NEWS

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  • 6 Aug 2022 5:46 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)

    President's Message

    August 6, 2022

    Ten years ago, I remember attending my first FACL event as a law student. It was an experience that I’ll never forget because it was the first time I felt like I belonged in this profession.

    Like many of you, I was the first in my family to attend law school. My parents were immigrants who came to Canada with next to nothing in their pockets. They worked hard so that we could have a better future. Despite getting into law school, I couldn’t help but feel like an outsider. Even my dad was worried that the colour of my skin would put me at a disadvantage he was not wrong.

    Attending my first FACL event changed all of this. It was the first time I met lawyers who not only looked like me but were also willing to lend a hand. FACL gave me a sense of belonging, a sense of community, and a sense of family. 

    I believe that this is what sets FACL apart from other organizations. And as a family, we support each other, we advocate for each other, and we lend a helping hand to others in need.

    The rise of anti-Asian hate crimes in the past two years has shown us the importance of organizations like FACL BC that we can lean on for advocacy. We are now at a pivotal moment in history where we have the social license to speak up. We now have a seat at the table. And now is the time to send the elevator down to support the future generation of lawyers. 

    I am grateful for the support of our FACL BC community. I am grateful for our dedicated volunteers and directors. Finally, I am grateful for members like you.

    It is our members who continue to inspire us towards promoting equity, justice and opportunity for Asian Canadian legal professionals and the wider community. In return, I invite you to continue promoting our mission, to take part in any of our active committees, and to connect with me or any of our directors. 

    This year marks our 11th year in BC, and we’ve only just begun.

    Steven Ngo

    President, Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers BC

    Counsel, Rivian 

    Email: president@faclbc.ca

    LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/ngosteven

    Book a one-on-one meeting here: ​https://calendly.com/beyondthea/faclbc 

  • 15 Jul 2022 10:28 AM | FACL BC (Administrator)

    Introducing our 2022-2023 FACL BC Board of Directors

    July 15, 2022

    Please extend a warm welcome to our FACL BC 2022-2023 Board of Directors, who were appointed/elected at our Annual General Meeting yesterday evening. We look forward to reaching new heights with this amazing team in the upcoming term! 

    • President: Steven Ngo
    • VP External: Mark Iyengar
    • VP Internal: Jim Wu
    • VP Marketing: Fiona Wong
    • Treasurer: Kayla Siu
    • Advisory Director: Hasan Alam
    • Directors-at-LargeCharlene Tsai, David How, Holly Wong, Jennine Punzalan, Jenny Huang, Jessica Chung, Sandy Lun, Sebastian Chern
    • Secretary: Lily Zhang
    • Gala Chair: Paige Mueller
    • Area Representative - Kamloops: Hardeep Chahal
    • Student Directors: Catherine Wong (UBC), Janice Jia Fujikawa (UVic), Talia Gukert (TRU) 

    We would also like to thank the following outgoing board members for their dedication and service to FACL BC during their respective terms: Abigail Cheung, Afifa Hashimi, Alex Chang, Brian Cheng, Chanel Pabla, Diana Wang, Karen Chow, Khalil Jessa, Rasmeet Mohar, Russel Chiong, Sarah Reid, and Shane Ching. 

    Please keep an eye out for ways to get involved with our Advocacy, Membership, Mentorship, and/or Gala committees in the 2022-2023 year. We can't wait to see what's in store! 

  • 14 Jul 2022 11:38 AM | FACL BC (Administrator)

    Do you know whose land you are on? A FACL BC Resource List

    What is a land acknowledgment? A land acknowledgment is a statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of their land and their traditional territories. (A guide to Indigenous land acknowledgment from the Native Governance Center; Northwestern University).

    Why do we recognize their land? We recognize their land as an expression of gratitude and appreciation for the land we reside on. This is a way to honour Indigenous Peoples who have been living and working on the land since time immemorial. (A guide to Indigenous land acknowledgment from the Native Governance Center; Northwestern University).

    The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society’s Advocacy Committee has compiled this resource list to invite our members to learn about the land we live and work on as legal professionals, the history of Indigenous peoples here, and the relationships between Asian and Indigenous communities on this land.

