If the hundreds of people who tuned into a Law Society of Ontario webcast on the upcoming bencher election is any indication, this could be a very exciting race. Earlier this month, more than 300 people tuned into the broadcast, which is still available on the Law Society of Ontario website.
At this point, dozens of people have already indicated to Law Times their interest in running, including current benchers who are seeking re-election. Law Times has launched its own website to cover the ins and outs of the election, at https://bencherelection.lawtimesnews.com/.
There, you’ll be able to find profiles of prospective benchers, as they describe themselves and their platforms in their own words. You’ll also be able to find coverage of issues that are of interest to voters, including the future of alternative business structures in the province and governance at the Law Society of Ontario, among others. There will be more to come on other issues facing the profession. People who are interested in running have until Feb. 8 to submit their nomination forms to run for one of the seats that will be up for grabs. Election day is on April 30.
“Lawyers and paralegals from all communities, practice environments, work areas, firm sizes and geographic locations throughout Ontario are encouraged to run in the bencher election,” Susan Tonkin, a spokeswoman for the Law Society of Ontario, said in a statement.
The final group elected will include some new faces.
Law Times has confirmed that some benchers will not be running again, including Raj Anand, Christopher Bredt, Ross Earnshaw, Robert Evans, Carol Hartman, Michelle Haigh, Janet Leiper, Susan McGrath, Susan Richer and Avvy Yao-Yao Go. This group includes some of the most notable benchers, and the next group should also be dynamic, from what we’ve seen so far in the early days of the race. We’re pleased that we’ll be able to share incisive backgrounding with you as you determine how you’ll vote.