COVID-19 has been hard on a lot of industries and professionals across the world, and legal practitioners are no exception, something that law firms like Donich Law can attest to.
Former Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin noted that the pandemic has done more than show how a pandemic can ravage people’s lives, but also reveal all the cracks in society.
She says that the pandemic has many faces, with the ones most notable being the faces of the illness itself and those suffering or have suffered from it, but there’s also what she calls “the great revealer”, wherein the pandemic has shined a light on the flaws in our institutions and social structures. This, in turn, has shown to people the injustices and inequities that were once hidden by complacency.
McLachlin states that the pandemic has made it clear that these problems can’t be ignored, showing how they can escalate if left unchecked.
The Former SCC Chief Justice states that she believes that the pandemic will definitely change how Canada, and the world as a whole, handles a lot of things, from the obvious, like medical emergencies, and long-term care, to the less-so, like courts, legislation. She says that the way lawyers and law firms like Donich Law practice will change and that we all need to recognize that improvements must be made.
McLachlin pointed to pay inequity as an example, saying that COVID-19 only underlined what was already known; that women often got paid less for the same work men do. She added that some people still erroneously defend it, clinging to the outdated idea that women always have a better-paid spouse and that their jobs are just secondary to the household and the family’s income.
She concluded her address on the matter by saying that pay inequity is morally unsustainable and that equal pay for equal work, or work of equal value, is one of the foundations, the basic concepts of human dignity.
McLachlin believes that COVID-19 showed how important women are to society, while at the same time revealing the inequalities they continue to deal with. She says that the pandemic is a turning point, and that society needs to move forward, to recognize that women deserve to be held equal to men.