Board of Directors Meeting Summary

  • February 12, 2020

CBA Alberta Board of Directors met in Calgary on February 12, 2020.

The focus of the meeting was CBA Alberta’s advocacy strategy and approach.  The Board reviewed recent developments related to the Alberta government budget cuts and the impact on the justice portfolio, and received an update on CBA Alberta’s response efforts.

The Board supported the Branch’s traditional approach which has been quiet diplomacy driven by the tenet that relationship building is a cornerstone of influence and long-term effective advocacy.  The Board agreed that CBA Alberta should take a more active and public role in speaking  for the public interest on access to justice issues, and that as the voice of lawyers who have knowledge of the system and the impacts of under-resourcing, the CBA is well positioned to speak to these issues.  They were mindful that these messages will be most effective if they are framed in a way that the government and the public can see and understand, and therefore endorsed efforts to place greater emphasis on impact on Albertans, and on maintaining influence through a non-partisan, principle-based, public policy approach.  The Board supported the Branch taking a leadership role in collaborating more with other legal stakeholders where appropriate to achieve these goals.

The Board also discussed ways to engage further with members on advocacy to make sure there are opportunities for members to be heard, and also for them to be informed about the advocacy efforts that the Branch is undertaking.  It is incumbent on the Board to ensure that members know all Board members are available to hear their concerns and bring those to the Board discussion table.

In addition, the Board:

  • Conducted a post-mortem review of the 2020 annual general meeting and associated events, and made recommendations for future annual general meetings
  • Struck a committee to review the Branch’s engagement and volunteer appreciation calendar of events to make recommendations on purpose, structure and scheduling for those events going forward
  • Approved the Policy on Public Statements and Submissions which was drafted by the Agenda for Justice Committee
  • Struck an ad hoc committee to review existing Branch policies to ensure they are current and in line with the new bylaws, as well as to consider gaps if any in Branch policy
  • Struck a Lawyer Advocacy Committee to undertake advocacy on specific issues of interest to members and the profession
  • Clarified Board expectations for the appointment of chairs and operation of committees for 2020-21
  • Confirmed that a Branch Leadership Forum will be held in Edmonton on May 6 from 4-6 pm , followed by a reception

Upcoming meetings of the CBA Alberta Board of Directors:

Wednesday, April 1 Board of Directors Meeting Edmonton
Wednesday, May 6 LEADERSHIP FORUM Edmonton
Wednesday, June 24 Board of Directors Meeting Edmonton