As lawyers we have long been accustomed to the rigours of competition in the marketplace- there is a surfeit of lawyers on the street, and we are all jostling for the same clientele – ( that elusive sub-set of the general adult population that has legal trouble and enough coin in their pocket to pay to get out of said trouble), Read More
The first item on my “To Do”list tomorrow morning is to trudge down to the local polling station to do my civic duty. One of our municipal councillors got lucky in the May provincial election, and got himself elected to the provincial legislature, necessitating a by-election.
It happens, and at least we got three years service out of our councillor before he jumped ship.
Methinks however, it happens too often. Consider that former Premier Christi Clark, announcing that she was “done with public life”, has resigned, not only as leader of the liberals, but as MLA for Kelowna West, before serving a single day in the post. Consider too that the first politician to join the rush to replace her was none other than Dianne Watts, the sitting MP for South Surrey -White Rock, who is vacating her federal seat to run.
While there are many reasons why a sitting politician may honourably resign, in my opinion, naked political ambition is not one of them. Electors have a legitimate expectation that those they elect to public office will, barring the unforeseen, diligently serve out their term.
Constituents go unrepresented while an elected seat is vacant, so my heart goes out to anyone in Kelowna West or South Surrey – White rock with a beef with government bureaucracy that needs the intervention of the local MP or MLA.
Politicians won their seats initially, by defeating a number of other well qualified individuals, both at the nomination stage, as well as in the election proper, most of whom I would venture to suggest, would have done an equally satisfactory job, and might have actually served out their entire term, without succumbing to the urge to chase after other political office
By- elections are expensive, and disruptive. There should be a penalty imposed upon any politician who causes one, without proper cause. My Saturday “To Do” list is long enough already !
Now, I know that things aren’t always what they seem. Lord knows how many times I’ve read a press account of a case I was involved in, and been convinced that the article was describing a different case entirely.
So, when I come across something that doesn’t, at first glance, make sense, I try to suspend judgment: maybe I don’t have all the facts or fully appreciate all the nuances of the situation.
So it was last weekend when I encountered our tax dollars freely being spent by Parks Canada.
The recipient of Ottawa’s largess? none other than a BI-LINGUAL, SOLAR POWERED, WHEELCHAIR- ACCESSIBLE, SELF-COMPOSTING OUTHOUSE– located on a small island accessible ONLY by kayak.
Although shaking my head, I’m trying hard to suspend judgment – There must be a sensible, cost -effective reason for the building of such an edifice – mustn’t there ?
If you have been out and about around Metro Vancouver over the past several months it can’t have escaped your notice that there is a personal injury law firm that really wants your business. Their ads are plastered over every third sky train car, and you can’t make it through a local news cast without viewing an advert featuring a smarmy guy in a suit talking about justice for injury victims. Their name is Prezler law, and when I saw their saturation marketing campaign my first reaction was “Who are those guys?” You see, both my bride and I have been in the law game in the lower mainland for the past 40 years, and neither of us had ever heard of them. New firms form daily, of course, but none with pockets deep enough to fund an over the top marketing blitz.
Dong a bit of digging, I discovered two things. Firstly, the smarmy pitchman in the well-tailored suit isn’t Prezler, in fact, he isn’t even a lawyer. He’s an actor. Secondly, Prezler is a well- established Ontario law firm. They have been around for decades, and have obviously done well for themselves practicing personal injury law there.
Curious, I thought, that a specialty firm from another province should target British Columbia. I mean, its not as though we were short of high profile personal injury lawyers around here.
While still shaking my head over the puzzle, my morning Vancouver Sun arrived, and I was treated to the spectacle of a full front page advertising wrap, announcing the grand opening of Diamond & Diamond, another Ontario personal injury firm with money to burn on marketing. Let’s face it buying the front page of the Vancouver Sun ain’t cheap (but them neither is ad-wrapping a Skytrain car )
So, what’s up with this migration of litigators- the gunslingers of the profession?
Well, one of the first things I learned in law school was “follow the money”. These aggressive law firms haven’t descended on the province becase they like the scenery- they are her to pick ripe fruit. My guess is that word has gotten out that the pickings are good here in Lotusland . ICBC it seems, is a cash cow, flailing around in the water, and bleeding profusely.
And now comes a stern faced David Eby, our newly minted Attorney General, to announce stiff new auto insurance premiums. Pity he didn’t bring a bandage to the news conference, because raising rates is truly only a band-aid solution.
One of the first things I was taught in Law School was “follow the money” , and that, evidently is what our learned friends from Ontario are doing, Either the word is out that the BC courts are handing out very generous awards, or that ICBC is a soft touch when defending. Either way, the sudden appearance of these eastern lawyers should tell us that it is time for a serious re-think of how we compensate the victims of motor vehicles crashes. Our present system is leaving too much blood in the water .
When I retired a couple of months ago, I found there was a void, (and a large untidy pile of clippings and scribbled notes labelled ” blogs to be written”