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Queen’s to remove Sir John A. Macdonald name from law school building

Decision honours the university’s commitment to support equity, diversity, and inclusivity and the special responsibility of law schools included in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report.

The Queen’s Board of Trustees today approved the university’s decision to remove the name “Sir John A. Macdonald” from the law school building, as recommended by Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane following his acceptance of recommendations made by Dean Mark Walters, Dean of Faculty of Law, and a report from a special committee set up to consider the situation.

“This decision is grounded in the university’s present-day academic mission and commitment to honour the values of equity, diversity, and inclusivity and to ensure all students, faculty, and staff feel welcome within the Queen’s community,” says Principal Deane. “It also supports our commitment to take action to address systemic racism and ensure every member of our community may enjoy the benefits of our institution equally.”

The decision follows a two-month public consultation process that saw more than 3,000 members of the Queen’s community and others submit feedback to the Macdonald Hall Consultation Advisory Committee. Principal Deane directed the Faculty of Law to set up the advisory committee in July, in response to an online petition calling for the law school building to be renamed.

The advisory committee delivered a 65-page report to Dean Walters recommending the Macdonald name be removed from the building. This recommendation was accepted by Dean Walters and then endorsed by Principal Deane before being sent to the Board of Trustees for final approval.

“Sir John A. Macdonald is rightly celebrated for his central role in the founding of modern Canada and the creation of our country’s constitution. However, a more complete understanding of his legacies has emerged in recent years. In particular, we now have a richer and better understanding of the hurtful views and policies he and his government advanced in relation to Indigenous peoples and racial minorities,” says Dean Mark Walters. “What was made clear through our consultations is that the Macdonald name sends a conflicting message that interferes with the values and aspirations of the current law school and Queen’s community where Indigenous and racialized students must feel welcome and included.”

In 2015 the final report of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) made clear the legacy of residential schools is hurtful and lasting. Queen’s University has accepted the findings of the TRC and is committed to honouring its calls to action. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission also identifies special responsibilities for law schools in Canada, and Queen’s Law must ensure that the faculty lives up to those responsibilities.

“During this era of truth and reconciliation, it’s important to consider how we move forward together with a good mind and in peace for the greater good for all peoples,” says Kanonhsyonne Janice Hill, Associate Vice-Principal of Indigenous Initiatives. “As Haudenosaunee we are taught in our decision making to reflect on and be mindful of the past while considering the impact on future generations. This decision affirms that Queen’s is headed in that direction in terms of creating a safe and equitable space where each member of the community has a strong sense of belonging.  As we continue to dismantle these colonial symbols, we get closer to achieving an inclusive community for all.”

Queen’s will be following a separate process to eventually rename the Faculty of Law building. Principal Deane will bring recommendations to the Board of Trustees around a renaming process in the coming months, as well recommendations to review commemoration on campus, and a program of public education. More details about these recommendations will be shared in due course.

In the meantime, everyone in the university community is invited to visit the Principal’s Office website to read the full report by the Building Name Advisory Committee, as well as the recommendations forwarded to the Board of Trustees by Principal Deane and Dean Mark Walters.

Over the coming academic year, the Queen’s community will also be engaged in acting on the recent Declaration of Commitment to Address Systemic Racism and on Principal Deane’s Report on The Conversation with the Queen’s community. Both commit Queen’s to take action to address systemic racism and to unite the community.

Start writing for The Conversation Canada

Scott White, Editor-in-Chief of The Conversation Canada, to host two online, interactive workshops for faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows on Sept. 17 and 21.

The importance of fact-based, expert commentary in the news has never been more apparent. The public is seeking informed information on issues important to them, particularly as the world gets accustomed to the new normal of living in a global pandemic.  

For researchers looking for an opportunity to reach the public and mobilize their knowledge, The Conversation is an ideal platform. It combines academic rigour with journalistic flair by pairing academic experts with experienced journalists to write informed content that can be repurposed by media outlets worldwide.

Global Reach

Founded in Australia in 2011, the online news platform has 11 national or regional editions with more than 112,000 academics from 2,065 institutions as registered authors whose articles attract 42 million readers monthly worldwide. The Conversation’s Creative Commons Licensing has meant that over 22,000 news outlets around the world have shared and repurposed content.

As a founding member of The Conversation Canada, over the last three years the Queen’s research community has embraced the platform as a unique tool for sharing their research expertise and engaging with the media. More than 160 Queen’s researchers have published 270 articles that have received an impressive audience of over 4.3 million via The Conversation Canada’s website. Through the platform’s Creative Commons Licensing and newswire access, dozens of major media outlets, including Maclean’sThe National PostTIME, and The Washington Post, to name a few, have republished these pieces.

