The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society is a diverse coalition of Asian Canadian legal professionals working to promote equity, justice, and opportunity for Asian Canadian legal professionals and the wider community.

Founded in 2011, FACL BC is the largest equity-seeking bar association in British Columbia with over 620 members ranging from judges, partners, associates, in-house counsel, academics and law students and is affiliated with other FACL chapters across Canada and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) in the United States, which represents over 60,000 lawyers.

FACL BC was also the winner of the 2022 Clawbies award for Best Podcast and the 2021 Clawbies award for Best Innovative Project for our ground-breaking documentary, “But I Look Like a Lawyer”, which captures stories of the discrimination, stereotyping and bias experienced by members of the Pan-Asian legal community. Allies are welcome, and can support our mission by joining as a Supporting Member. Supporting Members do not need to identify as pan-Asian or as a legal professional. Learn more here. 


    • 6 Mar 2024
    • 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Blakes (#3500 - 1133 Melville St) & Zoom
    Register



    The FACL BC In-House Committee is thrilled to welcome Li-Jeen Broshko, K.C. and Hubert Lai, K.C.  at our inaugural Trailblazer event. You will hear firsthand from Li-Jeen and Hubert about their paths to reaching the highest legal positions at the two largest research universities in the province, SFU and UBC, and, in Li-Jeen’s case, her leadership now in helping to keep British Columbians safe.  You’ll hear their advice for lawyers at any level of experience who want to succeed in-house and about the importance of allyship in the legal profession.


    • Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2024 
    • Time: 5:30 - 8:00PM
    • Location: Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, #3500 - 1133 Melville St, Vancouver, BC


    This will be a hybrid in-person/Zoom event, with a Zoom link to follow for remote registrants. The discussion will be led in person by Kristen Woo, Legal Counsel at the BC Public School Employers’ Association. We encourage you to join us in person for the opportunity to meet Li-Jeen and Hubert and to get to know other FACL members.

     

    Agenda:

    • 5:30PM - Doors Open/Reception
    • 6:00PM - Opening Remarks / Moderated Discussion with Li-Jeen and Hubert
    • 7:00PM - Closing Remarks and Post-Event Social


    Special thanks to Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP for their support and sponsorship of this event.


    Meet our Speakers


    Li-Jeen Broshko, K.C., joined SFU in 2010 where she served for over 12 years.  As General Counsel and University Secretary, she was the University Executive member responsible for all legal matters.  Her office had operational responsibility for the Board of Governors, the Human Rights Office, University Policies, Internal Audit, the Office of the Ombudsperson as well as Archives and Records Management, which included freedom of information and privacy.  She is now Vice President, Legal and Governance at E-Comm 911, which is the primary emergency communications service provider in BC, whose stakeholders include all levels of government and the emergency services agencies operating in the province.  She has over 20 years of combined executive and legal experience.  


    Hubert Lai, K.C., was appointed as University Counsel at the University of British Columbia in 2001. At the time, he was the youngest person to have ever served in such a capacity at a major Canadian university. As well, from 2006 to 2007, he simultaneously served as the University’s Associate Vice President, Government Relations. Since 2007, he has served as a member of the University Executive. In 2012, he was appointed as Queen’s Counsel (now King’s Counsel) by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. In 2022, he was named one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada by Canadian Lawyer Magazine.

    ___________________________________________________

    By attending this event, you agree to abide by the FACL BC Event Code of Conduct.

    If you have any questions about the Code of Conduct, please email info@faclbc.ca.

    • 8 Mar 2024
    • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
    • Zoom


    Register Here


    Join us on Friday, March 8, 2024 for an online workshop hosted by WorkSafeBC (WCB) where WCB lawyers, Joash Fang, Lindsay Clement and Heather Hettiarachchi will walk FACL members through prohibited action complaints. This workshop follows our latest workshop regarding discrimination on the basis of political belief, and is being hosted in recognition of FACL BC's position condemning hostility and discrimination in British Columbia.


    Under the Workers Compensation Act, a worker that reports a health or safety issue to their employer, union or WorkSafeBC, is exercising their legal right or carrying out a duty. This includes reports regarding workplace bullying and harassment. In response, it is illegal for the employer or union to threaten or take a prohibited action against a worker reporting the issue. A prohibited action includes any action by the employer or union that has a negative impact on the workers’ employment or membership in the union. For example, a negative impact includes when the worker is dismissed, demoted or working hours are changed. Workers who have experienced this can file a prohibited action complaint.  


    We want our members to feel safe at their workplaces including having their voices heard without facing negative consequences on their employment. Our goal with this workshop is to ensure that our members are aware of the support and remedies available to them if they feel they have been penalized after reporting a health or safety issue at their workplace.


    This seminar is eligible for 1.5 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits. FACL BC thanks WorkSafeBC for making this workshop possible. 


