CBA President Kerry Simmons, Q.C. on CBA's intervention in Trinity Western University

  • December 01, 2017

Yesterday the Supreme Court of Canada began the hearing regarding Trinity Western University’s bid to have a law school when their Student Code of Conduct essentially requires all students to refrain from same-sex relationships (among other things). The CBA, together with many other associations, will appear as an intervener. The CBA’s engagement on this began in 2013 shortly after the application for TWU’s law school was made with letters to the Federation of the Law Societies of Canada. In 2014, after an extensive debate, CBA members passed a resolution calling on Law Societies and government to require that admission to law schools be open, without discrimination related to any section 15 Charter ground. Over the course of the years to follow, CBA has intervened at the Court of Appeal in Ontario and Nova Scotia, and has been asked by the courts to present arguments and law from the US experience.

The arguments on these legal issues are challenging and, as with many laws, engage our personal values and beliefs. I am grateful that in this country we will resolve this through peaceful debate and through our independent courts and an independent bar.

The CBA’s pro bono counsel team of Susan Ursel, David Grossman, Angela Westmacott, and Olga Redko have prepared for this day and I thank them for sharing their brilliance, commitment and overall legal acumen with us.

Read the CBA’s factum