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Penalty and Service Fee Increases to Maintenance Enforcement and Child Support Recalculation Programs

MEP and RP Service and Fee Changes

There’s an upcoming change to Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) and the Child Support Recalculation Program (RP) service and penalty fees that you and your clients need to know about.

Effective August 1, 2017, MEP and RP are increasing penalties and service fees that are charged to some of its clients.

What are the changes?

Provincial government passed the following amendments to the Maintenance Enforcement Regulation and the Child Support Recalculation Regulation on June 12, 2017:

MEP and RP Service and Fee Changes

Most of the fees and penalties are only increasing by the inflation rate equal to one year (2.6%, and rounded to the nearest half-dollar). The debtor default fee is increasing by $15 to encourage debtors to meet their court-ordered obligations.

Why are the penalties and service fees increasing?

Penalties and fees partially offset the service costs incurred when debtors and creditors do not comply with requirements. The amounts of these costs have increased over time, but fees and penalties have not increased for MEP since 2005 and for RP since 2010. The increases will cover more of the enforcement costs than previous amounts, and will allow MEP and RP to maintain a satisfactory service level to clients.

Need more information? Have questions?

The information page detailing the changes and how MEP and RP clients can avoid penalties can be accessed here. You can also access the MEP and RP web pages directly.

MEP can also be reached by phone at 780.422.5555, and RP can be reached by either phone at 780.401.1111 or email at

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LESA Website Feedback Survey

LESA Website Feedback Survey

Legal Education Society of Alberta – Website Feedback SurveyWe would love to hear what you think about our new website and ask that you complete our 2-minute feedback survey about your overall site experience. The suggestions you provide will help improve website functionality so we can better serve the educational needs of Alberta’s legal community.

Click here to complete the survey.

Survey participants are eligible to enter a draw to win a free seminar on demand.


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LESA Spotlight: Kathy Fortier Wins MPI’s 2017 Planner of the Year Award

Kathy Fortier Wins MPI’s 2017 Planner of the Year AwardWe’re pleased to congratulate our Meeting and Relations Coordinator, Kathy Fortier, for winning the Meeting Planners International (MPI) 2017 Planner of the Year Award for the Greater Edmonton Chapter.

Kathy has been a member of MPI for 22 years. She was first awarded MPI’s Planner of the Year in the Greater Edmonton Chapter in 2008 and has since continued to make outstanding contributions to the chapter and the meeting industry.


About MPI

MPI is an international not-for-profit organization leading the charge to make meetings and events, and those who produce them, a key strategic component of every organization’s business. Members receive customized education and gain opportunities to build professional relationships with key contacts within the meetings and events industry.

Each year, the Greater Edmonton MPI Chapter gives out 5 awards.

• Supplier of the Year

• Venue of the Year

• Planner of the Year

• Rising Star of the Year

• Mentor of the Year

The Planner of the Year Award recognizes an exemplary representative of the profession who strives for excellence and exhibits professionalism and dedication to further enhance the value of the Meetings & Hospitality Industry. Award recipients have a history of performing as a role model for other planners as well as his/her achievements in the meeting industry.

Click here for more information about these awards. 

We recently spoke with Kathy to find out what her membership with MPI means to her, and here’s what she had to say.

I appreciate LESA supporting me in my membership with MPI so much. It’s not just myself that benefits from being a member. I think LESA benefits from the relationships that I’ve made over the years at MPI. That’s where many of our relationships with suppliers, venues, etc. begin. It’s also a wonderful avenue for collaboration with other meeting and event planners. It’s a win-win for both LESA and for myself.”

Congratulations Kathy, we’re so proud to have you on our LESA team!

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LESA Welcomes 2017 Summer Students

LESA is pleased to welcome this year’s summer students – Julie Ward and Colin McKay!

Julie and Colin have settled in nicely into their roles here at LESA, working with Counsel, Christine Sanderman, and Staff Lawyer, Kelsey Dick – who is also a former LESA summer student.

We recently interviewed Julie and Colin to find out what they are up to this summer. Here’s what they told us.

