The BCCLA’s 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) is an opportunity to hear highlights of the Association’s work over the past year and our key priorities into the months ahead. We will also conduct usual AGM business and announce our new Board members. The evening will be followed by a panel discussion on Civil Liberties and COVID-19. Stay tuned for an announcement of our speakers!

When: Wednesday, June 23, 2020 from 6:00 – 8:30 pm PST

Where: Virtually via Zoom. Details will be provided after registration. All members will receive an RSVP link by email or mail.

RSVPs close on June 20th.

Live captioning provided. ASL to be announced.


Please note that this year’s AGM is only open to members, and all members are welcome. Only members in good standing who joined before May 8, 2021 will be able to vote in the business portion of the meeting.

If you would like to renew your membership, you can do so here. If you have questions about your membership status, please contact us at [email protected] or 604-630-9757.

Board of Directors Candidates Acclaimed

We received 10 nominations for 11 available seats. As a result, our board candidates will be elected directors by acclamation as of the AGM. Congratulations to the following candidates:

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[toggle title=”Karen Mirsky“]

I am a criminal defence lawyer in private practice. My work puts me in contact with a wide range of communities, including drug-using populations, prisoners, police agencies, those who are street-involved and persons from racialized and Indigenous communities. Early in my law career I worked for Pivot Legal Society as a volunteer and staff lawyer, primarily focusing on sex work advocacy in the legal context. In that role, I sat on civic committees and worked as media liaison and contact person. I chaired Pivot’s Board of Directors from 2005-2007. From 2009-2013, I accepted a board position with PACE Society, a member-driven, sex worker support organization. I chaired the PACE Board for two years before leaving to focus on other aspects of my life. Outside of my law practice, I provide pro bono legal support to individuals protesting environmental issues and am well versed in the legal concepts underpinning civil disobedience and its role in society. I also provide legal support to those in Vancouver’s sex-positive community. I identify as bi-sexual and polyamorous and am well versed in queer and trans identities and non-traditional relationship models.


[toggle title=”Kyla Lee“]

Kyla Lee’s legal practice focuses on defence of driving-related offences, and alcohol-related driving prohibitions. Kyla is actively involved in her community. She is a member of the TLABC Criminal Law Committee, the Editorial Board for The Verdict, the Board of Governors, and a former member of the Executive Committee. Kyla represents the CBA on the Criminal Law Section executive, and formerly served on The Advocate’s Society Criminal Law Practice Group. Kyla is the CLE Co-Chair and on the Board of Directors for the DUI Defence Lawyers Association. She also serves as a National Ambassador to the Universal Women’s Network. In 2019, Kyla was recognized as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada. She was awarded the Universal Women’s Network Indigenous Leader Award. Kyla was named the recipient of the DUIDLA BadAss award in 2019. In 2020, Kyla was named a regional finalist in the RBC Women Entrepreneur Awards. Kyla hosts popular YouTube series Cases That Should Have Gone to the Supreme Court of Canada, But Didn’t! and Can You Fail It and the Driving Law podcast which spread legal education and awareness. She is the author of two textbooks published by LexisNexis, Cross-Examination: The Pinpoint Method and Immediate Roadside Prohibitions in Western Canada. Kyla is a proud Métis woman.


[toggle title=”Irina Ceric“]

Irina Ceric is a faculty member in the Criminology Department of Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, BC and holds a PhD from Osgoode Hall Law School. Before shifting into academia, she practiced criminal defence and clinical law in Toronto and Vancouver. Irina has been involved in organizing legal support for grassroots social and environmental justice movements for over twenty-five years. She was a founding member of the Common Front Legal Collective and the Movement Defence Committee (both in Toronto) and served on the steering committee of the Law Union of Ontario for over a decade. Her recent scholarly and activist work has focused on the intersections of law and social movements, particularly issues such state repression, injunctions, and activist legal defence.

[toggle title=”Marc Shannon“]

Marc Shannon is currently based in Calgary, Alberta but was raised in Saint Boniface, Manitoba. He is fluent in English and French. Marc practiced law in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Québec. His principal areas of practice were labour law, employment law, human rights law, civil litigation, regulatory and legislative matters. Marc practiced extensively before federal courts, regulatory tribunals, human rights tribunals, labour tribunals and both labor and commercial arbitrators and mediators. He is very committed to the work of the BCCLA. Marc is a strong believer in the importance of human rights advocacy, and the BCCLA’s work on prisoners’ rights and criminal justice reform is particularly close to his heart. He is currently resigned from the active practice of law. Marc brings deep expertise with nonprofit and for-profit board governance. He has served on various non-profit boards including, Strive4education: board member (Current), Mountain View Academy: President of the board (past) and Franciscans of Western Canada: President of Trustees (Past). Strive4education helps provide funding for education for students in El Salvador. Marc is the parent of the partner of a current BCCLA staff member.

[toggle title=”Moya Teklu“]

Moya Teklu was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2010. She is responsible for developing Legal Aid Ontario’s Racialized Communities Strategy. She regularly delivers training related to anti-racism, including unconscious bias, access to justice, and cultural competence to judges, justices of the peace, lawyers, adjudicators and regulators through the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators (SOAR), Ontario Court of Justice, and others. Moya has participated in proceedings before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court, the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. She is a member of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (Ontario) Steering Committee.