    1) History of Indigenous peoples in BC

    2) Relationship between Asian-Canadians and Indigenous Peoples

    3) How to pronounce original names of landmarks - City of Vancouver website

      4) Purpose of Land Acknowledgement

        5) Videos/Media

          • This Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2019 Panel by the Native Governance Center features Indigenous panelists Kate Beane, Mary Lyons, Rose Whipple, Rhiana Yazzie, and Cantemaza (Neil) McKay engaging in a discussion about Indigenous land acknowledgements

          6) Show Support

            • Support Indigenous access to justice, specifically related to environmental and Aboriginal law, by donating to Raven Trust

            • Refer to the Indigenous Ally Toolkit to learn what it means to be an ally and how to engage in the continual process of anti-oppression work

          1. 30 Jun 2022 5:07 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)

            FACL BC Statement on Simmi K. Sandhu appointment as Chair of CRT

            June 30, 2022

            FACL BC congratulates Simmi K. Sandhu on her recent appointment as Chair of the Civil Resolution Tribunal. We are incredibly excited to see her appointed to a leadership position in our legal system.

            The Civil Resolution Tribunal is Canada’s first online tribunal. It is relatively new, but deals with a significant number of legal issues that individuals encounter in their daily lives. It has jurisdiction over civil matters under $5,000, strata disputes, motor vehicle injury claims up to $50,000, and societies and cooperative association disputes.Overall, the CRT increases access to justice for claimants 

            FACL BC is heartened to see a South Asian woman of colour appointed to this influential position. Diversity in appointments allows decision makers to bring a range of experiences and perspectives to bear and allows decision makers to make better informed decisions, increases public confidence in their rulings and strengthens the administration of justice.


          2. 20 Jun 2022 1:13 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)

            FACL BC’s “Next 10 Years” Student Scholarship

            Deadline: Thursday, June 30, 2022 at 11:59 PM (Pacific Time).   

            Amount: $1000

            FACL BC Student Scholarships recognize current law students enrolled in a law school in British Columbia who demonstrate a keen interest in and willingness to contribute to the British Columbian pan-Asian Canadian legal community. This year has been special as it marks FACL BC’s 10th anniversary. Consideration will be given to applicants’ leadership and community involvement, and financial need.

            Requirements:

            • Self-identify as of pan-Asian descent (South Asian, Southeast Asian, East Asian, Central/West 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 Thursday, July 14, 2022 at 5:00 PM over Zoom (Pacific Time): https://faclbc.ca/event-4839877

            Note: Past scholarship recipients and FACL BC student directors and contractors (both current and former) are not eligible to apply.

            To apply, please fill out the Google Form here and send 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 Executive Board Members
            • FACL BC exercises sole and absolute discretion to determine scholarship eligibility and recipients
            • FACL BC’s decisions are final and application materials will not be returned
            • Recipient will be notified of FACL BC’s decision by July 10, and the scholarship will be presented at FACL BC's AGM on Thursday, July 14 (registration is complimentary) 

            ---

            Thank you to our sponsors that made FACL BC’s “Next 10 Years” Scholarship Fund possible:

             
               
          3. 14 Jun 2022 4:37 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)

            FACL BC Statement Endorsing Resolution 4: Member Resolution on the Role of Lawyers in Addressing Climate Change (Law Society of BC 2022 AGM) 

            June 14, 2022

            "Dealing with climate change is among the most important challenges that will face Canada and the world in the 21st century. The impact of climate change will be especially felt by already vulnerable people, exacerbating the social and legal difficulties they face. It is imperative that lawyers and justice actors who desire a just society engage pro-actively in curbing climate change and mediating its impacts.”1

            – The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, former Chief Justice of Canada

            The Law Society of BC’s 2022 Annual General Meeting will be held on June 22, 2022. Members can vote on resolutions during the meeting or through advance online voting, which is open now until 5:00 p.m. PDT on June 21. Visit the Law Society’s website for the full text of all resolutions and more information about how to vote.2

            FACL BC endorses Resolution 4: Member Resolution on the Role of Lawyers in Addressing Climate Change, and encourages our members who are eligible to participate to vote in favour of it. This resolution has been put forward by Yuki Matsuno and Hasan Alam, President of FACL BC.Resolution 4 was inspired by “The Legal Community's Role in Addressing the Climate Crisis,” a webinar hosted by FACL BC on April 28, 2022. The panel members for this webinar were Chief Patrick Michell, Kanaka Bar Indian Band; Dr. Carol Liao, Canada Climate Law Initiative and UBC Allard School of Law; and Andhra Azevedo, Ecojustice. These panelists impressed upon attendees the opportunities for lawyers to take action on climate change, our obligations as lawyers to understand our duties to our clients in mitigating  climate-related risks, and our potential influence as leaders in the fight against climate change.

            If passed, the resolution will require the Law Society of BC to encourage lawyers to take steps to address climate change and advise their clients as appropriate of the risks and opportunities of climate change; to set up a task force or advisory group to study the issue to develop practice guidelines and create educational programming; and to set an example by carrying out a climate impact report for the Law Society itself.

