Focus On



Tuesday, June 30, 2020 @ 2:11 PM

Ontario announces task force to tackle criminal activity in tow truck industry

Insurance industry and road safety advocates are commending the Ontario government’s plans to launch a task force to improve provincial oversight of the towing industry. The government of Premier Doug Ford announced the initiative at a June 29 news conference featuring Ford, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott, Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 @ 12:12 PM

Tips for safe, legal videoconferencing Maskwearingcomputeruser.jpg

Due to COVID-19 and social distancing, we now have no better alternative to videoconferencing. It has essentially become the new default for meetings, but this has brought about a very serious question as to whether Zoom or other videoconferences are safe for lawyers, doctors, government organizations and others to use.  ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 @ 11:31 AM

Pandemic promises lasting legacy of improvements for N.W.T. justice system, says minister Caroline Wawzonek sm

As it continues to struggle with some of the highest crime and incarceration rates in Canada, the Northwest Territories justice system will emerge in some ways stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic, says its justice minister. “This has obviously been a very stressful time to be in the position I’m in,” said Caroline Wawzonek, a former Yellowknife criminal lawyer who serves as both justice minister and finance minister in the cabinet of Northwest Territories (N.W.T.) Premier Caroline Cochrane. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 @ 9:47 AM

Blow up 2020 to start over in 2021 | Laurelly Dale

Canada Day is around the corner. I fondly remember a few years back flipping through my copy of Canada at 150: Building a Free and Democratic Society. I look forward to the sequel, Canada at 200: How Kenny vs. Spenny Became Canada’s First Dual Prime Ministers. I anticipate that it will contain at least two chapters devoted to the rapid transformation of our criminal justice system.  ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 @ 9:19 AM

Canada’s cryptologic agency releases first unclassified report

The Canadian government’s gatherer of foreign intelligence and defender from cyberattack has released to the public its first unclassified annual report. On June 29, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), established in 1946 as the Communications Branch of the National Research Council and renamed the CSE after being moved to the national defence portfolio in 1975, announced the publication of its 2019-20 report in a government news release. ... [read more]

Monday, June 29, 2020 @ 4:41 PM

Ontario Superior Court of Justice unveils first phase of courtroom reopening

Starting July 6, Ontario will resume in-person proceedings at 56 Superior Court of Justice courtrooms in the first phase of its provincewide reopening. The specific court locations are detailed in a June 25 Notice to the Profession, Litigants, Accused, Media and Members of the Public. ... [read more]

Monday, June 29, 2020 @ 11:17 AM

Licence demerit system: Case in points coplight

Demerit points were introduced in Ontario in 1994 with O.Reg. 339/94 and O.Reg. 340/94. While people often speak of “losing points” it is actually an accumulation of points that occurs. Points accrue based largely on the perceived seriousness of the offence. For example failing to remain at an accident or failing to stop when directed by police carries seven points; careless driving and stunt driving ring in at six; most issues with signage carry two or three points; and variable offences like speeding vary in the points depending on the severity of the offence. ... [read more]

Monday, June 29, 2020 @ 10:32 AM

DEFENCES - Automatism - Intoxication

Appeal by the accused Sullivan and Chan from convictions. Chan, who became intoxicated after consuming magic mushrooms, killed his father and grievously injured his father’s partner. Sullivan, who became intoxicated after consuming a heavy dose of a prescription drug in a suicide attempt, repeatedly stabbed his elderly mother. ... [read more]

Monday, June 29, 2020 @ 8:44 AM

In defence of civil jury trials | Sam Goldstein

Attorney General Doug Downey floated legislative amendments recently that would eliminate some or all civil jury trials in Ontario. Eliminating jury trials is seen as a partial solution to the problem of court backlog exacerbated by the pandemic. The AG has said that the move is part of a broader effort to modernize this province’s justice system. Ontario is one of the few provinces that still allows civil jury trials for most cases. ... [read more]

Friday, June 26, 2020 @ 12:47 PM

Caution urged before releasing prisoners with dementia Elderinhandcuffs

Seven years ago, a B.C. judge sentenced a 63-year-old man with dementia to jail because there was no suitable place for him to live in the community (R. v. McPherson [2013] B.C.J. No. 2127). He required housing in a secure facility capable of handling dementia patients who posed a risk for violence and other inappropriate conduct, but at the time, such a placement was unavailable. Jail was the only alternative. ... [read more]