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Monday, November 16, 2020 @ 2:27 PM

Ontario Court of Appeal rules pandemic should not trigger automatic bail reviews Christine Mainville sm

In its first full-panel ruling regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the bail analysis, the Ontario Court of Appeal has found in a split decision that the pandemic does not in every case constitute a material change in circumstances automatically warranting a new bail hearing. ... [read more]

Monday, November 16, 2020 @ 8:02 AM

Despite setback, plaintiffs in climate constitutional challenge plan to move forward Chris Tollefson, Tollefson Law Corp.

Plaintiffs in a landmark case alleging the federal government’s response to greenhouse gases is a violation of their Charter rights are pledging to continue the fight despite a court loss which said their claim did not disclose a reasonable cause of action. In La Rose v. Canada 2020 FC 1008, Federal Court Justice Michael Manson granted the federal government’s motion to strike the statement of claim, writing that “there are some questions that are so political that the courts are incapable or unsuited to deal with them.” ... [read more]

Friday, November 13, 2020 @ 4:51 PM

SCC rules in favour of Hydro-Québec, allows second power line on people’s property Justice Suzanne Côté

Canada’s top court has found nothing prevents Hydro-Québec from relying on servitude agreements from the 1970s to build an additional powerline on people’s property between two of its transformer stations, shooting down the landowners’ argument the utility was limited to one line. ... [read more]

Friday, November 13, 2020 @ 2:39 PM

Ottawa invests $1.5 billion in workforce agreements with provinces, territories Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

The federal government is spending $1.5 billion to assist people who lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic re-enter the workforce. The new funding, which was revealed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Nov. 13, is part of workforce development agreements (WDAs) Ottawa has negotiated with the provinces and territories. ... [read more]

Friday, November 13, 2020 @ 9:29 AM

Municipal conflict of interest report calls for expanded role for integrity commissioners Stephen D'Agostino sm

It could be years before the Ontario government implements sweeping recommendations by a senior judge aimed at preventing municipal conflict of interest and enhancing the role of integrity commissioners, says a municipal law expert. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see change — I just don’t think we’re going to see it quickly because in municipal matters we tend not to,” said Stephen D’Agostino, a managing partner with Toronto-based Thomson Rogers Lawyers. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 12, 2020 @ 4:10 PM

Judges lack awareness of increased risks of domestic violence amid pandemic: study Jennifer Koshan

Canadian judges have demonstrated very little awareness over the heightened risks of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, a situation that should prompt judges to attend comprehensive legal training over what the United Nations has described as the “shadow pandemic,” according to human rights and legal aid experts. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 12, 2020 @ 12:20 PM

Time to address gap in Alberta’s succession law, legal reform institute says Matthew Mazurek, Alberta Law Reform Institute

A law reform agency is calling on the Alberta government to address a gap in the law which it says has affected family maintenance and support in the province. The report for discussion from the Alberta Law Reform Institute (ALRI) looks at family maintenance and support from estates of people who stood in the place of a parent, which are individuals who are both a child’s stepparent and have “demonstrated a settled intention” to treat the child as their own. In Alberta a child can apply for support while that person is alive, but not after they are dead. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 12, 2020 @ 9:27 AM

‘Constellation of failings’ by counsel spurs retrial in Alberta sexual assault case

An Alberta man faces a fresh trial on sexual assault charges after the province’s top court ruled his defence counsel’s error-strewn handling of the original proceeding rendered his convictions a miscarriage of justice. Writing for the unanimous three-judge panel in R. v. Sauverwald 2020 ABCA 388, Appeal Court Justice Peter Costigan ordered a new trial on charges of sexual assault and strangling with intent to commit sexual assault for Reno Sauverwald, the 52-year-old appellant. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 @ 2:08 PM - Last Updated: Thursday, November 12, 2020 @ 9:03 AM

New jury selection and jury trials suspended as Ontario COVID-19 cases soar Chief Justice Morawetz sm

The chief justice of the Ontario Superior Court has cancelled an earlier plan to resume new jury selection and new in-person jury trials in Toronto and Brampton effective Nov. 16 as the number of new COVID-19 cases in those regions rises precipitously. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 @ 9:53 AM

B.C. extends state of emergency once again B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike FarnwortH

British Columbia announced that it has formally extended the provincial state of emergency as the province continues to deal with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on Nov. 24 to allow health and emergency management officials to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act. ... [read more]