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Gaels help make Taylor Hall tournament a success

Hockey stars from the NHL, OHL and OUA faced off on July 29 in downtown Kingston for the 4th annual Taylor Hall Charity Ball Hockey Tournament in support of the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston.

Among those taking up their sticks alongside the New Jersey Devils star winger were Queen’s Gaels standouts Kevin Bailie (Law’19, Artsci’17) and Spencer Abraham (Law’20).

"Taylor Hall Ball Hockey Tournament"
Tournament co-founders Taylor Hall of the New Jersey Devils, second from left, and Kevin Bailie (Law’19) of the Queen''s Gaels men's hockey team, third from left, take a break from the action with Nicholas Osanic, Aaron Fransen (Law’04), and Phil Osanic (Law’91, LLM’02), at the charity ball hockey event in downtown Kingston on July 29. (Photo by Jackie Li)

The event is the brainchild of Bailie, a goalie for the Gaels, and his childhood and former OHL rival Hall. 

“One night when I was in first-year undergrad, Taylor and I had a debate about who could build a better ball hockey team of former teammates,” says Bailie. “We did just that. Eventually some businesses found out and wanted to sponsor the event. It started gaining a lot of publicity and became what is my favourite day of the summer each year. We figured with that much exposure and potential we might as well use it to support a good cause, and that is why all proceeds go to the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston.”

Abraham, another former OHL competitor of Bailie’s and now his Gaels teammate, participated in the tournament for the third consecutive year and also pitched in to help Bailie with game-day organization.

A defenceman who has now attended two camps with the NHL’s Florida Panthers, Abraham can empathize with the children.

“Through my hockey experiences I noticed how much kids looked up to me as a player and the power I possessed in making a difference in their lives,” he says. “Hockey and the life skills I have learned playing the game have molded me into the person I am today and I attend the event to give back to the community and raise money so these kids have the opportunity to live the same dream and acquire the same life skills.” 

Also joining the play were Aaron Fransen, (Law’04, Artsci’01), and Phil Osanic (Law’91, LLM’02). 

Fransen, a Kingston Frontenacs and Queen’s Gaels alumnus, is one of Bailie's key role models.

“We have similar backgrounds and as a mentor Aaron has been so helpful to me,” he says.

Now a partner with Stikeman Elliott in Toronto, Fransen played on a team of lawyers. Also on that team was Osanic, a Kingston lawyer and faculty member with Smith School of Business and the Faculty of Law. 

Other NHL players participating in the event included Calvin de Haan (New York Islanders), Ben Hutton (Vancouver Canucks) and Lawson Crouse (Arizona Coyotes). 

This year’s event raised nearly $20,000

“The highlight for me was just seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces,” says Abraham. “To pass on that inspiration and love for the game to others who have the same goals and aspirations I once had is the ultimate prize for me.”

Bailie echoes that sentiment.

“I loved the game between Kingston minor players and a celebrity squad,” he says, reflecting on his favourite sports memory from when he was nine – skating on the Bay of Quinte with the Vancouver Canucks when Belleville native and then-coach Marc Crawford brought them to town between a Toronto-Ottawa series. 

“To think we may have just created such a life-long memory for 20 young kids feels amazing,” he says. “That’s why I do it and I hope I’m always in a position to do those sorts of things for deserving people.”

Gift creates award for Indigenous law students

David Sharpe (Law’95) has been helping Queen’s Law reach out to Indigenous Juris Doctor (JD) prospects for the past four years as a volunteer ambassador. Now he has bolstered that support with a $50,000 gift, creating the David Sharpe Indigenous Law Student Award for upper-year studies.

"David Sharpe"
David Sharpe (Law’95) has provided Queen's law with a $50,000 gift to create an Indigenous law student award for upper-year studies. (Photo by Studio 66)

“It is a pleasure and an honour to be able to share in Queen’s commitment to making higher education more accessible to Indigenous students,” says Mr. Sharpe, CEO of Bridging Finance Inc. and Chair Emeritus of the Board of Governors for First Nations University of Canada.