For Queen’s researchers interested in learning more about the platform, University Relations and the School of Graduate Studies will host two interactive, online workshops in September. The workshops will explore the changing media landscape in Canada, why researchers should write for The Conversation, and how to develop the perfect pitch. 

Online Workshops

Faculty are invited to attend the workshop on Thursday, Sept. 17 from 10-11:30 am. Interested graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are asked to register for a specially designed workshop on Monday, Sept. 21 from 10-11:30 am that will also count towards the SGS Expanding Horizons Certificate in Professional Development. Scott White, Editor-in-Chief of The Conversation Canada, and members of his editorial team will host both workshops over Zoom. Participants are asked to bring an idea to pitch to the workshop to receive real-time editorial feedback from the team.

In order to facilitate a collaborative workshop, spaces will be limited. Please visit the Research@Queen’s website to register.

It’s time to join The Conversation

Queen’s is looking to add to its roster of authors taking part in The Conversation Canada. Faculty and graduate students interested in learning more about the platform and research promotion are encouraged to register for the September workshops or contact Melinda Knox, Associate Director, Research Profile and Initiatives, for more information.

Queen’s researchers receive more than $600,000 from SSHRC

The funded projects involve a range of research, including investigating the building blocks of constructing gender and race in primary education, and testing for independent experts to improve Canada’s federal transfer system.

A total of 12 Queen’s University researchers are recipients of nearly $610,000 in combined funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant program. Part of the  Insight and Partnership Grants suite, the programs are designed to support research projects across a range of disciplines in their early stages and build knowledge and understanding about people, societies, and the world.

The projects being funded at Queen’s involve a range of research, including investigating the building blocks of constructing gender and race in primary education and testing for independent experts to improve Canada’s federal transfer system.

“With a number of these grants going to early-career researchers at the university, this program provides the opportunity to develop our talent at Queen’s,” says Kimberly Woodhouse, Vice-Principal (Research). “The funded projects approach societal challenges in creative and innovative ways and, ultimately, will provide better insight into the world around us.”

This year’s successful recipients include:

Grace Adeniyi Ogunyankin (Geography and Planning) Youth, Labour and Neoliberal Urban Transformation in Ibadan, Nigeria, $72,636

Ragavendran Gopalakrishnan (Smith School of Business) Behaviour-Aware Queueing Models for Smart Service Operations, $60,100

Eun-Young Lee (Kinesiology and Health Studies) No Level Playing Field: Towards Quantifying Intersectionality in Large-scale Population Studies, $50,026

Nora Fayed (School of Rehabilitation Therapy) Wellbeing Priorities for Children with Highly Complex Disabilities and their Parents, $38,097

Colin Grey (Law) Humanitarianism and the Justification of Deportation for Criminality, $41,742

Kyle Hanniman (Political Studies) Popular Support for Unpopular Reforms:  Testing the Potential of Independent Experts to Improve Canada’s Federal Transfer System, $46,032

Alyssa King (Law) Travelling Judges, Moonlighting Arbitrators, and Global Common Law, $27,370

Reena Kukreja (Global Development Studies) Undocumented South Asian Male Migrants in Greece: Understanding Masculinity, Love and Work in Troubled Times, $53,529

Jeremy Stewart (Psychology) Unpacking Suicide Capability: Refining the Definition and Measurement of Fearlessness about death, $72,972

Kristy Timmons (Education) Inequity at the Starting Line: The Influence of Teacher Expectations, Beliefs and Practices on Learning Outcomes in Kindergarten, $61,446

Dan Cohen (Geography and Planning) Financing Social Progress: Market-making and Canada’s Social Finance Fund, $46.739

Sumon Majumdar (Economics) Do Immigrants Face Barriers in Access to Local Public Services in Canada?   $43,576

Through the 2019-2020 competition, SSHRC has awarded over $32 million to more than 1,045 researchers from 69 Canadian institutions.

Insight Development Grants support research in its early stages. They enable the development of new research questions, as well as experimentation with new methods, theoretical approaches or ideas. Funding is provided to individuals or teams for projects of up to two years.

For more information visit, the SSHRC website.

Don’t miss out on research funding opportunities, subscribe to the University Research Services Funding Opportunities  listserv. 

Supporting research at Queen’s University

The Vice-Principal (Research) at Queen’s provides internal funding to help researchers accelerate their programs and engage in knowledge mobilization.

Queen’s University has awarded more than $1 million in funding to its researchers. Through unique competitions such as Wicked Ideas, Queen's Research Opportunities Fund, and national programs like the SSHRC Institutional Grant (SIG), the Vice-Principal (Research) is supporting researchers at all stages of their careers and across all disciplines – from discovering innovative solutions, to artistic production, and knowledge mobilization.

