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07 July 2015 @ 12:08 pm
A letter in the Globe & Mail...  
So I managed to get another letter printed by the Globe and Mail here. It was in response to this comment piece.



Since the Globe has one of those 5 free and then you hit the paywall things, the gist of it is that the commentator felt that the Law Association of Upper Canada (the bar association of Ontario) was striking a blow against freedom of association by having got a legal judgement upholding their not accepting of the graduates of the Trinity Western University (a private Christian university in British Columbia) as potential lawyer (I assume you still have to pass the bar exam or what have you) because of their requirement that students agree to a code of conduct that among other things requires that students not engage in sexual conduct outside of marriage between a man and a woman. I thought there were some holes in that logic hence my letter/e-mail (I send in a missive whenever the inspiration hits me while reading the paper I think this is like the 3rd time I've been published by the Mop and Pail). What I sent to them I now include below.

Hello,
John Carpay wants Trinity Western University to have it both ways in demanding its law graduates be recognized by the Law Society of Upper Canada despite the school's code of conduct that discriminates against gay students. If the Law Society is a public institution that must respect freedom of association then any accredited law school whose graduates the Law Society must accept as candidates for membership is likewise a public institution qua that ability and can be expected to abide by requirements of non-discrimination therefore justifying the Law Society's rejection. Conversely if the Law Society is a private institution then freedom of association means it is free to discriminate as any other private institution (as Carpay forcefully argues) and it can reject people from any Law School over ideology again affirming the Law Society's decision. In either case the ruling affirming the Law Society's decision is consistent with freedom of association.


The major change was to make the argument less cluttered by removing the qua distinction and just saying that law schools are public institutions. In context this is pretty harmless, but if we are to be completely explicit about everything it has to be admitted that the law schools can have lots of private elements even if I would tend to think its special privilege to nominate people to the bar makes it ultimately public hence my priviso. I'm not sure how the judge in question ruled but I was guessing it was on some variation of one or both of the two lines of argument I suggested. Interestingly the Globe and Mail prefers referring to the Law Society as LSUP instead of as the Law Society, I guess this is shorter and less ambigious, also perhaps mandated by the style guide? Also they cleared up some of my phrasing but it does not seem materially important.

Edit: The full 40+ page decision can be read at http://www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/files/judgments/2015ONSC4250.pdf . Not really subject to easy summary, I don't think my argument disagrees with the thrust of it, but they consider a great deal more than I was worried about.
 
 
Current Location: Oakville, Ontario, Canada
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Allan Olley4ll4n0 on July 18th, 2015 05:28 pm (UTC)
Just because I mentioned it and to have it somewhere, my other two successful letters to the Globe and Mail are here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/letters/march-27-letters-to-the-editor/article534365/ where I responded to some hand wringing about Canada letting its big players be bought by foreigners.

Also here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/letters/aug-3-this-weeks-talking-point-wireless-competition-and-other-letters-to-the-editor/article13584649/ where I point out that I feel that looking at foreign prepaid plans suggests the deficiency of Canadian phone providers.