Canadian Elder Law Conference

Thursday & Friday, November 12 & 13, 2015
9:00 am – 4:30 pm both days
Pan Pacific Hotel, 999 Canada Place, Vancouver

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The Canadian Elder Law Conference comprises two days. On Day 1, join practitioners from law, social work, health care, finance, non-profit, and other sectors from across the country and around the world to talk about the challenges and issues involved in working with older adults. On Day 2, you will explore issues engaged in powers of attorney and substitute decision-making, health care decision-making and end of life care, mental capacity and dementia, elder abuse and neglect, and other challenging subjects that arise in representing older adults and their families.

After taking this course you will...

  • be better able to identify and address the legal issues that impact your older client in estates, family, and other practice areas
  • be familiar with recent trends and developments in the law with respect to elder law topics such as health care decision-making, physician-assisted suicide, and elder abuse
  • better understand the legal, practical, and ethical issues in relation to clients with mental capacity issues.

Birgitta Von Krosigk

Interview with Birgitta von Krosigk

Coach, Facilitator and Mediator, Dialogica, Vancouver

November 1, 2015

CCEL: What does “elder law” and “elder mediation” mean to you?

Birgitta: A simple question with a not so simple answer.
“Elder law” and “elder mediation” have evolved as categories of practice that flag to other professionals and prospective clients that we work with issues of concern to older people and their families, including guardianship, wills and estates, healthcare decision making, elder abuse and neglect, seniors’ housing, residential care facilities, and so on.


Kathleen Cunningham

Interview with Kathleen Cunningham

Executive Director, BC Law Institute and Canadian Centre for Elder Law

October 26, 2015

CCEL: You have spent many years in the financial sector. How has elder law informed your career?

Kathleen:I was introduced to the field of elder law as a speciality area of the law at the first CCEL Elder Law Conference in 2006. I came to it from the perspective of a corporate trustee very familiar with the fiduciary duties of trustees and executors and the law of wills and trusts. Incapacity, guardianship law and issues with substitute decision makers, both guardians and powers of attorney, also touched our work. The issues and dialogues among the elder law bar and the related disciplines has had a huge influence on how I look at capacity and decision making today.


Krista James

Hot Topics at the Elder Law Conference: Elder Abuse Response

Krista James, National Director, Canadian Centre for Elder Law

October 13, 2015

This blog post summarizes the conference’s elder abuse content at a glance to help you plan an exciting learning experience and connect with other practitioners from across North America who care about similar issues.


Heather Campbell

Interview with Heather Campbell

BC lawyer and master of laws student at the University of Saskatchewan

October 7, 2015

CCEL: What does "elder law" mean to you?

Heather: Cynics suggest that elder law is little more than a marketing tool designed to capitalise on the aging population. In some cases, this argument has merit. For many lawyers, there is nothing particularly distinct about their elder law services – it seems that they have just lumped their existing practice areas (e.g., guardianship, incapacity planning, wills and estates) under a new “Elder Law” tab on their website.


Laura Tamblyn Watts

Interview with Laura Tamblyn Watts

Senior Fellow, Canadian Centre for Elder Law and PhD student, University of Toronto

September 29, 2015

CCEL: What does "elder law" mean to you?

Laura: To me, elder law is a lens through which to see the world. In the way an Aboriginal lawyer might look at the world, and by extension, legal issues, through the lens of how issues particularly affect a certain group of people, elder law does the same. I often say: "bring me any issue and I'll tell you the elder law impact of it".


Krista James

Curating Your Elder Law Conference Experience

Krista James, National Director, Canadian Centre for Elder Law

September 21, 2015

Our conference program is set and I am thrilled about the diverse and rich content we are offering. It is a huge agenda, with many concurrent session opportunities. Choice can be wonderful, but also overwhelming. So I am writing this piece to help you curate for yourself the best conference experience possible.


Marion J. Allan

Interview with the Honourable Marion J. Allan

Associate Counsel with Clark Wilson LLP and retired Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia

August 27, 2015

Marion Allan with be speaking with Barbara K. Buchanan, Law Society of BC and Barbara J. Lindsay, Alzheimer Society of BC on Dementia and Client Competency—Practice Tips, Communication Strategies and Ethical Issues on Day 2 of the conference.

CCEL: When did you develop an interest in “elder law”?

Marion: In 1996, while I was sitting on the Supreme Court Bench, I decided a case involving an elderly woman who vigorously opposed a committeeship application. Counsel gave me affidavits from seven doctors expressing different opinions as to her capacity. What struck me most was the woman’s fierce desire to retain her autonomy in the face of relatives and authorities who were adamant that she needed protection and could no longer make her own decisions.


JP Boyd

Interview with John-Paul Boyd

Executive Director, Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family

July 29, 2015

In this interview, John-Paul Boyd discusses key issues to keep in mind while representing older clients, how to provide better representation to clients of all ages, and his picks for the speakers he's most excited to hear from at this year's conference.

CCEL: How is the aging of our population affecting family law practice?

John-Paul: There has been a tremendous shift in family law over the past half-century as divorce has lost its stigma and become a normal life event. Family law continues to change as the baby boomers, who are not only Canada’s largest age cohort but the first generation to have lived their entire adult lives under the federal Divorce Act, begin to retire.

Elders were once relatively invisible in family law disputes. Apart from the rather rare need to divorce couples in their 60s and 70s, elders primarily figured as a financial or care obligation of our clients or as someone to whom our clients were indebted. It also used to be the case that a couple would separate in their forties and early fifties and remarry just once, if they remarried at all.

The boomers, however, are more likely than any previous generation to be married two or more times, to divorce later in life and to have been in long-term unmarried relationships. When one considers that the three fastest-growing age groups in Canada are individuals aged 60 to 64, those aged 100 and older and those aged 85 to 89, it is clear that we simply cannot do family law as we used to.



Elder Law Conference Attendees get 20% off the regular price of the Dispute Resolution Conference on November 10, 2015.

Call Customer Service at 604‑893‑2121 to register for both conferences or for more information.