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The Friday Brief

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

Friday, October 19, 2018 @ 2:44 PM | By Matthew Grace

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

Bill ‘pardoning’ pot possession coming by year’s end but will reform be part of larger record suspension overhaul?
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has announced he expects to introduce legislation by year’s end that will enable people who have completed their sentences for simple cannabis possession to apply for “pardons” — without them having to endure the usual years-long waiting period, or having to pay Ottawa the normal $631 application fee.

Canada’s top cop says officers ready for pot-smoking drivers; lawyers say issues still linger
“Measured” to “overly optimistic” is how some lawyers are describing a declaration by Canada’s top police chief that officers are ready to deal with drivers impaired by marijuana.

Cannabis roundup: This week’s legalization opinion and analysis
Roundup of all the analysis and opinion pieces we published this week covering the many aspects of cannabis legalization in Canada that came into effect on Oct. 17, 2018.

Top judge suggests Ottawa should publicly explain when it rejects courts’ reasonable budget requests
Federal Court Chief Justice Paul Crampton says the federal government should be obliged to account to the public why it turns down budgetary requests from Canada’s four national courts that are deemed reasonable by an independent advisory body.

Ottawa says it’s replacing ‘administrative segregation’ with ‘structured interventions’ for certain inmates
Prisoners’ rights advocates say the devil is in the details of proposed Liberal government reforms that would replace the constitutionally dubious practice of “administrative segregation” with “a new correctional interventions model” that would divert offenders who cannot be managed in the general population to newly created “structured intervention units” (SIUs) that offer inmates “an opportunity” for a minimum of four hours per day outside their cells and a minimum of two hours a day “of meaningful human contact.”

Ottawa tables bestiality, animal fighting amendments but critic slams failure to make broader animal cruelty reforms
The federal Liberal government has introduced Criminal Code amendments to better protect animals from bestiality and sport fighting, but an animal rights advocate says the two piecemeal reforms fall far short of the long sought broader reforms that are necessary to adequately protect animals from human cruelty.

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