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The Friday Brief

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

Friday, April 03, 2020 @ 4:09 PM | By Matthew Grace

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

Access to Justice: Justice in the time of social distancing
In her column, The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin writes: “The COVID-19 virus has changed our world. It is unprecedented, impacting every aspect of our daily lives, keeping us apart from each other and shutting down most of our conventional ways of interacting in society, save for essential services.”

Ottawa elaborates on wage subsidies, subsidy abuse penalties for businesses, charities, non-profits
The federal government has revealed new information about its much-anticipated 75 per cent emergency wage subsidy for employers — including some details of the “stiff and severe penalties” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned will face businesses, non-profits and charities who abuse the COVID-19 wage subsidy program by using it other than to pay employees.

SCC’s sentencing guidance mandates tougher punishment for sexual crimes against children
The Supreme Court of Canada has instructed lower courts to be tougher when punishing sexual crimes against children, in landmark reasons for judgment that offer extensive and detailed guidance on principles, considerations and factors that sentencing judges are to take into account (and misconceptions and myths that they are to avoid).

Bar calls for limited release of prison inmates, immigration detainees to stop spread of COVID-19
Ottawa should release from detention, to the extent consistent with public safety, prison inmates and immigration detainees, says the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), which warns of a potentially “explosive situation” in enclosed institutional settings and “dire” consequences if people remain locked up together as usual.

SCC rules momentary excessive speeding on its own can be mens rea for dangerous driving
The Supreme Court of Canada has affirmed that brief excessive speeding can amount to dangerous driving, in upholding the conviction of a B.C. man who killed another driver by accelerating to 140 km/h into a major Vancouver intersection.

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