Julie is an enthusiastic second-year law student at the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alberta. We recently spoke to Julie to learn more about her and find out what she is up to at LESA this summer.

How did you become interested in law?

In high school, I wanted to have the best GPA, so I did what I was good at and followed through. My dad wanted me to be a doctor and my mom wanted me to be a lawyer – my mom thought I was way too clumsy to be a doctor – so I applied to law school and got in.”

What do you enjoy the most about working at LESA so far?

The people are so nice, and the work is really interesting. I am reading about a lot of things that I wouldn’t get a chance to learn about otherwise, which is pretty neat. Right now, I’m working on updates to LESA’s Wills Fundamentals series.”

Has your experience here pulled you in a specific direction in terms of a future area of practice?

I was originally drawn to corporate law, but having read some of LESA’s Business Law Fundamentals series, I’ve discovered that I have a lot to learn in that area. Realizing what you don’t know can be a bit intimidating, and I’m keeping an open mind.”

Do you have anything exciting planned for the summer?

I might go out to my cabin for a week, if time permits. I love to water-ski and head out there to just relax.”

With an undergraduate degree in business from the University of Calgary under his belt, Colin is an ambitious third-year law student at the University of Alberta. During our interview, we asked Colin a bit about himself and his experience at LESA so far. Here’s what he had to say.

How did you become interested in law?

It was more of an economic decision really. I went to business for my undergrad and when I came out, we were in a recession. Oil was down to $30 per barrel, and I thought, I have the marks. I should go into law. It’s broad and opens up many doors – a practical decision.”

What do you enjoy the most about working at LESA so far?

Definitely the people. Everyone I’ve met here has been willing to help and has been really friendly. Everyone’s doors are basically always open.”

What projects do you have on the go right now, and have they influenced your preference for a future area of practice?

Right now I’m working on LESA’s Criminal Law Fundamentals series. I’m reviewing, editing, and making sure legislation is up to date. I chose the Criminal Law Fundamentals series because I was interested in criminal law, so I’d say it pulls me more in that direction in terms of a potential future area of practice.”

Will you be crossing anything off your bucket list this summer?

I went to the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert recently. Other than that, I don’t have any plans. I’m doing a semester abroad in France, so I’m trying to save up for that right now. I’m still in the planning process.”

LESA Library

LESA Library

Interested in getting updates to our practice manuals and fundamentals series?

With an annual subscription to the LESA Library, you can access the latest information at your fingertips the moment it’s updated. This cost effective resource even gives you the ability to set customizable notifications to ensure that you are always up-to-date.

Click here to learn more about the LESA Library.

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Legal Education Society of Alberta – Education Made Simple

At LESA, we believe that accessing quality continuing legal education should be simple. This is why we are proud to announce the launch of our brand new website. Visit our site.

We introduced significant updates to our website with you in mind. The changes improve your ability to navigate, search, and access the information and resources you need. Our optimized website also supports various platforms and mobile devices for instant access to quality continuing legal education.

Key Functions

Using the intuitive layout and features, you’ll notice a comprehensive navigation menu, where you’ll find everything from upcoming programs, latest publications, and volunteer opportunities, to CPLED information, program materials, and much more.

To make things even simpler, we’ve added quick-access buttons to the top 5 areas of our site.

1. Programs. We are committed to delivering effective, professional, and high-impact programming that capitalizes on the inherent advantages of face-to-face education. Our programs run in half-day, full-day, and multi-day formats, and target the areas of Business, Civil Litigation, Criminal, Family, Real Estate, Wills and Estates, Legal Support Staff, and more. Start planning your continuing professional development (CPD). Browse our list of upcoming programs and get details including, prices, dates, locations, and more.

2. Resources. We are committed to providing high-quality legal resources to Alberta lawyers, articling students, and their staff. We offer a variety of formats to suit an array of needs and learning styles, from publications, to program materials, and multi-media downloads. Want it all? Gain access to Alberta-specific legal content, anytime, anywhere, with an annual subscription to the LESA Library. And, don’t miss out on the LESA Classroom. Access self-study modules and browse our growing list of seminar on demands.