In its inaugural year, the Wicked Ideas initiative was designed to support research collaborations across disciplines tackling wicked problems, issues so multi-dimensional and complex that they require multiple perspectives to solve them. Some of the successful projects include exploring cleantech, Lyme disease, and microplastics.

Additionally, through the internal funding initiatives several grants were also awarded to Queen’s researchers who have pivoted their research to help confront COVID-19. These projects ranged from determinants of self-rated health, to understanding resilience and fragility, and the spatial implications of the Bank of Canada’s response to COVID-19.

“It is extraordinarily exciting to see the research ideas that are brewing here on campus, matched with the commitment we have to making things happen," says Kimberly Woodhouse, Vice-Principal (Research). "I truly look forward to the outcomes of these awards.”

Learn more about the 2020 recipients and the individual internal funds below. For more information on the research happening at Queen’s, as well as Queen’s researchers’ efforts to confront COVID-19, visit the Research@Queen’s website.


Wicked Ideas

The Wicked Ideas Competition is a Vice-Principal (Research) pilot initiative to fund and support research collaboration and excellence. Wicked Problems are issues so complex and dependent on so many factors that it is hard to grasp what exactly the problem is, or how to tackle it. Wicked Ideas are needed to solve these problems and demand the input of multiple disciplines with relevant practical expertise.

2020 Recipients

Investigator Project Title
David Lyon (Sociology) &
Dan Cohen (Geography and Planning)
Big Data Exposed: What Smartphone Metadata Reveals about Users
John Allingham (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences) &
Chantelle Capicciotti (Chemistry)
Design and Development of Novel Classes of Actin-Targeting Toxin-Glycan-Antibody Conjugates
Susan Bartels (Emergency Medicine) &
Stéfanie von Hlatky (Political Studies)
Peace Support Operations (PSO) in Countries Affected by Political Instability, Armed Conflict, and Insecurity
Joe Bramante (Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy) &
James Fraser (Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy)
Macro Coherent Quantum Transitions in Parahydrogen
Kevin Stamplecoskie (Chemistry) &
Cathy Crudden (Chemistry)
Immortal Solar Cells
Kerry Rowe (Civil Engineering) &
Fady Abdelaal (Civil Engineering)
Using Cleantech to Monitor Geosynthetic Liners in Frozen Grounds for Sustainable Development of Sub-Arctic and Arctic Mineral Resources
Graeme Howe (Chemistry) &
Philip Jessop (Chemistry)
Solving the Water-Removal Bottleneck in Sustainable Chemistry
Nora Fayed (Rehabilitation Therapy) &
Claire Davies (Mechanical and Materials Engineering)
SOCIALITE: An Emotional Augmentation System for Children with Profound Communication Disability
Laurence Yang (Chemical Engineering) &
Pascale Champagne (Civil Engineering)
Reducing the Greenhouse Gas Burden of Livestock by Harnessing Carbon-Neutral Algae to Produce Milk
Robert Colautti (Biology) &
Nader Ghasemlou (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences)
The E.D.G.E. of Lyme
Mark Daymond (Mechanical and Materials Engineering) & 
Suraj Persaud (Mechanical and Materials Engineering)
Materials Performance in Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) Environments Proposed for Advanced Nuclear Systems
Heather Castleden (Geography and Planning) &
Diane Orihel (Biology)
The Spirit of the Lakes and All Their Relations: Two-Eyed Seeing in Microplastics Research

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Institutional Grant

Through its SSHRC Institutional Grant (SIG) funding opportunity, SSHRC provides annual block grants to help eligible Canadian postsecondary institutions fund, through their own merit review processes, small-scale research and research-related activities by their faculty in the social sciences and humanities.

Explore Grant

This grant supports social sciences and humanities researchers at any career stage with funds to allow for small-scale research project development or pilot work, or to allow for participation of students in research projects.

