Seven Questions with Alastair Clarke

1. What is your idea worth spreading?

The focus of my presentation is on migration and the flow of individuals across borders. We represent immigrants and refugees who are struggling to find peace and security for themselves and their families. The purpose of my talk is to challenge common perceptions of who is crossing our borders.

2. What’s the best thing you’ve read in the past year?

My reading list focuses on court decisions and commentary. I recently reread the decision by the Supreme Court of Canada in Kanthasamy for a case that I will be arguing at Federal Court. I was struck by Justice Abella’s measured tone and understanding of the immigrant’s perspective. This decision, and others like it, are powerful tools we can use and apply to other cases.

In terms of books, I would recommend Refugee Sandwich by Peter Showler. He shares the unique perspective of an adjudicator who has decided many refugee claims and the book casts light on the struggle behind the scenes when they make these life-altering decisions.

3. Would you rather live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?

My focus is on the present. Bearing that in mind, I am fundamentally optimistic despite the ebb and flow of history. I would love to see what humanity is capable of in the next 100 years.

4. How do you want to be remembered?

I work to help individuals and families achieve their immigration goals. I firmly believe that the work we do benefits the people and strengthens the country as a whole.

5. What’s on your playlist at the moment?

Coeur de pirate, Patricia Barber, Love Psychedelico, Pink Martini

6. Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to learn magic tricks to entertain my kids.

7. What TED Talk do you think everyone should see?

Dr. Taylor’s talk, “My Stroke of Insight”, is now 10 years old and I still remember seeing it for the first time. The manner in which Dr. Taylor combined her personal experience with her research on the brain was compelling and helped me to understand a fascinating area of study.

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