3. CPLED. Are you a student looking to apply to the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) Program? Or, perhaps you’ve already applied and are looking for key dates and other important program information. Visit our CPLED for Students page to get the information you need for your program year.

4. LESA Library. The LESA Library is a convenient online resource providing you with substantive legal information and practice management tips. Awarded the Association for Continuing Legal Education’s (ACLEA) top award for Best Publication, the LESA Library contains valuable resources, such as fillable forms and editable precedents, hundreds of program materials that you can download as PDFs, and all of LESA’s practice manuals and fundamentals series. Don’t waste time and money purchasing resources one-by-one. Learn more about an annual subscription to the LESA Library and get it all, anytime; anywhere.

5. LESA News. Get the latest information about upcoming LESA programs, new educational resources, and developments in the Alberta legal community. Follow our LESA Blog.

Looking for something specific? Simply enter a keyword, program title, product SKU, or area of law to the search bar on our home page, and find exactly what you’re looking for. Purchase program materials, read LESA Blog articles, and discover seminar on demands.

Visit our CPLED for Lawyers page and learn how you can become a Learning Group Facilitator (LGF) or Learning Group Evaluator (LGE). Interested in becoming a staff member, blog contributor, or other LESA contributor? Take a look at our LESA Opportunities page to find out what opportunities are available to you.

More Information

As your lifelong partner in continuing legal excellence, we continue our proud tradition of serving the spectrum of educational and professional development needs of Alberta’s legal community. We hope that our new website provides ease of access to quality Alberta-specific legal information and resources.

If you have any questions or concerns, we welcome you to email us at or give us a call at 780.420.1987. We’re happy to assist you in any way we can.

Note: We recommend using the latest versions of Firefox or Chrome for the best experience of our site.  

Website Feedback Survey

We would love to hear what you think about our new site, and ask that you complete our 2-minute feedback survey about your overall site experience. The suggestions you provide will help improve website functionality, so we can better serve your educational needs.

Click here to complete the survey.

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June Upcoming Legal Events

June Upcoming Legal Events

Discover what legal events are coming up this June.

LESA Programming

Rural Property Issues for Alberta Lawyers | Red Deer, June 2
Rural property matters can present unique challenges, which include wetlands and noxious weed issues, oil and gas leasing concerns, and OH&S considerations. Attend this program to learn the latest about these topics and other related issues. View the brochure for more details.

Criminal Advocacy: Sentencing | Edmonton, June 3 | Calgary, June 10
Expand your knowledge of sentencing. Examine the implications of mental health issues and FASD, the R v Lacasse SCC decision, and the developments post-Gladue. Read the brochure for more information.

Commercial Leasing Challenges | Edmonton, June 6 | Calgary, June 8
Commercial leasing is increasingly complex. Discover strategies for handling the most pressing and thorny issues arising in commercial leases today. Read the brochure for details.

35th Annual Intensive Advocacy| Calgary, June 12–17
Develop a confident, professional courtroom presence by exploring every aspect of trial and hearing work in this intensive, week-long workshop. This program is full. Register to be put on the waitlist.


The registration deadline for the 2017/2018 CPLED Program year has passed, but you can still register for the 2017/2018 program year. Students applying after May 31 are subject to a non-refundable late filing fee.

Visit our CPLED for Students page for more information, or contact Craig Edhart, Student Coordinator.

Volunteer Opportunities

35th Annual Intensive Advocacy| Calgary, June 12–17
Are you interested in gaining valuable trial experience as a witness? We are looking for volunteers to act as witnesses in our upcoming 35th Annual Intensive Advocacy program in Calgary, Alberta on Saturday, June 17, 2017. Click here for more details.

Legal Community Events

Children’s Participation in Justice Processes: Finding the Best Ways Forward
The Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family (CRILF), in partnership with the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate Alberta (OCYA), is holding the “Children’s Participation in Justice Processes: Finding the Best Ways Forward” symposium on September 15 & 16, 2017. The early bird registration deadline is Saturday, June 3. Click here for more information.