2020 Recipients

Investigator Project Title
Cynthia Levine-Rasky (Sociology) The Good Fight: Voices of Elder Activists
Theodore Christou (Education) Map Making and Indigenous History Education: Supporting Reconciliatory Education by Visualizing Canada’s Indian Day Schools
Heather McGregor (Education) History Education in the Anthropocene
Grégoire Webber (Law) Recovering the Good in the Law
Jennifer Hosek (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures) Cultures of Resilience and Fragility under COVID: Does Money Matter?
Leandre Fabrigar (Psychology) Exploring Objective and Subjective Measures of Attitude Bases
Dan Cohen (Geography and Planning) The Spatial Implications of Bank of Canada’s COVID-19 Response
Richard Ascough (Religion) Associations and Christ Groups under Roman Colonization: Assimilation and Resistance in the Western Provinces
Gabriel Menotti Miglio Pinto Gonring (Film and Media) Audiovisual-made Museums: An Archaeology of Video as an Exhibition Platform
Danielle Blouin (Emergency Medicine) Accreditation of Medical Education Programs: What are the Effective Components?
Heather Macfarlane (English Language and Literature) How to be at Home in Canada: Literary Land Claims in Indigenous and Diaspora Texts
Sergio Sismondo (Philosophy) Epistemic Corruption
Collin Grey (Law) Humanitarianism and Deportation
Martha Munezhi (Policy Studies) Determinants of Self-rated Health in the Midst of COVID-19
Ian Robinson (Film and Media) Film and Placemaking
Ruqu Wang (Economics) Modeling International Trade Disputes
Marcus Taylor (Global Development Studies) Sustainability Transformations in Eastern Ontario Agriculture
Alison Murray (Art History and Art Conservation) Teaching Science to Art Conservation Students: Threshold Concepts as a Revitalizing Tool
Amanda Ross-White (Library) Predatory, Deceptive or Imitation: What Motivates Publishers and Editors on the Margins of Scholarly Literature?

Exchange Grant

This grant supports the organization of small-scale knowledge mobilization activities in order to encourage collaboration and dissemination of research results both within and beyond the academic community, as well as allow researchers to attend or present research at scholarly conferences and other venues to advance their careers and promote the exchange of ideas.

2020 Recipients

Investigator Project Title
Elizabeth Brule (Gender Studies) Indigenous Resurgence, Decolonization and the Politics of Solidarity Work
Elizabeth Anne Kelley (Psychology) Utilitarianism: A New Strengths-Based Approach to ASD

Queen’s Research Opportunities Funds

QROF represent a strategic investment in areas of institutional research strength that provide researchers and scholars opportunities to accelerate their programs and research goals.

Catalyst Fund

This fund was created to enhance areas of research excellence that are of strategic importance to the university by giving scholars an opportunity to accelerate their research programs. Ten awards were allocated with a minimum of six awards designated for Early Career Researchers, defined as those who are within 10 years of their first academic appointment. Applicants were required to hold Tri-Council funding or have applied for Tri-Council funding within the last two years.

2020 Recipients

Investigator Project Title
SSHRC  
Grégoire Webber (Law) Human Goods and Human Laws
Meredith Chivers (Psychology)

Racializing and Diversifying Sexual Response: The Effects of Racial Identification, Emotional Appraisal, and Racial Bias on the Physiological and Psychological Sexual Responses of Black and White Women Viewing Racially Diverse Erotic Stimuli

Grace Adeniyi-Ogunyankin (Geography and Planning) Started from the Bottom: Youth Social Mobility and Affective Labour in Ibadan, Nigeria
NSERC  
Vicki Friesen (Biology) Using Whole Genome Sequencing to help Protect the Potential of Wildlife to Adapt to Changing Arctic Ecosystems, Focusing on Species Important to Indigenous Subsistence and Culture  
Chantelle Capicciotti (Chemistry) Targeting Cancer Glycans with Imaging Probes - New Frontiers to Chemically Map Tissue Surfaces
Jennifer Day (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering)

Investigation of Sea Stack Stability in Popular Geotourism Destinations, Prediction of Their Structural Collapse, Evaluation of the Effects of Sea Stack Collapse on Public Safety, and Forecasting Risk Associated with Climate Change Evolution

CIHR  
Nader Ghasemlou (Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, Biomedical & Molecular sciences) Circadian Control of Pain and Neuroinflammation
Eun-Young Lee (School of Kinesiology and Health Studies) Knowledge into Action: Development of Carbon Footprint Equivalences that Incorporate Lifestyle Behaviours for Dual Benefits of Environmental Sustainability and Human Health
Susan Bartels (Emergency Medicine) Improving Emergency Department Care Experiences for Equity-Seeking Groups in Kingston: A Mixed Methods Research Study
David Maslove (Critical Care Medicine & Medicine)

Deep Learning Applied to High-Frequency Physiologic Waveforms for the Detection of Atrial Fibrillation in Critical Illness

Arts Funds

This fund makes an institutional commitments in support of artistic production and expression that strategically align with the university’s scholarly strengths and priorities. This includes supporting artists, their contribution to the scholarly community and to advancing Queen’s University. The Arts Fund is also intended to attract outstanding artists to Queen’s University each year.