The award, valued at $10,000 for each of the next five years, will be given on the basis of students’ contributions to the law school or broader university community to enhance understanding and respect for Indigenous knowledge, culture, governance and perspectives on law, as well as good academic standing and general proficiency in JD studies. Two students may share the award after completion of first or second year of the JD program.

Following University Senate approval, the first Sharpe Award recipient(s) will be selected in the summer of 2017. 

“This award will be of tremendous assistance to our Indigenous students in Law,” says Heather Cole, (Artsci’91, Law’96, MPA’00), the Faculty of Law’s Assistant Dean of Students. “Queen’s Law has made a strong commitment to recruiting more Indigenous students and creating a law school that supports diversity and cultural awareness and understanding. We are grateful to alumni like David Sharpe who support these efforts.” 

In a timely law course he developed especially for his alma mater and introduced last winter, Mr. Sharpe also began teaching students how to negotiate in a First Nations context.

“Queen’s is developing solid Indigenous leaders,” says Mr. Sharpe, a member of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. “I am committed to assisting with this endeavour and honouring the Calls to Action outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report.”

Elder Law Clinic expands experiential learning opportunities

​Blair Hicks has always had a high-flying career and she’s now guiding some Queen’s Law students along their own paths to making a difference. As the new director of the Queen’s Elder Law Clinic (QELC), she supervises student caseworkers as they gain valuable practical experience while providing much-needed services to vulnerable Kingston-area residents. 

In this Q&A, first published by Queen’s Law Reports, she talks about the growing demand for legal assistance in her area of practice and her future plans for the Queen’s Law clinic. 

Q: What interests you most about elder law and in providing legal services to senior citizens?

[Blair Hicks, Director, Queen's Elder Law Clinic]
Blair Hicks is the director of the Queen's Elder Law Clinic. (Photo by Val Mitchell)

Blair Hicks: I particularly like the idea of helping seniors be more in control of events as the years unfold for them. I find that most clients are so relieved and empowered once they have put their wishes and instructions down into something formal; it’s very rewarding work.

Q: What attracted you to the Queen’s Elder Law Clinic?

BH: I first came to QELC in May of last year, as review counsel covering for the then-director who was on leave. It felt like a great fit right from the start. I spent a good portion of my former career (many years as an air force navigator) in a training and education role – I loved it (and missed it)! I was drawn to the opportunity to combine estate planning, elder issues (which are the areas I focus on in my own practice) and working with students all at once. It’s a fantastic opportunity.

Q: What will you be doing in your role as director?

BH: As the director, I will be overseeing the clinic and its academic program under the leadership of the Executive Director Karla McGrath. The program accepts eight student caseworkers over the school year, and we employ one caseworker through the summer months to provide year-round continuity. Specifically, I will wear a number of hats: instructor, mentor, review counsel, program manager, cheerleader, coach, and chief cook ‘n’ bottle-washer. Ahoy! 

Q: What are your plans for the clinic as the QELC director?

BH: QELC has grown each year, and in the last 12 months in particular there’s been a big leap in client applications, which now come in regularly, even during the traditionally quiet summer months. I hope that QELC will follow the pace of Queen’s Business Law Clinic and Queen’s Family Law Clinic, and continue to see steady growth so that we can eventually provide this experience to more than eight students; demand for the program from the students has always been greater than the number of available positions.

Last academic term, QELC established a trial community partnerships program with the Northumberland Community Legal Clinic (NCLC) in Cobourg, and our caseworkers reached out twice per month over the year to serve clients already established there. It was a great success, and this summer QELC has duplicated that arrangement with the Kingston Community Legal Clinic (KCLC) just down the street from us. These partnerships are win-win: the students have more and more diverse file work, are introduced to the workings of the community clinics, and the service addresses a real need in these communities. As well, we now have an in-house partnership with the Queen’s Prison Law Clinic to assist incarcerated seniors with issues such as powers of attorney. 

Lastly, in the months ahead, we hope to continue to target and educate more of the local community groups or organizations that would help us have a greater presence in Kingston, and generate an ongoing flow of clients. QELC students and staff have recently presented to Kingston Community Health Centre, local church groups, and financial and tax service providers that serve low-income seniors; the response to our service is always overwhelmingly positive.