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Children’s Participation in Justice Processes: Finding the Best Ways Forward

CRILF Symposium: Finding the Best Ways ForwardOffice of the Child and Youth Advocate Alberta

The Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family (CRILF), in partnership with the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate Alberta (OCYA), is holding the “Children’s Participation in Justice Processes: Finding the Best Ways Forward” symposium on September 15 & 16, 2017.

This two-day national symposium will gather together a multidisciplinary spectrum of leading stakeholders to share information and talk about how the voices of children and youth are heard, how their interests are protected, and how their evidence is received in justice processes.

There will also be a half-day pre-symposium conference, at which attendees will review law on the parenting and care of children after separation, contemporary dispute resolution processes, and traditional and emerging ways that the views and voices of children and youth are presented in those processes.

Finding the Best Ways Forward

In a recent interview, we spoke with Executive Director of CRILF, John-Paul E. Boyd, who told us a bit more about the symposium. Here’s what he had to say about why this event is so exciting.

It is exciting to see something that was but an idea become reality and take shape. I’m excited by the extraordinarily high quality of presenters who are coming from across Canada, and, in fact, one also from the U.S. We’ve got Dr. Rachel Birnbaum, from Queen’s University (Ontario); Professor Nicholas Bala, a frequent speaker and researcher in family law matters; Dr. Francine Cyr from the Université de Montréal; and Hon. Justice D. Martinson QC, of the British Columbia Supreme Court. Aside from academics and researchers, we’ve got mental health professionals who will be presenting on this issue and lawyers, such as Patricia Hébert QC, who presented at LESA’s Refresher in Lake Louise. So, lots of people that I unblushingly call the leading likes.”

Click here for a complete list of presenters.

John-Paul also told us a bit about some of the key takeaways attendees can look forward to.

“We intend on publishing a record of proceedings following the symposium. We’ve asked each workshop to attempt to produce something tangible. The fundamental idea is for everyone to share what’s going on in their particular jurisdiction. Partly, this symposium is about information sharing – common controversies; recommendations for policy, process, and legislation reform; best practices – so that attendees can understand what is going on in other parts of the country.”

Finally, John-Paul shared some of the topics that will be covered at the symposium, which include:

  • Assessing the Credibility of Children
  • Creating, Operating, and Sustaining Legal Clinics for Children and Youth
  • Hearing the Voice of the Alienated Child in Family Law Disputes
  • Hearing the Voices of Infants and Toddlers

…and more

Dates & Location

  • Pre-Symposium Conference | September 14, 2017 | Hyatt Regency Calgary (700 Centre Street SE)
  • Symposium | September 15 & 16, 2017 | Hyatt Regency Calgary (700 Centre Street SE)

Want to learn more about the symposium? Click here for details, including keynote speakers, accommodations, pricing, and registration information.

The early bird registration deadline is Saturday, June 3. Click here to register today.

Funding for the symposium generously provided by the Alberta Law Foundation.

Alberta Law Foundation

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35th Annual Intensive Advocacy: Call for Volunteer Witnesses

35th Annual Intensive Advocacy

Are you interested in gaining valuable trial experience as a witness? We are looking for volunteers to act as witnesses in our upcoming 35th Annual Intensive Advocacy program in Calgary, Alberta on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

About the Program

The Intensive Advocacy program is a week-long interactive program designed to hone critical advocacy skills. The program culminates in a moot criminal trial, civil trial, or administrative hearing on Saturday, June 17 from 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM at the Calgary Courts Centre. Program participants conduct moot trials or hearings before Alberta justices, judges, and administrative tribunal members, who then provide participants with feedback.

The Role

Volunteer witnesses play the role of a character in one of the criminal, civil, or administrative fact patterns and give evidence on the witness stand under direct examination and cross-examination. Volunteers are briefed on their role by participant lawyers prior to Saturday, June 17, then act as a witness during the actual moot trials and hearings.


This is an excellent opportunity for law students, articling students, and lawyers to observe the trial or hearing process and gain valuable insight into the experience and perspective of a witness.

