A Spotlight on Expanding Engagement Lecture: The Promise of Justice and Health Partnerships

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By Erin Wolfson, Community Engagement Specialist, Division of Social Accountability, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan  

The College of Medicine was delighted to be a part of the Second Annual Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week! On October 18th, 2017 at noon in the College of Law, we had the pleasure of co-coordinating the lecture, Expanding Engagement: Creating Connections Between Delivery of Justice and Health Service, delivered by Michelle Leering, Executive Director of the Community Advocacy and Legal Centre in Belleville, Ontario. Michelle spoke about the promise of justice and health partnerships, and the vital role justice and health partnerships have to play in increasing access to justice in Saskatchewan. As Michelle described, justice and health partnerships have emerged as a holistic and proactive approach to address intersecting health and justice issues, the social determinants of health and health disparities in communities. While such partnerships are commonly seen in the United States and Australia, justice and health partnerships are only just beginning to appear in Canada, with one excellent example being the Rural Justice and Health Partnerships Project founded by Michelle in Ontario.

The lecture helped to continue the dialogue that began at the College of Law’s Dean’s Forum on Access to Justice and Dispute Resolution in March of this year. On March 1st, 2017, the College of Law hosted their Fifth Annual Dean’s Forum on Access to Justice and Dispute Resolution. Again, the College of Medicine participated as one of the topics centered on expanding engagement between justice and health services here in Saskatchewan. Three common themes arose during the meeting: (i) the focus of all collaborations should be benefits to patients or clients; (ii) more research must be done regarding all connections between health and justice and the types of collaborations best able to serve patients and clients; and (iii) the interdisciplinary education of students and active professionals should be prioritized. The group also identified key goals/principles and options for steps moving forward, which can be viewed here.

We hope to continue the collaboration between the College of Medicine and the College of Law with events in the future and would like to extend a special thanks to the 60 + people in attendance from both justice and health sectors – faculty, practitioners, students and administrators. We look forward to what we might see in terms of future interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaborations here in Saskatchewan. We hope this is just the beginning and look forward to many more conversations to come.

This lecture was made possible by the Office of the Vice-President Research Visiting Lecture Fund at the University of Saskatchewan, with support from CREATE Justice, and the Division of Social Accountability, College of Medicine.

Photo credit: Pro Bono Students Canada – Saskatchewan

Highlight from Day 2 of Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week: A Spotlight on Access to Justice Champions

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By Alex Santos, Pro Bono Students Canada Program Coordinator, Third Year Student, College of Law

The team at Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC) had a great time hosting A Spotlight on Access to Justice Champions: A Volunteer Appreciation Event as part of A2J Week on Tuesday. This event provided an opportunity to reconnect and hear about the work PBSC volunteers are doing in community. Thank you to everyone who made it out! PBSC wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of our volunteers, and we’re excited to see how their work continues to help facilitate access to legal services in Saskatchewan.

We would also like to thank our generous sponsor, WestlawNext Canada, for their support.

During Access to Justice Week, CLASSIC invites consideration of what “Access to Justice” means and could or should mean

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By Chantelle Johnson, Executive Director, CLASSIC

“Access to Justice” as a term has gained in popularity over the past few years. Actual implementation, or doing anything beyond terminology is far more difficult than talking about “Access to Justice”. For those of us who work in the “justice” field, it is not unlikely that we hear this term on a weekly, if not daily basis.   CLASSIC’s mission statement speaks to social justice rather than access to justice. We updated it to reference social justice because our goal is a just society, rather than mere access to legal systems.  This distinction is very important particularly as the term “Access to Justice” has become so trendy.  “Access to Justice” means different things to different people and CLASSIC does not want to risk others attributing their subjective thoughts about this topic to CLASSIC or the people we work with.

The vision that guides CLASSIC is “CLASSIC works toward a just society that is supported by a fair legal system”.  A just society is not one where folks merely have lawyers or legal help with their matters – though this would be a major accomplishment. Rather, a just society is one that is equitable and where all members of our community enjoy equally the protections and benefits created through the legal system and beyond.  CLASSIC challenges everyone reading this to consider what “Access to Justice” means to you, and what it could or should mean.  The people CLASSIC works with do not consider justice to have been served when a new form makes their participation easier in court, at a point in a legal process, or otherwise (though this is important too!). Rather all people want to be treated as human beings who deserve dignity and respect.


Federal Proclamations

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Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, SC 2017, c 20

Sections 126 to 129 and 131 to 190 of the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, SC 2017, c 20, are proclaimed into force September 21, 2017 (P.C. Number 2017-1159).

According to iPolitics, the amendment makes the Parliamentary Budget Officer a full officer of Parliament with expanded powers, and the PBO a stand-alone office which no longer operates under the auspices of the Library of Parliament.

Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, SC 2013, c 16

Sections 19, 22, 23, 25 to 27, 30, 31, 34 and 35 of the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, SC 2013, c 16, are proclaimed into force on the day on which this Order is published in the Canada Gazette part II (PC 2017-1207).

Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1, SC 2015, c 36

Sections 169(1), 171(1), 171(3), 172, 173 and 175 of the Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1, SC 2015, c 36, is proclaimed into force September 29, 2017 (PC 2017-1206).

An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act, SC 2017, c 14

Sections 1(1) to (4), (6), (7), (9), (10), 8 and 13 of An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act, SC 2017, c 14, is proclaimed into force October 11, 2017 (PC 2017-1205).

October 16-21 Proclaimed Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week

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By Brea Lowenberger
Access To Justice Coordinator & Director of CREATE Justice, University of Saskatchewan, College of Law

Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan has proclaimed October 16-21, 2017 as Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week.

There are a range of opportunities for the public, lawyers and law faculty, members from other disciplines, and law students to participate during the week.

Attend the events and join the conversation on social media: #SKA2J2017.