Visit the Queen's Elder Law Clinic website for more information.

Honorary Degree: Donald Bayne

  • Lawyer and former Gaels quarterback Donald Bayne speaks at Grant Hall on Friday, June 9 after receiving an honorary degree from Queen's University.
    Lawyer and former Gaels quarterback Donald Bayne speaks at Grant Hall on Friday, June 9 after receiving an honorary degree from Queen's University.
  • Donald Bayne, fourth from left, received an honorary degree from Queen's University on Friday, June 9. From left: Rector Cam Yung; Chancellor Jim Leech; Principal Daniel Woolf; Dr. Bayne; and Bill Flanagan, Dean, Faculty of Law.
    Donald Bayne, fourth from left, received an honorary degree from Queen's University on Friday, June 9. From left: Rector Cam Yung; Chancellor Jim Leech; Principal Daniel Woolf; Dr. Bayne; and Bill Flanagan, Dean, Faculty of Law.
  • Lawyer and former Gaels quarterback Donald Bayne waits to be hooded by Dean of the Faculty of Law Bill Flanagan as Chancellor Jim Leech looks on.
    Lawyer and former Gaels quarterback Donald Bayne waits to be hooded by Dean of the Faculty of Law Bill Flanagan as Chancellor Jim Leech looks on.

Lawyer and former quarterback for the Gaels, Donald Bayne (Arts’66, Law’69, EMBA’01) returned to Queen’s On Friday, June 9 to receive an honorary degree.

A partner with Bayne, Sellar, Boxall, a firm practising exclusively criminal law in Ottawa, Mr. Bayne has practised criminal law exclusively for the past 45 years.  He has been designated a specialist in criminal litigation by the Law Society and has conducted trial and appellate advocacy at all levels of courts in Canada and at public inquiries around the world.

In 2015 he was inducted into the Queen’s Football Hall of Fame in the builder category. Mr. Bayne was among the first to advocate for a new stadium and played significant roles in leadership, fundraising and advocacy, for the restoration of the athletics fields, and the new Richardson Stadium. He was also the president of the Queen's Football Club for many years.

Law Library acquires Aboriginal texts

Located on traditional Anishnaabe and Haudenosaunee Territory, the Faculty of Law has been part of a campus-wide effort at Queen’s University to provide an opportunity for members of Indigenous communities to see representations of their cultures on campus, and also provide non-Indigenous people an opportunity to learn about Indigenous cultures and languages.

[Lederman Law Library Aboriginal Texts]
A recent donation enabled Lederman Library to expand its collection of books focused on Indigenous law. (University Communications)

One way Lederman Law Library is doing this is through a recent gift for the purchase of legal texts.

“An anonymous donor generously provided us with $5,000 for books for the Lederman Library. In the context of the recent findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, expanding our available works on Aboriginal law is a priority,” says Amy Kaufman, Head Law Librarian. “We focused particularly on works on Aboriginal law and aspects of law, as published by Aboriginal authors and publishing houses.”

The gift allows the Lederman Library to begin broadening and deepening its collection in this area.

“What we have now is not huge, but it’s important,” Ms. Kaufman says. “It’s a modest collection, but is composed of material that can give researchers a fuller understanding of Aboriginal law than books that have  often been written through a non-Indigenous lens. We have also held some of the donation in reserve, so we can keep looking and stay current.”

Further work to expand the collection will involve consultation outside the library, as well.

“Jason Mercredi, the Aboriginal Student Representative on the Law Students’ Society, has kindly agreed to help us with forward-looking research,” Ms. Kaufman adds.

As well as books that give wider, and particularly indigenous, perspectives on aboriginal law, Ms. Kaufman says that the new acquisitions have resonances that extend past strictly legal interests.

“We’re focusing on books that go beyond black letter law; that look at what Aboriginal people themselves say are important rules, customs and methodologies. We’re looking for ways to explore the Aboriginal context and formulation of Aboriginal law – to have a new openness to those customs and methods,” she explains.

The Lederman acquisitions represent one of the ways Queen’s University Library is supporting diversity and inclusion on campus. Another recent example includes the creation of 12 new study rooms at Stauffer Library with Indigenous names and artwork. 