Artistic Production

This fund assists in the actual production of a work of art, such as the creation of a piece of visual art; the writing of a novel, poem, play or screen play; the composition of music; the production of a motion picture; the performance of a play, a musical composition, a piece of performance art, or the production of a master recording.

2020 Recipients

Investigator Project Title
Gabriel Menotti Miglio Pinto Gonring (Film and Media) Hollow Constructions
Matthew Rogalsky (Film and Media) Highly Directional Loudspeakers: Research and Development for Distanced Sound Performance and Installation

Visiting Artist in Residence

To enrich the cultural life of the university and to encourage exchange between artists at Queen’s University and the broader community. It is intended to provide educational and scholarly opportunities for artists by facilitating the extended presence on campus of visiting artists. Residencies are normally two to eight weeks in duration.

2020 Recipients

Investigator Project Title
Carolyn Smart (English Language and Literature) Writer-in-Residence for Queen's University: Kaie Kellough
Juliana Bevilacqua (Art History and Art Conservation) Rosana Paulino: Project North-South Dialogues
Karen Dubinsky (Global Development Studies) Cuban Roots in Canadian Soil: Canada's Cuban Musical History
 

Congratulating new graduates

Over 5,500 diplomas are being mailed to new Queen’s graduates.

Photo of diploma and congratulatory letters
Diplomas are being mailed with congratulatory messages and alumni pins, among other items. (Supplied photo.)

Queen’s students work hard to earn their degrees, and their achievements are typically celebrated with pomp and circumstance at convocation. While COVID-19 delayed this spring’s in-person ceremonies, the university is sending 5,554 special diploma packages to new graduates by mail this month.

In-person convocation ceremonies will be scheduled for the Class of 2020 when larger gatherings are permitted.

“Graduating from Queen’s is a great accomplishment, and it is disappointing that we were not able to celebrate with our new graduates in person this year. When they receive their diplomas in the mail, I hope they will reflect on all their hard work and feel proud of what they’ve achieved,” says Stuart Pinchin, University Registrar (Interim).

To help mark the occasion, Queen’s is sending three congratulatory letters along with the diplomas. One comes from the dean of the student’s faculty or school; another is from Alumni Services; and the third comes from Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada.

The university will also be mailing the objects typically presented to students during convocation ceremonies or shortly before. Indigenous students will be receiving a Blackfoot Peoples Mountain Blanket, graduates of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science will be receiving iron rings, and all graduates will receive an alumni pin.

During the period convocation ceremonies would have occurred, Queen’s developed a website about degree conferral and graduation activities to help congratulate graduates. This website features video messages from the principal, the chancellor, and the rector, who typically all address graduates during convocation ceremonies. And it also features a recorded message from members of the Indigenous community at Queen’s.

To view these messages and to learn more about how each faculty and school recognized graduation this year, see the spring 2020-degree conferral and graduation activities website.

Law school consults Queen's community about building's name

Dean’s advisory committee open for feedback about Sir John A. Macdonald Hall.

Photograph of Sir John A. Macdonald Hall
After the consultation process, the Dean of Law will make a recommendation to the Principal on the question of the building name.

Last month, the Faculty of Law announced its commitment to formally review the name of its building, Sir John A. Macdonald Hall, given concerns about the complicated legacy of Canada’s first Prime Minister, particularly as it pertains to Indigenous peoples. An advisory committee has now been struck and for the next eight weeks it will lead wide consultations to understand whether the law school building should continue to be named after Macdonald at a time when the country seeks to advance Truth and Reconciliation.

Sir John A. Macdonald Hall has been home to the faculty since the building opened in 1960.

“Macdonald’s legacy is complex. He is known as our first Prime Minister and for being instrumental in the formation of Canada, but the public has become increasingly aware of—and concerned with—how his policies negatively impacted Indigenous peoples,” says Mark Walters, Dean of the Faculty of Law. “It is now time to ask hard questions about the relationship between the building name and the identity, values, and aspirations of the community that learns and works within the building.”

The advisory committee—comprised of students, faculty, staff, and alumni —will welcome and consider all views presented by members of the community and use them to inform the development of recommendations that may include a variety of options for the Board of Trustees to consider when making its ultimate decision.

Interested groups or individuals are welcome to make written submissions via an online survey or directly to law.consultation@queensu.ca until September 18, 2020.  Opportunities for community members to make oral submissions will be announced soon.

“Our consultation aims to hear from members of our law school, university, alumni, and wider community to gain a full and diverse range of perspectives on Macdonald’s legacy,” says Jeff Fung (Law’08), advisory committee co-chair and Associate General Counsel at Nissan Canada Inc. “We look forward to reviewing feedback and fairly considering all views as we work toward recommendations.”

