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Wednesday, September 19, 2018 @ 8:29 AM

A royal solution to notwithstanding clause debacle | Christopher Williams and Maureen Williamson

The Government of Ontario is in the process of making use of the notwithstanding clause set out in s. 33 of the Constitution Act, 1982 in order to re-enact aspects of the Better Local Government Act, 2018 as Bill 31 (renamed, the Efficient Local Government Act) to protect those sections reducing the size of Toronto’s city council from the same legal challenge as was met by its predecessor. ... [read more]

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 @ 3:17 PM

Think outside the box: Arbitrating family law disputes | John-Paul Boyd

A recent study of lawyers’ views on dispute resolution processes by the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family showed that arbitration is used to resolve family law cases far less often than litigation, mediation and collaborative negotiation are used. I suspect that regional variations in the use of arbitration versus litigation may correlate to the delays respondents experience getting before a judge: in Alberta, where delays are legendary, 88.7 per cent of respondents use litigation in their practice while 38.7 per cent use arbitration; in Nova Scotia, on the other hand, 100 per cent of respondents use litigation and only 7.7 per cent use arbitration. ... [read more]

Monday, September 17, 2018 @ 9:03 AM

It's up to Indigenous, environmental groups to protect public interest | Pamela Palmater

Despite objections from some of the Indigenous groups about the consultation process, the Federal Court of Appeal (in Tsleil-Waututh Nation et al v. Canada (Attorney General) 2018 FCA 153) held that Canada acted in good faith and that the consultation framework it used was appropriate. ... [read more]

Thursday, September 13, 2018 @ 8:50 AM

Toronto municipal election 2018: chaos, notwithstanding | John Mascarin and Monica Ciriello

Justice Edward P. Belobaba’s ruling in City of Toronto et al. v. Ontario (Attorney General) 2018 ONSC 5151 received an unusually early morning release on Sept. 10, 2018. The City of Toronto (City) and several candidates and electors who challenged the constitutional validity of the Better Local Government Act, 2018 (Bill 5) were initially jubilant because a number of provisions of the statute that reduced the number of wards in the City of Toronto for the upcoming municipal election from 47 to 25 were held to be unconstitutional. ... [read more]

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 @ 1:54 PM

Ontario ‘sex-ed’ needed reform and parents should be glad | André Schutten and John Sikkema

Ontario parents and child rights advocates should applaud the Ford government’s repeal of the latest sexual health curriculum. The Wynne government’s curriculum needed reform for so many reasons, of which we will discuss three.   ... [read more]

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 @ 1:38 PM

Does Premier Ford see the Constitution as merely a speed bump? | Heather MacIvor

On September 10, Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba set aside the electoral map imposed on the City of Toronto by the Ontario Legislature in mid-August (City of Toronto et al v. Ontario (Attorney General), 2018 ONSC 5151). He held that doubling the number of voters in each ward halfway through the campaign period violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As expected, Premier Doug Ford announced that he would appeal Belobaba’s ruling. Then he stunned most observers by declaring that he would use the Charter’s notwithstanding clause (s. 33) to re-impose the electoral map that had been declared unconstitutional. This was not the Ford Government’s first defeat in the Superior Court. ... [read more]

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 @ 8:41 AM

Killer whales, Trans Mountain pipeline and the public interest | Pamela Palmater

Tahlequah’s “tour of grief” which saw one of the female southern resident killer whales (referred to by scientists as J-35) carry her deceased calf for 17 days was an unprecedented show of grief for the death of her calf. It is also a sad reminder of the fact that these endangered whales have had no successful births for three years. Her visible mourning tore at the heartstrings of many Americans, Canadians and especially Indigenous peoples who know all too well the pain of losing their children. While it is not uncommon for a killer whale to hold her deceased calf for a few hours or a day, this show of extended grief was the first time observed by scientists. ... [read more]

Monday, September 10, 2018 @ 8:49 AM

How to market yourself on social media, even when your firm won’t | Kim McLaughlin

What should lawyers do when they want to market themselves using social media, but their firm has no interest? Most resign themselves to standing on the digital sidelines, but this doesn’t have to be the case. ... [read more]

Friday, September 07, 2018 @ 9:13 AM

How to deter gun crime | Laurelly Dale

For every tragedy involving gun violence; e.g., Danforth and Fredericton, there begins a cycle: public fear and disgust; politicians scrambling to appear to “do something” through new and ever more restrictive gun laws; ever more resources are committed to gun control; and then, the mission accomplished, attention shifts. The Queen of Soul dies. A bridge collapses. A royal baby is born. Another tragedy involving gun violence occurs. Rinse and repeat. ... [read more]

Thursday, September 06, 2018 @ 11:31 AM

Law Reform: Literature should not be overlooked by lawyers | Elsa Ascencio and Mitch Brown

Lawyers are always looking for ways to improve their practice. While programs on public policy, economics, and information technologies have long been central to our ongoing professional development, less emphasis has been put on the role of literature in improving our practice. Literature in law deserves more attention, because it makes us better writers, better advocates, and better lawyers. ... [read more]