Playoff hockey made a brief appearance in Calgary this year, and is still going strong for the Edmonton Oilers as I write this column. Needlesss to say that while I strive to represent all CBA members in Alberta in my role as Branch President - regardless of their choice in hockey team - I cannot pass up this opportunity to say GO OILERS GO!
Earlier this spring, the federal government announced another round of judicial appointments in our province. Please join me in congratulating the newest justices of the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta: William T. deWit, QC, Michele Hollins, QC (CBA Alberta and CBA National past president), Ritu Khullar, QC, and the Honourable Judge Marilyn Slawinsky. I am happy to note that all four are active CBA members. While the federal government has committed to funding 12 additional superior court judicial positions, they have yet to be filled. We will continue to work with stakeholders in Alberta's legal community to have these positions are filled as quickly as possible.
Each year throughout April and May, cities around Alberta host Law Day events. April saw events take place in Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, St. Paul, Edmonton and Calgary. We look forward to a final event in Fort McMurray later in May. This year, Law Day events recognized the 150th anniversary of Confederation through the Canada150 video project. Canadians who have recently received their citizenship were interviewed on what it means to them to be Canadian, what the process to citizenship looked like for them, and what drove them to immigrate to Canada. The Canada150 video is available on the Law Day website at www.lawdayalberta.com.
Each year on Law Day, we partner with Legal Aid Alberta and other community legal partners to host Dial-a-Lawyer, an event which provides free legal consultations to members of the public. This year, our volunteers assisted over 100 people in the areas of family law, criminal law, immigration law, wills and trusts, and civil litigation over the course of the day on April 22. On behalf of the CBA Alberta, I would like to thank all of the volunteers who make Dial-a-Lawyer and Law Day events possible each spring.
In May, our north and south Section Coordinators hosted the annual Section Workshops. These workshops are excellent tools for current Section executive members, and those looking to get more involved in Section leadership. The content delivered through our 72 north and south Sections is entirely delivered through the work of volunteer lawyers, and if you are interested in becoming more involved with the CBA, this is an excellent place to begin. If you missed the Section Workshops and are still interested in getting involved in Section leadership, please contact Heather Walsh in Edmonton at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Linda Chapman in Calgary at email@example.com.
There are many volunteer opportunities with the CBA Alberta open to our membership, and we are currently recruiting new volunteers for the 2017-18 membership year. In addition to Section leadership, opportunities are also available with our standing committees, which include Alberta Law Conference, Agenda for Justice & Advocacy, Access to Justice, Equality, Editorial/Law Matters, Law Day, Legislation & Law Reform, and Membership & Member Services. To provide your interest in CBA Alberta volunteer opportunities, please visit www.cba-alberta.org/Volunteer.
At our May meeting of the Alberta Branch Council, we heard from two of our distinguished members, Kevin Feth, QC and David Hiebert, who are running for the position of 2017-18 CBA Alberta Branch Secretary. Through June 6, members of Council (which includes Section and committee chairs, and CBA Alberta Past Presidents) will have the opportunity to vote for the incoming Executive Committee member. Please join me in wishing both Kevin and David the best of luck in their campaigns.
Registration is now open for CBA West 2017, the premier conference for legal professionals in Western Canada, held in partnership with the CBA BC Branch. Join us at the Wynn Las Vegas on November 17 - 19 for a weekend of professional development and networking with colleagues from across Canada. We already have a roster of excellent speakers scheduled for the conference, including a session with chief judges and justices from multiple levels of court in Alberta and British Columbia. The CBA West planning committee has also worked to make travel to Las Vegas as economical as possible, with discount codes available for flights with WestJet and Air Canada, as well as discounted room rates at the Wynn Las Vegas for the duration of the conference, as well as the three nights prior and following. For more information and to register, visit www.cba-west.org.
Finally, CBA members can expect to begin receiving membership renewal notices shortly. If you have not already done so, we encourage everyone to switch to paperless billing, which will allow you to receive your renewal invoice right in your email inbox. When renewing, don't forget to add your Portfolio or Portfolio Plus package to your membership - this will give you up to three complimentary materials-level section memberships, as well as credits that can be used towards eligible CBA purchases such as conference registration or other professional development opportunities. As always, our staff in Calgary and Edmonton are available to assist should you have any questions about your membership.