The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Kim Covert

CBA influence

Cannabis laws could have disproportionate effect on immigrants

By Kim Covert January 16, 2018 16 January 2018


The legislation to legalize cannabis in Canada comes hand in hand with proposed amendments to other laws and regulations, including the offences that could lead to inadmissibility under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

The CBA’s Immigration Law Section notes that offences in the Cannabis Act are broader than those in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which it effectively replaces, and that the potential impact on permanent residents and would-be immigrants is much harsher.

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Guatemalan lawyer faces death threats for actions against mining company

By Kim Covert January 15, 2018 15 January 2018


Everyone deserves to be able to do their jobs without death threats and acts of intimidation and violence – including lawyers working to support the rights of an Indigenous people against corporate interests. Indeed, the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers state in part that:

  • Governments shall ensure that lawyers are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference; and
  • Where the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of discharging their functions, they shall be adequately safeguarded by the authorities.

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CBA influence

30 is the new over-the-hill: Time to update language law

By Kim Covert January 9, 2018 9 January 2018


Canada’s Official Languages Act turns 30 next year, and is beginning to show its age.

CBA President Kerry Simmons wrote to the Ministers of Treasury, Canadian Heritage and Justice, the three portfolios that play the biggest role in the implementation of the Act, calling on them to bring the legislation – initially adopted in 1969 and consolidated in 1988 – into the 21st century.

While the reality of official languages in the country is continually changing, the Act is frozen in time, she said.

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CBA influence

CBA submission: Lawyers, not immigration consultants, should represent newcomers

By Kim Covert January 3, 2018 3 January 2018


The CBA’s Immigration Law Section has said it quite a few times over the past several years, and said it again in a December letter to the Immigration Minister: lawyers are best placed to offer professional representation for newcomers to Canada.

The Section’s latest letter is a response to the government’s response to the Citizenship and Immigration Committee Report Starting Again: Improving Government Oversight of Immigration Consultants.

The Section applauds the government’s commitment to addressing the need to protect the public from unprofessional or unethical immigration consultants.

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CBA influence

How tricky is consent? Let us count the ways

By Kim Covert January 2, 2018 2 January 2018


Consent is a weighted word these days, and people in many sectors are trying to decide when it’s necessary, how it must be given and how it can be recognized.

Sometimes the question of whether consent was granted can be explained using the simple metaphor of a cup of tea: does the other person want tea? Yes or no?

When it comes to the gathering and sharing of personal information for business purposes, however, the question of consent becomes a lot more complex.

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