As I launched my campaign two months ago, I promised to release at least one weekly update. Every Thursday and a few times in between I have released my videos where I introduced myself and reflected with you on issues that are important in this election.
Today is the last Thursday before voting begins next week on April 19th, and today I am asking for your vote.
I am asking you to vote for me because I understand the urgent need for the Law Society to reform its approach to access to justice and to rewrite its book on paralegals.
I am asking you to vote for me as I reaffirm my commitment to excellence and unity in responsible and efficient governance of the legal professions in public interest.
I am asking you to vote for me because I stand free from any ideological loyalties or conformities, and I have demonstrated to you that I am capable and ready to contribute to a respectful and productive debate and to govern with objectivity and sound judgment.
To be ready for this role, every bencher candidate was required to watch a 45-minute mandatory orientation session.
But I didn’t stop there.
As a matter of fact, to prepare myself for this role, I did not just take a 45-minute CPD, I have researched our system of governance and the role and duties of a bencher in every detail I could find, and I have created a two-hour CPD on the subject and received the Law Society professionalism and EDI accreditation for it. My CPD was then delivered in live webcasts and made available on-demand for paralegals at no cost through my website.
But I did not stop there.
I have studied minutes and records of motions of past Convocations, getting to know the issues, and also getting to know the benchers. I have studied Law Society annual reports, financial statements, Committee reports to Convocation on key issues, and the Law Society Tribunal reports and decision records, and every other available resource that I could find. I have taken the time to study the structure of the corporation and the business of the board on which I run to serve as a director, and then I have taken the time to speak to educators and to licensees. And it is this research and learning that informs my opinions on how these issues impact access to justice and our profession. And as a result, it was this research and preparation that informed my platform.
I did not just come up with a good platform vision also known as point B. I am also very clear on where we stand at point A.
But I did not stop there.
As I documented my own learning journey with a thorough video blog bringing forward every issue that is important in this election and showing you where I stand, I also showed you my plan on how I would address them. As a matter of fact, I have also had a number of conversations with the likely future benchers, and I am positive that I can build bridges and get the work done without compromising my independence.
I have not settled for “good-enough”. I have rolled out one of the most comprehensive platforms of any paralegal bencher candidate in this election or in the past.
If you haven’t seen my materials, they are all available on my website VoteVladimir.ca and on my YouTube channel, and throughout social media. All of my videos come with transcripts so you can either read, or watch and follow the subtitles, or just listen on the go.
Here is to summarize.
Expansion of scope.
Immigration, Family Law, and Divisional Court appeals are on everyone’s mind, but I did not stop there. I have also identified areas where paralegals are ready to stand recognized based on existing competence.
And I ask you to vote for me because I will not acquiesce to how slow things usually move at the Law Society. I am ready to put my best efforts into immediate action. And at the first appropriate opportunity, I intend to ask Convocation to establish a task force dedicated to research into expansion of paralegal scope, and I will request to be appointed a Chair and guide that work.
I ask you to vote for me because I have listened to and will continue to engage in a meaningful two-way communication with licensees, colleges, and associations to deliver exceptional access to competence and raise the standards and prestige of the paralegal profession without raising the barriers.
But responsible and efficient governance isn’t about a single issue.
I ask you to vote for me so I can put my executive and business experience to work on Audit and Finance Committee. I will not simply acquiesce to so-called good accounting practices. I will stand for increasing transparency and efficiency of operations. I will stand to expose and eliminate wasteful spendings, and to ensure fiscal equity, and to alleviate barriers to entry and barriers to practice.
And I won’t stop there.
I ask you to vote for me because I made it very clear and specific as to what I mean when I say that paralegals play a crucial role in access to justice.
It’s not just a question of whether we deserve equal and equitable representation on our own governing board. Public interest requires a stronger paralegal voice in Convocation. It means increasing the number of paralegal benchers at least to the levels of proportionate numbers of licensees.
Five paralegal benchers today are thinly spread over at least 15 different committees, boards, and working groups, not including their appointments on the Law Society Tribunal. Paralegal benchers are given a disproportionately high number of appointments and it is high time there be more paralegal benchers on Convocation.
This of course will require a legislative amendment and I will advocate for Convocation to recommend to the Government and to seek that amendment.
And I won’t stop there.
Inclusion and equity is not about percentages or appearances. I ask you to vote for me so I can bring my vast cultural competence to Equity and Indigenous Affairs Committee where I intend to contribute to creating a culture of true opportunity and equality across a broad spectrum of identities and backgrounds. Not some performative diversity limited by ideologies, indexes, and tokenism. I will remember and remind that equity and inclusion leadership is about inspiring and encouraging others, not giving them orders and expecting those orders to be followed.
And I won’t stop there…
Because I just won’t settle for good.
Ontario prides itself on being the leading jurisdiction in North America to recognize and enhance the exceptional role paralegals play in access to justice.
We do not settle for good when we are capable of excellence. We do not settle for good when our people deserve exceptional and extraordinary.
I am Vladimir Reznik asking you to vote for me on April 19th and to elect me as paralegal bencher of the Law Society of Ontario. The bencher who makes sense, the bencher who does not settle for status quo, the bencher who goes above and beyond.
Above all, I am asking you to vote. Your vote means electing the leadership our profession deserves. Please vote to bring unity, camaraderie, objectivity, and sound judgment back to Convocation.
I trust I can count on one of your votes on April 19th.
But before then, and any time after, I also ask you to call me, message me, and let me know your thoughts.