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Monday, April 17, 2017 @ 9:47 AM

CRIMINAL CODE OFFENCES - Offences against public order

Appeal by the Crown from Carson’s acquittal on a charge of influence peddling, contrary to s. 121(1)(d) of the Criminal Code. The appeal turned on the interpretation of "any matter of business" in s. 121(1)(d) and whether Carson's admitted activities were in connection with "any matter of business relating to the government". Carson served as a senior advisor in the Office of the Prime Minister between 2006 and 2008, and briefly in 2009. In 2010, he negotiated a contract with H2O Professionals Inc. (H2O), providing for the payment of commissions to his girlfriend on sales of water treatment systems to First Nations. Carson did not personally sign the contract, but it was understood that Carson would use his government contacts to help H2O sell its water treatment systems to First Nations. At trial, Carson admitted that he was a person with influence with the government at the relevant time and that he had demanded a benefit for his girlfriend in exchange for exercising his influence on behalf of H2O. The evidence established that Carson had several meetings with government officials, including Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) employees, and attempted to influence cabinet ministers and their staff. The judge found H2O’s point-of-use water treatment systems were not major capital projects for which INAC was involved in allocating funding. She also concluded that Carson’s attempts to promote pilot projects using H2O’s water treatment systems to INAC officials were fruitless, based on communications from INAC indicating that it was up to individual First Nations to identify their own needs and submit project proposals to INAC for funding. Ultimately, the judge rejected the Crown’s argument that the government, First Nations and H2O were in a three-way business relationship. She concluded that Carson’s assistance to H2O was not in connection with “the transaction of business or any matter of business relating to the government” because there simply was no government business. She refused to draw conclusions from the Protocol for Decentralized Water, an internal INAC document intended to establish standards to be followed for on-site water treatment systems funded by INAC, because the document was not put to any of the INAC witnesses. ... [read more]

Thursday, April 13, 2017 @ 6:50 PM

Updated: Feds introduce cannabis legislation, overhaul of drunk driving laws Jody Wilson-Raybould

In a move expected to spark Charter challenges, the Liberal government has used the cannabis legislation it introduced today to propose an overhaul of the country’s drunk driving laws, as well as creating new offences and powers to combat drug-impaired driving. ... [read more]

Thursday, April 13, 2017 @ 3:45 PM

Feds introduce cannabis legislation, overhaul of drunk driving laws Jack Lloyd

In a surprise move expected to spark Charter challenges, the Liberal government has used the cannabis legislation it introduced today to propose a major overhaul of the country’s drunk driving laws, as well as creating new drug-impaired driving offences. ... [read more]

Thursday, April 13, 2017 @ 10:56 AM

Ex-Crown to be honoured as YWCA Woman of Distinction

Denise Dwyer is one of seven women being honoured by YWCA Toronto on May 18 as a 2017 Woman of Distinction for her remarkable work in the field. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 6:26 PM

Lawyers seek answers to burning questions over new cannabis law Sean Robichaud

When Ottawa unveils its framework legislation to legalize recreational marijuana use, lawyers will be looking at what the proposed federal laws have to say about cannabis pricing, marketing, distribution and allowable products — but also at the criminal and regulatory jeopardy the government proposes for sellers and users who transgress the new rules. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 1:44 PM

Ontario court dismisses appeal for three men convicted in murder plot

The Court of Appeal for Ontario on April 4 dismissed an application to appeal a trial judge’s refusal for a severance in a case involving three men who were convicted in the shooting death of one of the men's wife. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 11:39 AM

Foundation for Legal Research grant helps fund social media and criminal law project Benjamin Perrin

The Foundation for Legal Research awarded a $7,500 grant last week to University of British Columbia associate professor Benjamin Perrin to support his new research project “Social Media & Criminal Law: Sexual Offences, Threats and Criminal Harassment.” ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 8:57 AM

Revamping law of prior consistent statements: R. v. Khan

An evidence revolution has been afoot for some years with the gradual ascendancy of a principled approach to admissibility in favour of the traditional rules-and-exceptions approach. Marking the latest milestone in the revolution is the new analytical framework for admitting prior consistent statements articulated by Justice Doherty in R. v. Khan, 2017 ONCA 114. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 @ 7:27 PM

Prosecutors also need mandatory training on sexual assault, says senior Crown Ursula Hendel

Prosecutors are not adequately trained in the law and social context of sexual assaults, especially sexual assault trauma, says a senior Crown whose views about the crime changed after she experienced a traumatic incident as a student. ... [read more]

Monday, April 10, 2017 @ 4:42 PM

Crowns, defence counsel warn bail proposal would create huge trial delays Rick Woodburn

Proposed Criminal Code reforms that prosecutors and defence counsel warn will “exponentially” add to court delays by turning bail hearings into lengthy “mini-trials” are expected to be scotched by the majority Liberals — despite so far garnering significant cross-party support in both houses of Parliament. ... [read more]