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News & Press: CCLA News

CCLA 2016 Annual Report

March 28, 2017  

We are pleased to provide our 2016 Annual Report. Please click on the infographic below to enlarge in a new window. Statements from D. Lynne Watt, 2016 CCLA President, and Rick Haga, Executive Director, follow. Thank you for a great year!



President’s Message

I was pleased and honoured to have served as CCLA President for the past year (2016-2017).  I look forward to one more year on the CCLA Board and Executive, as Past President, and then I am confident that the great work of the CCLA will continue under the direction of the Executive and Board of Trustees that is constantly renewed with the election of new members.  I was very pleased this year to see that two members of the family law bar will be joining the Board – which fills a gap that we have had for the past few years. We have a truly representative board now, with members from the civil litigation, criminal defence, family law and IP bars, as well as three solicitors.  We are striving to increase the diversity of our membership as well as the number and services for francophone members, which we hope will result in increased representation on the Board.

Advocacy on behalf of our Members

CCLA was very active again this year in advocacy on behalf of its members.  We filed formal submissions in respect of the Law Society’s request for feedback on Advertising and Fee Arrangements;  the evaluation and recommendations concerning the Pathways Pilot Project (i.e. the alternative path to licensing introduced in 2014); the Law Society’s call for input on Compliance-Based Entity Regulation and on its Report on Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees. The CCLA also made representations to the Ministry of the Attorney General’s review of the scope of practice of paralegals in family law, headed by Justice Bonkalo, as well as the Family Law Rules Committee consultation on costs in family law proceedings.   We also hosted a Town hall consultation with David Field, President of Legal Aid Ontario.  The CCLA is also an active participant in the Federation of Ontario Law Associations (FOLA) and I had the honour of representing the CCLA, along with VP Jill Alexander and ED Rick Haga, at two FOLA plenaries this past year. The CCLA strongly supports FOLA and its advocacy efforts on behalf of the practising bar in Ontario. 

Legal Stakeholders

In addition to the two FOLA Plenary meetings, I was pleased to represent CCLA at a number of legal community events including the Reach Lawyer Appreciation Night in celebration of Reach’s 30th  anniversary, the Advocates Society End of Term Dinner, the unveiling of the portrait at Osgoode Hall of former Treasurer (and CCLA Past President) Tom Conway, the National Pro Bono Law Conference, the Canadian Bar Association Legal Conference, as well as meetings with former Treasurer (Janet Minor) and current Treasurer (Paul Schabas) and LSUC CEO Rob Lapper. 

Education and Events

Under the leadership of the CCLA’s Education and Events Coordinator, Jennifer Thompson, the CCLA put on its four tremendously successful cornerstone conferences, as well as nineteen other CPD programs across various practice areas and targeted at different segments of our membership. One of the most successful and important programs was the second installment of our programme on Lawyers and Mental Health, put on in partnership with The Royal Ottawa Hospital. Under the direction of our Education Committee chairs, Jill Alexander and Susanne Sviergula, the CCLA held an excellent consultation with all legal CPD stakeholders to plan our education events calendar for 2017 and beyond. In addition to CPD programming, the CCLA again put on a variety of social activities, including our very popular Summer and Holiday Socials, our golf tournament, the receptions held after each swearing-in ceremony at the courthouse, and all of the collegiality associated with our cornerstone conferences and CPD programs.  

I do not believe that there is another Law Association in Ontario that has the depth, breadth and quality of CPD programming and networking events that the CCLA offers to its members. I am confident that our members will agree that we have met our strategic objective of ensuring that the CCLA’s networking activities and continuing professional development events will be considered ‘must-do’ and ‘must-attend’ by the legal community.

Community events

The CCLA and its members are also very involved in the local community.  In addition to our very successful annual Courthouse Food Bank Drive, our support of Ottawa Law Day and the Law Day Fun Run, and the very popular and successful annual Lawyer Play (which has now raised more than $1.5 million to support the GCTC and local charities), the CCLA this year sponsored the new “Legal Services Cup Challenge” at the Dragon Boat festival and joined with the DCAO and Barristers for a Better By-Town to host a Hallowe’en Party to raise money for the Mission Hospice.

Judicial Appointments

It was a busy year for judicial appointments.  I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the swearing in ceremonies for three Justices of the Peace, three Judges and one Master, and just last month, three additional new Ontario Court judges were appointed to sit here in Ottawa. The CCLA hosted receptions in the atrium after each of the ceremonies which were all well attended.

There are still judicial vacancies that need to be filled, courtroom shortages and scheduling challenges, and all too frequent lengthy delays and cancellation of court dates but the recent activity has us guardedly optimistic that some improvement might be seen this year. The CCLA is actively involved in this issue, has had representation on various selection committees and continues to lobby at the both the provincial and federal level for appropriate funding for the proper functioning of the judicial system. We are gratified to see that both the Ontario Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee and the Federal Judicial Advisory Committee for Ontario East & North have been active and that new members of the Superior Court and Ontario Court have been appointed. 

CCLA Renovation Project

Finally, it wouldn’t be a President’s Message without an update on the Renovation Project. And this year, after years of effort by the CCLA Board and staff, we have some concrete progress to report!

