New Faces at Canlii

While you won’t see it mentioned either on Canlii or the Federation of Law Societies web page, but Canlii has a new board of directors, and a much leaner governance structure.

The new Board members are

Sonia Poulin, Director of the Alberta Law Society Libraries
Darrel Pink, Executive Director, Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society
Diana Miles Director, Professional Development & Competence, Law Society of Upper Canada
Johanne Blenkin, Executive Director at Courthouse Libraries BC
Dr. Martin Felsky
Professor Michael Geist
Charmian Harvey, Directrice générale chez Totalmédia

Here is the text of the official statement:

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of a new board of directors to the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII), the Federation’s free online search engine for Canadian legislation and case law. The Council of the Federation has also approved the nomination of Sonia Poulin of Alberta as Chair of the new CanLII Board.

The appointment of the new Board was done in conjunction with a review and update of CanLII’s governance structure, a project initiated in 2008.

CANLII is a non-profit organization created and funded by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, on behalf of its 14 member law societies. It was launched in 2000 on a test basis to provide efficient and free access to the growing number of judicial decisions and legislative documents available on the internet. In 2001, the Council of the Federation approved a proposal to make CANLII a permanent, not-for-profit service to support the legal profession in the performance of its duties while providing th public with permanent open and free access to the legal heritage of all Canadian jurisdictions.

CanLII is also a member of the Free Access to Law Movement, which includes the primary stakeholders involved in free, open publication of law throughout the world.

In April 2010, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada also signed a new five year agreement with with CanLII’s principal technology service provider, Lexum Inc., the successor corporation of the LexUM laboratory of the Université de Montréal.

The CanLII web site currently features 14 legislative databases and 166 court and tribunal databases, representing almost a million cases. The web site registers nearly 23,000 visits per day, and 2,500 new cases are added every week.

“Over the last 10 years, CanLII has been an outstanding achievement of Canada’s law societies” says John Campion, President of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. “CanLII has benefited from crucial contributions from federal, provincial and territorial governments and their official publishers who have all made their legislative texts available.”

“With a new Board of Directors and a renewed relationship with Lexum, we have taken important steps to ensure the long-term viability of the CanLII internet service and the free access to Canadian primary legal information not only for the legal profession, but for the public at large” adds CanLII President Darrel Pink.

Access to the CanLII service is available at www.canlii. org, or through the web site of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada


  1. Sonia is Director of Alberta Law Libraries, not Alberta Law Society Libraries-our network of 51 libraries includes the Law Society Libraries but also Judicial, Crown, Legal Reference and Departmental Libraries. Thanks!


  2. First my congratulations – and secondly my apologies – the search I ran came up with the following caption:

    Alberta Law Society Libraries
    : Staff directory
    – 11:33am
    Sonia Poulin, Director Tel. ***.***.****