While the executive has built on the momentum created at CARL’s inaugural meeting, there is much more work to do. We are calling on all members to become involved in several ongoing projects.
1. Mentorship Program: The Resource Committee is developing a mentorship program, which will pair new refugee lawyers with our more experienced colleagues in order to ensure high quality legal advocacy for our clients. Mentors will be encouraged to share precedents and guide new lawyers as they develop their practice. If you are interested in either being mentored or becoming a mentor, please contact either Richard Bennett or Lisa Couillard.
2. Legal Research Committee: The work of this committee is multifaceted. It intends to provide research and resource support for interventions and legal challenges; disseminate information to the membership on international and national developments; and assemble research on relevant issues to be published on CARL’s website. The committee’s tasks will continue to grow and develop. If you would like to be involved, please contact co-chairs Audrey Macklin, Donald Galloway or Pia Zambelli.
3. The Advocacy Committee will focus its efforts on public advocacy and information as well as law reform. It will develop key and consistent messaging, coordinate advocacy efforts before parliament and the public and coordinate media relations. The committee is looking for CARL members to join the committee as members as well as people who are interested in working on a single issue. Members with media experience are of particular interest. We are in immediate need of people who wish to get engaged in the Bill C-4 campaign. To become involved in this committee’s work, please contact co-chairs Peter Showler (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Caitlin Maxwell (email@example.com)
4. CBSA oversight project: As many of you are no doubt aware, the need for CBSA oversight is becoming a pressing issue. CARL intends to advocate for CBSA oversight and, to that end, is inviting all members to send in their experiences of CBSA’s excesses and abuses of authority. We encourage you to send in as much detail as you can without breaching solicitor-client privilege. Please direct your emails to Lisa Couillard (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lesley Stalker (Lesley@naomiminwalla.com)
5. Website: CARL is in the process of developing its website, which should be up and running in the next few days. It will require a person, or a group of people, to administer. If you are interested in this project, please contact Mitch Goldberg (email@example.com).
We are facing a challenging time for refugees, immigrants and their advocates. It is imperative that we all continue to build on the energy of our first meeting and the work currently underway. We look forward to your involvement in the projects and/or committees that most interest you.