Candidate bio description
I am Senior Legal Counsel with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (“RECO”). I was called to the bar in 2003 and have over 12 years of RECO Legal Counsel experience. RECO is a consumer protection regulatory body that governs all Real Estate professionals in the Province of Ontario. My professional background includes senior level legal experience with a primary focus on regulatory law and litigation, administrative law and board management. Recent volunteer experiences include; Vice President for the Board of Directors with the Oakville Soccer Club (“OSC”) and Chair of an Ontario Soccer Association Discipline Committee presiding over discipline hearings at OSC. As a LSO bencher, I believe that my background will provide the experiences required to deliver a balanced, diverse and qualified voice to the management and governance of LSO, being my own regulatory body. With your support, I welcome the opportunity to do so as a LSO bencher.
What inspired you to run for bencher this year?
As stated, I am inhouse counsel with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (“RECO”). RECO enforces the Real Estate & Business Brokers Act, and protects the public’s interest through the regulation of a fair, safe and informed real estate marketplace. The Law Society of Ontario (“LSO”) and RECO share similar objectives as they both are regulatory bodies with a public interest mandate, an enforcement and discipline arm along with education and licensing requirements. As inhouse RECO counsel, I have obtained transferable regulatory experiences and a enhanced approach towards regulatory and professional services governance and management. I believe my background and experience will provide an added value to the role of bencher at the LSO.
What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the legal profession?
The broad issue of access to justice is the single biggest issue facing the legal profession today. Albeit the broader issue is connected to other issues such as increasing the use of technology, inclusion and diversity and systemic barriers. There are a number of underlying variables and pressures that create adverse effects for the public, lawyers, the courts, and the broader judicial system. Collectively they play a role in restricting access to justice.
What would be your first priority upon election?
Reaching out to lawyers, legal special interest groups, fellow benchers and the public and "listen" to determine a priority of the underlying variables that work towards restricting access to justice in Ontario. As an advocate for the profession, I would let the stakeholders of the profession and the tell me and prioritize the issues.
What do you hope to achieve over the next four years as a member of Convocation?
Solutions that enhance identified concerns facing the profession. Implementation of the 5 principles approved by Convocation. Increased access to justice and the continued identification and action towards the removal of systemic barriers, and socioeconomic barriers that may exist. A progressive and inclusive culture shift that works to identify, support, and prevent mental health related issues within the profession.
What's the most pressing concern for the profession in your region of the province?
Access to justice and the various variables that restrict access.
Do you support the requirement to create and abide by a statement of principles?
I was born and raised in Toronto, and grew up living in a very diverse area in the city, being the “Jane & Finch” community. My upbringing has taught me that “diversity is a strength” and not a weakness. I have lived my life by the belief that “diversity is a strength” and this includes all diversity, being the groups referenced by section 1 of the Human Rights Code and with respect to our profession, diversity of regions, ages and practice areas. I support the requirement to create and abide by a statement of principles and am committed to working towards changing the broader perception towards diversity and inclusion within our profession. The Law Society has obtained evidence of a problem with diversity and inclusion and the requirement to create and abide by a statement of principles is an initial step towards addressing the problem and a step in the right direction. I am open to listening to all sides and working towards solutions that improve current perceptions of diversity and inclusion. Please see my platform commitments at: https://www.iandaleylaw.com/ .