Justice Canada to bring back the Law Commission of Canada
April 20, 2021
BY Karen Campbell
The BCLI is delighted with the announcement in yesterday’s budget that the federal government will be reviving the Law Commission of Canada. We have been pleased to work with our colleagues in other provincial jurisdictions as part of the Federation of Law Reform Agencies of Canada (FOLRAC), and it will be a real boost to our work to have the federal presence for law reform in Canada restored. The media statement below, by our colleague, Leah Howie, FOLRAC president, has been released today. We look forward to building law reform capacity for the many challenges and opportunities we face in the years ahead.
The Federation of Law Reform Agencies of Canada (FOLRAC) is thrilled that Canada’s Budget 2021 provides funding for Justice Canada to bring back the Law Commission of Canada. The Budget, released on April 19 by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Chrystia Freeland, promises $18 million over five years (starting in 2021-22) and $4 million ongoing to revive the Law Commission, which was shut down in 2006.
The world has changed since 2006 and today’s legal system presents new challenges – new technologies, changing family and community structures, and recognition of the need for Indigenous justice and issues of systemic racism. Independent law reform agencies exist to tackle these challenges and improve access to justice for all Canadians. Our agencies study complex legal and policy issues, and make recommendations for reform based on extensive research, public consultations, and expert opinion. Our work is non-partisan, principled and forward-looking to identify approaches to important legal issues.
The Law Commission of Canada, as a federally mandated law reform agency, will play an important role in our collaborations and we look forward to working with a federal counterpart on defining and implementing law reforms across Canada and across our many legal frameworks.
“We are delighted by the announcement to restore the Law Reform Commission of Canada in yesterday’s budget,” stated Leah Howie, President of FOLRAC and the Director of the Law Reform Commission of Saskatchewan. “Independent law reform helps to innovate and drive changes so that our laws reflect the issues we face in Canada; we help make lives better for all Canadians. We look forward to continuing our work with our federal colleagues back at the table.”
FOLRAC was incorporated in 1990 to encourage cooperation among Canadian law reform agencies and to advance the public value of law reform across Canada. It has member agencies in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Quebec.
For media inquiries, please contact Leah Howie at [email protected].
April 28, 2021 update: Leah Howie, President of FOLRAC discusses the new Law Commission of Canada in Canadian Lawyer article. Read the article here.