Changes to senior academic leadership mandates

Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Benoit-Antoine Bacon has announced the expansion/refocusing or extension of four senior academic leadership mandates.

“The mandates of senior academic leadership must evolve in order to best meet the needs and aspirations of the university. Accordingly, the roles and responsibilities for both Teri Shearer and Martha Whitehead have been updated and enhanced to reflect the goals and aims of their positions,” says Dr. Bacon. “I am also pleased that both Dean Bill Flanagan and Dean David Saunders have agreed to extend their positions for one and two years respectively, and will continue to provide the leadership that Queen’s has come to rely upon.”

[Teri Shearer]To reflect the deputy provost’s new focus on, and accountability for, equity, diversity and inclusion on campus, Teri Shearer’s title has been modified to deputy provost (academic operations and inclusion). In this modified role, Dr. Shearer will champion equity, diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the university’s mission. She will oversee the Human Rights and Equity Offices, lead the university’s response to the crucial reports from the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity and Inclusion and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Taskforce, and oversee the establishment of the Aboriginal Initiatives Office.

The deputy provost’s key operational responsibilities in overseeing academic appointments and curriculum development as chair of the Senate Committee on Academic Development will also ensure there is direct oversight for enhancing equity, diversity and inclusion across the university’s academic operations. As the provost's second-in-command, the deputy provost (academic operations and inclusion) is uniquely positioned to lead broad institutional change through close working relationships with the deans, vice-provosts and vice-principals.

[Martha Whitehead]Martha Whitehead has been asked to play a more explicit role in the institutional coordination of the university’s various areas of digital strengths, and in further planning to meet Queen’s current and future digital needs. Accordingly, her title has been revised to vice-provost (digital planning) and university librarian. Working hand in hand with the chief information officer and associate vice-principal (information technology services), Ms. Whitehead will help to bring together all stakeholders and lead discussions towards laying the foundation of a digital strategy for Queen’s.

[Bill Flanagan]At Principal Daniel Woolf’s request, Bill Flanagan has agreed to remain in the position of dean, Faculty of Law for an additional year until June 30, 2019, following the conclusion of his third term on June 30, 2018. Mr. Flanagan was initially appointed dean of the Faculty of Law in 2005, and has since seen the faculty through a period of unprecedented growth and development. 

[David Saunders]At the principal's request, David Saunders has agreed to serve for two additional years, until June 30, 2020, as dean of the Smith School of Business. Under Dr. Saunders’ strategic leadership, the business school has experienced dramatic growth and surge in reputation, and has expanded its footprint in both Kingston and Toronto. In 2015, the school received a $50 million donation from Canadian entrepreneur Stephen Smith – the largest gift to a business school in Canada – and in recognition, was named the Stephen J.R. Smith School of Business.

 

Law student encourages deeper understanding of treaty histories

On March 21, the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force presented its final report with recommendations to the university community. The historical milestone was marked with an event that day at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. The Gazette is featuring profiles of Indigenous members of the TRC Task Force. Today, the focus is on Jason Mercredi (Law’18), a member of Queen’s Senate and the Aboriginal representative on the Queen’s Law Students’ Society.

Prospective students will often ask what a university or college will offer them. Jason Mercredi flipped that question when he was considering his post-secondary options a few years ago.

“I understood that Queen’s wasn’t well known for its Aboriginal content, but that the law school wanted to improve its Aboriginal profile,” says Mr. Mercredi (Law’18). “With my experience working with Aboriginal communities to develop programs, I felt I could offer something to Queen’s in the same way the university is offering me a degree.”

[Jason Mercredi]
Jason Mercredi (Law'18) says he found it rewarding serving on Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Task Force. He is hopeful the recommendations put forth by the task force will help Indigenous Peoples feel more comfortable attending Queen's. (University Communications) 

Mr. Mercredi, a Mushkegowuk Cree, was born in Winnipeg. Before applying to Queen’s, he worked with several organizations dedicated to advancing Aboriginal rights, including Treaty 1-11. As part of his involvement with that organization, Mr. Mercredi developed a deep understanding of the treaty histories, which influenced his decision to study law.

