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  • 11 Dec 2020 8:23 AM | Anonymous

    FACL BC Statement on the Government of Canada's Fall Economic Statement 2020

    December 11, 2020

    On November 30, 2020, the Government of Canada released Supporting Canadians and Fighting COVID-19: Fall Economic Statement 2020.1 The Statement is clear about the federal government’s continued commitment to fighting systemic racism. BIPOC communities, especially Black and Indigenous communities, are disproportionately impacted by systemic racism in the justice system. 

    FACL BC recognizes that the federal government’s funding announcements to address issues that Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities face while navigating the justice system is a promising step. However, ongoing action is also required. 

    The Statement highlights funding for a number of justice-related initiatives that will impact racialized communities, listed below:

    • $9.2M for federal courts to assist with COVID-19

    • $40M for criminal legal aid to assist with COVID-19

    • $6.5M for Impact of Race and Culture Assessments (IRCAs) – Legal Aid Program

    • $28.6M for Community Justice Centres

    • $49.2M Support for Gladue Reporting

    • $2.8M for UNDRIP implementation

    • $8.1M Support the Negotiation of Administration of Justice Agreements

    Changes to the justice system through initiatives like Impact of Race and Culture Assessments (IRCAs) and Gladue Reporting2 hope to bring systemic factors such as racism and trauma into the sentencing process, and help reduce the overrepresentation of Black and Indigenous Peoples in the criminal justice and correctional systems.3 Accounting for anti-Black racism through IRCAs is the minimum standard for our justice system, and will make the remedial protections available through the sentencing process accessible to Black Canadians.4 However, it is important that the federal government takes further steps toward social reform, so that Black and Indigenous Peoples are not disproportionately arrested or engaged in the criminal justice system in the first place. 

    The commitment toward supporting Community Justice Centres, which serve to address the root causes of crime and divert individuals toward social supports rather than incarceration, is also a step in the right direction.5 Through the integration of services and supports that are culturally appropriate, Community Justice Centres may help to address systemic issues that disproportionately affect Black and Indigenous communities, and help decrease the overrepresentation of Black and Indigenous Peoples in the criminal justice system.6 Similarly, the implementation of UNDRIP, and the Government of Canada's commitment toward combatting systemic discrimination against Indigenous Peoples and violence against Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S folks is promising, though in order to have a significant and lasting impact it is necessary that the commitments are supported by continued action.7

    FACL BC encourages the Government of Canada to continue to consult with, and listen to, Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities to address systemic racism in the justice system. 

    --

    1 https://budget.gc.ca/fes-eea/2020/report-rapport/FES-EEA-eng.pdf
    2  https://www.nwac.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/What-Is-Gladue.pdf

    3  https://digitalcommons.schulichlaw.dal.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2138&context=dlj at 156.
    4  https://digitalcommons.schulichlaw.dal.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2138&context=dlj at 158.
    5  https://bcfnjc.com/indigenous-justice-centres-in-british-columbia/

    6  https://bcfnjc.com/indigenous-justice-centres-in-british-columbia/

    https://www.afn.ca/policy-sectors/implementing-the-united-nations-declaration-on-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples/


  • 6 Dec 2020 1:29 PM | Anonymous

    FACL BC Statement on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

    December 6, 2020

    Today, FACL BC observes the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.1 On this day 31 years ago, 14 women at l’Ecole Polytechnique were singled out and murdered by a man targeting feminists.

    Every year on December 6, we commemorate this day for the lives of 14 women that were mercilessly taken. It is a time to remember that all violence against women must be eradicated. On average, one woman or girl is killed in Canada every three days, and a total of 118 women and girls were killed in 2019.2 Every six days, a woman is killed by her intimate partner.3 Half of all women in Canada have experienced physical or sexual abuse since the age of 16.4

    The crisis of gender-based violence impacts women, gender-diverse people, Two Spirit people, and transgender people of all genders. It also disproportionately impacts certain groups more than others, including members of Asian communities. Many survivors of violence, especially those who are marginalized based on race and other aspects of their identity, also face barriers to reporting violence and seeking help.5

    Black, Indigenous, and racialized women, transgender and gender-diverse folks, members of the LGBTQ2S community, women with disabilities, young women, those living in poverty, and other marginalized communities are disproportionately impacted by gender-based violence. It is also important to recognize the history of colonial gender-based violence in Canada. The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls found that violence against First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people has amounted to a race-based genocide.6

    FACL BC stands in solidarity with all survivors and communities impacted by gender-based violence.