    Meet our Panelists 


    Joash Fang joined WorkSafeBC’s Prohibited Action Complaints section in January 2021. He is a first-generation lawyer and a 2015 graduate from the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria. Prior to joining WorkSafeBC, Joash practiced insurance defense litigation with a downtown Vancouver firm. Joash also previously worked with the BC Public Service, first as an Investigative Analyst with the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner, conducting oversight into complaints alleging misconduct by municipal police officers, and then as a Legal Counsel with the Attorney General’s office, focusing on policy and legislation reform.


    Heather Hettiarachchi is a Legal Adjudicative Officer at WorkSafeBC responsible for adjudicating prohibited action complaints. Previously, Heather practiced workplace law, including providing coaching and training, and workplace investigation and mediation services. In addition to a law degree, Heather has a MSc in HR Management and Training. She also holds CPHR and SHRM-SCP designations in Canada and the US and a QMed designation with ADRIC. Prior to law, Heather was a HR Manager at UBC and Labour Relations Advisor to Vancouver Community College. Heather is an active member of the CBA, and also mentors junior lawyers, law students, and HR professionals.


    Lindsay Clement graduated from the University of Ottawa Law School in 2011, after obtaining a B.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of the Fraser Valley in 2007. Ms. Clement began her legal career at a large nursing union, representing union members at various levels of the grievance process, including arbitration. In 2018, Ms. Clement began adjudicating prohibited action complaints under the Workers Compensation Act.

      ___________________________________________________

      By attending this event, you agree to abide by the FACL BC Event Code of Conduct.

      If you have any questions about the Code of Conduct, please email info@faclbc.ca.


    Statements


    Our Podcast

        


    Documentary



    President's Message

    Welcome home!

    It is a great privilege to serve as FACL BC’s President for the 2023 to 2024 year. Like many of you, I am an immigrant (from Hong Kong), a first-generation Canadian, a first-generation university graduate, and a first-generation lawyer.

    The diversity of our profession is slowly changing, but lots of work remains to be done. As we enter our 12th year, I hope to focus my presidential term on advocating more, enhancing accessibility, and building more alliances for the Asian-Canadian legal community. Asian-Canadians were not permitted to practice law in BC until the late 1940’s. Only 100 years ago, the Chinese Immigration Act, 1923 was enacted with the objective of banning all immigration of Chinese peoples to Canada.

    I joined FACL BC as a Student Member. The first time I ran for a board position at the annual general meeting (AGM), I was extremely nervous as I had never participated in a contested election. I was not elected and thought I would never show my face at FACL BC again out of humiliation and embarrassment.

    But little did I know my journey at FACL BC actually began that day. The person who was elected for the role I ran for ended up becoming one of my closest friends in law. I went to my first FACL BC event following the AGM. Everyone – strangers – welcomed me with open arms because they all had the same intention of empowering other Asian-Canadian legal professionals, and “sending the elevator down” to junior lawyers. There was an incredible outpour of support from people I have never met, and this is still the case years later.

    Not everyone’s experience at FACL BC is the same, but I think we all can safely say that the energy at FACL BC – both at the board and member level – is unparalleled. We are an incorporated non-profit society that is entirely volunteer driven other than two part-time student contractors. You or your firm’s support of our initiatives and mandate of promoting equity, justice, and opportunity can make a significant difference in our legal profession.

    Because of FACL BC, I have been fortunate to meet and interact with very distinguished members of our bar, all of whom have carved the path for future generations of Asian-Canadians: from interviewing Justice Randall Wong, producing a documentary on discrimination and bias that screened at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival, learning from some of the few King’s Counsel of Asian descent in this province (including Winston Sayson, KC on our Advisory Committee, and Louisa Winn, KC, who recently graced the cover of The Advocate), to sharing a meal with BC’s Attorney General, the Honourable Niki Sharma, KC. FACL BC has also supported me professionally by connecting me to job interviews and client referrals through our incredible network of 620+ members. Most importantly, this professional network has become a community of lifelong friends and mentors - some of which have been recognized individually for the work they do for FACL BC, including through the CBABC Equality & Diversity Award as well as the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada.

    These opportunities are, similarly, open to anyone who wishes to join FACL BC. I hope that you can benefit from the same through attending our exciting roster of events, or joining our future board, or one of our committees – advocacy, mentorship, membership, or gala.

    I invite you and your friends to join us at http://faclbc.ca/join. Allies are welcome, and we offer a Supporting Membership for those who do not fall under the Full and Student Membership categories.

    If you have any comments or feedback about FACL BC, please contact me anytime at president@faclbc.ca. Let’s get started!

    Fiona Wong

    President, Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers BC

    LinkedIn 






    The FACL BC registered office is situated on the unceded, traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓ə (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. We acknowledge the significance of the land for the Indigenous peoples who have lived here and acted as stewards since time immemorial, as well as the historical and ongoing injustices they still face. We are committed to working towards decolonial solidarity and the full realization of Indigenous rights.   Read our full land acknowledgement here.

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