I apologize for taking so long to reply to this thread. I'll try to cover what I can.
A private conversation I had with Moderator almostnot seem to imply I could post in both. I apologize if I made a mistake, it was not my intention to spam up your forums.
Indeed. The Hon. Justice Stratas will be speaking on an interesting topic too. He provided me with a rough outline:
"Reflections on the Decline of Legal Doctrine" Some say that judges are increasingly importing non-legal, freestanding policy considerations to tweak, revise or discard constraining legal doctrine, sometimes repeatedly and frequently in the same area of law. Does precedent and traditional legal principle play a smaller role in judicial decision-making these days? Justice Stratas will kick off the conference by provoking reflection and discussion on that question. To the extent the answer to the question is yes, does this development further or undermine respect for rights, liberties and freedoms? A question period will follow his lecture.
If it was the CCF (which I can't confirm), I can only assume you went to our conference many years ago when our organization tended to orient itself with a more conservative crowd. We have a different staff and a different approach these days. I hope you would consider giving it another try. Since we relaunched the conference last year we've worked really hard to include competent speakers on all sides of our debates. For example, last year for our assisted dying panel I would argue most of the crowd sided with the BCCLA's Grace Pastine who was arguing on the non-conservative side of the debate. I don't think the group you described would respond in the same way.
I'm not sure how I can respond to this. Try to keep an open mind. We certainly orient our work from a pro-liberty perspective if that is your concern.
I can't confirm this as I've only been with the CCF for a year. We certainly wouldn't touch abortion discussions nowadays. Perhaps he or she is confusing us with the JCCF?
I'm a little confused here. We certainly have some libertarians and conservatives on our board, but I don't think that should dissuade people from attending our conference. I'm not extremely familiar with all of the board members' work and opinions but I can assure you that our Exective Director Marni Soupcoff works very hard to bring in speakers with different viewpoints to talk on interesting subjects. We will also be talking about some of our big cases at this event:
R. v. Comeau (on interprovincial free trade)
R. v. Montague (civil foreiture, property rights)
Cambie v. MSCBC (on whether there is a constitutional right to procure your health care privately)
I would recommend people consider attending based on the speakers and discussions we will be having above all else. If you have concerns that there might be some opinions expressed that are different from yours I would suggest you try to keep an open mind. Sometimes it is good to see your own beliefs and ideas challenged at events like these. Thanks everyone and again I apologize for taking so long to respond to these posts.