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The Friday Brief

The Friday Brief: Editor-in-Chief’s must-read items from this week

Friday, July 19, 2019 @ 3:35 PM | By John Carson


John Carson %>
John Carson
Stepping in for the Managing Editor, here are my picks for the top stories we published this week.

Access to Justice: Legal aid critically important part of justice system | Beverley McLachlin
This spring, the Ontario government announced drastic cuts to legal aid in Ontario. The Legal Aid Ontario budget was cut by almost 30 per cent and funding was eliminated for refugee and immigration cases. This meant deep cuts to clinics and services, striking hard at the province’s most vulnerable inhabitants. These cuts were felt especially strongly in the larger centres, including Toronto.

LCO makes 47 recommendations to reform Class Proceedings Act
On July 17, the Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) released the first “independent” and “comprehensive” assessment of the province’s Class Proceedings Act in 27 years. The report makes 47 recommendations to reform the Act, including improving the speed and cost of class actions, effective scrutiny of counsel fees and settlements and streamlining certification.

Government inaction on saliva test data risks wrongful convictions | Kyla Lee
There’s something inherently insulting in the fact that as Canadian citizens we are not permitted to have access to the data, research and information about saliva testers that has been collected by the government. After the approval of the Abbot SoToxa device, a saliva testing device designed to measure tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrations in the blood, earlier this month, one would expect that government would release the basis of its approval. But they have not.

SCC could ‘abandon’ old case law on implied contracts, says lawyer
An East Coast resident is looking towards Canada’s highest court after “antiquated” case law was used in deciding he had breached an implied contract with a company to develop his land for blueberry farming, says his lawyer.

Still long road to go for Trans Mountain as environmental, First Nation groups dispute reapproval
The bell has rung for another round of the fight against the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, with a number of groups challenging the federal cabinet’s recent reapproval of the project on the ground the risks of the project to the environment were not adequately dealt with and the government failed in its duty to properly consult with affected First Nations.

John Carson is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Lawyer's Daily.