Focus On

Access to Justice


Monday, March 21, 2022 @ 11:40 AM

Fighting Toronto renovictions | Cole Webber and Samuel Mason

In 2020, condominium developers Evan Johnsen and Neil Spiegel purchased the fully tenanted, 26-unit apartment building at 12 Lansdowne Ave. in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood. After tenants rejected cash-for-keys offers, the new landlords issued them form N13 eviction notices for extensive renovations. The tenants of 12 Lansdowne are now in a public fight for their homes against a landlord with a documented history of flouting tenant protections. The outcome of their case will have major implications for tenants and for tenant organizing across Ontario. ... [read more]

Friday, March 18, 2022 @ 1:15 PM

Chief Justice Morawetz leads court backwards| Michael Lesage

Ontario Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz must find it difficult to get good information about his domain. Presiding over a dysfunctional and opaque court system that runs off of inertia (as opposed to objective and transparent performance measurements), it performs well below (and is behind) that of other jurisdictions in Canada or the U.S. The court’s most recent Guidelines to Determine Mode of Proceeding in Civil will aggravate, rather than alleviate those problems. ... [read more]

Friday, March 18, 2022 @ 10:14 AM

Delays in prison justice | John L. Hill

A report by CBC News in mid-March disclosed that Cynthia Chénier, co-founder and president of the Association of Progressive Prison lawyers, was speaking out on the delays incurred in processing inmate grievances. The lawyer noted than in some cases it took up to three years to get a response. ... [read more]

Thursday, March 17, 2022 @ 9:17 AM

Remote proctoring must address student privacy, discrimination: scholar Teresa Scassa, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law.

As university students across the country gear up for final exams, a legal scholar is echoing concerns around privacy and discrimination when it comes to artificial intelligence and its role in remote proctoring. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, many Canadian universities have leaned heavily on the use of remote learning and the online writing of exams. And while the latter has traditionally been an in-person activity, with human proctors present to prevent cheating, the ongoing health crisis has had many institutions turn to private companies that implement remote proctoring. ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 16, 2022 @ 1:23 PM

The move back to live courts: What’s the rush? | Gary Joseph

I have never written to be popular. Those of you who know me can confirm that I say what I think and accept the consequences. So here goes. ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 16, 2022 @ 10:36 AM

B.C. proposes amendments to small claims, child support legislation Scott Stanley, Murphy Battista LLP

B.C. has proposed new legislation which will have an effect on small claims disputes and funding to legal foundations in the province and also make it easier to handle cross-border child support matters. Bill 9, the Attorney General Statutes Amendment Act, was introduced earlier this month and would amend the governing legislation for the provincial civil resolution tribunal (CRT), which adjudicates small claims disputes under $5,000 and was given the power to deal with certain motor vehicle cases in 2018. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 15, 2022 @ 9:19 AM

Follow-up needed if changes come to Manitoba’s social services appeal process: expert Rachel Birnbaum, King's University College at Western University.

A scholar is praising proposed legislative changes in Manitoba that would streamline the province’s social services appeals process but hopes there will be follow-up to gauge how well people’s needs are being met. These comments come following the March 7 introducing of amendments to Manitoba’s Social Services Appeal Board Act, which, according to a government news release, would “provide a more efficient and flexible process” on how the province’s Social Services Appeal Board (SSAB) hears and decides cases. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 15, 2022 @ 9:04 AM

Ottawa helping fund restorative justice project at Dalhousie University David Lametti, Federal Minister of Justice and Attorney General.

In efforts to “accelerate the development of restorative justice across Canada,” the federal government has been funding an innovation and education initiative being run out of an East Coast law school. ... [read more]

Monday, March 14, 2022 @ 11:20 AM - Last Updated: Monday, March 14, 2022 @ 3:57 PM

COVID-19 has done more to improve access to justice than decades of initiatives | Jessica Gagné

When I started practising family and child protection law in 2014 at 25 years old, I noticed that few lawyers in my practice areas kept electronic records, preferring hard copy files and off-site storage. Fax machines were an “approved” method of serving documents, but e-mail was not, unless the other side consented (and many would not, because they would then bear the cost of printing the documents for their hard copy files). ... [read more]

Friday, March 11, 2022 @ 9:53 AM

Ontario court recognizes ‘new foundation for liability for family violence’

In a decision to determine “property equalization, child support, spousal support,” and a claim for damages for abuse, Justice Renu Mandhane, of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, determined “this is one of those rare circumstances where the common law should recognize a new foundation for liability for family violence.” ... [read more]