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Wednesday, May 06, 2020 @ 9:38 AM

B.C. court dismisses complaint over environmental assessment exemption for fracking dams Calvin Sandborn, University of Victoria

The B.C. Supreme Court has upheld a decision by provincial authorities to exempt an energy company from environmental assessments for two dams which had been constructed several years ago, with a law professor saying the decision shows the need for a change in the law. ... [read more]

Tuesday, May 05, 2020 @ 1:47 PM

Tree protection bylaws Treeheart

Many parts of Canada have municipal bylaws designed to protect trees and restrict activities that damage or destroy trees. Bylaws are often relatively blunt instruments and can be challenging to write in a way that covers all likely circumstances. On one hand they need to be broad enough that most of the issues to be regulated are clearly defined. On the other hand, they need to be specific enough to clarify what is or is not unacceptable behaviour and in what context. Once in effect bylaw enforcement is supposed to be administratively fair, reasonable, transparent and accountable.   ... [read more]

Tuesday, May 05, 2020 @ 12:57 PM

Equality, diversity requirements for lawyers in Ontario | Amrita Tamber

It has been a slow road, but over the past few years the legal profession has started to make small strides towards greater inclusivity. Although women and minorities comprise a growing number of legal professionals, they still remain significantly under-represented in senior leadership roles. In recent years, the statistics show that 43 per cent of lawyers identified as women and 29 per cent identified as a visible minority. An increase in senior leadership diversity may result in an increase in proportional representation from the top down. ... [read more]

Friday, May 01, 2020 @ 10:44 AM

Employment sector Trudeau forgot Dadworkingfromhome

The federal and provincial governments have introduced various new assistance programs aimed at helping employers and employees sustain their businesses and at improving our economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs are critical to surviving the pandemic. Some of the most popular and valuable programs include: ... [read more]

Thursday, April 30, 2020 @ 11:18 AM

Ailing parrot case speaks to commodification of animals Parrots

I have found in my 20-year practice as an animal lawyer that sometimes it’s two steps forward and three steps back. Here’s a recent case that highlights this proposition as it turns on the principle that animals are commodities under the law. ... [read more]

Monday, April 27, 2020 @ 8:41 AM

Wellness: My post-COVID hopes for the profession | Darryl Singer

Our profession has and will continue to suffer as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis. From small boutique firms to large national firms, many have been forced to lay off staff, take on additional debt and forgo partner draws. Solo practitioners, particularly those whose income is dependent on Legal Aid or working clientele and a fully operational court system, have had much of their work dry up. ... [read more]

Friday, April 24, 2020 @ 2:25 PM

League of heroes, revisited | Marcel Strigberger

“Love levels all ranks” uttered Sir Joseph Porter in Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore. He made that remark while courting the daughter of the good ship’s captain, whose station in British society was way south of his own. Given the current COVID-19 situation, I will say a good pandemic levels all ranks. We have new heroes on the block. ... [read more]

Friday, April 24, 2020 @ 8:51 AM

Immunizing the board: What directors should be thinking during pandemic directors_pandemic_sm

The COVID-19 pandemic will likely result in increased exposure to liability on the part of directors of U.S. and Canadian companies. This includes an anticipated uptick in both securities class actions and securities regulatory investigations, derivative actions in the U.S. and potentially more oppression actions in Canada, as well as a rise in shareholder activism, short attacks and proxy fights. The suspension of limitation periods in many provinces across Canada gives class counsel and securities regulators more time within which to investigate and commence proceedings. ... [read more]

Friday, April 24, 2020 @ 8:44 AM

The Charter, freedom and a drugstore | Brian Bird and Derek Ross

Last Friday, April 17, was the 38th birthday of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter’s adoption in 1982 was a transformative moment for Canada. In that regard, another important anniversary occurs Friday April 24 — the 35th birthday of R v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd. [1985] 1 S.C.R. 295 the first decision of the court to interpret one of the Charter’s “fundamental freedoms.” ... [read more]

Thursday, April 23, 2020 @ 11:46 AM

Looking for work in era of COVID-19 Handsonlaps

To say that these are uncertain and difficult times is a massive understatement. Half of humanity is in some sort of isolation, the global economy has grinded to a halt practically overnight and businesses of all shapes and sizes have immediately felt the effects. The legal industry is unfortunately no exception. Like any other business, the practice of law is not immune from the dire consequences that the COVID-19 pandemic is leaving in its wake. ... [read more]