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News & Press: CCLA News

CCLA 2015 Annual Report

March 15, 2016  

We are pleased to provide our 2015 Annual Report. Please click on the infographic below to enlarge in a new window. Statements from Steven Gaon, 2015 CCLA President, and Rick Haga, Executive Director, follow. Thank you for a great year!


  

President’s Message

I am proud to have served as your President in 2015-2016. It has been a remarkable year at the CCLA, marked by numerous milestones and achievements. 

Our membership numbers are as strong as ever; our legal education conferences are first-rate and better than ever; the work of our Committees continues to be superb; and the CCLA continues to be the pre-eminent voice and advocate for providers of legal services in Ottawa and the Eastern Ontario region. Thanks to the diligent work of the CCLA Board of Trustees and staff, we remain in a very sturdy financial position. 

Nothing can truly prepare you for the myriad of issues and challenges that land on your desk as CCLA President – both planned and unplanned! You have to exercise sound judgment; be flexible and diplomatic; and be ready to deal with both long-term and short-term issues on a daily basis. It has been quite a ride for me this year, one that I will remember fondly. 

Our ambitious plan to renovate the Courthouse Library and Barrister’s Lounge and convert it into a state of the art legal learning centre made tremendous strides this year. This was a primary objective for the CCLA and my major priority as President. At this time last year, we were facing daunting challenges which could have proven insurmountable. I am proud to have led efforts to dramatically reduce the cost estimates by almost $1 million, to the point where we are now on the cusp of making this plan a reality. This is the result of the hard work of many people. The CCLA Board remains enormously grateful to those in the legal community who have so generously contributed to this project and we look forward to getting that first shovel in the ground. 

Our committees continue to do incredible work. I am grateful to the many CCLA members who so graciously volunteered their time during my tenure. 

On the advocacy front, I wish to highlight some of our accomplishments. The CCLA has been involved in preparing thoughtful responses to requests from the Law Society of Upper Canada on changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct and Compliance-Based Entity Regulation, among other matters. We also prepared detailed submissions to the Ontario Government’s proposed Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMP) System and are in the process of responding to Justice Bonkalo’s Family Legal Services Review, which is currently underway.

The recent implementation of new security protocols at the Ottawa Courthouse was a big issue. In coordination with the Ottawa Police Service, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General implemented airport-type security at the Elgin Street Courthouse. This was a major change from the past, when there were virtually no significant security measures in place. It was a serious adjustment for lawyers and paralegals, and the feeling of many members was that the measures went too far. In conjunction with the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa, we were successful in effecting changes so that not only can CCLA members pass more freely through the entrance, Law Society members need only present valid membership ID to bypass full security screening. 

And what a busy year it was for the Ottawa judiciary! All told, I spoke at the swearing-in ceremonies for no less than five new judges on the Superior Court of Justice (Justices Doyle, Shelston, Corthorn, Roger and Sheard), one judge on the Ontario Court of Justice (Bourgeois) and a new Case Management Master (Champagne). 

I wish to thank the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees for their efforts and wise counsel. The CCLA Board is a truly collaborative board and our achievements this year are a reflection of positive collaboration and leadership from the entire Board. 

I would also like to thank Executive Director Rick Haga and his staff for helping to generate our success as an organization. Rick has continued to lead by example and we are incredibly fortunate to have him with us. The CCLA staff did a wonderful job, making the Board look good and providing excellent services to our members. 

It has been an exceptionally rewarding experience and a great personal honour for me to represent you, the members of Ottawa’s legal community. 

Steven Gaon
President, 2015-2016

 

Executive Director's Message

On behalf of the County of Carleton Law Association (CCLA) I am pleased to introduce our new look 2015 Annual Report which provides you with a high level overview of some of the many accomplishments and highlights that have been realized this past year.

We are guided and remained focused on our Mission Statement and Strategic Plan which was refreshed and renewed in late 2014. Our number one Strategic Priority continues to be renovations to our space at the Courthouse and we have been working extremely hard with the Ministry of the Attorney General and local politicians to move this project forward.

The CCLA continues to operate within a solid financial framework with a strong diversified revenue base. Our membership base continues to grow and diversify annually.

In 2015 we provided high quality library services and programs as a regional law library, provincially recognized continuing legal education programs, networking & social events, and a wide array of membership benefits and services. The CCLA is one of the premier legal associations in the Region and is a recognized leader within the Province.

The CCLA is governed by a group of dedicated & talented leaders on the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees under the leadership of our President Steven Gaon. On behalf of the CCLA I would also like to extend our thanks and appreciation to the Executive Committee, Board of Trustees and to all of the Committees and volunteers who give so much of their talent and time throughout the year.

I also have the distinct pleasure of working with an incredibly talented and committed staff team here at the CCLA and would like to extend my personal thanks to Kate Bell, Amanda Elliot, Brenda Lauritzen, Sonia Morin, Jennifer Thompson, Jennifer Walker, and Wanda Walters.

Please join me in celebrating all of our successes in 2015 and to once again thank everyone who contributed in so many ways to furthering the Mission of the CCLA!

Rick Haga
Executive Director