Resignation hearing before Alberta Law Society for Ezra Levant

CALGARY -- Outspoken political commentator Ezra Levant plans to ask the Law Society of Alberta today to allow him to resign without any blemishes or findings of inappropriate behaviour on his record.

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Levant says he asked to resign a couple of years ago, since he hasn't practised law in 13 years and moved from Alberta years ago to pursue other interests, including a stint at Sun TV and creation of the conservative website The Rebel.

He was scheduled to face a week-long disciplinary hearing in front of the law society over complaints about a March 2014 column he wrote, but requested it be turned into a resignation hearing instead.

The column, headlined "Next Stop, Crazy Town," criticized the Alberta Human Rights Commission's handling of a case involving a Muslim man who claimed discrimination when he was fired from his job as an electrician in Edmonton. The column ran in the Calgary Sun and its sister Sun newspapers across the country.

Law society citations allege comments Levant made in the column were "inappropriate and unbecoming" for a lawyer and violated the Law Society of Alberta's code of conduct.

"I am not going to resign if there's still a complaint pending," said Levant, who added that he is prepared to go to a full hearing if the board refuses his request.

Anything other than being allowed to resign would be unacceptable he said.

"There's no way ... I will ever apologize for my political journalism. I would literally go to jail before I retracted a political opinion."

A law society official who initially reviewed the complaint dismissed the allegations stemming from the column, ruling that Levant wasn't acting in his capacity as a lawyer at the time. He said Levant was acting as a journalist and there was no reasonable prospect that a hearing panel would find his conduct breached the society's code of conduct.

That position was overturned when the complainant, an Edmonton lawyer who worked for the human rights commission, appealed the decision.


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