I am honoured to be the President of CAPSLE. As a very strong believer in the value of CAPSLE, I will work hard, along with the Board of Directors, to continue the good work of the former Boards.
I want to again thank Judith Parisien and Maria Gergin – and the other members of the Toronto 2016 Organizing Committee – for staging an excellent Conference. The facilities were first rate; the location could not have been better; and the band at the banquet was very entertaining. However, most importantly, the panel discussions – particularly on transgender issues and mental health – were among the most informative and current in recent memory. It left all of us with a lot to think about.
I would like to thank Myles Ellis, who as the former Past President, is now moving off the Board. Myles is a very strong believer in CAPSLE and the CAPSLE brand and his enthusiasm for CAPSLE is contagious. He never misses an opportunity to tell others what CAPSLE has to offer. Myles’ wisdom and his understanding of the CAPSLE stakeholders will be missed.
I also want to thank Stefanie Tuff for her dedication and devotion to CAPSLE in her year as President. Stefanie is not going anywhere and will still actively be involved as Past President. Stefanie worked very hard to guide CAPSLE through what in some respects was a challenging year. Thank you Stefanie.
Stefanie will always be remembered for her “four questions” which the Board now refers to as the “Tuff Questions”. Stefanie introduced these questions to the conference in Toronto. The questions were as follows:
- The name “CAPSLE” is not easily recognizable outside the current membership. Would you support a name change – YES or NO? If yes, any suggestions?
- Would you prefer a two day conference as opposed to the current 3 day conference – YES or NO? If yes, which two days do you prefer?
- Would you prefer an October conference as opposed to the current late April date – YES or NO?
- Which Canadian locations do you believe would be most successful in attracting participants to a CAPSLE conference?
Approximately 40% of the registered delegates at the Toronto conference submitted an answer to the “Tuff Questions”. If you were not at the Toronto Conference and you are reading these questions for the first time, please feel free to email your responses to email@example.com. The responses were overwhelmingly in favour of maintaining the current 3-day conference (Sunday morning to Tuesday at noon). The responses were also overwhelmingly in favour of maintaining a conference in the late April timeframe. The location question, as expected, contained numerous suggestions. However, the responses made it clear that the CAPSLE membership is very much in favour of a rotation of conference locations through the major cities in Canada. The question that received the most interesting responses was the question concerning the name change. The majority of responses – by a very close margin -favoured a name change. However, even those who answered “No” to the name change provided some thoughts on a new name for CAPSLE. It was clear from the responses that there is general agreement that the CAPSLE name does not have clear brand recognition connected to our focus on law and education. The Board will continue to work on this issue over the next number of months and will come to Saskatoon with a clear recommendation to the membership as it relates to the CAPSLE name.
The main focus of the Board over the next year will be as follows:
- Conference attendance – the conference is the engine of CAPSLE. We as the Board need to do a better job in attracting stakeholders to our conference.
- Membership/Awareness – the Board needs to do a better job in reaching beyond our current membership base to attract new members from our stakeholder groups.
The Board has agreed to restructure our current committees so that we can focus more of our energy on the above-noted key areas. The response to the “Tuff Questions” has put some issues to rest and raised new issues for us to address.If you have any thoughts on CAPSLE or the challenges facing CAPSLE or if you want to respond to the “Tuff Questions”, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.I look forward to seeing all of you in Saskatoon. As I indicated in Toronto, bring your lawyer, bring a friend, bring a colleague to Saskatoon.
Ian Pickard, CAPSLE President