“Understanding the history of the treaties is really missing from the education system, and even in law school, we don’t really learn about the treaties,” he says. “People don’t have a full understanding of the nation-to-nation relationship. My goal is to reinvigorate those treaties, and being at a law school, I know what changes I want to make to have those rights recognized.”

Soon after arriving at the university, Mr. Mercredi began working to make Queen’s law students more aware of Aboriginal treaty and inherent rights. He established the Aboriginal Law Students’ Alliance, a group designed to help all Queen’s law students appreciate and participate in Aboriginal legal matters with greater understanding.

In 2016, he and fellow law students changed the Law Students’ Society’s constitution to include a longstanding Indigenous student representative position. Due to the small body of Indigenous students at Queen’s Law, he was subsequently elected to serve as the Indigenous student representative. That same year, Mr. Mercredi was elected as the law students’ representative on Queen’s Senate.

Offering wide knowledge to TRC Task Force

When the Queen’s TRC Task Force was announced in early 2016, Mr. Mercredi felt compelled to serve given his knowledge of treaties and his work experience. As an Aboriginal student liaison with Mothercraft College in Toronto, he worked to ensure the success of Indigenous students enrolled in the early childhood education program, and he also gave guest presentations on Indigenous history. While with Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, he assessed the social needs of the urban Indigenous population and helped create programs to address those needs.

“For a period of time, it was quite depressing, because I had to look at what was wrong, and there is so much wrong,” he says. “But that’s what elevated me to come here. That background, understanding, and knowledge is what I wanted to bring to the TRC Task Force.”

Mr. Mercredi says he enjoyed serving on the task force. He found the experience rewarding, with respectful dialogue around the table. “There was a lot of genuine interest in creating equity, which is a healthier approach than creating equality, because with equality you are just absorbed into everything else. You don’t have your real identity.”

As Queen’s now moves to implement the task force’s recommendations, Mr. Mercredi is looking forward to Indigenous identities growing and flourishing across the university in the coming years. 

“I would hope that Indigenous Peoples – First Nations, Métis, and Inuit – can just come to Queen’s and be themselves. I would hope they are able to come to Queen’s and have their own identity without having to promote it or explain it constantly. I would like to see it as a wholesome part of the entire school culture.”

TRC report brings communities together to change course

  • Janice Hill, Director of Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with lecturer Nathan Brinklow during Tuesday's event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Janice Hill, Director of Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with lecturer Nathan Brinklow during Tuesday's event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Principal Daniel Woolf holds up a copy of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report during Tuesday's event at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Principal Daniel Woolf holds up a copy of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report during Tuesday's event at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Marlene Brant Castellano, Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Council at Queen's University, and Queen's Native Student Association President Lauren Winkler comment on the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Marlene Brant Castellano, Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Council at Queen's University, and Queen's Native Student Association President Lauren Winkler comment on the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force Co-Chairs Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), and Mark Green, Professor (Civil Engineering), welcome guests to the event held at Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force Co-Chairs Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), and Mark Green, Professor (Civil Engineering), welcome guests to the event held at Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Members of the Queen's community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Members of the Four Directions Women Singers – from left, Laura Maracle, Vanessa McCourt, and Melanie Howard – sing an Anishinaabe honour song during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Members of the Four Directions Women Singers – from left, Laura Maracle, Vanessa McCourt, and Melanie Howard – sing an Anishinaabe honour song during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Laura Maracle, Aboriginal Cultural Safety Coordinator at Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with Laurel Claus-Johnson of the Katarokwi Grandmothers Council during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Laura Maracle, Aboriginal Cultural Safety Coordinator at Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, speaks with Laurel Claus-Johnson of the Katarokwi Grandmothers Council during Tuesday's event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

At a special reception Tuesday night to mark the unveiling of the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Task Force final report and recommendations, Principal Daniel Woolf told the crowd of students, staff, faculty, alumni, and local Indigenous community members that, “Today, our communities come together to change course.”

“By taking steps to ensure that Indigenous histories are shared, by recognizing that we can all benefit from Indigenous knowledge, and by creating culturally validating learning environments, we can begin to reduce barriers to education and create a more welcoming, inclusive, and diverse university,” said Principal Woolf.

