Introducing HJP Intern Malcolm Funt


malcolm-funtMalcolm Funt

UBC Faculty of Law


I will be working as a research assistant throughout the summer on the Housing Justice project. I have just completed my first year of law school at UBC, and it was an intense and rewarding year. I grew up in the Vancouver area, and after spending four years away from the city; I am excited at a chance to reconnect in what will be an entirely new experience for me.

My interest in this project stemmed from a lecture that Professor Margot Young gave to our first year class. The lecture was titled Law and Political Theory and for this we read the case of Victoria (City) v Adams, 2009 BCCA 563.The court in that decision focused on whether the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms section 7 right to life, liberty and security of the person was violated by a bylaw that prohibited homeless people from erecting overhead shelter at night. The issue that arose in those circumstances in Victoria is prevalent in Vancouver today. The opportunity to take part in a project that focuses on creating progressive political change is fascinating to me.

Throughout the summer I hope to have a positive impact on the Housing Justice project, and contribute to a team that is working on addressing the issue of affordable housing in Vancouver. My personal values are heavily driven by the principles of fairness and equality, and this project aligns with those beliefs in a way that is consistent with my decision to come to law school. Further, the chance to take part in community collaboration activities and discussions is something that I am really looking forward to this summer, and I expect will be a rewarding experience.

In researching throughout the summer, I am interested to see how my personal views and opinions shift on an issue that has been evident to me throughout my life. During my undergraduate degree at McGill University, I learned about market economics, and financial systems from an efficiency centered standpoint. I can tell even after just one week of researching that this way of thinking will not be sufficient to understand the housing problems that exist in Canada and particularly in Vancouver today.

I hope to use my educational background to bring my own perspectives while still being challenged to develop a more complete understanding and way of thinking. Finally, my ultimate goal is to produce a project on the housing system that critically analyzes the options that exist for policy makers and residents in achieving access to safe, affordable and adequate housing.

This research opportunity is funded by a fellowship grant from the law firm Borden Ladner Gervais.