Law Society Drops “Upper Canada” From Its Name
Update: On October 17, 2017, The Lawyer’s Daily reported that with “Upper Canada” being officially dropped from the title of Ontario’s law society, the regulator is in the process of determining what its new name should be.
Falconer was quoted in the article stating, “the four names (Legal Professionals of Ontario, Ontario Law Society, Legal Regulator of Ontario and Law Society of Ontario) arose from consultation with our experts that surveyed both the profession and the public…The [name] options are intended to give an opportunity to both the members and the public to look at different ways of considering the name.”
He went further to say, “from day one the steering group has emphasized that this initiative is connected to the law society’s strategic imperative of improving its connection with the public and a part of that is name recognition…In that context we surveyed both members and the public through the consultants to get feedback. And the entire idea was once we had determined at our last Convocation that there was going to be a change, and we would be dropping the words ‘Upper Canada,’ was to get help from our members and the public going forward. So this is very much about ensuring that we don’t leave either the membership or the public behind in making these decisions.”
Update: Convocation has voted in favour of dropping “Upper Canada” from its name, and will vote on a new name in November 2017.
Julian Falconer, Bencher, and Chair of the Law Society’s Strategic Communications Steering Group, will submit a motion to Convocation [live cast] on Thursday, September 28, 2017. In June 2017, the Law Society was “tasked with determining whether the name The Law Society of Upper Canada was a barrier to connecting with the general public,” says Canadian Lawyer Mag.
In the Canadian Lawyer Mag, Falconer was quoted stating, “The question that Benchers have to contend with and will be called upon to decide is: Does the name represent the way we wish to go forward? Does the name open doors or is it a name that tends to keep doors closed?”
Falconer commented further saying “real concrete steps are expected out of all of us as institutions and Canadians when we speak of reconciliation and it is no secret that the term ‘Upper Canada’ carries a negative connotation for many Indigenous people.”
In the News
LSUC to vote on changing name to Law Society of Ontario The Lawyers Daily, September 26, 2017
LSUC to consider name change Canadian Lawyer Magazine, September 25, 2017