The special event, held at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, and the TRC report represent a significant milestone for Queen’s and the local Indigenous communities, signalling a broad and sustained effort to build and improve relations, and to effect meaningful institutional change. The recommendations in the report span everything from hiring practices and programming, to research, community outreach, and the creation of Indigenous cultural spaces on campus. (More detailed list of recommendations below.)

Principal Woolf reiterated his commitment to fulfilling the recommendations in the task force’s final report, and to illustrate that commitment, he announced that the university will be creating an Office of Indigenous Initiatives in the coming months – an announcement met by a loud round of applause from the audience.

“This is just one of the task force’s many recommendations that I am committed to implementing across campus, and because I believe that we are stronger together, I welcome the rest of the Queen’s community to join me in that commitment,” he said.

Principal Woolf also stated his commitment to the TRC recommendations in a special Senate meeting on March 7, where he acknowledged “Queen’s own history as an institution that participated in a colonial tradition that caused great harm to Indigenous People.”

‘We are making history’

Bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members, Tuesday’s event was hosted by TRC Task Force co-chairs Mark Green and Jill Scott and showcased the importance of ceremony – with a traditional Mohawk opening presented by lecturer Nathan Brinklow, presentations by Elder Marlene Brant Castellano and student Lauren Winkler, an Anishinaabe Honour Song performed by the Four Directions Women Singers, and to end the evening, a Haudenosaunee Round Dance, led by performers from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, that brought guests together in a huge circle, hands linked.

“Ceremony reminds us that what we do today is important, impacting the relationships and responsibilities that we carry forward, and woven into our memory as a community,” said Dr. Brant Castellano, a member of the task force, Queen’s alumna, and pioneer and champion of Indigenous rights and education.

“We are making history,” Dr. Brant continued. “In creating the task force, Queen’s has stepped up to ask of itself: What can we do to advance reconciliation? … The task force has brought together voices from the Queen’s community saying: We can do this. We have a responsibility to do this. The report is presented to the principal, who speaks on behalf of the university. In this ceremony, all who are present become witnesses to Queen’s acknowledgement of past errors and commitment to walk together with Indigenous Peoples and others of good mind to restore and maintain a relationship of peace, friendship, and respect.”

“I would like to thank you all here today because by being here, you are showing me that you acknowledge the truths of our past, that you stand in support of these recommendations, and that you will make a commitment to seeing the recommendations through"
​~ Lauren Winkler

Lauren Winkler, student and president of the Queen’s Native Student Association, as well as deputy commissioner of Indigenous affairs for the Alma Mater Society and member of the TRC Task Force, spoke about the experiences of Indigenous students and the challenges and racist encounters they face on Queen’s campus.

"Our education system has failed and is failing to educate our students at the cost of Indigenous students. The university recognizes this – it’s one of the truths in our truth and reconciliation process," said Ms. Winkler, who went on to thank Principal Woolf for his acknowledgements of the history of mistreatment of the Indigenous community and Queen’s role in perpetuating the mistreatment.

"I would like to thank you all here today because by being here, you are showing me that you acknowledge the truths of our past, that you stand in support of these recommendations, and that you will make a commitment to seeing the recommendations through," said Ms. Winkler.

The TRC Task Force’s final report, which includes reproductions of artwork included in the Indigenous art collection at the Agnes, outlines recommendations and timelines for implementation – in particular, the formation of an implementation team that will work with faculties, schools, and shared service units to expedite recommendations. The task force asks for five-year plans from the faculties, schools, and other units to be completed by fall 2017.


A boost for Queen's Elder Law Clinic

[United Way Queen's Law Clinic
QELC Director Christian Hurley and Review Counsel Blair Hicks receive a $25,000 cheque from Wendy Stuckart, Volunteer Panel Chair, Community Investment Fund Grant – United Way and City of Kingston, at the Queen’s Law Clinics in downtown Kingston. (Photo by Derek Cannon)

One of the only clinics of its kind in Canada, the Queen’s Elder Law Clinic (QELC), has received a $25,000 grant from the United Way.

