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Special Members Meeting & Ask Me Anything (AMA) featuring Sid Freeman and Cassandra DeMelo

Date: Thursday, June 17, 6 to 7 p.m.

Free and open to all current CLA members. This is a special meeting to vote on the proposed update CLA by-laws followed by a featured “Ask Me Anything” interactive event.

The first order of business will be to review and vote on updates CLA by-laws (details provided further down below) followed by an interactive “Ask Me Anything” session featuring two Executive board members and active association volunteers. Registrants are encouraged to submit AMA questions in advance to ed@criminallawyers.ca with the subject line “June 17 AMA question.”


Sid Freeman:

  • Secretary & Board member
  • Co-chair, Membership committee
  • Co-chair, Jails/Prison committee
  • Co-chair, Criminal Practice committee
  • Governance committee member
  • Legal Aid committee member

Cassandra DeMelo:

  • Women’s Vice President & Board member
  • Co-chair, Mental Health committee
  • Co-chair, Spring Conference committee
  • Co-chair, Women in Criminal Law committee


Our Facilitator: Anita Szigeti:

  • Women’s Director & Board member
  • Co-chair, Women in Criminal Law committee
  • Indigenous committee member
  • Mental Health committee member


To register for this event, please go to https://members.criminallawyers.ca/event-4314704


By-law Amendment Sections 3(b); 4(c) (d); 5(d); 6.3; 6.4; 9(a)(e); 16(c)(d)(e)

The CLA is proposing a by-law amendment, which is being presented for ratification to our members. In doing the latest review of the CLA by-laws, the following CLA bodies were consulted:

  • Board of Directors
  • Diversity committee
  • Executive committee
  • Governance committee
  • Indigenous committee
  • Women’s committee

The purpose of the latest review was to make sure our by-laws are current and best reflect our membership. After review and consultations, the following are the recommended updates:

  • Updated the regional director positions to ensure the name/area represented is reflective to the court regions. (3b)
  • Updated the Vice President roles so there is balanced regional and gender representation. (4c; 5d)
  • Added an Indigenous Director that will also serve as the Gladue Court Representative and chair of the Indigenous committee. (4d; 6.4, 9e; 16e)
  • With the change of the Vice President descriptions came an update to the Women’s Director positions. The two Women’s directors will also serve as co-chairs of the Women’s committee. (6.3; 16d)
  • We have updated the process of replacing a regional director should a current director need to be replaced for any such reason. The proposed process will allow for the next highest polling candidate in the previous election to step into the role. If no other person ran, it allows for the CLA board to appoint a candidate after consulting members in the applicable region. This is being recommend to help avoid the need for special elections when a replacement regional director is needed to complete a current term. (9a)
  • We have updated the terms/language throughout to be more encompassing.

A copy of the proposed by-laws, with proposed changes noted in colour, can be downloaded by going to https://criminallawyers.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/CLA-BY-LAWS-2021-Draft-Update.pdf

Please note the CLA consulted with the Diversity committee about potentially introducing a Diversity director. The Diversity committee is very active and agreed that a Diversity director is not needed at this time. Rather, the CLA Board of Directors will be working more closely with the Diversity committee on various issues, projects and initiatives to help ensure all our member voices are heard, understood and valued.

The CLA is presenting the draft by-laws for ratification at a special Members Only Meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, June 17 in conjunction with an “Ask Me Anything” event. This special meeting will be held via Zoom and voting members are asked to:

  1. Register to attend this special meeting by going to https://members.criminallawyers.ca/event-4314704
  2. If you are unable to attend this meeting you are encouraged to complete a proxy and cast your vote to accept or not. This can be done online at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/K98HNR8