Focus On
The Friday Brief

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

Friday, April 17, 2020 @ 3:39 PM | By Matthew Grace


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

‘Paper-based system is not going to exist anymore,’ Chief Justice Morawetz says of post-COVID-19 court
As the COVID-19 pandemic has turned society on its head, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has been rapidly trying to adapt. Under the leadership of Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz, the court has adopted electronic filings and virtual hearings in an effort to continue current operations and with a plan to not go back to the status quo of a paper-based system.

COVID-19 crisis complicates intimate partner violence issues, lawyers say
The pressures of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic have been well-documented, with people facing job losses, the inability to see loved ones face-to-face and, in some cases, having to deal with a relative who has lost his or her life after becoming sick. But for those individuals who are facing violence at the hands of their partners, or who have been faced with domestic charges, a new layer of complication is added with the shuttering of courts and difficulties in finding a place to go.

Ottawa expands wage benefit to low-earners, jobless seasonal workers; also extends EI benefits
Ottawa is expanding eligibility to the $500-per-week Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to jobless seasonal workers, and to low-income workers who are still earning up to $1,000 a month, as well as extending workers’ employment insurance (EI) benefits that ran out this year.

14-month post-verdict delay due to lack of Gladue reports ‘unreasonable,’ court rules
An Ontario Court of Appeal decision to reduce a sentence by five months due to post-verdict delay highlights the “lack of institutional resources” to obtain Gladue reports and its effect on the justice system. Counsel involved in the case said lawyers should be “mindful” of delays and review them against this decision to see if there’s a remedy that may be applied.

Canada’s flexible immigration system pivots for COVID-19
In his column, Colin Singer writes: “Canada’s immigration system remains operational despite the impact of the unprecedented global battle against the spread of COVID-19. Canada moved to dramatically restrict entry to try and stop the spread of a virus that has killed many thousands of people worldwide.”

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