Voting begins tomorrow, March 12, for the five paralegal members of the Paralegal Standing Committee (PSC).
These people will represent the profession at the PSC, will sit on Committees, Working Groups and Panels, taking part in debates and decisions that affect governance of paralegals in Ontario.
You will hear much about why you should vote, for whom you should vote, and why the election is worthy of your time and consideration. There is an alternative point of view: the reasons you should NOT vote tomorrow, or any day until March 31.
Why Not to Vote:
- You won’t have to complain about what is done, or not done, at Convocation over the next four years; you gave up that obligation
- You won’t have to worry about eventual self-governance; it will be apparent that paralegals don’t want to be involved in governance issues
- You have no concerns about which paralegals may be members of a discipline panel, in a position to affect your licensing status
- You know that one paralegal is like every other paralegal, so whoever represents us at Convocation and its Committees is unimportant
- You won’t have to trouble yourself in keeping up with issues that affect scope of practice, education, accreditation, Continuing Professional Development, discipline, competence — all those little things the PSC deals with
- You can use those few minutes not spent voting, to watch the sun set — as it may on the profession, if we demonstrate apathy for our own governance
- You can enjoy the fleeting thrill of having squandered an opportunity to signal to the Law Society, and to the public, that paralegals are here, we are active, and we care about providing competent legal services
This is the second election for the PSC. Last time around, only two of the five members were designated as benchers, with full voting rights, and the right to make amendments to motions at Convocation. An amendment to the Law Society Act last December increased the number of paralegal benchers, from two, to five. The number had not been changed since 1970.
The 13-member PSC includes five lawyer bencher members and three lay bencher members. The committee recommends policies related to the governance and regulation of licensed paralegals.
Convocation is the “board of governors” of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Created by an act of the Legislative Assembly in 1797, the Law Society of Upper Canada governs Ontario’s lawyers and paralegals in the public interest. It by ensures that the people of Ontario are served by lawyers and paralegals who meet high standards of learning, competence and professional conduct.
The Law Society regulates, licenses and disciplines Ontario’s more than 46,000 lawyers and over 5,000 licensed paralegals, pursuant to the Law Society Act and the Law Society’s rules, regulations and guidelines.
As benchers, the five paralegal members will play roles in all LSUC committees, working groups and panels.
The first meeting of the next Paralegal Standing Committee (PSC) will be April 10, 2014, at Osgoode Hall.
The new PSC will continue to consider governance issues that affect paralegals.
Maybe You Should Vote…
So, maybe you should vote. Perhaps it is important to you, to take the time to make a reasoned choice about whom we as paralegals send to Convocation. Perhaps the fact that you don’t even need to leave home to vote, will tip the scales in favour of exercising your right not to let others make decisions on your behalf, without your input. Perhaps we can send the message to the Law Society that paralegals care deeply about our future and about our place — our literal place — at the table.
The official Voters’ Guide is now available at the Law Society of Upper Canada’s website.
All voting takes place online. You will receive log-in details from the Law Society, so you can sign in and do justice to the importance of this election.
Voters can choose as few as one, and as many as five, of the 25 Candidates. Voting ends at 5 pm, March 31.
More Election Information:
Meet the Candidates Who Support SCOPE Magazine
LSUC Election logo:
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