Students, faculty, and staff of the Faculty of Law will also have an opportunity to express their views on this issue, either directly or through their representatives, in a special meeting of the school’s Faculty Board.

After considering the opinions and recommendations expressed during the consultation process, the Dean of Law will make a recommendation to the Principal on the question of the building name. The Principal will then consider this recommendation in his proposal to the Board of Trustees.  Responsibility for naming of buildings lies with the Board. The Board will consider the Principal’s proposal before making the final decision regarding the name. Should the Board choose to remove Macdonald’s name from the building, a separate process would need to be initiated before it could be renamed.

Since 2016, the law school has been engaged with implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, including hiring an Indigenous Recruitment and Support Officer and the creation of two bursaries to support Indigenous students at the law school. Academically, it has integrated a number of Aboriginal and Indigenous law courses in its curriculum, and recently announced the creation of the Chief Don Maracle Reconciliation/Indigenous Knowledge Initiative. The school has welcomed a wide range of Indigenous lecturers and visitors to the faculty, with 11 scholars and leaders visiting the school in the 2019-20 school year alone. In 2018, it saw the creation and installation of a major piece of public art in its atrium themed on the Indigenous legal tradition of wampum belts, words that are lasting, by Mohawk artist Hannah Claus. 

The Queen’s Faculty of Law has been a leader in Canadian legal education since its foundation in 1957, and over 8,000 alumni have graduated its programs.

Learn more on the law school's consultation website.

Governing during a pandemic

The numbers are staggering. COVID-19 has infected people in 212 countries, on every continent except Antarctica. More than 13 million people have been infected, and more than 574,000 have died, according to the World Health Organization.

Cover of the book Vulnerable: The Law, Policy & Ethics of COVID-19

Vast changes to our home lives, social interactions, government functioning, and relations between countries have swept through the world in a few short months. Two Queen’s experts have joined a variety of other authors and, in just eight short weeks, were able to collaborate on a new book that confronts some of the vulnerabilities and interconnectedness that have been made visible by the pandemic.

The book, titled Vulnerable: The Law, Policy & Ethics of COVID-19, was co-edited by Jane Philpott, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University, along with three professors from the University of Ottawa, and one from King’s College London .  

The edited volume analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and includes 43 chapters and features over 70 authors, including Queen’s University Law Professor Gregoire Webber, Canada Research Chair in Public Law and Philosophy of Law.

“My invitation to participate in the project came from Dr. Philpott directly,” says Dr. Webber. “She and I worked together on a number of files when she was Minister of Health and I was Legal Affairs Advisor to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.”

Webber’s chapter is entitled The Duty to Govern and the Rule of Law during an Emergency. He examines how, during the pandemic, members of the executive and legislative branches of governments around the world retreated while members of the executive branch assumed greater responsibilities. The question is, it is justified, and what is the duty on those exercising authoritative power to return to the normal situation as soon as circumstances allow.

“Even though forecasts for the COVID-19 pandemic range from the medium to long term, there is every reason to resist concluding that extraordinary powers of government are a new normal,” says Dr. Webber. “In situations between normal and exceptional, extraordinary powers may need to be maintained, but those with responsibility to rule should seek to reestablish normal order where it is possible.”

As an accomplished physician, educator, and former federal cabinet minister, Dean Philpott brings an important health care perspective to the book. She recently returned to the front lines to battle the COVID-19 pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area, and was named the province’s special advisor on the new Ontario Health Data Platform to help better track the virus and determine who is most at risk.

“COVID-19 is both a public health crisis and an urgent call to action on social justice. With the focus on vulnerability, it is also an opportunity for transformative policy and law reforms,” says Dean Philpott.

Together, the collection of essays provides new insights on how countries should aim to govern in a pandemic, and what lessons must be learned to help inform upcoming recovery plans, whether they pertain to public health policy, social equity, or the economy.

The authors of the collection say they hope COVID-19 will force us to deeply reflect on how we govern and set our policy priorities to include everyone.

Vulnerable: The Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19 is available in July both free of charge via open access and in print form through the University of Ottawa Press

Faculty of Law, BlackNorth Initiative partner to combat systemic racism

Student-initiated bursary is named after Cecil Fraser, the first Black Queen’s Law student and graduate.

The BlackNorth Initiative, led by the Canadian Council of Business Leaders Against Anti-Black Systemic Racism, recently announced a partnership with the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University to support their anti-Black systemic racism efforts.

Cecil Allan Fraser
Cecil Allan Fraser, QC (Law’61),  was the first Black Queen’s Law student and graduate.

