Compelled Speech: Law Society of Upper Canada 2017-10-06T16:45:12+00:00

The Law Society of Upper Canada has made it mandatory for all lawyers in Ontario to prepare a statement of principles in accordance with the guidelines indicated below. Professor Bruce Pardy of the Faculty of Law at Queen’s university¬† recently wrote a column in the National Post outlining his concerns with this requirement, which represents an unprecedented and perhaps unconstitutional case of compelled speech.

Lawyers acting in accordance with this mandatory requirement indicate through their compliance their agreement with the Law Society’s finding of systemic racism within the legal profession in Ontario (and, by implication, throughout Canada) and their individual guilt as members of that racist profession. In addition, they give up their right to private political and philosophical thought and to their own principles, accepting as alternatives the new ethical trinity of equality, diversity and inclusion (defined solely by race, sex, sexual identity, and ethnicity).

Individual lawyers facing this demand may feel compelled to comply, as a consequence of the potential negative consequences of failure to comply (including potential loss of reputation, license and livelihood). We (Professor Bruce Pardy, private practitioner Jared Brown, and Professor Jordan B Peterson (Department of Psychology, University of Toronto)) have spoken at the Canadian Senate against the compelled speech requirements of the recently passed Federal Bill C-16, and are concerned with the extension of such demands into the broader community. We are hoping that the information we are providing by writing and online via video will serve to inform people about the dangers of such demands, and that the opportunity, provided below, to indicate (anonymously and privately) your disagreement with the Law Society’s new policies will provide some strength in numbers, and enable the development of a strong and widespread rejection of the compelled speech provisions.

We suggest that, as well as providing the contact information requested at the bottom of this page, you refuse to complete the mandatory statement of principles altogether, replacing it instead with a note indicating the reasons for your refusal.

NOTE: YOUR IDENTITY AND RESPONSES WILL BE HELD IN STRICTEST CONFIDENTIALITY, SHARED WITH NO ONE AND USED FOR NO PURPOSE EXCEPT THE FOLLOWING: We will update this page regularly with an indication of the number of signatories, so that all who signed may be informed about the numerical magnitude of the developing opposition. 

Here is a image of the page describing the Law Society’s new requirements: (Here is the actual page.)