June 10, 2022
Celebrating Pride Month
by Jonathan F. Griffith, Early Intervention Counsel, Law Society of Alberta and President, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Community section (SOGIC) President, Canadian Bar Association

Although Pride is celebrated at different times across our country (and even within Alberta), June is officially Pride Month in Canada. Pride is a time to celebrate the rich and wonderful diversity across the spectrum of communities in our country. It is also a time to remember the historic and ongoing fight for equality. It hasn’t been easy.

Many credit the 1969 Stonewall Riots as the origin of the pride movement. Led largely by transgender people of colour and drag queens, the riots erupted as the community’s response to frequent police raids on gay bars in New York City. LGBTQA2S+ individuals existed and resisted long before the Stonewall Riots, but the riots were a large and public example of the community’s pushback against state-sponsored oppression and are a useful starting place for the measurement of the modern gay rights movement in the west. Since then, LGBTQA2S+ communities in Canada have marked a host of major landmark victories.

Heralding the decriminalization of homosexuality with the passage of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1968-69 (SC 1968-69, c 38), then-Justice Minister Pierre Trudeau proclaimed, “There is no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” Despite the importance of that step towards equality, LGBTQA2S+ rights had a long way to go from there. For example, the lack of political and public support for LGBTQA2S+ communities aggravated the ravages of the AIDS pandemic in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

Police raids on LGBTQA2S+ communities were still commonplace in many cities across Canada throughout the 80s. The right for same-sex couples to marry wasn’t won in Canada until 2005 (with the passage of the Civil Marriage Act SC 2005, c 33). Pride movements gained momentum across Canada in response to these and other ongoing inequities facing the LGBTQA2S+ communities.

Read the full article for more information.
Virtual Oral Hearings Now Standard
On June 3, 2022, the Law Society Benchers approved online virtual hearings as the standard format for all Law Society oral hearings.

Since April 2020, all oral hearings have proceeded virtually due to COVID-19 on a pilot basis. Through the pilot period, virtual hearings have been a positive experience with significant cost savings and convenience for stakeholders. Virtual hearings have proven to be transparent, efficient, effective, fair to the parties involved and accessible to the public.

While virtual hearings are now standard going forward, the mode of hearing may be varied in particular circumstances, in accordance with the Rules of the Law Society.
Alberta Land Titles Office Delays - Edmonton
Following on the City of Calgary's notice to lawyers regarding delays in the Alberta Land Titles Office, the City of Edmonton is also providing additional clarification for lawyers working in and around the city.

Please be aware that the Alberta Land Titles Office is currently facing a multi-month delay in processing title transfers, which may mean that your clients have not received a copy of their property tax notice if they bought or sold their properties since February. Tax notices were mailed on May 24 to the owner on file with land titles, which may be a previous owner.

For any property owners who may not have information about their property taxes, they can contact the City of Edmonton to get their tax balance by calling 311.

It is important that new owners pay before June 30 to avoid late penalties.

Learn more on the City of Edmonton’s website.
Court Announcements

The following measures remain in force:
  1. All who enter the courthouse are required to wear a mask.
  2. Social distancing is strongly encouraged at all times.
  3. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are currently experiencing core symptoms of COVID-19, you are legally required to isolate according to Alberta Health Services. If you are required to isolate, do not enter the courthouse. If you have a court appearance, contact your lawyer or Legal Aid Alberta at 1.866.845.3425 for Duty Counsel assistance.
  4. For traffic ticket matters – In-person attendance is limited to those with trial dates, on the date of the trial, and those wishing to submit a partial payment of a fine. Visit traffictickets.alberta.ca to
  • plead guilty and request time to pay;
  • plead not guilty and request a trial date; or
  • change a previous not guilty plea to guilty and request time to pay.

Court of Queen’s Bench Administration has extended the cap on email, digital and fax filing fees until Oct. 31, 2022. In addition to regular filing fees, documents that are filed digitally, by email or by fax will be charged at the rate of $1 per page, capped to a maximum of $20.

A revised Court of Queen’s Bench Family Practice Note 6, providing additional clarity and direction in respect of inter-jurisdictional child custody and inter-jurisdictional parental abduction applications, will come into effect on July 1, 2022. The current Family Practice Note 6, and the version to become effective July 1, 2022, are posted here.
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