New Branch Accommodation Policy
The BC Branch has introduced a Member Accommodation Policy which aims to ensure that every member has full access to the services of the Canadian Bar Association, and that issues of accommodation are included among the priority issues on which the Branch advocates on behalf of its members. The new Policy will guide future decision-making by the Executive Committee, Provincial Council, and Branch Office management. The Branch thanks Henry Vlug for his contribution and personal advocacy in ensuring that a formal policy was developed to address issues of concern regarding the delivery of services to members who have a disability. The new policy reads as follows:
“The BC Branch is committed to the principle that its members are collectively and individually entitled to full participation in the affairs of the organization, and to the full realization of the benefits of membership. To that end, the Branch will accommodate and support its members who are disabled, subject to the provision of reasonable notice, and will give priority to the elimination of barriers encountered by its members who are disabled. The Branch recognizes that disability should not prevent a members’ full participation in the organization, and recognizes its responsibility to address such accommodation. The Branch further recognizes its responsibility to advocate for the accommodation of its members who are disabled, in all aspects of their professional lives.”
Human Rights, My Rights
The British Columbia Human Rights Commission, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and the Legal Services Society, Native Programs, officially launched the Human Rights, My Rights video, as part of an outreach initiative to ensure that all aboriginal people in BC are aware of their rights under the Canadian Human Rights Act and the British Columbia Human Rights Code. If this video could be of use to your firm, copies are available for $15. Fax your request to the Legal Services Society Distribution Centre at 604.682.0965. If you would like more information on the video, contact Kent Patenaude, Manager, Native Programs at 604.601.6039.
Lawyer to Head BC OnLine Business Development
Access BC Information Services Inc, the Macdonald Dettwilier and Associates (MDA) company which operates BC OnLine, has appointed Paul G. Mendes to the position of Manager of Business Development. Mr. Mendes, who was called to the Bar in 1994, was in-house counsel and director of sales and marketing for Agentis Information Services Inc.
BC OnLine is the on-line data service which provides access to government registry data, including: land titles; company data, Personal Property Registry, manufactured homes, BC Assessment Authority, the Site Registry and Land Data BC. Lawyers account for more than two-thirds of all BC OnLine transactions. The appointment of a lawyer to this key corporate position marks, as Mr. Mendes says, a “turning point” in BC OnLine’s development.
“Our goal is to bring a more customer- centered approach to the business of BC OnLine, and the legal profession will play a key part in that process,” says Mr. Mendes. The top 400 customers were recently surveyed, resulting in the identification of a number of priorities for change over coming weeks and months. These include: faster and easier access to BC OnLine over the Internet; better account administration and billing; training opportunities; and the development of more services.
Training programs have been initiated across the Province, and changes to the BC OnLine web interface will be introduced before the end of this year. Other major initiatives, such as the introduction of credit card processing, will be introduced before year-end.
Client consultations will be on-going throughout the year. If you would like to have more information about the proposed changes to BC OnLine, or to invite Mr. Mendes to speak at a professional meeting about these changes, contact him at 604.231.3049.
These articles were published in the October 1999 issue of BarTalk. © 1999 The Canadian Bar Association. All rights reserved.