Mr. Malcolm Heins Chief Executive Officer Law Societyof Upper by ujl89480


									July 20, 2007

Mr. Malcolm Heins
Chief Executive Officer
Law Society of Upper Canada
Osgoode Hall
130 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario
M5H 2N6

Dear Mr. Heins,

I am in receipt of your letter of July 5, 2007 to Stephen Rotstein which provides members of the
Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario (HRPAO) an exemption from the
paralegal licensing requirements under Bill 14, Access to Justice Act. In the letter you express
that HRPAO requested an exemption from this licensing requirement. This is not the case.

In late May 2007, Stephen Rotstein spoke to Julia Bass, Policy Counsel in your Paralegal
Standing Committee. We were concerned that HRPAO members were being informed by Law
Society staff that unless they received a personal exemption or applied for a paralegal license
they would be in contravention of Bill 14.

HRPAO members are already covered by s. 2(10), Schedule “C” of Bill 14. Our members are
considered not to be practicing law or providing legal services because they are:

   1. A person who is acting in the normal course of carrying on a profession or occupation
      governed by another Act of the Legislature, or an Act of Parliament, that regulates
      specifically the activities of persons engaged in that profession or occupation.

HRPAO members are governed by the Human Resources Professionals of Ontario Act, 1990,
(the “Act”), an Act of the Ontario Legislature, which creates the Association and regulates the
activities of persons engaged in the Profession who are members of the Association. The Act
specifically states that the key objectives of the Association are:

   (a) to establish and encourage the acceptance and maintenance of uniform province-wide
   standards of knowledge, experience and ethics for all persons engaged in the field of human
   resources management;
   (b) to promote and further the education and improve the competence of persons engaged
   in human resources management by granting registration and membership to persons who
   meet the standards of the Association;
   (c) to hold examinations and prescribe tests of competency deemed appropriate to qualify
   membership in and certification by the Association;
   (d) to maintain discipline among members of the Association;
   (e) to provide a medium for communication and exchange of information, knowledge and
   ethical standards for those persons engaged in the field of human resources management;

Under the Act (s. 2), HRPAO regulates its members and ensures that they comply with the
Association’s objectives. All 16,000 members are governed by the Association’s Code of Ethics
which states, among other things:

   1. Competence

    HR practitioners must maintain competence in carrying out professional responsibilities and
   provide services in an honest and diligent manner.
   They must ensure that activities engaged in are within the limits of their knowledge,
   experience and skill. When providing services outside one’s level of competence, or the
   profession, the necessary assistance must be sought so as not to compromise professional

   2. Legal Requirements

    HR practitioners must adhere to any statutory acts, regulations or by-laws which relate to
   the field of Human Resources Management, as well as all civil and criminal laws, regulations
   and statutes that apply in their jurisdiction. They must not knowingly or otherwise engage in
   or condone any activity or attempt to circumvent the clear intention of the law.

HRPAO has a formal complaints, investigation and discipline procedure. Members of the
Association and the public can file complaints against members for violating this Code.

Further, many of the Association’s 16,000 members also hold the national certification of CHRP,
requiring a base level of academic achievement before being required to write and pass two
separate levels of examination: National Knowledge Exam and subsequently, the Professional
Practice exam.

The exemption in Bill 14 occurred after HRPAO and other similar organizations presented
information to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy explaining how our organizations are
self-regulating professions. The exemption that was passed by the Committee spoke to that
concern that it was not in the Bill’s intent to provide double regulation to those professions.

HRPAO did not ask for a special exemption from the Law Society since it was already contained
in the statute.

As noted above, it was not the intent of Bill 14 to provide double regulation of the HR
Profession. Given the initial communications from the Law Society on who is covered by the Bill,
some of our members got concerned and sought clarification from the Law Society. These
requests did not come from HRPAO. We appreciate Law Society intention to try to clarify the
matter by passing an exemption in Convocation.
That said, any future review or revocation of the Law Society exemption will in no way affect our
member’s statutory right to be exempt from Bill 14 provisions.

We trust this clarifies the matter for the Law Society.

Yours sincerely,

Bill Greenhalgh, CEO
Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario

cc:    Debbie Bennett, Chair HRPAO Board of Directors
       Antoinette Blunt, Chair, HRPAO Government Relations Committee
       Stephen Rotstein, Director, Government Relations and General Counsel, HRPAO
       Paul Dray, Chair, Paralegal Standing Committee
       Julia Bass, Policy Counsel, Paralegal Standing Committee
       Sheena Weir, Manager, Government Relations

To top