• 2 May 2023 2:52 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)

    FACL BC Case Commentary: BC Provincial Court Tackles Anti-Asian Hate Crimes, Recognizes Role of COVID-19


    Diversity is one of Canada’s greatest strengths, and with May designated as Asian Heritage Month, it is a time to celebrate the long and rich history of Asian Canadians and their contributions to our country. It is also a time to acknowledge the racism faced by Asian Canadians that continues to this day, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the upsurge in hate crimes and discrimination that followed (“Anti-Asian Hate”). The pandemic served to amplify pre-existing prejudice and stereotypes about those of Asian descent, exasperated by misinformation and xenophobia. Vancouver, in specific, was named “the anti-Asian hate crime capital of North America” in 2021. 

    While the worst days of the pandemic are behind us, it is nevertheless important to recognize that Anti-Asian Hate and the racist and discriminatory views that perpetuate it continue to persist. Although reported hate crimes in BC appear to be dropping, as noted in a recent CBC article, many Asian Canadians continue to experience discrimination and have simply given up reporting these incidents to the police. As a historically marginalized group, the underreporting of such crimes suggests a decreased trust amongst Asian Canadians with the justice system. The unwillingness of Asian Canadian victims to report hate crimes, in conjunction with the decrease in reported hate crimes since the pandemic, may indicate that current hate crime statistics do not reflect the full extent of Anti-Asian Hate. 

    As we prepare to celebrate Asian Heritage Month, FACL BC wishes to highlight two decisions where Anti-Asian Hate was considered to be a key factor and where the court took judicial notice of the heightened vulnerability and marginalization of Asians as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic:

    1. R. v. Castonguay, 2021 BCPC 315; and

    2. R. v. Bethune and Secreve, 2022 BCPC 243

    These cases highlight the insidious nature of discrimination and hate crimes against Asian Canadians, but also an increased sensitivity of the courts to the prevalence of Anti-Asian Hate during the pandemic. In both Castonguay and Bethune and Secreve, the courts acknowledged the social context in which the crimes took place and the impact they had upon the Asian Canadian community during a particularly vulnerable time. By considering the social context, the courts were able to recognize the significant impact of the crimes on the Asian community and acted accordingly to maintain the public interest. This commentary aims to bring attention to the role courts have played in recognizing and protecting vulnerable and marginalized communities, as well as identifying areas where the justice system can continue to improve.  

    R. v. Castonguay


    On December 29, 2021, Mr. Castonguay pleaded guilty to wilfully committing mischief by causing damage while being motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate towards persons of Chinese ethnic origin or descent, an offence contrary to s. 430(4.1) of the Criminal Code.

    The incident occurred on April 2, 2020, when Mr. Castonguay visited the Chinese Cultural Centre (the “Centre”) in Vancouver and defaced several of its window panes with racist and hateful comments. The messages espoused the killing of persons of Chinese origin, referencing Hitler's annihilation of the Jewish persons in the Holocaust. Mr. Castonguay’s messages also called for the forced removal and exclusion of Chinese people from Canada, claiming they were all infected by COVID-19. The messages were discovered by the directors of the Centre the following day, resulting in the closure of the building and causing its staff members, volunteers, and visitors to feel unsafe.

    Judgment and Reasoning:

    The Crown sought an effective sentence of nine months of imprisonment against Mr. Castonguay, followed by a three‑year probationary period. However, due to a significant delay in Mr. Castonguay’s sentencing, the defence argued that he should be given a reduced sentence, suggesting there might have been a different outcome had the sentencing taken place earlier.

    In determining to what extent Mr. Castonguay should be given the benefit of a reduced sentence, Judge H. Dhillon relied upon the principle of proportionality in imposing a fair, fit, and principled sanction. Taking into consideration the gravity of the harm caused by Mr. Castonguay’s messages to the staff members and attendees of the Centre, Judge H. Dhillon found that the harm extended to society at large, negatively affecting all persons who identify as Chinese as well as all persons of Asian background or descent. Judge H. Dhillon also acknowledged the social context in which the incident took place, taking judicial notice of the history of racism against the Chinese community, the importance of the Centre to their cultural heritage and community, and the increased vulnerability of the Chinese community due to misinformation about their connection to COVID-19. 

