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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A Lawyer’s Christmas Wish

Do you remember me? I sat upon your knee I wrote to you with childhood fantasies   A grown-up lawyer now, I still have hope somehow, I’m not a child but my heart still can dream   So here’s my lifelong wish, My lawyer’s Christmas list, Not for myself, but for a world in need   No more lives torn apart, Compassion from the start, and time would heal the heart,   No more need for courts or jail, Tribunals
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Ringing in the New Year, with Random Drug and Alcohol Testing

Random drug and alcohol testing. The union fought it, vigorously, for years. The squabble had Suncor and the union in and out of court a number of times, over the course of several years. Then, late last month, an important agreement was announced. Suncor and the union (Unifor local 707A) at its oil sands operations have agreed that Suncor will implement random drug and alcohol testing for all safety-sensitive positions in the municipality of Wood Buffalo, Alberta, beginning in the
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‘Tis the Season (to Not be Liable)

It’s that time of year again.  The holiday season is upon us.  ‘Tis the season for host liability. Workplace holiday party season is in full swing. Employers, ensure your guests know that you will provide a safe way home. Those attending, know your limits. Avoid taking the wheel if there is any chance you may be impaired. The area of host liability has been a developing area of law for decades, and is still not yet fully settled. This much
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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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Why Battle Goliath?

Have you ever been upset at being wronged, but thought better of becoming a David, battling Goliath? Why battle a behemoth, when the proverbial deck seems stacked against you? Many lawyers are passionate about standing up for the rights of people who have been treated unfairly by those who assert power over them. One of those lawyers is a guy named Joseph Groia. He had a client named John Felderhof. Mr. Felderhof had been instrumental with Bre-X Minerals Ltd., a
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