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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. Orphan Well Association v Grant Thornton Limited, 2017 ABCA 124

[12] When oil and gas wells are producing, they are very valuable assets. However, when they cease to be productive they quickly turn into significant liabilities. For public safety and environmental reasons, the Alberta Energy Regulator has specific “end-of-life” rules on how a spent well must be rendered environmentally safe by being shut-in and “abandoned”. In general terms, the end-of-life obligations of the owner of the well are to cement-in various formations deep underground, to “cap” the well, and to restore the surface to its original condition: Alberta Energy Regulator Directive 020: Well Abandonment; Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, RSA 2000, c. E-12, s. 137. Compliance with those requirements can be expensive.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. R. v. Antic, 2017 SCC 27

[1] The right not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause is an essential element of an enlightened criminal justice system. It entrenches the effect of the presumption of innocence at the pre-trial stage of the criminal trial process and safeguards the liberty of accused persons. This case requires the Court to clarify important aspects of the law of bail, specifically, when a judge or a justice of the peace can impose a cash deposit on an accused as a condition of release.

[2] At issue are the interpretation and the constitutionality of s. 515(2)(e) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, which authorizes one form of pre-trial release. Section 515(2)(e) permits a judge or a justice to require both a cash deposit and surety supervision[1] as conditions of release if an accused ordinarily resides out of the province or more than 200 km away from the place in which he or she is in custody. But this form of combined “cash-plus-surety” release is not available to accused persons who do not meet these geographic criteria.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1999] 2 SCR 817, 1999 CanLII 699 (SCC)

1 L’Heureux-Dubé J. — Regulations made pursuant to s. 114(2) of the Immigration Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. I-2, empower the respondent Minister to facilitate the admission to Canada of a person where the Minister is satisfied, owing to humanitarian and compassionate considerations, that admission should be facilitated or an exemption from the regulations made under the Act should be granted. At the centre of this appeal is the approach to be taken by a court to judicial review of such decisions, both on procedural and substantive grounds. It also raises issues of reasonable apprehension of bias, the provision of written reasons as part of the duty of fairness, and the role of children’s interests in reviewing decisions made pursuant to s. 114(2).

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was R. c. Gagnon, 2017 QCCQ 12564

[123] Le Tribunal reconnaît certainement et comme la Cour d’appel nous l’enseigne en matière de trafic de drogues dures, les objectifs de dénonciation et de dissuasion générale sont pressants. Par contre, il ne faut pas non plus leur donner primauté sur tous les autres objectifs de la détermination de la peine lorsque les circonstances particulières de l’affaire peuvent le justifier par le principe de l’individualisation de la peine.

(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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