    Despite the written and verbal statement Mr. Castonguay provided to the court, in which he expressed remorse for his actions, Judge H. Dhillon found that the social context and circumstances of the offence caused the aggravating factors of the case to outweigh the mitigating factors. Consequently, Judge H. Dhillon sentenced Mr. Castonguay to eight months of imprisonment, followed by a three‑year probationary period. Considering the gravity of the harm caused by Mr. Castonguay, Judge H. Dhillon concluded that he would have been given a similar sentence had the sentencing occurred earlier.


    Judge Dhillon's decision demonstrates the importance of considering the social context when assessing the mitigating or aggravating factors of a criminal act, especially when assessing the gravity of the harm caused by the offender to the victims. By taking judicial notice of the social context in which the incident occurred, Judge Dhillon acknowledged the historic struggle of Chinese Canadians against racism and the significance of the Centre in the Chinese community. Additionally, by taking into account the recent upsurge in Anti-Asian Hate, Judge H. Dhillon recognized that the vulnerability of the Chinese community allowed Mr. Castonguay’s actions to have far-reaching effects on all persons of Asian background or descent, necessitating a denunciatory sentence. 

    It is worth noting that Judge Dhillon was the first female South Asian judge to be appointed in BC. Her nuanced reasoning in Castonguay may have been informed by her own experiences as an Asian Canadian, which likely played a role in her ability to recognize and express the significance of Mr. Castonguay’s actions and the impact they had on the Asian community. Her decision is a salient reminder of the importance of diversity on the bench and the value it can bring to the Canadian justice system and the public.

    R. v. Bethune and Secreve


    In this case, the defendants Mr. Eric Bethune and Ms. Astrid Maria pleaded guilty to committing mischief for wilfully obstructing, interrupting, and/or interfering with the lawful use, enjoyment, or operation of the property contrary to s. 430(4) of the Criminal Code

    The defendants were patrons of a cafe in Richmond and failed to abide by the COVID protocols (e.g. seating restrictions) that the cafe had in place at the time. The defendants were asked by an employee multiple times to change seats. After refusing their requests, the defendants threw a cup at the employee and made numerous anti-Chinese comments toward the cafe employees before leaving. Despite the various discriminatory comments uttered during the incident, the defendants denied that their mischief was motivated by any bias, prejudice, or hate.

    Judgement and Reasoning:

    Judge Vandor found that it would not be in the public interest to grant a discharge and held that a suspended sentence with 12 months of probation for Mr. Bethune and Ms. Secreve was more appropriate. In sentencing, Judge Vandor of the Provincial Court of British Columbia found a number of aggravating factors that favoured a stronger sentence, including:

    • Mr. Bethune and Ms. Secreve perceived both the cafe employees to be of Chinese race or ethnic origin. 

    • The defendants’ comments and actions were motivated by anti-Chinese hate/bias/prejudice. Mr. Bethune told the employee, “The Coronavirus is you”. Judge Vandor found that by doing so, he associated the employee with the virus and that it was a dehumanizing expression that called into question whether the employee was a human being. He noted, following Castonguay, that this kind of speech vilifies the targeted group by blaming its members (i.e. people of Chinese and Asian descent) for the current COVID-19 pandemic and other problems in society.

    • The significant impact the incident had on the employee. The employee testified that she was afraid of walking on the street and making eye contact with people, especially Caucasian people, because she was afraid that they would hurt her too. She eventually stopped working at the cafe after three months because of the incident.

    Judge Vandor, citing the various examples of the defendants’ feelings, beliefs, and attitudes towards people of Asian and Chinese descent, held that the principles of general and specific deterrence and denunciation called for a suspended sentence, which more appropriately addressed the defendants’ actions and the motivations behind those actions.


    Like Castonguay, this case recognizes the increased vulnerability of Canadians because of misinformation directed at persons who are perceived to be of Chinese origin and the blame towards them for the COVID-19 pandemic as aggravating factors for sentencing. Following Castonguay, Judge Vandor readily acknowledged the hardships and racism that people of Chinese, and generally Asian, descent face as a result of the pandemic. By facing those issues head-on, the court was able to ground its decision in the historical and cultural context necessary to understand the harm that was caused and to provide a proportional sentence. 


