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Friday Brief

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

Friday, October 01, 2021 @ 2:43 PM | By Matthew Grace

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

Ontario did not violate Constitution by downsizing wards during Toronto’s 2018 municipal election: SCC
In a groundbreaking Charter ruling on freedom of expression and on the unwritten constitutional principle of democracy, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled 5-4 that the Ford government in Ontario did not violate the Constitution when it downsized the number of Toronto city wards in the midst of the 2018 municipal election.

Federal Court affirms award for First Nations kids denied equal funding for child welfare services
The Federal Court has rejected Ottawa’s bid to quash a landmark Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision that awarded $40,000 to each First Nations child on reserve compelled since 2006 to leave home due to the discriminatory underfunding of child welfare services for Indigenous children, as well as $40,000 to each child’s parents or caregiving grandparents.

B.C. law society bencher meeting tackles mental health and articling concerns, sets practice fees
The Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC)’s most recent bencher meeting was dominated by future plans for action on both an alternative discipline process (ADP) for lawyers dealing with significant health concerns that may be affecting their practice and moving forward with demands to tackle hours of work and pay for articled students.

Citizen Lab report highlights data collection during COVID-19, privacy law reform
On Sept. 28, the Citizen Lab released a “preliminary comparative analysis” of how various “information technologies were mobilized in response to COVID-19 to collect data” and the “extent to which Canadian health or privacy or emergencies laws impeded the response to COVID-19.” The report also highlights the “potential consequences of reforming data protection or privacy laws to enable more expansive data collection, use, or disclosure of personal information in future health emergencies.”

What reconciliation is not
In his column, Murray Fallis writes: “I don’t know what reconciliation looks like. ‘As a non-Indigenous person, I support reconciliation, but it’s not for me to define. However, I do know what reconciliation isn’t. Reconciliation isn’t allowing a group that is five per cent of our population to be 30.05 per cent of our prisons. Reconciliation isn’t vaccinating Indigenous prisoners at lower rates than their white counterparts. Reconciliation isn’t allowing Indigenous prisoners to disproportionately be subjected to the use of force while behind bars.”

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