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The Friday Brief

The Friday Brief: Managing Editor’s must-read items from this week

Friday, February 28, 2020 @ 2:40 PM | By Matthew Grace

Matthew Grace %>
Matthew Grace
Here are my picks for the top stories we published this week.

Contentious motion on equity group’s involvement at LSO tabled, censure motion ruled out of order
The debate on two motions before the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) dissolved into a shout of “shame!” as benchers expressed feelings of being attacked, made claims of bullying and demands for apologies before the treasurer called issues out of order and closed the public portion of the meeting.

All eyes turn to Supreme Court after Alberta carbon tax ruling, legal scholar says
The Alberta Court of Appeal has ruled the Trudeau government’s carbon pricing scheme to be an unconstitutional intrusion onto provincial powers, a decision that runs contrary to findings in other courts and one a legal scholar says the Supreme Court will have to grapple with due to the new issues it raises.

Bill expands eligibility for assisted death but not for those suffering only from mental illness
Proposed government reforms would expand Canadians’ eligibility for medical assistance in dying — including possibly to some sufferers of dementia — however, persons whose intolerable and irremediable mental or physical suffering stems solely from mental illness will remain ineligible under new provisions that Justice Minister David Lametti predicted “will pass muster under the Charter.”

MAiD changes step in right direction
In his column, Nathan Baker writes: “The federal government with its amendments to the Criminal Code to expand the availability of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) through Bill C-7 is beginning to take the right steps in expanding this important ability to choose one’s own end. The current system has been under scrutiny since the decision in Truchon v. Procureur général du Canada [2019] Q.J. No. 7750.”

SCC affirms First Nations can sue in Quebec for alleged harms to lands straddling N.L., Quebec
In a groundbreaking private international law judgment concerning the adjudication of constitutionally protected s. 35 Aboriginal rights, the Supreme Court of Canada has affirmed that the Quebec Superior Court does have jurisdiction to decide all the claims brought against two Montreal-based mining companies for alleged harms committed in the traditional territories of two Innu First Nations — even though some of the Innu’s claims relate to land in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Matthew Grace is the Managing Editor of The Lawyer’s Daily.