    How courts determine the different degree or kind of punishment in respect of an offence are dependent on the facts and circumstances of each case, as well as the principles of deterrence and denunciation set out in s. 718 of the Criminal Code. As seen in both Castonguay and Bethune and Secreve, the broader social contexts of each case were additionally taken into consideration when determining appropriate sentences for the offenders. 

    Judge H. Dhillon and Judge Vandor both acknowledged the increased vulnerability of the Chinese and Asian community due to the COVID-19 pandemic, finding that the harm done to victims extended to society at large, negatively impacting all persons of Asian descent. As both cases included offenders targeting persons of Chinese ethnic origin or persons whom they perceived to be of Chinese ethnic origin during a time of increased vulnerability and a rise in Anti-Asian Hate, both judges arrived at the finding that the social context of the offences constituted a significant aggravating factor. The judges also found that mitigating the offenders’ sentences would be adverse to the principles of deterrence and denunciation. As the actions of the offenders in both cases contributed to the prevalence of COVID-19 misinformation and Anti-Asian Hate, denunciatory sentences were imposed to send the message that the justice system will not tolerate this type of criminal behaviour. 

    Both cases may indicate that courts are more likely to impose denunciatory sentences in cases involving COVID-19-related discrimination against people of Asian descent, as judges must consider the social context of the “profound impact these kinds of criminal acts have on members of vulnerable communities” (Castonguay at para. 35). In other words, the above cases show that the social context of Anti-Asian hate crimes is especially relevant where COVID-19-related discrimination is involved. However, such reliance by the courts on COVID-19 as a justification for the increased protection of the Asian community may suggest that Asians are only considered “vulnerable communities” in the context of COVID-19-related discrimination, while ignoring the long history of racism against people of Asian descent that continues to this day. This may play a role in the low rate of reported hate crimes by pan-Asians in Canada, as incidents of Anti-Asian Hate may not involve COVID-19-related discrimination or be as overt and obviously racist as the incidents underlying the cases above. 

    The Canadian justice system must acknowledge that the vulnerability of the Asian community is not limited to COVID-19-related discrimination. In order to effectively uphold the principles of deterrence and denunciation, courts must be willing to apply similar reasoning in all cases of racial discrimination against those of Asian descent, not just those related to COVID-19. Just as the process of sentencing “must be situated both in the present day but also with an eye to the context and history faced by Chinese Canadians in Canada” (Castonguay at para. 15), the justice system must be similarly flexible in addressing the various forms of stereotypes and prejudices, whether direct or indirect, faced by the Asian community. 

    Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society

    info@faclbc.ca | faclbc.ca | @faclbc

  • 23 Mar 2023 5:31 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)

    FACL BC Contractor Posting: Executive Coordinator

    The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society (“FACL BC”) is looking for a highly-motivated 1L or 2L BC law student to serve as our next 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 one-year paid independent contractor position at a competitive hourly rate.

    FACL BC is a pan-Asian organization celebrating the diversity of our Asian communities - we explicitly encourage applicants who identify as being “Asian-Canadian”, including but not limited to South Asian, West Asian, Southeast Asian, East Asian, or any other self-identifying Asian-Canadian law students from any BC law school (Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of Victoria, and Thompson Rivers University) to apply.

    As part of our mission to continue diversifying our operations outside of the Greater Vancouver area, based on equal qualifications, preference may be given to candidates applying from the University of Victoria or Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law

    Apply here: https://forms.gle/RYXugfcRPau99xN37 

    Deadline to apply: Sat, Apr 1 at 11:59PM Pacific Time.  

    Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis, so please apply early. Only qualified candidates who are shortlisted for an interview will be contacted.

    Term: May 1, 2023 - May 31, 2024

    Rate: $24.00 per hour

    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 is the largest equity-seeking bar organization in British Columbia with over 500 members across all areas of the legal profession including students, associates, partners, in-house counsel, public service, and the judiciary.  

    In November 2022, we hosted our signature 11th Annual Gala, “Belonging”, featuring Justice Michelle O'Bonsawin of the Supreme Court of Canada and Judge Brent Hoy of the BC Provincial Court as our keynote speakers.  

