National Volunteer Week 2022: Highlighting Robertson Stromberg’s Community Partnerships

From April 24 to 30, Canadians celebrate National Volunteer Week (NVW2022). This year’s theme is Volunteering is Empathy in Action and honours the dedicated volunteers that bring heart to Canada’s communities.

At Robertson Stromberg LLP, we are very proud of our community involvement and our active participation as volunteers with local non-profit organizations. We have deep roots in our community, and we are proud to call the city of Saskatoon home.

Robertson Stromberg’s community partnerships have three central components – volunteer Board memberships, sponsorships and donations, and community involvement.

Board Memberships

 
Non-profit organizations are essential for building an engaged and collaborative community. Our lawyers serve on Boards as a way to support our community and to build capacity within organizations that often have limited resources.

As Board members, Robertson Stromberg lawyers volunteer their time – and provide governance expertise and oversight – to some of our community’s most active non-profit organizations and charities.

Our Board memberships include Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saskatoon and Area, CHEP Good Food, Dress for Success Saskatoon, the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan, OUTSaskatoon, READ Saskatoon, Remai Modern art gallery and Station 20 West community centre. These organizations address issues ranging from food security in the city’s core neighbourhoods to inclusiveness and economic empowerment.

As Board members, Robertson Stromberg lawyers volunteer their time – and provide governance expertise and oversight – to some of our community’s most active non-profit organizations and charities.

Sponsorships and Donations

 
Robertson Stromberg recognizes that the backbone of any charitable organization is its volunteers. That’s why we commit our sponsorship dollars to assist non-profit organizations in building capacity to support those individuals who give their time to make our community great.

Some examples of organizations we support through sponsorships and donations are the Okihtcitawak Patrol Group (OPG), the Sum Theatre and the Secret Santa Foundation. The OPG is an Indigenous created and led community-based patrol group that services Saskatoon’s core neighbourhoods. As an independent theatre company, Sum Theatre’s mission is to build community by creating inclusive experiences. The Secret Santa Foundation’s mandate is to provide a complete Christmas to 600 less fortunate Saskatoon families with children under 12.

Community Involvement

 
As a community-minded full-service law firm, Robertson Stromberg lawyers provide pro bono legal services to individuals and organizations across the province. Through the Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan (PLEA), our lawyers offer legal advice clinics at the Saskatoon Public Library. We also participate with Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan (PBLS) to provide free legal services to low-income provincial residents.

Our community involvement isn’t limited only to legal services. RS Partner Misty Alexandre volunteers as head coach of both the Comet Lazers U9B Hockey Team and the Comet Blasters U7 Hockey Team. Partner Kirsten Hnatuk volunteers as a literacy coach with READ Saskatoon’s literacy program. And, partner Kim Anderson, Q.C., is a member of the Appeals Board for Saskatoon Youth Soccer.

Let’s celebrate Canada’s volunteers together. #NVW2022 #EmpathyInAction #VolunteersBringHeart

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Robertson Stromberg Celebrates International Women’s Day on March 8

Each March, International Women’s Day (IWD2022) is a day to celebrate the achievements of women and girls around the world. This year’s theme is Break The Bias – addressing the unconscious bias that females can experience based on gender.

At Robertson Stromberg LLP, we are very proud that 7 out of our 13 law partners are women. For comparison, according to Catalyst, 39 percent of Saskatchewan lawyers in 2018 were female.

Candice D. Grant

Kirsten M. Hnatuk

Siobhan H. Morgan

Tiffany M. Paulsen, Q.C.

“At Robertson Stromberg, we strive to build a culture of inclusion and representation. We believe female representation benefits our employees, our clients and our business partners. More than 50 percent of our partners are women, which reflects the strengths of both our community and our province.”

– Tiffany M. Paulsen, Q.C.

Siobhan H. Morgan

Tiffany M. Paulsen, Q.C.

As a full-service law firm, we support advancing women in leadership roles and female representation in the legal profession.

“At Robertson Stromberg, we strive to build a culture of inclusion and representation. We believe female representation benefits our employees, our clients and our business partners. More than 50 percent of our partners are women, which reflects the strengths of both our community and our province,” says partner Tiffany M. Paulsen, Q.C.

Female lawyers at Robertson Stromberg practice in areas ranging from construction, transportation, commercial litigation, insurance and professional liability to family law, residential real estate and mediation.

On March 8, we celebrate the women who inspire us as leaders in their chosen legal careers.

Darlene N. Wingerak

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COVID 19 and Co-Parenting

Introduction

COVID-19 is creating uncertainty across the world and in our homes. Amid school and daycare cancelations, altered work schedules, self-isolation and growing health concerns, parents have been especially impacted by the pandemic. Separated and divorced parents are faced with the additional challenge of parenting their children between households during this time. The following is intended to provide information and considerations for separated and divorced parents. This information is not intended as legal advice. Should you have any questions respecting family law related matters we recommend that you consult with a lawyer.

Parenting Orders and Agreements

Parenting arrangements that are set out in Agreements or Court Orders should continue despite the pandemic. While the Courts in Saskatchewan have not yet had the opportunity to address this issue, it is expected that parties to an Agreement or Court Order will abide by the terms of the Agreement or Order. In a recent ruling in the United States it was determined that Court Orders for parenting time are not impacted by COVID-19; it is expected that our courts would take the same position. It is important for children to continue to have consistency and ongoing relationships with each of their parents, especially in times such as these when children may be especially anxious. Relying on the pandemic as reason to deny parenting time is not reasonable; it is not an opportunity to “cut out” the other parent. What the Courts will want to see is parents coming together during a time of uncertainty to act in their children’s best interests.

In extraordinary cases where there may be imminent risks to the children, parenting arrangements may need to be altered. Examples of which might include, where a parent has recently travelled to a high risk area, where a child has compromised immunity, where a parent or child has been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, or if the parent or child has COVID-19 symptoms or has been diagnosed with COVID-19. If one of these exceptions exists, it is important that you communicate with the other parent and attempt to reach a resolution that safeguards the health of all involved. If you are unable to reach a resolution, or have questions about what constitutes an extraordinary circumstance, you should contact a lawyer.

Communication

With the closure of schools and daycares, the reality is that many parents will have to alter their parenting arrangements. This is a time for co-operation and flexibility to ensure that your children’s needs are being met. Important discussions should also be had between parents. Such discussions might include how to talk to your children about the pandemic, ensuring proper hygiene and handwashing in both households, whether to self-isolate the children, whether to avoid playdates, and what the plan will be if a child exhibits symptoms of COVID-19. The implementation of consistent COVID-19 precautions in both households will not only maintain stability for the children but will ensure that their health is foremost.

Self-Isolation

In the event parents determine that children or themselves should self-isolate, there are many ways in which children can communicate with the parent whom they are not with. In addition to texting and phone calls, electronic communication such as FaceTime and Skype allow children to maintain contact with their parents. Be creative and read books over the phone, play games such as “I spy” on FaceTime, or watch shows together on Youtube.

Conclusion

Children are looking to their parents for hope, safety and security during this time. Now more than ever it is important for parents to be civil and respectful to each other. Communicating with the other parent to ensure the well-being and stability of the children is vital. If this cannot be done, it is important to communicate through a third party to work out a sensible solution.

For more information, please contact:

 

Kirsten M. Hnatuk

306.933.1351

Email: [email protected]

Whether it’s personal or business, we handle cases ranging from wills to overseeing complex business deals, and everything in between. Our success comes as a result of our collective effort. Combining the experience of your lawyer together with the resources of our team, you can put your trust in us to handle your case with confidence.

LawyersKirsten M Hnatuk