[toggle title=”Jay Krishan“]

Jay Krishan has a B.A. in Sociology from SFU. He is the Executive Director of the PSAEE which is a non-profit organization engaged in facilitating the development of a representative public service. His work in this area has been informed by his own experience with hiring and employment processes. Jay’s interest is in social systems with a mind orientated towards equity and equal citizenship. For this reason, definitions, interpretations, rationales, policies, and practices have been of great interest to him. He has worked to engage stakeholders in discussions on merit, hiring policies and barriers to entry and promotion for citizens of colour with an aim towards change.

[toggle title=”Kevin Huang“]

Kevin is the executive director and co-founder of hua foundation, an organization with the mission of strengthening the capacity among East Asian diasporic youth, in solidarity with other communities, to challenge, change, and create systems for a more equitable and just future. His work centres on creating opportunities for racialized communities to participate in civil society and in social change agendas on their own terms. Kevin’s work has influenced public policy and practices in areas of food security, neighbourhood planning, climate emergency, community engagement, and electoral reform. With this multi-sectorial set of experiences, Kevin is a frequent guest speaker and lecturer. Kevin often comments in the media on issues relating to ethnocultural foodways, Chinese-Canadian communities, Chinatown, race relations, and racial inequities.

As the executive director of a small non-profit, Kevin has experience directly working on and overseeing both the operational and programmatic parts of the organization. Having built several nonprofits from its beginnings, he now actively shares these experiences with others starting their own initiatives. Kevin has a keen interest in organization behaviour and how organizing and places of work can structurally be more equitable for people involved.

Kevin currently serves on committees with City of Vancouver, Vancity, Vancouver Foundation and advises a number of grassroots groups. Outside of his local community involvement and work, Kevin organizes to support the freedoms of people in Hong Kong and Taiwan. He spends his free time finessing family recipes and playing video games.


[toggle title=”Hasan Alam“]

Hasan currently works as a Staff Lawyer at the BC Government and Service Employees Union, where, he advocates on behalf of workers and represents them in labour arbitrations and mediations. He is also the supervising lawyer for the Abbottsford Community Services Migrant Worker and Poverty Law Clinics. These programs are aimed at providing pro bono legal advice to individuals who are either temporary foreign workers in the lower mainland or cannot afford legal services otherwise.

Hasan is the Vice President of External Affairs for the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, a diverse coalition working to promote equity, justice, and opportunity for the Asian community. In 2017, he helped to launch the Islamophobia Legal Assistance Hotline, a service aimed at providing free and confidential legal advice to anyone that has been discriminated against because they are Muslim or are perceived to be Muslim.

He received his Law degree from the University of Calgary and is a member of the BC Law Society. Prior to law school, he worked in Cairo, Egypt for the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). His role at CIDA involved working with local NGOs around issues of human rights, gender equality, and labour rights. He articled at the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre, through which he gained experience in poverty and human rights law.


[toggle title=”Cat Hart“]

Cat is a British settler who moved to the unceded lands of the xwməθkwəy̓ əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ over a decade ago. They currently serve as the Manager of Fundraising at West Coast LEAF, an organization that uses the law as a tool to fight for an equal and just society for all women and people who experience gender-based discrimination. As a queer and non-binary person, Cat appreciates the approach of bringing a feminist lens to the law as an effective way to highlight structural inequality. For the past two years Cat has been responsible for growing the organization’s individual giving programs, and for assisting with communications and campaigns efforts. Cat has always been drawn to the law as one tool within a broader effort for societal transformation. Prior to calling West Coast LEAF home, Cat was the BCCLA’s Supporter Relations and Engagement Manager, and prior to that worked as the Program Manager of the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association. Cat holds a Masters in Communication from Simon Fraser University, where they focused on national security narratives and their intersection/conflict with human rights and civil liberties. Cat is passionate about amplifying marginalized voices, youth empowerment, and testing the limits of colonial law. They have volunteered with Qmunity’s youth drop in program, and LOVE BC’s youth art drop in. When not in the office, they attend Langara’s Fine Arts program, and are likely to be found making art out of whatever is handy.


[toggle title=”Ayendri Riddell“]

Ayendri is a Sri Lankan born educator and activist based in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories. She currently works at Amnesty International as the Regional Activism Coordinator for Western Canada. In this role she is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to mobilize Amnesty’s activist base across Western Canada and the Territories. Ayendri’s work, which she researched and refined through her former position with UBC’s Centre for Community Engaged Learning, focuses on the use of liberatory pedagogies to deepen understanding and inspire collective action.

She is committed to intersectional grassroots activism, is a member of No One Is Illegal – Vancouver Coast Salish Territories, and was a founding member of the Terminal City Legal Collective, which provides training and legal support for grassroots mobilizations in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. She organized with the End Immigration Detention Network from 2014-2017 in response to a massive strike held by 191 migrant detainees in a maximum security prison in Southern Ontario. During that time Ayendri staffed the detention hotline, supported the legal organizing and conducted extensive research on policy positions related to immigration detention.


Bylaw Amendments Presented to the Members for Approval

During this year’s AGM, we will present Bylaw Amendments to the members for approval.

Click here to see the proposed revisions to sections 2.1, 2.3, 2.6, 2.10, 3.2, 3.4, and 6.2 of the Bylaws of the Society