurt counter-terrorism efforts. More than 77 per cent said yes, the Anti-terrorism Act is vague and does not provide lawyers with a clear sense of how courts will apply the new provisions.

The remaining 23 per cent said no, the Anti-terrorism Act is meant to be applied to a variety of terrorism-related offences, and it gives Canadians a stronger legal framework to prosecute such offences.

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