Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. R. v. Bradshaw, 2015 BCCA 195

[3] The murders took place five days apart in March 2009. Roy Thielen quickly emerged as a suspect and became the target of a “Mr. Big” investigation. Over the course of that investigation, Mr. Thielen made a range of statements to undercover officers. In May 2010, during a road trip between Edmonton and Calgary, Mr. Thielen provided Cst. B. with a lengthy account of his involvement in the two murders. He said that he had been hired to kill both victims by a local drug dealer, and that he was the sole shooter. He said he shot Lamoureux in the head and chest as she was walking down the street. He told Cst. B. that he was angry with Mr. Bontkes because Mr. Bontkes had been involved with kidnapping and torturing his “sister”, Michelle Motola. Mr. Thielen told Cst. B. that he had killed Mr. Bontkes with the help of Ms. Motola. Constable B. described this conversation as “relaxed” and “free-ranging”. He said Mr. Thielen did not require any prompting.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. R. v Vadim Kazenelson, 2016 ONSC 25

[23] It has not been suggested that a term of imprisonment is required in order to deter Mr. Kazenelson from committing further offences, to protect the public by separating him from society, to promote a sense of responsibility in him, or to assist in his rehabilitation. He was of good character prior to the accident and he has continued to be of good character in the six years since. He is hardworking, devoted to his family, and involved in his community. He is quite unlikely to commit further criminal offences of any kind, and he is remorseful. Notwithstanding that, it is common ground that a term of imprisonment is necessary to adequately denounce Mr. Kazenelson`s conduct and to deter other persons with authority over workers in potentially dangerous workplaces from breaching the legal duty set forth in s. 217.1 of the Code to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm from befalling those workers.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Edmonton School District No 7 v Dorval, 2016 ABCA 8

[68] The substantive elements of the termination that the Board found unreasonable included: the principal ordering Mr. Dorval to use codes given the evidence that policy (of RSCHS and Edmonton Public School Board) supported involvement of teachers’ professional judgment and consultation; the order being simply announced with little or no consultation; questions or concerns being ignored; little or no communication to students and parents about the codes or their enactment; the failure of the principal and the appellant to respect the professional rights and duties of the teacher regarding assessment of his students; and the discriminatory singling out of Mr. Dorval for discipline when other teachers who also challenged and refused to follow the principal’s order were not disciplined.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Carter c. Canada (Procureur général), 2015 CSC 5

[1] Au Canada, le fait d’aider une personne à mettre fin à ses jours constitue un crime. Par conséquent, les personnes gravement et irrémédiablement malades ne peuvent demander l’aide d’un médecin pour mourir et peuvent être condamnées à une vie de souffrances aiguës et intolérables. Devant une telle perspective, deux solutions s’offrent à elles : soit mettre fin prématurément à leurs jours, souvent par des moyens violents ou dangereux, soit souffrir jusqu’à ce qu’elles meurent de causes naturelles. Le choix est cruel.

[2] Il faut déterminer dans le présent pourvoi si la prohibition criminelle qui impose ce choix à une personne viole les droits que lui garantit la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés — le droit à la vie, à la liberté et à la sécurité de la personne (art. 7) et le droit à l’égalité devant la loi (art. 15). Trancher cette question nous oblige à pondérer des valeurs opposées d’une grande importance. D’une part, il y a l’autonomie et la dignité d’un adulte capable qui cherche dans la mort un remède à des problèmes de santé graves et irrémédiables. D’autre part, il y a le caractère sacré de la vie et la nécessité de protéger les personnes vulnérables.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

* As of January 2014 we measure the total amount of time spent on the pages rather than simply the number of hits; as well, a case once mentioned won’t appear again for three months.

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