By The Hon. Thomas Cromwell
Chair, Action Committee of Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters
Honourary Fellow, CREATE Justice
This time last year I was in Saskatoon during Access to Justice Week, celebrating the launch of CREATE Justice. On its first anniversary, I congratulate everyone on taking this meaningful steps towards understanding and acting on the A2J crisis in Saskatchewan.
CREATE Justice was established in response to the call to action issued by the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters. As the Chair of that Committee, I’m pleased to see concrete steps to meet this call. The Action Committee’s Roadmap for Change called for more centres of excellence to foster research and understanding about the challenges people face when accessing the justice system. CREATE Justice does just that by facilitating research, evaluation and action on the issue. Its focus on gaps in data in research, coordinated with efforts in other provinces and territories, will help to build a meaningful picture of the issues and pressures people face. CREATE Justice, based at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law has also offered an invitation to researchers to work collaboratively under the banner of A2J research, helping to raise the profile of the issue.
This year’s A2J Week, with more programming and events, is an obvious testament to the collaboration underway in the legal community in Saskatchewan. I’m sure the projects and research that emerge through CREATE Justice will be another testament to the good work that is happening.
I want to take a moment to speak to all of the hard work that has gone into the first year of CREATE Justice. Starting a new entity, building agreement on its focus and activities and establishing its reputation takes hours of often thankless work. Much of that work is done by people with full schedules and demanding responsibilities to their employers, their clients and their families. I thank all of these people who have volunteered their time and expertise to this first year of CREATE Justice. Having a staff person on the project is a great start to long-term sustainability. However, I have no doubt that Brea Lowenberger has put in more hours and done tasks that no one anticipated when she took the position. Strong leadership is key to getting new initiatives off the ground. I commend everyone who has devoted themselves to establishing CREATE Justice and congratulate you on a successful first year and a promising future.