Focus On



Monday, July 26, 2021 @ 9:37 AM

Case against B.C. law society deals with ambit of investigatory power, says lawyer Carey Veinotte, Whitelaw Twining LLP

A B.C. lawyer is arguing an investigation into his practice by the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC)’s violated Charter protections against unreasonable search and seizure. The challenge surrounds Rule 4-55 of the LSBC’s rules, which states that if the chair of the law society’s discipline committee reasonably believes a lawyer or former lawyer may have committed a discipline violation the “chair may order that the Executive Director conduct an investigation of the books, records and accounts of the lawyer or former lawyer, including, if considered desirable in the opinion of the chair, all electronic records of the lawyer or former lawyer.” ... [read more]

Tuesday, July 13, 2021 @ 4:17 PM

Civil liberties boss behind surveillance of Manitoba judge leaves job John Carpay, former president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms

The head of a national civil liberties group is taking an “indefinite period of leave” from his job after it came to light that he hired a private investigator to surveil Manitoba’s top judge, the organization’s board has confirmed. ... [read more]

Tuesday, July 13, 2021 @ 8:27 AM

‘Time is now’ to change approach to land use after B.C. treaty ruling, lawyer says Lisa Glowacki, Ratcliff & Co.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled against the province in a case alleging widespread and long-standing violation of a First Nation’s treaty rights, a decision which could have implications far beyond the province’s borders. ... [read more]

Monday, July 12, 2021 @ 1:41 PM

Insight from U.S. studies on privatization of Native American lands Sketch of house

In contrast to Canadian studies on modern treaties, studies on the effect of private ownership of Indigenous lands in the U.S. have also shown mixed results. In Christian Dippel’s 2020 study, the authors analyzed the impact of non-transferable property rights on land development of communally owned tribal lands, allotted-trust lands (most comparable to Canada’s certificates of possession) and fee simple Native American lands. Their research showed that land-use efficiency for communally owned tribal lands, although lower than fee simple lands, was higher than allotted trust. ... [read more]

Friday, July 09, 2021 @ 12:17 PM

Ottawa was unreasonable in denying funding to Bible camp, judge rules

A judge has ruled that the federal government’s decision to deny summer jobs funding to an Ontario-based Bible camp was unreasonable, but declined to weigh in on the larger question of whether the decision violated the camp’s constitutional right to freedom of religion. ... [read more]

Friday, June 25, 2021 @ 4:46 PM

Elimination of peremptory challenges constitutionally valid: Supreme Court Justice Michael Moldaver, Supreme Court of Canada

The abolishment of peremptory challenges in jury selections is constitutionally valid and, being “purely procedural” in nature, can apply retrospectively to pending cases, found a majority of the Supreme Court in its reasons for restoring the murder conviction of an Ontario man. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 @ 12:29 PM

Privatization of Indigenous lands not standalone solution for prosperity Sketch of house

For Indigenous communities in Canada, individual ownership of land has been anticipated to serve as a foundation for economic development “through its ability to deliver legal certainty, reduce transaction costs and enable taxation” of Indigenous lands. The source of this argument is economist Hernando de Soto, who argues that the poorest of nations already have the assets to prosper; the problem is that their wealth is locked away as “dead capital” within their lands, which cannot be used as collateral for credit due to the property regime in place. De Soto advocates for the privatization of communally held lands to promote investment because the poor would benefit from property rights that delineate a clear and certain system of exchange. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 @ 6:47 AM

UNDRIP legislation receives royal assent, citizenship oath changed to recognize treaties Justice Minister David Lametti

Legislation to bring Canada’s laws into harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) has officially come into force. Bill C-15, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, received royal assent June 21, which also marked National Indigenous Peoples Day. The declaration, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007, affirms the rights of Indigenous peoples to self-determination and self-government, and the newly-minted legislation creates a framework to implement it in Canada. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 22, 2021 @ 10:53 AM - Last Updated: Friday, July 09, 2021 @ 2:16 PM

Quebec waives MAiD final consent requirement as it considers expanding its scope Jean-François Leroux

Heeding to growing pressure, the Quebec government is following in the footsteps of the federal government and has waived the final lucid consent requirement before receiving medical assistance in dying for patients whose natural death is reasonably foreseeable. ... [read more]

Monday, June 21, 2021 @ 9:06 AM

Retroactive application at heart of Manitoba couple’s fight for marriage validation

The province of Manitoba does not have the constitutional ability to reach back in time and validate a same-sex marriage that took place before such a union was legal, says a lawyer of a high-profile case brought forth by a gay couple.  ... [read more]