Through this partnership, the BlackNorth Initiative is contributing $65,000 to the Cecil Allan Fraser Bursary. Additionally, David Sharpe, Chief Executive Officer of Bridging Finance Inc. and a member of BlackNorth’s Indigenous Observer Committee, and Walied Soliman, Chair of Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP and a member of BlackNorth’s Legal Committee, have each agreed to personally contribute $10,000 for a total donation of $85,000.

The Faculty of Law is contributing $100,000 to the Fraser Bursary.

Inspired by the desire to improve representation of Black law students at Queen’s, the bursary provides financial support to Black Canadian or visible minority/racialized students enrolled in the JD program.

The Cecil Allan Fraser Bursary commemorates the laudable efforts of Cecil Allan Fraser, QC (Arts'58, Law’61), the first Black student and graduate of Queen’s Law. To many, Fraser is a pioneer in the Canadian legal profession and embodies the Faculty of Law’s motto, “Soit droit fait” (Let law be made/Let right be done). The bursary was established as a joint initiative between the Black Law Students’ Association (BLSA) Queen's Chapter and the Queen's Pre-Law Society.

“The Faculty of Law at Queen’s University is honored to be working with the BlackNorth Initiative to end anti-Black systemic racism in our institutions,” says Mark Walters, Dean of the Queen’s Faculty of Law. “This is only the beginning. The Faculty of Law is committed to learning and leading by example, which includes further diversifying our student body. We must ensure our law school truly reflects the diversity of Canadian society.”

Learn more about the Cecil Allan Fraser Bursary.

Faculty of Law to launch consultation on building name

The consultation process will involve the formation of a committee consisting of students, faculty, staff, and alumni that will consider comments about the law building name.

Sir John A. Macdonald Hall.
The Faculty of Law at Queen's has committed to a formal consultation process to review the name of its building, Sir John A. Macdonald Hall.

The Queen’s University Faculty of Law today announced that it is committing to a formal consultation process to review the name of its building, Sir John A. Macdonald Hall.

“Given his role in the formation of Canada, there were good reasons to honour Sir John A. Macdonald when the building was named in 1960,” says Mark Walters, Dean of the Faculty of Law. “But the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has brought greater public awareness to Macdonald’s negative legacies, in particular the development of the Indian residential school policy in Canada. In response to concerns raised in this respect, we are therefore beginning a process of consultation on whether the name Sir John A. Macdonald continues to be appropriate for the law school’s building.”

The consultation process will involve the formation of a committee consisting of students, faculty, staff, and alumni that will welcome and consider comments from both within and outside the Queen’s community about the law building name. The matter will also be considered by the law school’s Faculty Board.

Based upon these consultations and deliberations, the Dean of Law will present a report and recommendation regarding the name of the building to the Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane, in late August. Principal Deane will consider this recommendation and formulate his own recommendation which he will submit to the Board of Trustees, which has authority over university building names, in time for its September meeting.

“The Faculty of Law is the most directly affected by the name of its building, and so I’m pleased that Dean Walters has undertaken this consultation process,” said Principal Deane. “I am confident that comments will be welcomed from across the Queen’s community and beyond, and I look forward to the Dean’s final report and recommendation.”

Since 2016, the law school has been engaged with implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, including hiring an Indigenous Recruitment and Support Officer and the creation of two bursaries to support Indigenous students at the law school. Academically, it has integrated a number of Aboriginal and Indigenous law courses in its curriculum, and recently announced the creation of the Chief Don Maracle Reconciliation/Indigenous Knowledge Initiative. The school has welcomed a wide range of Indigenous lecturers and visitors to the faculty, with 11 scholars and leaders visiting the school in the 2019-20 school year alone. In 2018, it saw the creation and installation of a major piece of public art in its atrium themed on the Indigenous legal tradition of wampum belts, words that are lasting, by Mohawk artist Hannah Claus.  

The focus of the consultation process will be on the law building’s present name rather than an alternative name.

“We have decided to separate the question of de-naming from the question of re-naming,” says Dean Walters. “Only if the Board of Trustees decides to de-name the building will a separate process regarding a new name commence, a process that would of course be governed by the values, principles, and policies of the university.”

Full details on the process, including a statement from Dean Walters and a timeline detailing next steps, can be found at https://law.queensu.ca/about/consultation.

Queen’s Law introduces Graduate Diploma in Immigration and Citizenship Law

Two-term, nine-course online program will be the only educational pathway for Canadians to become Regulated Immigration Consultants. 