    This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated gender-based violence in communities here in BC and across Canada, including the Asian community. Violence against Asian women has increased. Data from Project 1907, a grassroots group of Asian women, shows that women continue to be disproportionately impacted by racist incidents during the pandemic. In BC, women reported nearly 70% of anti-Asian racism incidents since the onset of COVID-19.7 There has also been an alarming increase in domestic violence in BC during the pandemic - the Battered Women's Support Services crisis hotline reported a 300% increase in calls.8

    FACL BC urges you to reflect on the misogynistic violence that killed the 14 women at l’Ecole Polytechnique, and the actions you can take to eradicate all forms of gender-based discrimination and violence today, including systemic discrimination and barriers in the legal profession and our society.

    FACL BC calls on governments, organizations, legal communities, and individuals to take action towards ending gender-based violence during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign (from November 25th to December 10th), and beyond this.9

    We have compiled a list of resources below to support survivors of violence and to encourage learning and action against gender-based violence. (Content warning: please note that some of these resources contain descriptions of violence.)

    Information and ways to take action:

    Resources for those experiencing gender-based violence:

    --

    1 https://cfc-swc.gc.ca/commemoration/vaw-vff/remembrance-commemoration-en.html
    2  https://femicideincanada.ca/callitfemicide2019.pdf at p. 7.
    3  https://canadianwomen.org/the-facts/gender-based-violence/
    4  https://canadianwomen.org/the-facts/gender-based-violence/
    5  http://www.westcoastleaf.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/West-Coast-Leaf-dismantling-web-final.pdf at p. 6.

    6  https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Executive_Summary.pdf at p. 1.

    https://www.project1907.org/reportingcentre

    https://www.bwss.org/psa-16days/

    9 https://cfc-swc.gc.ca/commemoration/vaw-vff/16-days-16-jours-en.html


  • 26 Oct 2020 11:00 AM | Anonymous


    FACL BC Student Scholarship 2020

    Sponsored by:


    Amount: $1000

    Deadline: Wednesday November 18, 2020 at 5:00 PM (Pacific Time)

    The FACL BC Student Scholarship recognizes a current law student enrolled in a law school in British Columbia who demonstrates a keen interest in and willingness to contribute to the British Columbian pan-Asian Canadian legal community. $1000 scholarship will be awarded. Consideration will be given to applicants’ leadership and community involvement, and financial need. 

    Requirements:

    • Self-identify as of pan-Asian decent (South Asian, Southeast Asian, East Asian)

    • Demonstrated past, current and/or future involvement in promoting equity, justice and opportunity for pan-Asian Canadian legal professions and/or the wider community in British Columbia

    • Enrolled in a law school in British Columbia

    • FACL BC member (membership is FREE for students - sign-up here)

    • Available to attend the scholarship presentation on November 27, 2020 at 5:00 PM over Zoom (Pacific Time)

    Note: Current and former student directors are not eligible to apply.

    Application form: https://forms.gle/NbQDr3RNR1yMV7WM8 

    Please submit a copy of your resume to info@faclbc.ca

    Selection process:

    • Each application that meets the requirements set out above will be reviewed by current FACL BC executives and committee chairs

    • FACL BC exercises sole and absolute discretion to determine scholarship eligibility and recipient

    • FACL BC’s decisions are final and application materials will not be returned

    • Recipient will be notified of FACL BC’s decision the week of November 23rd, and the scholarship will be presented at FACL BC’s Virtual Conference on November 27, 2020 (Tickets are complimentary)

  • 3 Jun 2020 6:32 PM | Anonymous


    FACL BC’s Resource List to Support Black Communities

    In our FACL BC Statement on Anti-Black Racism and Recent Events in Canada and the US, FACL BC calls on Asian communities in Canada to take action against anti-Black racism.

