Here’s what I’m up to

I’m legal counsel with the Law Commission of Ontario, currently leading a big health law reform project reviewing laws in Ontario that shape palliative care, end-of-life care, and medical assistance in dying. We’ve consulted over 800 people at 73 events and are getting our final report ready, along with a report on our concurrent engagement on Indigenous health law.

I’m also helping lead LCO’s law reform projects on digital rights. This includes convening ground-breaking events like Canada’s first Criminal AI Roundtable; Human Rights and AI in the University with CHREI; and new partner projects like consumer protections in the digital marketplace with the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Law, Society and Technology. What kind of legal regulatory and human rights approaches are important in “smart cities”? Or to guarantee rights in relation to profiling of your online shopping or browsing in the digital marketplace? Or protections from algorithmic bias in policing and sentencing? I’m really excited about this work!

Earlier in 2016 I led Legal Aid Ontario’s efforts to design and launch their first ever province-wide Mental Health Strategy, following a multi-year consultation and development process. The Strategy introduces big picture concepts and concrete improvements to make legal aid work better for people with mental health and addictions issues. A lot of great perspectives went into the multi-year strategy, so check it out.

And last Fall was my eighth year teaching mental health law and advocacy at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law. It’s a joy and a privilege to teach and mentor students who really want to make a difference for individual clients and in systemic change.

Giving talks is also great. Like at the National Judicial Institute on AI in the Courtroom (May 2020) and the Law Society of Ontario’s Special Lecture Series on AI in the Practice of Law (November 2019), or back in 2017 when I asked Parliament to do better for criminally accused with mental health needs. Mostly I was just thrilled to make the NY Times to advocate for some friends of mine. Woo!

The other big project lately has been building political consensus about the need to protect innocent people from background check discrimination. We did a lot of work with the police over the last few years, and the government introduced legislation to make it stick. And it’s now been proposed as a national standard by the Uniform Law Commission of Canada. Good stuff.

Most recently I’ve taken a fancy to board gaming with the fam, enjoying new titles like Karuba and Santorini and Tiny Epic Tactics that are great for kids and adults alike. Looking forward to the summer so I can get back to the park with my 8 yr old and 4 yr old and enjoy my mimosa in a thermos like the other parents.

Thanks for visiting!