The journey to reinvent the training and education of Canada’s immigration consultants has been a two-year path at Queen’s Law. It culminates with the launch of the Graduate Diploma in Immigration and Citizenship Law. As of Aug. 1, this two-term, nine-course online program will be the only educational pathway for Canadians who want to become Regulated Immigration Consultants. 

Above and beyond a rethinking of how Canadian immigration consultants are educated and trained, it’s been a labour of love for Academic Director Sharry Aiken. And, in some respects, the culmination of her professional journey. 

“Before my appointment to Queen’s Law, I had worked in community development in Asia and Latin America, and in northern Ontario. I learned through that experience that community partnerships are key to success,” she says.

Today, Professor Aiken is one of Canada’s most respected experts in immigration and refugee law. For the past two years, however, the development of the Graduate Diploma in Immigration and Citizenship Law has been one of her key focuses. 

“The national regulator had contacted us through a Queen’s Law graduate for our input on their education program,” she explains. “The regulator itself was in transition at the time, and under the leadership of its new CEO we opted to submit a bid in a competitive process to become the English-language provider of a completely revamped diploma program for immigration consultants.” 

That bid – buoyed by the Faculty of Law’s success in the creation and launch of its national online Certificate in Law program – was successful. The Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council – the national regulatory body behind Canadian immigration consulting – announced the law school’s successful bid on May 1, 2019. Since that date, Aiken has been building the program with both internal and external experts involved in its construction. 

“Stakeholder engagement is pivotal to success – you need the support of the people whose lives your work affects to be effective,” she says – speaking to a core philosophy behind the program’s design and development. “Even before the ink dried on our successful bid for this project, I set about building a credible national advisory committee. It is representative of the regions of Canada, the kinds of work that consultants do, and gave practitioners and the legal community a direct channel in the development of the program – particularly important given concerns the bar has about the sector.”

The committee, she points, out, is not just window dressing, but a hard-working and vital part of the program’s development. “Members are very involved with regular meetings, direct input on program policy, and providing support in relation to the broad strokes of curriculum development. 

“As a past student, a sole practitioner, and an immigrant, I enjoyed sharing my perspectives and knowledge in the development of the program,” says Ivory Xi, a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant living in Victoria, B.C., and part of the National Advisory Committee. “Professor Aiken’s approach organized us into a national team, contributing to this program by bringing our diverse skills and experience into play.” 

Building a program to meet the diverse needs of immigration consultants required input not only from coast to coast, but from around the world. “As part of the process for submitting our bid to become the English-language provider of this program, we conducted an environmental scan of programs in Canada and similar jurisdictions such as Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain,” Professor Aiken says. “Some of these jurisdictions were well ahead of the curve with a more sophisticated approach to competency-based education. The existing diploma programs in those jurisdictions, as well as my own experience as an immigration and refugee lawyer, helped us identify gaps in Canada’s prior approach to training consultants.”

The result is a program that puts equal emphasis on practical skills and academic knowledge. “That equal focus is what distinguishes us from prior programs,” Aiken says. “Skills have to be equal components with content knowledge, and both have to be integrated, practised and assessed in the program, woven into every course and evaluated.”

So how does this weaving happen? Creating an online program that combines pedagogical excellence with input from advisors and program developers poses its own challenges. Fortunately for the law school, these are challenges it was poised to face. “Over the course of the past few years, Queen’s Law has invested in building a teaching and learning team composed of education experts, course developers, and multimedia designers,” says Laura Kinderman, Assistant Dean, Education Innovation and Online Programs at the law school. “We’re working to provide high-quality educational experiences for our students, blending traditional teaching with the latest pedagogical tools for online education.” 

The Graduate Diploma in Immigration and Citizenship Law is the third Queen’s Faculty of Law program to launch online in the last four years, continuing a pattern of growth in education that began under former Dean Bill Flanagan and continues under current Dean, Mark Walters. “Our online programs bring to bear the expertise of national and international legal academics,” Dean Walters says. “In addition to one of the country’s leading JD and graduate programs, we now have an array of online programs that provide legal education to people of all walks of life. Access to justice is a key value at Queen’s Law, and our online programs make it easier for all Canadians to access and understand the law.” 

Access to justice is a vital part of what Professor Aiken sees as the benefits of the program – and only a part of its many benefits. “We’re going to be building a cohort of competent, compassionate professionals poised to make a difference in the lives of their clients and our broader community. This program will be a flagship for Queen’s Law, in supporting the values that inform all our work at the law school,” she says. “I’m very excited to see the project at the cusp of its launch. 

“It’s been a challenging and rewarding process, but the greatest rewards will be hearing from our future students about their positive learning experiences, and I’m looking forward to that.” 

For more information and to apply, visit https://immigrationdiploma.queenslaw.ca/

 

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