    FACL BC was also the winner of the 2022 Clawbies award for Best Podcast and the 2021 Clawbies award for Best Innovative Project 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.  

    Our documentary was also selected for The 26th Annual Vancouver Asian Film Festival and will be screened at the upcoming NALP Annual Conference in Vancouver. You may also recall learning about our documentary in school, as it is mandatory viewing for incoming students at the Peter A. Allard School of Law and recommended reading for incoming students at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law.

    What are we looking for?

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

    • Outstanding organizational and communication skills (verbal and written);

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

    • Experience with platforms such as Google Drive and Zoom is an asset;

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

    • Experience with Linktree, graphic design (Canva), and website management (Wild Apricot) is an asset;

    • Willingness to learn, adapt and problem-solve;

    • Ability to work independently, with another Executive Coordinator, and with multiple stakeholders;

    • Ability to meet tight and competing deadlines within a highly active organization; and

    • Ability to work occasionally in the evenings and on weekends, as required.

    The successful candidate must possess a personal laptop and a reliable Internet connection. Additional training on the software applications listed above will be provided to the successful candidate.

    What are your responsibilities?


    • Respond to director requests for assistance with events, operate Wild Apricot (our membership/website platform) or another platform, Zoom, Canva and Google Drive, and send out emails;

    • Approve new membership applications, maintain an orderly archive and assist the 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;

    • Attend FACL BC monthly board meetings (typically the second week of each month), as required; and

    • Assist the Treasurer with collecting information and drafting grant applications for FACL BC.


    • Review and respond to emails received in the general FACL BC inbox and forward other inquiries accordingly to the appropriate committee and director(s);

    • Coordinate with the Membership Committee to draft and send out monthly email newsletters to FACL BC’s membership;

    • Assist in sending out calendar invites to directors for board meetings;

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

    • Report regularly to the President and FACL BC Executive Committee as needed.

    Event Planning

    • Provide logistical support for FACL BC events including creating event pages on Wild Apricot, Zoom and Facebook;

    • Make event name tags for attendees and speakers;

    • Set up and attend  virtual events, where requested;

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

    • Create and send thank you cards and arrange to deliver FACL BC merchandise to event guests and event speakers, as required; and

    • Such other FACL BC-related services, and deliverables, as we may request.

    Apply here: https://forms.gle/RYXugfcRPau99xN37 

    Privacy Policy

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

  • 8 Mar 2023 1:02 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)

    March 8, 2023

    Today, on International Women’s Day, FACL BC celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women and girls, here in British Columbia and around the world. We honour all 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.

    However, this year’s International Women’s Day theme, #EmbraceEquity, reminds us all that equal opportunities aren't enough. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action. Learn more about the difference between equity and equality here

    We also encourage you to explore our ​​resource list that highlights 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

  • 29 Jan 2023 7:29 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)

    January 29, 2023

    Today, Canada observes the National Day of Remembrance of the Quebec City Mosque Attack and Action Against Islamophobia.

    Six years ago, six Muslim men were brutally and tragically murdered while they prayed at the Québec City Mosque. Nineteen others were injured and one of those injured was left paralyzed. The loss to their families and community is tremendous.

    On this day, we honour the lives of the men who were lost in this heinous act of violence and Islamophobia. FACL BC invites you to take a moment of silence to remember these victims and all victims of hatred: 

    • Ibrahima Barry
    • Mamadou Barry
    • Khaled Belkacemi
    • Aboubaker Thabti
    • Abdelkrim Hassane
    • Azzedine Soufiane

    FACL BC also takes this time to honour and remember the lives of the four members of a Pakistani-Canadian Muslim family who were killed while out walking together in London, Ontario on June of 2021. We stand against the racism and fear perpetuated against Muslims in this country and everywhere. 

    The National Day of Remembrance of the Quebec City Mosque Attack and Action Against Islamophobia acts as a reminder that Muslim people and those perceived to be Muslim continue to face discrimination and the threat of violence. However, for those who face discrimination, no such reminder is needed.

    FACL BC welcomes the appointment of Amira Elghawaby as Canada’s Special Representative on Combatting Islamaphobia. Ms. Elghawaby is a journalist, an expert on issues of equity and inclusion, and a human rights advocate. Her mandate in her new role is to serve as champion, advisor, expert, and representative to the Canadian government for the purpose of enhancing efforts to combat Islamophobia and promote awareness of the diverse and intersectional identities of Muslims in Canada. 

