NEWSLETTER – April 2019
Editors – Allen Mendelsohn & Larry Markowitz
Dear Colleagues, Honourable Judges, and Friends of the Society,
On March 13, 2019, we were honoured to welcome the 18th Prime Minister of Canada, The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, as the Society’s guest speaker for our annual Henry Steinberg Lecture. The dinner and speech were a resounding success, and the audience was once again reminded of the personal charisma and power of presence of one of Canada’s great leaders.
We welcomed many distinguished guests including a former Premier of Quebec, former Quebec cabinet ministers, representatives, both past and present, from the Bars of Quebec and Montreal, and judges from various levels of courts, including the Honourable Justices Côté and Brown from the Supreme Court of Canada. For Justice Brown, this was his very first Lord Reading event and one which, by his own admission, he will remember with great fondness.
Mr. Mulroney captivated our hearts and minds with his talk where he stressed the importance of moral leadership and the dangers of standing idly by while dangerous ideologies, such as anti-Semitism, are allowed to go unchecked. Mr. Mulroney’s address to the Society on the issue of anti-Semitism was picked up by both national and local press, once again raising our Society’s profile and highlighting its importance to the public.
You can read more about the evening in Larry’s article below.
On April 17th, we held this year’s second annual members-only Young Bar CLE event in a brand new 5 à 7 format, at the offices of Stein & Stein. The 5 à 7 featured our very own Allen Mendelsohn, McGill Law lecturer and Internet law expert with an always timely presentation on the topic of “The Legal and Privacy Implications of Online Cannabis Purchases in Canada”. The room was full of young lawyers, who sipped and ate in the relaxed atmosphere of the grand mansion, all the while picking up valuable legal insights and CLE credits. The event was a sold out and we expect it to become a fixture in our Society’s calendar. Again, Larry provides more details below.
On May 2nd, 2019, we will be holding our annual Alan B. Gold advocacy lecture and for this extra special anniversary year of the Society, we will make our annual tribute lecture extra special as well, as we welcome the late Justice Gold’s son, Senator Marc Gold, as our guest speaker. Senator Gold will allow us all a sneak peek behind the curtains of the Senate to learn more about this venerable Canadian institution and its value to society, with his talk entitled Advocacy in the Senate: The Gold Standard. Senator Gold will be introduced by the Honourable Nicholas Kasirer of the Quebec Court of Appeal. I am looking forward to what promises to be a very special presentation and look forward to seeing many of you there as well!
I would like to thank our generous sponsors Davies for their support. The dinner will be eligible for CLE from both the Barreau du Québec and the Chambre des notaires du Québec.
The Society’s 70th anniversary year is coming to a close, but not before we end it in grand style with Society’s annual Young Bar Cocktail on May 29th followed by our closing dinner on June 11th, 2019, when we welcome Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti as our featured guest speaker. Please mark your calendars!
I hope you will join us and I look forward to welcoming you all very soon!
Inna Nekhim, President
The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney: Leadership, Free Trade and a Strong Canada
For our Annual Henry Steinberg dinner, on March 13, 2019, we were pleased to welcome The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, Canada’s 18th prime minister.
To help us focus on what is important in today’s complex world, Mr. Mulroney drew on his first-hand experience in the corridors of power and his expert knowledge in his talk entitled, “Leadership, Free Trade and a Strong Canada”.
Before a packed house of some 300 members and friends of Lord Reading, including two current Supreme Court justices and one former Quebec premier, plus a contingent of chief justices, other judges, retired justices, current and former bâtonniers and law school deans, Prime Minister Mulroney taught a master class in leadership, and more specifically, reminded us of the importance of leadership in public policy.
“Achievement occurs when challenge meets leadership.”
-The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney
Citing great leaders he met during his time in politics, Mr. Mulroney conveyed a sense of what makes a true leader. For example, even one New York Times columnist who opposed most of Ronald Reagan’s policies had to admit that President Reagan had the charisma that makes a great leader, namely “that ineffable, and sometimes magical quality that sets some men and women apart so that millions will follow them as they conjure up new visions and invite their countrymen to dream big and exciting dreams”.
Whether negotiating free trade or standing against anti-Semitism and apartheid, a prime minister must show leadership and govern for the history books rather than this week’s opinion polls. He or she must look to the next generation; not merely the next election.
As we face rapid technological change, there are people who feel threatened. Populist leaders leverage that fear. However, when fear and anger fuel the public debate, history teaches us that “protectionist impulses can easily become a convenient hand-maiden.” As the father of free trade in this country, Mr. Mulroney is certainly opposed to protectionism!
