Canadian Lawyer

July/August 2020

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Page 10 of 35 9 things," says Jain. "Who should be providing the guidance, which department? And my answer to that is: Both need to provide guid- ance, because both have a responsibility to interpret the orders in council. Immigration shouldn't be interpreting for the border. And the border shouldn't be revisiting decisions made by visa offices." Part of the frustration for lawyers, says Jain, is that immigration officials usually provide guidance to border agents on the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. But the pandemic-related orders in council stemmed from the Quarantine Act and were thus being interpreted independently from the immigra- tion legislation. "It's been frustrating," he says. "Immigration lawyers are used to being able to rely on immi- gration guidance with respect to all things immigration related, including the border. . . . We'd rather not take on a lot of extra clients and retainers if we know a good chunk of them are going to be refused at the border. That's not what we're about. So, we just want to know the rules so that we can advise people on cases we can take and cases we shouldn't [take] ethically." Ontario moves bar exam online Q&A Fast Facts: - Joined the LSO in 2001 - Became CEO in 2018 - Previously chief operating officer of a large Toronto law firm Diana Miles CEO LAW SOCIETY OF ONTARIO After indicating the exams could be delayed until as late as autumn, how was the law society able to move forward with a digital exam option? "The initial decision was to make sure that we were making everyone safe and we weren't putting any of our participants in any harm. We, did of course, postpone the exam. But then, as we saw what was going on, our priority very much began to be focused on being responsive to what the candidates were going to need as we went forward. Because this was obviously going to be extended. We knew that it was causing significant stress." Obviously, there were competing timelines the LSO had to deal with: on the one hand, licensing candidates who had already studied extensively for this exam and were eager to enter the workforce. On the other hand, those who were expecting July or August reschedules may have found themselves with a month and change to make arrangements with employers, child care, etc., as well as double down their study plans on a tight timeline. How much flexibility do licensing candidates have to choose an exam date within the five-day windows offered? "[T]he law society, in partnership with our test supporters, will provide windows of opportunity for those exams. The flexibility for the examinee is that there are windows and they can choose mornings or afternoons. "Of course, with our March solicitor examination, which we had to cancel, those are our priority. We have many of those people; this was their last step [in the licensing process]. We want to make sure that they're in the process, in . . . the earliest exam windows, so they've got an opportunity to write in early June or then again in mid- to late June if they choose." "Who should be providing the guidance, which department? My answer to that is: both."

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