    We encourage allies and those within the legal community to learn about Islamophobia and the actions we can take to combat this issue. FACL BC is an official sponsor of the Islamophobia Legal Assistance Hotline, a free and confidential hotline aimed at providing legal assistance to anyone who has been a victim of Islamophobia. 

  • 13 Jan 2023 3:59 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce that FACL BC won a 2022 Clawbies Award for Best Podcast. Thank you to our anonymous nominators, supporters, and podcast listeners for making this award possible! We are excited to continue highlighting the diverse and unique stories of our FACL BC community. 

    The Canadian Law Blog Awards, also known as the Clawbies, started in 2006 with the goal of highlighting great blogs published by the Canadian legal industry. The Clawbies are intended to be a showcase of Canadian legal blogging, and to promote a sense of community. 

    Listen to the FACL BC podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify

  • 25 Nov 2022 1:26 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)

    November 25, 2022

    The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society (FACL BC) expresses its warmest congratulations to Justice Mabel Lai on her appointment to the Ontario Court of Justice. Prior to her appointment, Justice Lai was the President of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers Ontario (FACL ON), having previously served on the organization’s board of directors for a number of years.

    Justice Lai graduated from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering in 2006 and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 2009. Following graduation, she clerked for the Court of Appeal for Ontario before being called to the Ontario Bar in 2010. Prior to her appointment, she was Crown Counsel at the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Crown Law Office (Criminal) and her practice included prosecuting allegations against police and cases involving large-scale fraud. Justice Lai appeared before the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada on numerous criminal law appeals. She has also made numerous presentations to the judiciary about digital and expert evidence in criminal law and since 2019, she managed the training of provincial wiretap agents and advised and provided education to federal Crown and other policing partners.

    In addition to her involvement with FACL ON, Justice Lai also served on the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Research Ethics Board, participated in mentorship programs, and coached the Osgoode Hall Gale Cup moot team for eight years.

    The judicial appointment of Justice Lai is a monumental and celebratory occasion for the national Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers network. A diverse bench that reflects Ontario’s diverse communities and their perspectives and experiences increases public trust and confidence in the judiciary and improves the administration of justice. FACL BC strongly believes that the appointment of an Asian Canadian woman with a demonstrated history of being committed to promoting diversity and inclusion within the legal profession will strengthen Ontario’s judicial system, access to justice, and the ability of other young Asian Canadian women to see themselves reflected in positions of authority and repute.

  • 24 Nov 2022 6:42 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)

    November 24, 2022

    FACL BC is pleased to publish its Position Paper on the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Proposed Legal Professionals Regulatory Modernization. Following engagement with various stakeholders, FACL BC presented its Position Paper to the Ministry of the Attorney General as part of its early consultation and engagement process.

    FACL BC supports in principle many of the proposals in the Intentions Paper, such as providing the regulator with a clear mandate and designing a more flexible licensing framework for paralegals. However, FACL BC has serious concerns that some proposals which purport to modernize the current regulatory framework to better serve the public interest may inadequately address this goal and may even have the potential to adversely impact the ability of the legal profession to foster diversity, maintain its independence, and provide access to justice for all British Columbians. 

    FACL BC takes the position that, while the underlying goals of the proposed legal professionals regulatory modernization are laudable, the Ministry’s Intentions Paper lacks the specificity and detail to determine whether many of the proposed reforms will actually positively contribute to access to justice and the public interest. 

    FACL BC is especially concerned about the proposed reduction in the size of the proposed board of directors which will likely undermine and stifle recent improvements in representation by reducing the diversity of voices at the decision-making table. FACL BC looks forward to continuing to work with the Ministry to promote equity, justice, and opportunity for Asian Canadian legal professionals and the broader community on this important modernization.

