2019 Election Statement
Our profession faces significant and complex challenges: access to justice, articling and licensing needs, equity and diversity, mental health and wellness, entity-based regulation, new technologies and AI, amongst others. The LSO’s will need to act thoughtfully, and in an informed manner, to positively represent the public interest. Through my 20 years of practicing administrative, human rights and mental health law, I have worked directly on many of these challenges, and I understand the interconnectedness of the issues. I see that the practice of law has become more challenging and stressful, particularly for sole practitioners, those new to the profession, in rural and small towns, and for women, racialized and indigenous licensees who continue to face multiple barriers. The profession requires Benchers who are dedicated to public service and to finding creative and valuable ways to address these challenges, including greater supports in the profession, advancing mentoring and coaching initiatives, and more accessible ways in which to participate meaningfully in decisions that affect our profession and the public interest. I would be privileged to continue to represent our profession as we face these challenges.
I have advocated for significant progressive changes at the LSO. This includes my work and advocacy on Challenges Facing Racialized Licensees, my leadership as Vice-Chair of the Equity and Indigenous Affairs Committee, my active role on the Indigenous Review Panel (which led to historic recommendations towards greater reconciliation), my commitment and work on the Mental Health Working Group and Task Forces, and my role as Chair of the Tribunal Committee, which has successfully worked on developing and implementing initiatives to increase the independence and professionalism of the Tribunal. I believe that my record demonstrates that I take a thoughtful and informed approach on policy work and that I do this work in a collaborative and principled manner. It is critical for our profession to include informed, progressive and diverse ideas on how to face the challenges ahead, and I remain committed to continuing this critical work.
A Recommendation for a New Bencher: Sponsoring New Voices for the Future
In 2015, I ran in a joint campaign with Janet Leiper, an amazing mentor and friend, to promote greater equity and inclusion amongst the Bencher group. This election, we are expanding this commitment and sponsorship. I am pleased to support Jayashree Goswami, an exceptional Senior In-House Counsel. She has served ably on the Equity Advisory Group and brings a fresh voice and proven track record on equity and inclusion issues. Her service and dedication on diverse issues make her an ideal candidate for Bencher.
For more information on each of us, and on our unique joint campaign, please see:
See the 2015 Law Times article quoting Isfahan Merali and Janet Leiper:
Check out my first opinion piece on my 2015 joint campaign with Janet Leiper:
Re-Elect Isfahan Merali Bencher, Toronto Region