    The FACL BC Advocacy Committee has compiled this list of organizations and informative resources available to combat anti-Black racism and support Black communities. We recognize that this is not a comprehensive, exhaustive list.


    Organizations and Groups


    Allyship Resources

  • 3 Jun 2020 6:16 PM | Anonymous

    FACL BC Statement on Anti-Black Racism and Recent Events in Canada and the US

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 3, 2020

    FACL BC has always advocated for equity and justice, and, in doing so, stands against racism and discrimination aimed at Asian communities in Canada. As members of the legal profession, it is our duty to advocate for the rights and freedoms of all persons and to oppose oppression. This duty does not stop with the Asian community or at our borders. We believe that it is important to speak out against racism that impacts any community. This activism is a reflection of our values and mission as an organization.

    Black lives matter, at all times and in all places. As historically marginalized communities, we must stand together with Black communities in condemning violence, oppression, and racism. We also recognize the historical ties between Asian and Black communities, the fact that there are members of our communities with both Asian and Black heritage, and the importance of solidarity against white supremacy.

    We urge and demand that fair and proper investigations be conducted into the deaths of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. We recognize that Black communities in Canada have been disproportionately targeted by police violence. “A CBC analysis in 2018 found that 18 [B]lack men and one [B]lack boy were among the 52 people killed in encounters with Toronto police officers between 2000 and 2017. That is more than a third of the total figure. Of those 52 cases, seven Toronto police officers have faced charges after being involved in the death of a civilian. Only one was found guilty” (capitalization added).1 We condemn police violence against Black people in the US and in Canada. We call upon authorities to create long-term strategies to eradicate this violence and to invest in resources for marginalized community members.

    FACL BC also recognizes that anti-Black racism exists in British Columbia, and has displaced Black communities, including those formerly residing in Hogan’s Alley. We applaud the initiative headed by The Hogan’s Alley Society, which seeks to honour the legacy of Black Strathcona residents and is “working with the City of Vancouver to ensure that the redevelopment of the Hogan’s Alley block represents the legacy of the Strathcona’s Black community.”2

    We also condemn the actions of Officer Tou Thao, who stood by while George Floyd was asphyxiated.3 His complicity depicts the dire need and responsibility to be actively anti-racist. We must confront anti-Black racism within our own communities, dismantle the “model minority” myth,4 which harms both Black and Asian communities,5 and hold ourselves and others in our communities accountable. We call on Asian communities in Canada to commit to being actively anti-racist and combat anti-Black racism. This includes learning about the history of anti-Black racism, having conversations about race and anti-Black racism with family and friends, listening to and amplifying Black voices, and demanding justice and accountability.6

    We commit to working towards strengthening interracial solidarity with Black communities, including the Black Canadian legal community.

    FACL BC has compiled a resource list for individuals who wish to support Black communities moving forward. We also invite our members and members of the public to consult various other publicly released statements from other law organizations in light of these events:

    On behalf of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society


    About FACL BC

    The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society is a diverse coalition of Asian Canadian legal professionals working to promote equity, justice, and opportunity for Asian Canadian legal professionals and the wider community.  FACL BC represents the interests of over 300 legal professionals in British Columbia. Its members include lawyers from all areas of practice ranging from large firm lawyers, in-house counsel, solo practitioners, students, professors and lawyers serving at all levels of government. 

    For more information, contact inquiries@faclbc.ca.

    --

    1 https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-june-1-2020-1.5592953/police-brutality-continually-treated-like-a-one-off-in-canada-says-desmond-cole-1.5592954 
    2 https://www.hogansalleysociety.org/about-hogans-alley/
    3 https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/officer-who-stood-george-floyd-died-asian-american-we-need-n1221311
    4 https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/what-is-the-model-minority-myth
    5 https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/04/19/524571669/model-minority-myth-again-used-as-a-racial-wedge-between-asians-and-blacks
    6 https://medium.com/awaken-blog/20-allyship-actions-for-asians-to-show-up-for-the-black-community-right-now-464e5689cf3e

  • 26 May 2020 8:18 PM | Anonymous

    Anti-Asian Prejudice/Racism/Hate Crimes Resource List

    May 2020

    In light of the alarming rise in anti-Asian hate crimes/incidents in British Columbia and across Canada, the FACL BC Advocacy Committee has put together this resource guide for those who have been victimized or impacted by these unfortunate incidents:

    BC Government Anti-Racism FAQs 

    Report a hate crime 

    Hate Crimes - VictimsInfo.ca - An Online Resource for Victims & Witnesses of Crime in BC 

    VictimLinkBC

    VictimLinkBC is a toll-free, confidential, multilingual telephone service available across BC 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It provides information and referral services to all victims of crime.