If you are interested in volunteering as a witness for the Intensive Advocacy moot trials and hearings, or for more information, please contact

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Bill C-224 – Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act


Bill C-224 Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act

Parliament has recently passed the largely supported Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act (Bill C-224) [the Act]. This Liberal private member’s Bill was unanimously approved last November 2016 and continues to receive wide political support. According to Vishaal Gupta, writing for Rights Watch,

[s]upport for the Bill has come from all corners of Canada, and this was reflected in the bipartisan, unanimous vote”.

Importantly, the Act may represent a change in tactics in the war on drugs. To respond to the challenges created by fear of prosecution, this Act signals a new approach that puts human life first and foremost. In short, the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act recognizes the rising problem of drug-related deaths and represents a novel approach to a growing societal issue.

Summary of Bill C-224

The Act amends the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, SC 1996, c 19 [CDSA] in order to bar laying charges under s 4(1) (illegal possession of drugs listed in schedules 1-3) where the would-be-accused has sought emergency medical or law enforcement aid on behalf of themselves or another person.

The purpose of the Act is to reduce the pandemic of opiate-related overdoses. Research indicates that most overdoses are witnessed and, in many cases, witnesses fail to call for help out of a fear of prosecution for drug-related offences. According to Angie Hamilton, Executive Director of Families for Addiction Recovery, in a brief regarding Bill C-224, the Act prioritizes survival rather “than [the] cold comfort of knowing that if the [person] dies the trafficker can be prosecuted.”

Following the Act’s approval on May 2, 2017, and in anticipation of its coming into force, Health Canada has already prepared an information campaign to alert the public and raise awareness of the Act.

More Information.

For more information regarding Bill C-224, the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, click here.

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2017/2018 CPLED Opportunities

2017/2018 CPLED Opportunities

Each year, LESA partners with experienced legal professionals to deliver Alberta’s bar admission program, the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED). We’ve already had more than 330 students apply for the 2017/2018 CPLED program, and we’re still taking applications. Having this many students means we need a lot of support from Alberta’s legal community to help the CPLED Program run smoothly. That’s why today’s blog shares upcoming CPLED opportunities that you can get involved with.

One of the CPLED Program goals is to help students develop entry-level lawyer competencies. As such, LESA recruits facilitators – who provide feedback to students in preparation for their competency evaluations – and evaluators – who grade these final submissions. The desire to help new, aspiring lawyers develop their competencies is one reason why more seasoned lawyers choose to be a part of the program. If you’re one of those lawyers who wants to give back, you’re in luck – LESA has plenty of CPLED opportunities to fill.

LESA is currently recruiting facilitators and evaluators for the 7 online modules and the 3 face-to-face sessions that comprise the CPLED program (see the 2017/2018 Key Dates).

Online Modules

Each online module is open for 3 weeks.

Learning Group Facilitators (LGFs) commit about 10–20 hours a week to CPLED while the module is open, including time spent providing feedback on assignments. LGFs monitor the progress of their learning group (usually 18–20 students) and interact with students through an online learning management system. The responsibilities of LGFs include:

• preparing for each module;
• facilitating online discussions;
• responding to student questions;
• reviewing weekly student submissions; and
• providing feedback.

Learning Group Evaluators (LGEs) grade approximately 30–40 competency evaluations (final submissions). LGE duties conclude approximately 2 weeks after a module closes.

Both LGFs and LGEs are provided with training to explain the duties and expectations of their roles. Additional module-specific LGF training occurs about a week before each module opens.

Face-to-Face Sessions

Each face-to-face session runs over 3 or 4 days in Edmonton and Calgary, and individual volunteers usually commit 1 day of their time to the CPLED Program. LGFs help guide discussion and answer questions on teaching and learning exercise days, and LGEs grade final assessments on competency evaluation days.

LESA provides training materials and a pre-session conference call to ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities.

Apply for CPLED Opportunities

Please note: CPLED facilitators and evaluators must have a minimum 4 years at the bar.

If you would like to get involved, complete the applicable application form(s).

Online module application form (due June 30)

o Please email all online module inquiries and application forms to Ashley Iachetta.

Face-to-Face module application form (accepted throughout the year)

o Please email all Face-to-Face Inquiries and application forms to Kathy Fortier.

Separate application forms must be completed for face-to-face and online modules.