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Friday Brief

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

Friday, March 19, 2021 @ 1:17 PM | By Matthew Grace

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

Granting Quebec river legal personhood, ‘changes our relationship with nature,’ lawyer says
An internationally renowned white water river in Quebec was granted legal personhood, a first in Canada, in an effort to protect its ecosystems from future development following the adoption of two parallel resolutions by a local Indigenous community and municipality, setting the stage for a similar effort for the St. Lawrence River.

Toronto argues council reduction violated principles of democracy, free speech at SCC hearing
The Ontario government violated unwritten constitutional principles of democracy when it brought in legislation to change the composition of  Toronto's municipal council in the middle of an election, the City argued before the Supreme Court March 16 as part of the latest skirmish in a legal battle which has lasted over two years.

Ontario ‘ag-gag’ law unconstitutionally restricts political expression, peaceful protest: lawsuit
Ontario’s so-called “ag-gag” law will soon find itself before the courts as an animal rights group has sued the province, saying the law violates the constitutional right to freedom of expression.

Virtual University of Manitoba legal clinic seeks to help struggling businesses
If any good has come out of the pandemic for Manitoba’s Robson Hall law school, it has been the birth of a virtual, student-run legal clinic for struggling small businesses, non-profits and other similar ventures needing pro bono advice.

New, improved pandemic scams
In their analysis article, Jennifer Lynch and Margot Mary Davis write: “While the COVID-19 pandemic has led to many changes, it, unfortunately, has not changed some things. One such thing is the presence of fraud and scams. Fraudsters and scam artists do not take a vacation during economic downturns. They actually become more active. Since March 2020, there have been more than 10,000 Canadian reports of fraud and Canadians have lost $7 million to fraud. Some scam artists have ‘cashed in’ on COVID-19 and created scams specific to COVID-19.”

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