Focus On

In-House Counsel


Wednesday, June 29, 2022 @ 8:02 AM

Office of B.C. Ombudsperson finding path | Jay Chalke

When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released the summary of its final report in 2015, the commission chair, former senator Murray Sinclair, enjoined all Canadians to do the work of reconciliation with his formidable challenge: “We have described for you a mountain. We have shown you a path to the top. We call upon you to do the climbing.” The release of the TRC report and his challenge coincided with the start of my first term as the ombudsperson of British Columbia and resonated powerfully with me. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 28, 2022 @ 12:24 PM

Canada targets Russian gold, ‘disinformation,’ imposes new sanctions for illegal war on Ukraine

The Canadian government says it will introduce sanctions against state-sponsored disinformation and propaganda agents and entities that are controlled by senior Russian government officials — with the aim of punishing the Kremlin’s campaign of lies and other false information about Russia’s illegal war on Ukraine. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 28, 2022 @ 10:51 AM

End of Roe: Glaring blight on judicial legitimacy, progressive democracy | Ryan Wozniak

The fight over abortion rights in the United States has always been far more political than legal. The U.S. Supreme Court’s scandal-ridden decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to overrule Roe v. Wade was made not because of evolutions in the principles of constitutional interpretation or after careful judicial deliberation, but simply because one group of justices had secured more votes than the other. The court’s granting of certiorari in Dobbs was a Trojan Horse: once in the building, the new majority of highly conversative Trump-appointed justices could finally slay the beast they had been chasing for decades. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 28, 2022 @ 10:19 AM

Camelot in the woods | Evert Akkerman

For years, I wondered about Ontarians’ fascination with cottage life, and became increasingly exasperated by articles in printed and digital boosters of the cottage cult. What always gets on my nerves are the words “casual,” “up” and “come up” that seem to be key ingredients. Sure, I can relate to casual in the sense of relaxed, informal and non-regimented. But the irritating side of casual is blasé, careless and non-committal. Sure, I don’t have to read these interviews, but it’s like turning off your TV — just because I’m no longer watching, doesn’t mean it isn’t out there. ... [read more]

Monday, June 27, 2022 @ 8:05 AM

Amber and Johnny and Z | Gabriel Latner

I wish I could say I kept my nose entirely out of the Amber Heard/Johnny Depp saga, but that would be a lie. The combination of star power and apparently incompetent lawyering is irresistible, and so I found myself chuckling along to some of the choice video clips that did the rounds online. ... [read more]

Friday, June 24, 2022 @ 4:44 PM

Parliament passes self-induced extreme intoxication and budget bills before rising for summer David Lametti

Before MPs fled Ottawa for the summer, the minority Liberal government managed to enact its multipronged 2022 omnibus budget bill, as well as a new Criminal Code amendment that restricts the use of the self-induced extreme intoxication defence in prosecutions for violent crimes. ... [read more]

Friday, June 24, 2022 @ 3:56 PM

Ontario court rules on teachers’ digital communications being intercepted by principal Howard Goldblatt, Goldblatt Partners.

In a case involving employee privacy in the workplace, Ontario’s Appeal Court has ruled it was wrong for a school principal to read and photograph private messages between teachers he found left open on a work computer. ... [read more]

Friday, June 24, 2022 @ 9:17 AM

Confessions of a possible juror, part two | Joan Rataic-Lang

If you read my first article you know that I received a jury summons. I was torn between my responsibility as a citizen vs. the challenges of work and potentially missing some of my planned vacation while sitting on a jury. I know the altruist in all of us would say, absolutely if given the chance you must appear on a jury, but let’s be real. It’s easy to justify why the inconvenience should not apply to me. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 23, 2022 @ 5:44 PM

SCC sheds new light on test, evidence required for public interest standing in court challenges Michael Feder

Litigants seeking public interest standing to challenge constitutionally suspect laws do not need co‑plaintiffs directly affected by those laws in order to proceed with the litigation, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in a 9-0 judgment which sheds new light on the decade-old Downtown Eastside legal test and its evidentiary requirements for attaining public interest standing. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 23, 2022 @ 11:24 AM

Arbitration awards religious exemption | Barry W. Bussey

Religious or conscientious objectors to the COVID-19 vaccine have paid a high price for their principles over the last year in Canada. Many lost jobs (even when working from home) or were “unenrolled” from university (even with online classes). Others missed precious, once-in-a-lifetime events, like a family wedding or the birth of a distant grandchild, because they were not allowed to fly or take a train. ... [read more]