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Thursday, June 18, 2020 @ 2:49 PM - Last Updated: Thursday, June 18, 2020 @ 4:54 PM

Trudeau says ‘COVID Alert’ national contact tracing app to be made available July 1 in Canada Justin Trudeau

Ottawa and Ontario plan to roll out for testing in that province July 1 a “completely voluntary, anonymous and secure” mobile contact tracing application for COVID-19 that will also be offered to everyone across the country — although buy-in from the other provinces and territories must still be obtained to make the app fully operational nationally, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 18, 2020 @ 9:32 AM

Ontario Appeal Court rules ‘meaningful inquiry’ required on offender’s ability to pay restitution Michael Spratt

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision “makes clear that the criminal justice system isn’t a civil recovery mechanism, and that the imposition of a restitution order that an accused will never be able to pay is essentially a financial life sentence and creates a debtors’ prison,” according to Ottawa criminal defence lawyer Michael Spratt. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 @ 1:38 PM

Effect of suspended declaration of invalidity pre-empted by remedial legislation: B.C. Appeal Court Joven Narwal, Narwal Litigation LLP

The B.C. Court of Appeal has ordered new convictions for two men who had charges of living on the avails of prostitution quashed at trial, with a lawyer involved in the case saying it is the first time an appellate court has “squarely addressed” the effect of a suspended declaration of invalidity. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 @ 9:36 AM

Task force aims to help modernize justice system and role of advocates Guy Pratte

Some of Canada’s greatest legal minds are coming together to contemplate the future of the country’s justice system beyond COVID-19. The Modern Advocacy Task Force, officially launched June 9 by The Advocates’ Society, will be made up of members from across the country and guided by a blue-ribbon advisory panel that will include former chief justice of Canada Beverley McLachlin and former Supreme Court of Canada justices Ian Binnie, Thomas Cromwell, Marie Deschamps, Clément Gascon, John C. Major and Marshall Rothstein. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 16, 2020 @ 12:25 PM - Last Updated: Wednesday, June 24, 2020 @ 10:14 AM

B.C. Court of Appeal rules against defendants in ‘Mr. Big’ case

The B.C. Court of Appeal has dismissed the twin appeals of two men convicted of murder after a Mr. Big operation, with the provincial prosecution service saying the decision provides some guidance on how previous court decisions apply to confessions gathered when undertaking such an operation. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 16, 2020 @ 9:36 AM

Mixed reaction as Alberta moves to revamp mental health laws Lorian Hardcastle, University of Calgary faculty of law

The Alberta government has announced plans to amend its mental health legislation in response to a 2019 court decision in which portions of it were struck down as unconstitutional, but a lawyer involved in that case is calling the proposals a “Band-Aid solution” which could invite further challenges down the road. ... [read more]

Monday, June 15, 2020 @ 3:17 PM

Quebec Appeal Court administrative ruling may have ripple effect, lawyers say Stephanie Noonan

Quebec’s financial watchdog cannot be compelled to exercise its discretionary power to conduct an investigation into the “moral character” of individuals seeking a money services business licence as it is at the “very heart” of its specialized jurisdiction, held the Quebec Court of Appeal. ... [read more]

Monday, June 15, 2020 @ 12:37 PM - Last Updated: Monday, June 15, 2020 @ 4:00 PM

Contact tracing apps could hurt vulnerable Canadians: defence lawyers Jill_Presser_sm

Defence lawyers are warning that the use of contact tracing apps — whether made mandatory or voluntary — could further marginalize vulnerable Canadians unable to afford smartphones or understand the technology. The Criminal Lawyers’ Association (CLA) is echoing the country’s privacy commissioners and others in flagging potential problems when it comes to digital tracing technology being used to help track the spread of COVID-19. ... [read more]

Monday, June 15, 2020 @ 9:23 AM - Last Updated: Monday, June 15, 2020 @ 9:35 AM

Ontario’s top court provides clarity on pension valuation Katherine Shadbolt

In a significant decision for Ontario family law, the province’s Court of Appeal has provided clear guidance on how pensions should be valued in divorce settlements — especially those not governed by Ontario laws. “Certainty in the resolution of financial issues flowing from the dissolution of family relationships has been a policy imperative underlying much of the recent reform of family law in Canada,” Court of Appeal Justice C. William Hourigan wrote in Van Delst v. Hronowsky 2020 ONCA 329. ... [read more]

Friday, June 12, 2020 @ 5:36 PM - Last Updated: Friday, June 12, 2020 @ 6:41 PM

SCC issues landmark ruling on minority language education rights, Charter justification and damages Justice Richard Wagner

In a robust and expansive interpretation of the Charter’s s. 23 guarantee of minority language educational rights, the Supreme Court of Canada has mostly allowed the appeal of British Columbia’s sole francophone school board in a milestone judgment that orders the province to pay more than $7 million in Charter damages for failing to properly fund francophone students’ transit and French-language rural schools. ... [read more]