CCEL to Conduct Public Consultations with Older Women

31 August 2012

By Alison Taylor

Vancouver, 31 August 2012 —The Canadian Centre for Elder Law has launched a new research initiative to study the pressing legal and social policy issues impacting older women.

This project will be the first BC community-engaged legal research project focused on older women. The project aims to identify and raise awareness about the legal and policy issues that most impact older women, and to encourage professionals who develop law and policy, and the elder law community in general, to consider and address these issues.

The project will be undertaken in three phases:

(1) A series of consultation events in the Vancouver Lower Mainland;

(2) A stream of the 2012 Elder Law Conference focused on women and aging (November 16-17, 2012); and

(3) An International Women's Day event focused on and celebrating older women (around March 8, 2013).  

“To date, few studies have explored the unique circumstances and needs of older women,” asserts CCEL National Director Krista James. “We want to enhance the capacity of practitioners from all sectors (law, policing, government, health care, finance, housing) to consider the impact of both aging and gender on experience, and to respond to the pressing issues identified by older women.”

In order to move this project forward the CCEL will be collaborating with the West Coast Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund. The project will also be guided by an Advisory Committee of women with a diverse array of experience and expertise on gender and aging issues:

  • Honourable Marion Allan, retired from the BC Supreme Court
  • Shashi Assanand, Executive Director, Vancouver & Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Support Services Society
  • Penny Bain, former Executive Director, BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support
  • Anne Beveridge, semi-retired lawyer, formerly with the North Shore Community Law Office
  • Elsie Dean, President, 411 Seniors Centre
  • Karen Hazelman, Early Childhood Educator, Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre
  • Jill Hightower, former Executive Director, BC Institute Against Family Violence
  • Linda Light, social policy analyst and public policy researcher in the area of domestic violence
  • Glenys McMillan, retired social worker, Seniors Action Committee (North Vancouver)
  • Andrea Rolls, retired policy and legislation analyst, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
  • Carol Ross, Executive Director of Parent Support Services Society of BC
  • Honourable Justice Lynn Smith, BC Supreme Court
  • Susan Henry, Community Legal Advocate, First United Church

This project has been generously funded by the United Way Lower Mainland, whose aim is strengthen community capacity to address social issues.

The CCEL is a national, non-profit body dedicated to exploring legal issues that impact older Canadians.  The CCEL conducts scholarly law reform, legal research and writing, legal education, and public outreach.

West Coast LEAF is a non-profit BC organization whose mission is to achieve equality by changing historic patterns of discrimination against women through BC based equality rights litigation, law reform, and public legal education.  West Coast LEAF was formed in 1985 when the equality provision of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into force.


Krista James
National Director & Staff Lawyer
Canadian Centre for Elder Law
Tel: 604 822 0564

Kasari Govender
Executive Director
West Coast LEAF
Tel: 604-684-8772 ext. 111

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