The project was formally approved by the Ministry of the Attorney General in December 2016 and we were given the green light to commence work in January 2017.  The contract for the architectural consultant was prepared and tendered and was awarded in February. The first meeting of the architectural design team took place on March 2, 2017 and it is anticipated that that construction contract will go to tender over the summer.

The Ministry has also agreed to contribute $350,000 towards the construction of an expanded, state-of-the-art, multipurpose meeting room and learning centre to be used for Continuing Professional Development programs put on by the CCLA; special events and social activities; CCLA executive, Board and Committee meetings; and meetings for Courts Services Division. The CCLA is very excited – and grateful to the Ministry – that we will be able to add this feature to an expanded scope for the renovation project that was initially envisioned back in 2010 and which is now becoming a reality!

I wish to thank all of our existing (and future!) donors for their generosity and patience while we manoeuvered the labyrinths of bureaucracy to get the project approved.  Our work is not done – we still have money to raise and furnishings to secure – but we are the path and moving towards completion.

Thank you

In closing, I would like to thank the Executive Committee, the Board of Trustees and all of the CCLA volunteers and committee members for their hard work and efforts on behalf of the CCLA this past year. The CCLA Board is a truly collaborative board and our achievements are a reflection of the positive engagement of the entire Board.

I would also like to thank Executive Director Rick Haga and the amazing CCLA staff for maintaining the success of the CCLA 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, as always, making the Board look good, and providing excellent service to our members.

D. Lynne Watt
President, 2016-2017


Executive Director's Message

2016 was another remarkable year for the CCLA in so many ways and on so many fronts. You will have read in President Lynne Watt’s Message many significant accomplishments and results regarding our advocacy efforts, work with stakeholders, education, community events and priority projects.

Associations can measure success using business indicators such as financial statistics, membership statistics, program participation statistics along with movement towards strategic priorities. The County of Carleton Law Association successfully met all of these benchmarks and more in 2016! Our Annual Report infographic provides you with a snapshot of what was accomplished and is by no means an exhaustive list.

I’d like to start with a result from our number one strategic priority which is our renovations project, and as you read in the President’s Message we made significant progress in 2016 towards making this a reality on both the planning and funding side. It is worth noting that the CCLA is the only local law association in the province who has undertaken a self-funded project of this magnitude to renovate its courthouse space.

On the business-indicator side let me highlight some of our membership statistics such retention rate and the amount of members we had in 2016. Our total membership was 1,753 which was stable from last year, with retention rate of 81% which is above the industry average.

We continue to increase and improve the programs, products and services to our members in order to provide value for CCLA Members and the legal community as a whole.

We held a total 23 events with 14 educational and 9 social that included our four provincially recognized cornerstone conferences for the civil litigation, criminal, family and solicitor bars. Total participation at all four conferences combined was 870 attendees! One of our conferences celebrated its 36th year!  We introduced our first annual CCLA Legal Challenge Cup at the Dragon Boat Festival in June and the Cup will be up for grabs again in 2017!

The CCLA is a Regional Library that provides high quality legal information & reference services in Ottawa and in the East Region. In 2016 our Library team won the Clawbie Award for best Law Library Blog in Canada, and started offering our first in-house created webinars to deliver research training to lawyers beyond the library. We responded to just over 1800 reference questions. The HeadStart program for articling students was again a sell-out at 80 attendees.

The CCLA continues to operate within a solid financial framework with a strong diversified revenue base, and as you will note in our financial highlights section we finished 2016 in a very positive financial position allowing us to fund contributions to both of Renovations Reserve Fund as well as our General Reserve Fund. We were able to realize these results utilizing strong expense controls and a diverse revenue stream from all sides of our operation, programs and activities.

Good measures of organizational health for the CCLA are considered to be the following:

•       Growth in our membership & increased attendance at educational programs.

•       Financial resources that are solid, stable, diversified, & increasing.

•       Human Resources that provides talent, depth, committed & passionate volunteers and staff

•      A culture that is collegial, diverse, professional & respectful.

The CCLA is extremely proud to be part of a culture of community service and giving that is indeed a hallmark of the legal profession in Eastern Ontario. Members of the legal community give so much of their expertise, time and money to an incredibly wide and diverse group of causes, charitable activities and organizations that enrich the community that we live in.

The CCLA was again governed this year by an outstanding Executive Committee and Board of Trustees under the leadership of President Lynne Watt. On behalf of the CCLA we thank you Lynne, for your strong leadership, stewardship and many hours of service over the past year. It was an honour and pleasure to have worked with you during your Presidency! Thank you to our Executive Committee, and Board of Trustees for all of your contributions and leadership throughout the year!  

CCLA Committees form an integral part of our infrastructure and we are indeed fortunate to have so many committed and talented members who give freely of their time to support all our events and programs. We thank you for your commitment, enthusiasm and leadership!

We also value & appreciate our special relationship with the Judiciary and wish to thank the members of the Bench for their continued participation and support. To our partner organizations and community business partners, we thank you for the support you provide to the CCLA throughout the year.

We have an incredibly talented and committed staff team and I would like to extend my personal thanks & appreciation to Kate Bell, Amanda Elliot, Brenda Lauritzen, Sonia Morin, Emily Shearer, Jennifer Thompson, Jennifer Walker, and Wanda Walters for the hard work, commitment and professionalism that they bring to their jobs each day!

Rick Haga
Executive Director