            FACL BC’s mandate is to promote equity, justice, and opportunity for Asian Canadian legal professionals and the broader community. World leaders and governments, institutional investors, the Supreme Court of Canada,4 and innumerable stakeholders, including youth, have recognized that climate change is a reality, a global financial risk, and an existential threat to humanity. Last year’s heat wave, wildfires, and floods underscored to us how climate change is impacting us across the province, with the most vulnerable members of our communities being hit the hardest. Further, studies done in Canada have shown that climate change disproportionately harms Indigenous, Black and other communities of color.5 In light of this existential threat that our communities are facing both domestically and globally, FACL BC recognizes that it is incumbent upon Asian Canadian legal professionals to formally incorporate climate change considerations into our roles as lawyers to ensure the well-being and livelihood of our communities. 

            FACL BC also endorses Resolution 3: Member Resolution regarding the Implementation of Changes to the Member Portal and Lawyer Directory. Read our statement on Resolution 3 here

            -- 

            1 https://www.lawyersforclimatejustice.ca/

            2  Voting: https://www.lawsociety.bc.ca/about-us/news-and-publications/news/2022/2022-annual-general-meeting-–%C2%A0second-notice/

            3 This statement by the movers of Resolution 4 provides more information: https://faclbc.ca/resources/FACL%20BC%20Documents/Committees/Advocacy/Statement%20in%20Support.Matsuno.Alam.rev%20(1).pdf

            4 Reference re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, 2021 SCC 11. 

            5 The Canadian Climate Institute, Centring Social Justice is Sound Climate Policy: https://climateinstitute.ca/centring-social-justice-is-sound-climate-policy/ 

          4. 14 Jun 2022 12:53 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)

            FACL BC Statement Endorsing Resolution 3: Member Resolution regarding the Implementation of Changes to the Member Portal and Lawyer Directory (Law Society of BC 2022 AGM)

            June 14, 2022

            The Law Society of BC’s 2022 Annual General Meeting will be held on June 22, 2022. Members can vote on resolutions during the meeting or through advance online voting, which is open now until 5:00 p.m. PDT on June 21. Visit the Law Society’s website for the full text of all resolutions and more information about how to vote.1 

            FACL BC endorses Resolution 3: Member Resolution regarding the Implementation of Changes to the Member Portal and Lawyer Directory and encourages our members who are eligible to participate to vote in favour of it. This resolution has been put forward by Diana Sepúlveda and Afifa Hashimi, Vice President - External of FACL BC. 

            Resolution 3 proposes a number of changes to the Lawyer Directory on the Law Society of BC’s website to increase access to justice by enabling members of the public to more easily find a lawyer who meets their needs. If accepted, it would allow individuals to search for lawyers based on any of the following search criteria: lawyer’s first or last names, city, language(s) spoken, and area(s) of law in which the lawyer practises. Currently, searches require a lawyer’s last name, and only allow individuals to include a city, not languages or areas of law. Resolution 3 also proposes creating a page that contains a list of practice areas with a plain-language description of each area.

            If accepted, the proposed resolution would be an important step forward for inclusivity. The proposed changes would allow individuals to find a lawyer who is able to communicate with them in their preferred language, making it easier for people who may not speak English to access legal assistance. For members of the public who do not already know of any lawyers, removing the last name requirement and expanding the search criteria will improve their ability to find counsel. 

            This statement by the movers of Resolution 3 explains how the resolution is linked to racial justice:2

            Although we use the term “language minorities,” BC residents whose mother tongue is a language other than English make up a considerable proportion of the population: 31.2%.3

            Language accessibility and racial justice are inextricably linked. Of the 31.2% mentioned above, the most widely spoken languages are Punjabi, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, German, and Spanish, most of which are predominantly spoken by racialized people. Providing meaningful access to legal services in languages other than English will improve racial equity by enabling language minorities, many of whom are Black, Indigenous, or people of colour, to participate in society and access justice at the same level as others. This is also connected to migrant justice, as many immigrants, refugees, and migrant workers speak languages other than English and may face language barriers while looking for legal assistance.

            By expanding the use of the Lawyer Directory, access to the legal system would improve because it will be easier for members of the public to find lawyers who can provide what they need, both linguistically and service-wise.

