Canadian Lawyer

December/January 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 10 of 43 9 further adding Alberta-specific Indigenous history and topics to the online course. It will be available starting in 2021. Teskey said the LSA will cover the cost for all active lawyers in the province and give lawyers 18 months to complete the six hours of training. The program can also be done in segments. Calgary lawyer John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, questions why the LSA should make the course mandatory. "In a free society, different people have differing ideas about which issues are most pressing and differing beliefs about what justice and injustice consist of. If people want to present their beliefs to lawyers, they are already free to do so, without the law society imposing one view on lawyers," said Carpay. Indigenous involvement in infrastructure building is evolving Q&A Education: » Victoria University, AUS, BBus (International Trade), 2006 » Victoria University, AUS, LLB, 2006, with first class honours » Monash University, AUS, LLM, 2008 Called to bar: » Victoria (AUS), 2007 » Western Australia (AUS), 2007 » B.C., 2015 » N.B., 2018 Career highlights: » Worked for Rio Tinto in Australia and Canada Sharon Singh Partner, ESG, Aboriginal and Regulatory BENNETT JONES Indigenous involvement in building out Canada's infrastructure may still be in its infancy, but it is fast growing and will likely play a significant role in raising Canada's productivity, reducing our carbon footprint and adapting to climate change. We asked Sharon Singh, a Bennett Jones partner based out of Vancouver, on how she sees that involvement evolving. What is the state of Indigenous involvement in infrastructure projects? Indigenous communities definitely are far more advanced in equity participation than in the past, they clearly have in their minds what they want to do and what infrastructure projects they are interested in and they have the governance in place to do it. This is in part due to the shift in the social and political landscape, which has opened up opportunities for Indigenous communities to become involved in infrastructure projects. How do provincial and federal government fit into the picture? There's a lot more joint decision-making — or at least collaboration — when it comes to policy decisions that affect the Nations. There has been a fundamental shift in our thinking in terms of what economic reconciliation looks like, and it really does go beyond the simple benefit agreements framework. Are Indigenous groups getting enough seats at the table when it comes to infrastructure? There could be more seats at the table. It's not perfect from what I see. But there has been an evolution in how much support and how much recognition the Nations have received in policymaking with certain [provincial] governments and definitely the federal government. "The training demonstrates a genuine effort to ensure that lawyers in Alberta have an understanding of Indigenous history and culture that they may not have otherwise been exposed to in their education." Andrea Menard, Law Society of Alberta 1-866-685-3311 |

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