    Contact: 1-800-563-0808 (toll-free) or VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca

    Crime Victim Assistance Program

    The Crime Victim Assistance Program assists victims, immediate family members, and some witnesses in coping with the effects of violent crime.

    Contact: 1-866-660-3888 (toll-free) or cvap@gov.bc.ca


    BC Hate Crimes

    Contact the BC Hate Crimes Team for non-emergency questions about hate crimes, resources, training or education.

    Contact: 1-855-462-5733 (toll-free) or BC_Hate_Crime_Team@rcmp-grc.gc.ca


    BC Human Rights Tribunal 

    Contact the BC Human Rights Tribunal to file a complaint or if you have questions about whether you can file a complaint.

    Contact: 1-888-440-8844 (toll-free) or BCHumanRightsTribunal@gov.bc.ca


    BC Human Rights Clinic

    The BC Human Rights Clinic provides free legal assistance and representation to individuals who have filed complaints with the BC Human Rights Tribunal. To apply for free legal representation from the Clinic, complete and return this application form: https://bchrc.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/1.-Clinic-Application-for-Legal-Services-Apr-2020.pdf

    Contact: 1-855-685-6222 (toll free) or intakebchrc@clasbc.net


    Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network

    The Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network will offer a multi-faceted, province-wide approach with greater focus and leadership in identifying and challenging racism. The program will connect communities with information, support, and training they need to respond to and prevent future incidents of racism and hate.


    BC Government Virtual Mental Health Supports During COVID-19


    Self-Care Tips For Asian Americans Dealing With Racism Amid Coronavirus

  • 7 May 2020 2:02 PM | Anonymous

    COVID-19 Resources

    Practise Resources for BC Lawyers

    Continuing Professional Development (CPD) by Webinar

    Court Notices

    Supports for Businesses and Individuals

    Housing

    Employment

    • See above under Supports for Businesses and Individuals for: CERB, BC Emergency Benefit for Workers, etc.

    Health

    Mental Health and Wellness

    Support for Hate Crimes

    • Victim Link BC: a toll-free, confidential, multilingual telephone service available across B.C. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-563-0808 or by email: VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca

    Travel

    Provincial Updates

  • 23 Mar 2020 8:03 AM | Anonymous

    COVID-19 Statement from the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society

    March 23, 2020

    To our members and partners:

    The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to spread globally and has impacted our lives greatly.  To date, there are over 300,000 confirmed cases and 14,000 deaths globally, and the situation in British Columbia and the rest of Canada has been worsening.  The World Health Organization, Centre for Disease Control and our public health officials have collectively urged the public to strongly comply with a number of preventive measures to combat COVID-19.  These measures will protect yourself, your family and your community.1,2   These measures include, but are not limited to:

    1. Practice social distancing when you are out in the community, and remain at home as much as possible;
    2. Wash your hands often with soap and water (alternatively, hand sanitizers when you are out in the community) for at least 20 seconds;
    3. Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces;
    4. If you are sick with COVID-19 symptoms, wear a mask, self-isolate for 14 days and seek medical assistance accordingly;
    5. Self-isolate for 14 days upon return to Canada; and
    6. Stay informed and follow the advice given by your healthcare providers and public health officials.

    We hereby ask and urge you to immediately follow and comply with these measures seriously, and encourage those around you to do the same.  As a legal or industry professional, you play an important role in the fabric of our society and communities.  You are a role model to those around you and your leadership will be instrumental to our collective fight against COVID-19.   Our healthcare professionals are working tirelessly and altruistically with shortages in staffing and resources – the least we can do is our part not just as legal and industry professionals, but as a responsible member of the society in general.  This is beyond just you – think about your colleagues, friends, family and the communities at large, especially those who are vulnerable.  