            FACL BC also endorses Resolution 4: Member Resolution on the Role of Lawyers in Addressing Climate Change. Read our statement on Resolution 4 here

            -- 

            Voting: https://www.lawsociety.bc.ca/about-us/news-and-publications/news/2022/2022-annual-general-meeting-%E2%80%93%C2%A0second-notice/ 

            2 Diana Sepúlveda and Afifa Hashimi’s Statement in Support of Resolution 3: https://faclbc.ca/resources/FACL%20BC%20Documents/Committees/Advocacy/Statement%20in%20Support%20of%20Member%20Resolution%20by%20Diana%20Sepúlveda%20and%20Afifa%20Hashimi.pdf 

            3 Statistics Canada reports that “immigrant languages” make up 29.3% of the BC population, French makes up 1.6% and “Aboriginal languages” make up 0.2%: https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2016/as-sa/fogs-spg/Facts-PR-Eng.cfm?TOPIC=5&LANG=Eng&GK=PR&GC=59





          5. 2 Jun 2022 7:21 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)

            Register here

            In accordance with the Bylaws of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society (“FACL BC”), notice is hereby given to all Members of FACL BC that a General Meeting of the Members ("AGM") will be held as follows:

            • Location: Zoom 

            • Date: Thursday, July 14, 2022

            • Time: 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

            This AGM is open to all current FACL BC members. Please register for the AGM by July 12, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. to receive the Zoom link. Voting will be conducted with the Zoom polling feature for those in virtual attendance. 

            If you are not a current FACL BC member or have yet to register for the 2022-2023 year, you can join/renew through our website.

            The Agenda for the AGM is as follows:

            • 5:00-5:05 – Members join the meeting
            • 5:05 – President – Call for meeting to order and approval of agenda and previous meeting minutes

            • 5:05-5:10 – Treasurer/Secretary remarks 

            • 5:10-5:25 – Outgoing President’s remarks and Incoming President’s remarks

            • 5:25-5:35 – Incoming VPs’ remarks

            • 5:35-5:40 – Acknowledgement of departing and remaining board members

            • 5:40-6:20 – Election and appointment of new board members

            • 6:20-6:30 – Presentation of "Next 10 Years" Student Scholarship, Closing Remarks and Adjournment

              Call for Nominations: If you are interested in joining FACL BC’s Board of Directors (the “FACL BC Board”), please submit your nomination statement to info@faclbc.ca by 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2022. Your nomination statement should include a short summary of who you are, why you are interested in our organization, the extent of your previous involvement with FACL BC (if any), and the position you seek to run for (maximum of 300 words). Please use the subject line “AGM Nomination”. These nomination statements will be sent to all FACL BC members. You may submit a nomination statement for no more than one position described below. 

              The following positions are available: 

              Directors-at-Large (Two Year Term)

              The FACL BC Board has four Directors-at-Large positions available. These positions are open to FACL BC’s full members. Members on the FACL BC Board are expected to assume active high-level and on-the-ground leadership for our various initiatives, including in leading FACL BC committees. 

              Director-at-Large (One Year Term)

              The FACL BC Board has two Director-at-Large position available. This position is open to FACL BC’s full members. Members on the FACL BC Board are expected to assume active high-level and on-the-ground leadership for our various initiatives, including in leading FACL BC committees. 

              Secretary (One Year Term)

              The FACL BC Board has one Secretary position available. This position is open to FACL BC’s full members. The Secretary is an integral part of the FACL BC Board and responsible for, among others: 

              • overseeing the issuance of notices of FACL BC General Meetings and Board meetings;

              • taking minutes of FACL BC General Meetings and Board meetings;

              • maintaining the records of the FACL BC Society in accordance with the Societies Act;

              • assisting in conducting the correspondence of the FACL BC Board; and

              • overseeing the filing of the annual report of the FACL BC and making any other filings with the registrar under the Societies Act

              Area Representatives (One Year Term)

              The FACL BC Board has one Area Representative position for each of Kamloops and Victoria available. Area Representatives are key liaisons between FACL BC and their respective region’s legal community and represent/promote FACL BC in their respective regions. These positions are open to FACL BC’s full members in Kamloops or Victoria. 

              Student Directors (One Year Term)

              The FACL BC Board has one Student Director position for each of BC’s law schools (UBC, TRU, and UVic) available. Student Directors are key liaisons between FACL BC and their respective law school and represent/promote FACL BC at their respective law school. These positions are open to FACL BC’s student members who are current JD or graduate law students at UBC, TRU, or UVic. For more information on the Student Director position, please click here.

              All FACL BC Board members are expected to attend monthly Board meetings, participate in FACL BC committees (Membership, Advocacy, or Mentorship), and contribute actively to the planning and execution of FACL BC programming and initiatives.

              For more information on the FACL BC Board, please see the recording of our info session here and/or contact us at info@faclbc.ca.

