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Be it resolved

A summary of the resolutions adopted at the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Bar Association.

CBA President Steeves Bujold
CBA President Steeves Bujold at the Annual General Meeting in Ottawa, February 9, 2023

All five resolutions that came up for a vote at the all-virtual 2023 Annual General Meeting were adopted. Below is a summary of what was decided. 

Resolution 1: CBA Bylaw amendments

This resolution from the Board of Directors resolves technical issues and inconsistencies in CBA Bylaw No 1. The amendments moves responsibility for enterprise risk management to a renamed Audit and Risk Committee. The Board has adopted concurrent amendments to the General Regulations to realign the responsibilities of that committee. Also, the special class of CBA membership established in the bylaw for scholars is being changed to a fee category – which is in line with other members afforded fee reductions due to special circumstances.

Resolution 2: Urging the Canadian government to walk the talk on children’s rights

Ten years ago, the CBA called on the federal government to table a detailed action plan to improve the country’s implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This resolution exhorts Canada’s government to “commit to tabling a detailed Government Action Plan in response to the recommendations that Canada received for improving its implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child within one year of the release of those Concluding Observations, by June 9, 2023.”

Resolution 3: Improving data collected on judicial applicants

The third resolution adopted at the AGM seeks to improve “the collection, analysis and reporting of intersectional data” on judicial applicants in Canada. The CBA has long supported greater diversity in the legal profession, including on the bench. The resolution encourages improvements in the self-identification data of judges and judicial applicants collected by the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada, in particular to ensure it cross-references indigeneity, race, ethnicity, disability, gender, gender expression or sexual orientation.

Resolution 4: Promoting language rights and French in the CBA

This resolution, proposed by the French-Speaking Common Law Members Section, asks the CBA reiterate the importance for Canadians to have equal access to justice and the law in both official languages. The resolution reiterates the importance of using French within the CBA and urges the Association to do its best to ensure that its internal communications are always written in French and English. Finally, it asks that CBA members have access to continuing professional development in French.

Resolution 5: Reining in non-disclosure agreements

The final resolution that was carried seeks to restrict the use of NDAs to protecting trade secrets, and not to cover up abuse, harassment, fraud, discrimination or other misconduct, in particular in the workplace by using them to silence victims of misconduct or whistleblowers.