    Together, we can help prevent unnecessary deaths and spread of cases. 


    On behalf of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society

    --

    1  https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-feature/coronavirus-disease-covid-19 

    2  https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public




  • 12 Mar 2020 5:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    All,

    It is with our deepest regrets that we must inform you that we are cancelling our upcoming two events: (1) Mentor/Mentee Mixer on Friday, Mar 13; and (2) Anxiety and Mental Health in the Legal Profession on Wednesday, Mar 18 and will be rescheduling these events once it is appropriate to do so. 

    With the recent announcement of the global illness becoming a pandemic, we strongly advise you to stay informed and to take the necessary precautions as according to health guidelines recommended by public health officials.

    We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. However, we would appreciate your full cooperation to ensure that our community remains healthy and safe. We thank you for your consideration and hope to see you all at a later date.

    Sincerely,

    FACL BC Executive Committee

  • 9 Feb 2020 11:30 AM | Anonymous

    FACL BC STATEMENT AGAINST PREJUDICIAL MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE CORONAVIRUS​ 

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE I FEBRUARY 9, 2020

    VANCOUVER, B.C. - The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society (“FACL BC”) unequivocally condemns The Province newspaper’s February 6th, 2020 headline that described the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) as the "China Virus." The Province newspaper is one of the most widely distributed newspapers in British Columbia, hence the impact of its journalism is far-reaching and significant.

    FACL BC calls on The Province to publicly apologize for using such a xenophobic headline that targets the Asian community. We also call on The Province, as well as other journalists, news organizations and other public sources of information to exercise greater responsibility and cultural sensitivity in reporting on the Novel Coronavirus.

    The use of the term China Virus is a deliberate conflation between the Novel Coronavirus and China or Chinese people. This has no factual or scientific basis and is rooted in prejudice and the racial profiling of people of Chinese origin, who account for roughly 12 percent of the B.C. population. Most significantly, it contributes towards the racialization of diseases such as the Novel Coronavirus, which in turn perpetuates the recent rise in xenophobic hate crimes against the Asian community in Canada.

    These incidents are unfortunately reminiscent of the discrimination faced by Asian-Canadians during the 2003 SARS outbreak. A 2004 report, “Yellow Peril Revisited: The Impact of SARS on Chinese and Southeast Asian Communities”, examined the impact of the SARS outbreak on Asian-Canadians, and found pervasive discrimination, harassment, and marginalization in workplaces and public settings. People avoided restaurants and businesses in the Chinese community and shunned individuals with Asian backgrounds. It is critical that we remember these experiences and ensure that they do not continue.

    In light of the fact that headlines such as the one used by The Province can put entire communities at risk, it is imperative that journalists exercise greater responsibility and sensitivity when reporting on the Novel Coronavirus.

    FACL BC calls on political leaders at all levels of government to be proactive in combatting misperceptions and discrimination during this time. As the situation continues to develop, FACL BC will continue to engage with its members, relevant stakeholders, and decision-makers to ensure that we are all vigilant in addressing prejudice against people of Asian descent.

    We hope that you join us in calling for accountability on the part of The Province. As British Columbians, we should expect and demand better. 

    For those who have experienced discrimination, here are some resources:

    • If you have been a victim of a hate crime, contact your local Police or RCMP detachment or dial 9-1-1.

    • Connect with a community agency to get support. There are various organizations in British Columbia that can provide support for victims of racism, including those in Organizing Against Racism and Hate (OARH) communities across the province.

    • File a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal (http://www.bchrt.bc.ca/index.htm)

    • If you are a person of limited means and wish to get legal advice, contact Access Pro-bono (http://www.accessprobono.ca/contact-apb)


    About FACL BC

    The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society is a diverse coalition of Asian Canadian legal professionals working to promote equity, justice, and opportunity for Asian Canadian legal professionals and the wider community.  FACL BC represents the interests of over 300 legal professionals in British Columbia. Its members include lawyers from all areas of practice ranging from large firm lawyers, in-house counsel, solo practitioners, students, professors and lawyers serving at all levels of government. 

    For more information, contact inquires@faclbc.ca.

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