The funding will enable the clinic to provide help to a greater number of Kingston-area seniors while also providing students more experiential learning opportunities.  

“The clinic has grown substantially, to the point that it now requires a full-time director,” says Christian Hurley, the director of QELC and the Queen’s Business Law Clinic (QBLC). 

Blair Hicks joined QELC last May on a part-time basis as review counsel. Thanks to the charity’s funding, she will assume the role of director in April. This will enable Hurley to focus his full-time efforts on QBLC, which is also rapidly expanding. 

“I’ll be able to pass the torch to her,” Hurley says. “It’s going to enable the Elder Law Clinic to grow at a quicker pace and pursue other avenues available to us.”

It also means the clinic, which dealt with 102 separate matters for 69 clients in 2016, can bring on more students and increase its visibility. 

Hicks runs her own estate planning practice in Kingston and works with issues related to elder law every day.

“I come from an education background so I enjoy working with students and seeing the progress people make when they are learning a new skill,” she says. “It was an easy fit.” 

The clinic deals with a wide range of issues affecting seniors and regularly assists their clients to prepare wills, powers of attorney and guardianship applications. QELC students are often asked to help their clients understand their legal rights and obligations in a number of different contexts.

“It’s not boxed in, per se. It’s a broad area of law,” Hurley says. “We also give presentations to stakeholders in the community.”

These include care workers, doctors, nurses, social workers and the Kingston Police. 

QELC is also teaming up with the Queen’s Prison Law Clinic to provide legal assistance to older inmates, which Hurley chalks up as a product of the collaborative workspace at Queen’s Law Clinics.

“While inmates are incarcerated, they often need someone to help with their outside affairs. Preparing a power of attorney can address this issue; however, many inmates do not have the means necessary to retain a lawyer to do this sort of work,” Hurley says.

Hurley applied for the grant in October, and pitched QELC’s case to the United Way in November. He was advised that the application was approved just before the holidays. 

“It’s a very popular clinic. Last year we received applications from 54 students seeking one of the eight available caseworker positions,” he says.

Thanks to the grant from the United Way, QELC is now in a position to expand its enrolment, which will help it to meet the growing demand.

Standing and fighting

Queen’s law students are supporting refugees in the wake of the United States travel ban.

President Donald Trump’s recent ban on refugees has prompted action from the Queen’s Law Refugee Support Program (QLRSP). As part of the Write for Refugees program, the group has collected over 100 signed letters asking Minister of Immigration Ahmed Hussen to suspend the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement as legal challenges to these executive orders continue to come forward.

Despite a less than positive initial reaction from Minister Hussen, the students are undaunted.

Queen's law students Alyssa Moses (l, Law'18), Stephanie Bishop (Law'17) and Yamen Fadel (Law'18) are fighting for the rights of refugees.

“We have to make a stand,” says Yamen Fadel (Law’18). Born in Syria, Mr. Fadel is a dual citizen who, at this time, is unaffected by the ban. “What about the people that don’t have my status? What is going to happen to them? Our response to the minister is we will never stop doing what we are doing. We have to continue to fight.”

The letter includes a call to denounce the executive order as discriminatory and contrary to Canadian values. It also calls on the government to remove the designation of the United States as a safe third country and to take immediate steps to offer protection to refugees caught in the middle.

“The reaction from the minister is disappointing but not unexpected,” says Alyssa Moses (Law’18). “It shouldn’t take our focus away from our goals. We have to let him know Canadian people care and want to help. I’m heartened by the reaction of the Queen’s students.”

Along with the letter campaign, the QLRSP is undertaking a number of other initiatives to support refugees. They are joining 21 other Canadian law schools for a “research-a-thon,” a 12-hour effort to compile as much research as they can to challenge the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement. The research will be used by the Canadian Council of Refugees.

The group has also started a Tilt campaign to bring a Syrian refugee family to Canada. Last year, Queen’s Law contributed to the sponsorship of Syrian refugee Pierre Rahebeh, whose family escaped from Aleppo to Lebanon after their home was destroyed. This time, the QLRSP is working to bring his family to Kingston. For more information, visit the Tilt campaign website.

For more information on QLRSP, visit the Facebook page.

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