President's Report

As  summer comes to a close and the membership year here at the CBA wraps up, I come to the end of my term as President of the CBA Alberta Branch. It has been an honour to represent and advocate for the CBA as I have travelled across the country meeting with members and other stakeholders in the legal profession. With the new year ahead, it is my pleasure to introduce the incoming executive committee for the 2018-19 year. Join me in congratulating Johanna Price who was acclaimed as Secretary in the spring. Johanna will be joined by Treasurer David Heibert, Vice-President Ola Malik, President Frank Friescher, Executive Director Maureen Armitage and myself as Past President.  

I would like to pay special recognition to our outgoing Past President Jeremiah Kowalchuk. Jeremiah is a person whose dedication to the legal profession combined with his clarity and determination have made him a wonderful leader for the CBA-Alberta. He has tirelessly championed change both provincially and nationally while volunteering in many capacities over the years.  It has been a great privilege to work with him, and he will be missed. On behalf of the Executive Committee and the CBA Membership, I want to extend our thanks to Jeremiah for his service to the Branch.

It’s an exciting time of year here at the CBA, the grown-up version of back to school. National Membership renewal has officially begun, and I am certain you have received a reminder or two to renew. With section registration now open, we want to make sure you are getting the most from your membership and encourage you to look at the Portfolio and Portfolio Plus enhancements when renewing. These two add-on options offer members additional education credits which can be used towards many CBA Professional Development opportunities, including CBA Alberta Section fees, upcoming conferences like CBA West, and other continuing legal education offerings. If you are a member of more than one section, these options are particularly relevant as they can provide up to three materials-level memberships in CBA Alberta Sections. As a reminder, be sure you have purchased your Portfolio or Portfolio Plus package prior to registering for your sections.

As the Section year opens up many groups are looking for new members to become part of their executive committees. These volunteers are vital for CBA-Alberta as our professional development programming is delivered through their meeting planning and speaker recruitment. I encourage anyone who is interested to reach out to the Executive Committee of their Section of choice and ask about leadership opportunities as this is an extremely rewarding way to volunteer your time and to give back to the legal community. You can also contact our Section registrars in our Calgary or Edmonton offices. Members in Calgary can contact Linda Chapman at, and those in Edmonton can reach out to Heather Walsh at

If you want to volunteer but are unsure if an executive position is for you, many other volunteer opportunities are available. Section committees are always recruiting to do important work within the Branch. Things such as legislative review, advocacy, support events like Law Day, and even publishing this magazine. If you would like to register your interest in one of our committees, please visit

It’s also a great time to remind you that the CPD declaration period ends on September 30. We encourage all our members to review the 2018-19 Section Handbook, which outlines our offerings for the upcoming year. We have expanded our webcasting sections to all members near and far. This option is ideal for those who can’t easily get downtown but still want to be engaged. Another opportunity to realize your CPD plan is this year’s upcoming CBA West conference. We are partnering with the CBA BC Branch to put on the premier legal conference for practitioners in Western Canada. This year, taking place in Penticton B.C. the conference will run from April 26-29. You will soon be able to visit for a full schedule and speakers list, and to register.

CBA Alberta’s Access to Justice Committee has been busy on a number of different initiatives leading into the summer. These include steps towards the creation of an Access to Justice week which will have its soft launch this year September 29-October 5.

Finally, I would like to sincerely thank all the members of CBA Alberta for the opportunity to serve as President this year. It has challenged and rewarded me both personally and professionally. Through my time spent on the executive I have met many new people across the country. I have had the chance to work alongside with some of the profession's most talented people on the CBA Executive and section committees, all while making lifelong friends. I am so grateful for the experiences the CBA has given me!