    Read FACL BC's full position paper here: FACL BC Position Paper on the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Proposed Legal Professionals Regulatory Modernization.pdf

  • 21 Nov 2022 8:00 AM | FACL BC (Administrator)

    November 21, 2022

    The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society (“FACL BC”) is thrilled to recognize that Bill C-5, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, received royal assent on November 17, 2022. Bill C-5 has repealed 20 mandatory minimum sentences and has removed certain restrictions on the imposition of conditional sentence orders, which allow for a term of imprisonment to be served in the community. These amendments will increase judicial discretion in sentencing by repealing provisions that required judges to impose terms of incarceration regardless of the circumstances in which the offense was committed or the characteristics of the individual offender.

    FACL BC submitted a brief in support of Bill C-5 to both the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

    FACL BC supported Bill C-5 for a number of reasons, including that mandatory minimum sentences and restrictions on conditional sentence orders disproportionately affect racialized communities, especially Indigenous and Black communities with whom FACL BC stands in solidarity. These amendments will allow judges to reserve harsh jail sentences for circumstances in which they are genuinely warranted.

  • 31 Oct 2022 10:54 AM | FACL BC (Administrator)

    With its registered office located in the city of Vancouver, FACL BC is situated on the unceded, traditional territories of Coast Salish peoples, including the xʷməθkʷəy̓ə (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. As a province-wide organization, we also recognize that our members are situated on the traditional territories of diverse First Nations, including the territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples, the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations (Victoria), and the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc (Kamloops). FACL BC encourages all settlers to learn about the Indigenous peoples upon whose traditional lands they occupy. One excellent resource to do this exploratory work can be found here.

    In acknowledging this traditional territory, we also recognize Indigenous peoples’ stewardship of the land predates the establishment of the earliest European colonies in British Columbia. FACL BC holds a deep respect for these traditional territories and the richness that they hold in terms of the histories, languages, knowledge systems, and cultures of the Indigenous peoples who continue to live upon them.

    Additionally, FACL BC acknowledges the fact that many territories in what is now known as British Columbia are unceded, meaning that Indigenous peoples never surrendered their sovereignty over the land or entered into treaties. We recognize the dispossession of these territories and the inherent jurisdiction that the Indigenous peoples still hold over them.

    As immigrants and descendants of immigrants, we at FACL BC acknowledge the complicated relationship between the Asian community and Indigenous peoples. While there is solidarity and understanding to be found in our similar experiences with systemic racism and discrimination, as well as stories of our coming together in acts of community and resistance, we are also settlers and occupiers of dispossessed land. To acknowledge our privilege as settlers is to recognize our own contribution to the lasting effects of colonialism, and we at FACL BC are cognizant of our status as uninvited guests on the traditional territories of Indigenous peoples.

    We also acknowledge the discrimination and injustices Indigenous peoples still face. FACL BC is dedicated to its mandate of promoting equity, justice, and opportunity across the legal community, as well as using our platform to address intersecting forms of oppression. We recognize that there are intersections between Asian communities and many equity-seeking groups, and are committed to decolonial solidarity and the full realization of Indigenous rights.

  • 28 Oct 2022 10:38 AM | FACL BC (Administrator)

    October 28, 2022

    The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society (FACL BC) congratulates Justice Kevin D. Loo, K.C., and Justice Anita Chan on their recent appointments to the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

    Justice Loo, K.C., was born and raised in Vancouver and was a commercial civil litigator and partner of Nathanson, Schachter & Thompson LLP before joining the judiciary. Justice Loo’s great-uncle Andrew Joe, whom he calls an early influence in his legal career, was the first Chinese-Canadian called to the Bar in British Columbia. Prior to his appointment, Justice Loo was featured on FACL BC’s podcast on February 2021 and July 2022.

    Justice Anita Chan was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to Vancouver with her family at a young age. Prior to her appointment, Justice Chan was Crown Counsel at the Public Prosecution Service of Canada with a practice focused on complex and lengthy organized crime trials.

    FACL BC is heartened to see two esteemed Asian-Canadians appointed to the judiciary. Diversity in appointments allows decision makers to bring a range of experiences and perspectives to bear and to make better-informed decisions. Having a bench that reflects British Columbia’s diverse communities increases public confidence in judgments and strengthens the administration of justice. As Justices for the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Justice Loo and Justice Chan will decide cases that affect our communities, our province, and our country. We are confident that their diversity and experience as Asian-Canadians will prove to be strengths in their new roles.

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