Focus On



Friday, February 21, 2020 @ 11:07 AM

Indigenous resistance to for-profit energy pipelines | Angelique EagleWoman (Wambdi A. Was’teWinyan)

There are basic concepts that permeate Indigenous law among First Nations and the Indigenous peoples of North America. These concepts include the following principles: Mother Earth and human beings are in a reciprocal relationship; water is life and sacred for use in religious ceremonies; collective promises and responsibilities are to be kept and passed on from generation to generation; and there is a responsibility to steward natural resources for the next seven generations to come. These are legal principles and encapsulated in the teachings, oral histories and, in recent decades, written laws of Indigenous peoples in the Western Hemisphere.  ... [read more]

Thursday, February 20, 2020 @ 1:18 PM

Discrimination and smokers in the workplace | Stuart Rudner

Four years ago, the owner of a jet boat tour company made national headlines when he publicly proclaimed that he had refused to hire smokers for the past 30 years. At the time, I blogged about the issue and offered my view that in all likelihood, such a policy would be a breach of human rights legislation. Then just over a month ago, U-Haul, a much larger and well-known corporation, announced that it will no longer hire smokers in 21 U.S. states, though this would not impact the remaining states or its Canadian operations. So, can Canadian employers enact such a policy? ... [read more]

Thursday, February 20, 2020 @ 8:49 AM - Last Updated: Monday, February 24, 2020 @ 2:37 PM

Discrimination and the Canadian criminal law defence of provocation | Lawrence David

Racism and white supremacy are embedded in the Canadian criminal law defence of provocation. Whether by legislative amendment to the Criminal Code or by judicial invalidation of relevant provisions, recent case law suggests that its days are quickly coming to a close. ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 @ 11:13 AM

B.C. Supreme Court makes right call on non-lawyer in traffic court | Kyla Lee

Recently, the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled in a controversial case involving the provision of legal services by non-lawyers. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 @ 11:48 AM

Religious inclusion in legal profession | Nour Farhat and Derek Ross

We are both openly religious. We are also lawyers. We see no contradiction in this. To the contrary, our faith motivates and supports us in meeting our commitment to “fulfill the duties of the legal profession with honesty and justice” and to “champion the rule of law and safeguard the rights and freedoms of all persons” (as set out in the Quebec and Ontario oaths, respectively). ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 @ 9:04 AM

Boosting the rate of technology adoption | Aaron Baer

For many observers of the legal industry, the seemingly glacial change of innovation can be astounding. After all, it’s not unreasonable to wonder how the use of data analytics, process mapping or new technology within a law firm can be considered to be innovative. But the reality is that lawyers (and law firms) are often resistant to change. Being trained to identify all potential risks and being subject to a system that relies so heavily on precedent doesn’t exactly align itself well to change. And of course, there’s the incentive misalignment that will remain present in the legal profession so long as the billable hour reigns supreme. ... [read more]

Friday, February 14, 2020 @ 10:30 AM

Valentine to democracy’s frontline soldiers | Stéphanie Plante

Poll clerk, voting day worker, precinct officer, scrutineer, ballot inspector, results tabulator, whatever you want to call them, it’s time for the local election officials, or, the “street level bureaucrats” of our election world, as coined by academic Michael Lipsky stand up and get the respect and administration they deserve on this Valentine’s Day and every day. ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 @ 9:17 AM

Letter to the Editor: ‘Paper-thin defence of bullying actions’

Re: Social media bullying sign of battle eroding law society’s soul ... [read more]

Monday, February 10, 2020 @ 12:31 PM

Despite horrors, Aboriginal overincarceration surmountable problem | Laurelly Dale

I feel disheartened yet again writing about the overincarceration of Aboriginal peoples. I recall as a young student in undergrad devouring research on the subject for a project in my Canadian politics class. That was over 18 years ago. Everyone agrees this is a problem. So why are we doing the same old thing to address it?  ... [read more]

Monday, February 10, 2020 @ 7:46 AM

Access to Justice: Embracing technology through online courts | Beverley McLachlin

As we near the beginning of the second quarter of the 21st century, it is worth casting our thoughts ahead and asking what our justice system will look like 10 or 20 years from now. Everyone accepts that we are living in a technological era where change in how we communicate, do business and play is exponential. Business, education and medicine are radically altering the way they provide services to meet these changes and better serve their customers and the public. Why should the justice system be any different? ... [read more]