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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Criminal Code Westray Provisions: R. v. Metron (Part 2 of 2)

Last week, we looked at the 1992 Westray mine disaster, and the subsequent amendments to the Criminal Code regarding workplace safety. The intent underlying the Westray provisions was to facilitate prosecuting corporate criminal negligence for workplace disasters. One tragic case in which a conviction occurred under the Westray provisions is  R. v. Metron Construction Corporation. The Facts On Christmas Eve, 2009, a group of construction workers were repairing a 14th floor balcony. Late that afternoon as they completed their shift,
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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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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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Legalization of Cannabis: Do You Care?

When you hear about cannabis legalization, do you mutter “I don’t care?” The stereotype would have us expect that this mindset may be more prevalent in British Columbia than elsewhere. We have a Prime Minister who is delivering on an election promise to implement cannabis legalization. On October 17, 2018, the Cannabis Act,  and cannabis legalization, will be in force. There will be a legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis across Canada. The internet
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