Without naming the current occupant of the White House, he did allude to protectionist tendencies in the United States. He complimented the current Canadian leadership for the patience they showed in eventually negotiating a modernized NAFTA. The modernized free trade agreement (USMCA) maintains, protects and preserves North American free trade and, in particular, Canadian trade with the United States, which was Canada’s main objective.
Another area that requires leadership is the fight against anti-Semitism. As prime minister, Mr. Mulroney took a strong stand against such discrimination. Indeed, a true leader fights for minority rights, rather than dodging the issue:
In Dante’s Inferno it is noted that ‘the hottest place in hell is reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis, strive to maintain their neutrality’.
As presidential adviser David Gergen once wrote of President Gerald Ford,
Leaders everywhere [should] pay less attention to daily polls and more attention to their inner voices: Give up the slavish obedience to popular opinion so embedded in politics today, and take up the standard of what’s right, even when it threatens one’s political survival.
Many current political leaders should heed these wise words.
Prime Minister Mulroney closed his talk with this inspiring passage:
If all of us remember that freedom and liberty and the protection of minority rights are the very pillars of our national democracy, we can collectively make a contribution to the well-being of mankind that will bring honour to Canada and peace and prosperity to all her citizens.
A full set of photos from the evening can be found on our Facebook page
Whoa, dude! Allen Mendelsohn talks data privacy at our Young Bar 5 à 7
On April 17, 2019, we held our first-ever Young Bar Members-only 5 à 7 at the Westmount offices of Stein & Stein. It was a huge success!
The evening featured a captivating presentation by Allen Mendelsohn, McGill Law lecturer and Internet law expert (and Lord Reading Communications Director). His topic was torn from the headlines: “The Legal and Privacy Implications of Online Cannabis Purchases in Canada” (aka “Whoa, dude, I bought weed online! But that may have been a mistake; they know where I am now…”).
Who needs to smoke cannabis to become paranoid when you can simply listen to Allen’s speech!
- What happens if the credit card you use to make a purchase on one of the provincial government cannabis sales websites is disclosed via a data breach? After all, there’s a one-in-four chance that a data breach will occur …
- Is your credit card data protected by provincial privacy legislation? Is it protected by the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)?
- What subcontractors are the provincial cannabis dispensaries using to store your data? Why are the names of those payment processors not indicated in the fine print? Do the provincial cannabis dispensaries, who built their websites at the last minute even know what payment processors their websites use?
- What if your credit card data is stored on a server located outside the province? Or outside the country? Perhaps that server is located in the United States, where a request from enforcement authorities under the USA Freedom Act (formerly known as the Patriot Act) could give U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents knowledge of your cannabis purchasing habits? Good luck ever getting into the United States again …..
While listening to Allen’s informative (and paranoia-inducing) presentation, the young lawyers in attendance ate sushi and smoked salmon, enjoyed some refreshing beverages and had a chance to do some pre- and post-speech networking. And now they know to heed the advice of the Privacy Commissioner:
“If you are concerned about using your credit card…
consider using cash to purchase cannabis.”
– The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
A great time was had by all! Some photos of the event can be found on our Facebook page.
Save the dates!
Don’t forget these amazing events planned for the rest of the season, so save these dates!
May 29, 2019 – The always-fun annual Young Bar cocktail! Details to come.
June 11, 2019 – Dinner-meeting featuring David Lametti, Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada
Registration for these events will open in the weeks leading up to those dates. Keep an eye on your email for more information.
Continuing Legal Education and the Society
Allen Mendelsohn and Hershie Frankel, CLE Chair
We wish to remind you that a new CLE period for the Barreau has begun, starting April 1st. Get your credits early! Don’t forget that becoming a Lord Reading member entitles you access to free, members-only CLE events.
You may have heard that there are new rules from the Barreau for the new two-year period. For the Society, however, nothing will change. We will continue to have our events pre-approved for CLE, and will continue to issue certificates. These certificates will guarantee that your CLE from Lord Reading will be valid, in contrast to any “self-reported” CLE which could be refused by the Barreau.
The Society looks forward to helping you get your CLE hours for many years to come!
News from the Mispacha
- To very good friend of the Society Me Doris Larrivée on her retirement from her position as Director-General of the Bar of Montreal after 17 years, and at the Bar for more than 27 years. We wish her all the best;
- To Society Board member Judge Morton S. Minc on being awarded the John F. Lemieux Medal from Concordia University