            • 16 Mar 2022 11:13 AM | FACL BC (Administrator)

              FACL BC Job Posting: Executive Coordinator

              The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society (“FACL BC”) is looking for a highly-motivated Executive Coordinator to help fulfill our mission of promoting equity, justice and opportunity for Asian Canadian legal professionals and the broader community. This is a paid contractor position at a competitive hourly rate. 

              Term: April 2022 - March 2023

              Applications closed - thank you for your interest! 

              Who are we?

              FACL BC is a diverse coalition of Asian Canadian legal professionals working to promote equity, justice, and opportunity for Asian Canadian legal professionals and the broader community.  FACL BC has over 400 members across all areas of the legal profession including students, associates, partners, in-house counsel, public service, and the judiciary.   

              In November 2021, we hosted our 10th annual gala, The Next 10 Years, featuring the Honourable Justice Mahmud Jamal of the Supreme Court of Canada and Dr. Carol Liao of the Peter A. Allard School of Law as our keynote speakers.  We are also the winner of the 2021 Clawbies award for our ground-breaking documentary, “But I Look Like a Lawyer”, which captures stories of the discrimination, stereotyping and bias experienced by members of the Pan-Asian legal community.

              What are we looking for?

              • Current 1L or 2L student who self-identifies as Asian-Canadian and is attending the Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of Victoria Faculty of Law or Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law

              • Outstanding organizational and communication skills (verbal and written)

              • Experience planning events for non-profit organizations, student clubs or similar organizations

              • Experience with technology platforms such as Google Drive, Canva and Zoom is an asset

              • Experience with social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn is an asset

              • Experience with graphic design and website management is an asset

              • Willingness to learn, adapt and problem-solve

              What are your responsibilities?

               Administrative services

              • Respond to director requests for assistance with operating Wild Apricot (our membership/website platform), Zoom, Canva and Google Drive

              • Approve new membership applications, maintain an orderly archive and assist Treasurer with financial matters on Wild Apricot

              • Contact Wild Apricot to troubleshoot issues that arise

              • Apply for CPD credits or other professional credit approvals for FACL BC’s events

              • Assist in recording board meeting minutes and/or action items, if needed

              Communications

              • Review, forward and respond to emails directed to the faclbc1@gmail.com email account

              • Draft and send out email blasts to FACL BC’s membership

              • Assist in sending out calendar invites for board meetings at the beginning of each term

              • Assist with preparing marketing materials, including updating the FACL BC website, Instagram page, LinkedIn account, Facebook page and newsletter

              Event Planning

              • Provide logistical support for FACL BC events including creating event pages on Wild Apricot, Zoom and Facebook, making event name tags for attendees and speakers and setting up virtual events

              • Assist Secretary in updating our internal events calendar with new events and changes, if needed

              • Create and send thank you cards

              • Such other services, and deliverables, as we may request.

              Privacy Policy

              We take your privacy seriously.  For details, please see our FACL BC Privacy Policy here.


            • 8 Mar 2022 10:18 AM | FACL BC (Administrator)

              FACL BC Statement on International Women’s Day

              March 8, 2022

              Today, on International Women’s Day, FACL BC celebrates the achievements of women and girls in all of their diversity, here in British Columbia and around the world. We honour those who stand up for gender and racial equality, in big and small ways. We also affirm our commitment to advocating for gender equality and uplifting the voices of Asian women in the legal community.

              International Women’s Day this year comes at an important time for us all to reaffirm our dedication to working towards a society that defends and advocates for freedom and equality.  Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an alarming rise of racist incidents against Asian people across North America, including an increase in violence against Asian women in particular. 

              This year’s International Women’s Day theme, #BreakTheBias, reminds us all that everyone still has work to do to break down both explicit and implicit biases.

              FACL BC imagines and is committed to a world, including a legal community, free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. We celebrate the careers of our many brilliant women lawyers and jurists in Canada, including that of Justice Baljinder Girn, who was recently appointed to the BC Supreme Court, and look forward to a day where the justices on the Supreme Court of Canada reflect Canada’s gender and racial diversity. 

              We encourage you to read our ​​resource list to highlight the voices and work of Asian women in the legal profession: Amplifying Asian Women in Law: A FACL BC International Women’s Day Resource List (2021) https://faclbc.ca/News/10175168.

              Last year, FACL BC also released the documentary “But I Look Like a Lawyer”, which shares the stories of discrimination, stereotyping and bias experienced by members of the Pan-Asian legal community (https://faclbc.ca/documentary). We continue to hold up a mirror to our profession, in order to address the biases within. We encourage legal professionals to be active participants in working towards achieving gender equality, and building a profession and society free of bias and discrimination.



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