This article was originally published in CBA Alberta's Law Matters publication on December 8, 2020.
By: Elsa Ascencio
I grew up in northwest Toronto in a vibrant community, filled with grandparents, immigrants, and blue-collar workers. Many were poor, including my family. My parents had immigrated to Canada from war-ridden El Salvador. They raised two daughters, and they taught my sister and me to dream big and dream for a better future for all generations.
I did dream big - despite our low-income status, I wanted to go to law school and become an advocate for my community. I've seen firsthand how laws can have a negative impact on marginalized communities on a broad range of legal issues from tenants' rights and social assistance to workplace rights, and immigration matters. I eventually did get into law school. I wanted to devote my career to social justice. Little did I know that making a difference and social justice comes at a very high price.