Mandatory Victim Surcharges Unconstitutional

In December, 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in R. v. Boudreault that the mandatory surcharge under the Criminal Code is “of no force and effect immediately.” The surcharge was provided for in section 737 of the Criminal Code. It was levied in addition to the sentence already imposed. A non-mandatory surcharge has been around since the 1980s. It was introduced in an attempt to increase offenders’ accountability and assist in funding victims’ programs. Until 2013, judges could waive
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Human Rights Code Changes

On November 27, 2018, changes to the Human Rights Code of B.C. received royal assent, giving them legal effect.  These changes were introduced earlier this month, when the British Columbia provincial government introduced Bill 50.   It largely adopts the recommendations of the December 2017 report of Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary of Sport and Multiculturalism, “A Human Rights Commission For the 21st Century: British Columbians talk about Human Rights.” The changes include two main features: (i) extending the deadline for filing
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Medical Marijuana & Work – Know Your Rights

Do you use medicinal cannabis, to manage a medical condition? Are you an employer with an employee that uses medicinal cannabis? Do you wonder what your rights are? It is not as simple as an employee providing a doctor’s note, and then expecting the employer to accommodate marijuana use, even though it is for medical purposes. Cases in this rapidly evolving area are very fact specific and must be analyzed individually. Some commonalities are emerging, though. Drug and Alcohol Policies,
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Sexual Harassment at Work

Sexual harassment. It’s an issue that can change lives, and threaten decade long careers. Perhaps it has happened to you.  Maybe your voice contributed to the #MeToo or TimesUp movements. Perhaps you fear being accused. What Is Sexual Harassment? In one of Canada’s leading cases on sexual harassment, Janzen v. Platy Enterprises Ltd., the Supreme Court of Canada identified three key elements of workplace sexual harassment: Conduct of a sexual nature, which is gender based, Conduct that is unwelcome, and
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Drug Impaired Driving in Canada: Who ‘Ya Gonna Call?

Justice Canada states that “impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death and injury in Canada. In 2016, there were more than 70,000 impaired driving incidents reported by the police, including almost 3,000 drug-impaired driving incidents.” Getting behind the wheel while impaired by drugs of any type is dangerous. It is also against the law. Our federal government is amending the Criminal Code to better address impaired driving. Amendments to Criminal Code Drug Impaired Driving Provisions Part one, the
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Legalization and Road Safety: Looking to the Recent Past

Earlier this year, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction concluded that within our country “a substantial proportion of drug impaired drivers are going undetected.” Do you wonder if priority is being given to maintaining an election promise, or to legalization during the 42nd week of the year, over roadside safety? If the best way to predict the future is to look at the past, let’s take a moment and look to the recent past in Colorado and Washington
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