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Archive for June, 2019

New Proposed Cannabis Regulations

This week, Health Canada announced the new amendments to the Cannabis Regulations, which set rules governing for the legal production and sale of edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals. The amended regulations will come into force on October 17, 2019, but will not be available to Canadians until mid-December 2019, due to the 60-day notice requirement for all federal license holders.

An overview of the amended regulations are available here, with a pdf summary here. The full regulations will be published in the Canada Gazette on June 26, 2019.

Some of the main features include placing . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a Québec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the Québec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

FAMILLE : L’avocat désigné à l’enfant dans le cadre d’un litige portant sur la garde ou les droits d’accès joue un rôle particulier, de nature à favoriser la mission des tribunaux de concilier les parties en vue du règlement des litiges.

Intitulé : Droit de la famille — 19925, 2019 . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

A Better Alternative to Family Law Rules of Arbitration

I spent a fair amount time in early 2018 drafting a set of rules for the arbitration of family law cases. This was motivated, firstly, by provisions of British Columbia’s Arbitration Act that require the use of certain commercial arbitration rules unless the parties agree otherwise, and, secondly, by the benefit of creating rules specifically tailored for family law disputes. Although the rules I drafted are written in plain language and cover hearing from children, mandatory minimum levels of financial disclosure and parenting assessments, I’ve become less and less fond of them as time has passed. They’re too long, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Friday Jobs Roundup

Each Friday, we share the latest job listings from Slaw Jobs, which features employment opportunities from across the country. Find out more about these positions by following the links below, or learn how you can use Slaw Jobs to gain valuable exposure for your job ads, while supporting the great Canadian legal commentary at

Current postings on Slaw Jobs (newest first):

. . . [more]
Posted in: Friday Jobs Roundup

The Fight Over Rules As Code

In this corner, Pia Andrews

Pia Andrews is the Executive Director of Digital Government for the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation of the Government of New South Wales in Australia. She is a self-described open data and open government “ninja.”

She recently shared some work her NSW Policy Lab is doing on Rules as Code or “RaC.”

A major idea in the “Rules as Code” community is that government legislation and regulation and policy can and probably should be drafted in two languages at the same time. It should be drafted in natural human language (in Canada English, French,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

Over 50 Justice Organizations Agree to a Common Access to Justice Goal That Puts User Experience at the Centre

Yesterday (June 12) in Vancouver, leaders of BC’s justice system came together to endorse the Access to Justice Triple Aim.

The one goal of improving access to justice in BC has three interrelated elements:

  1. improving population access to justice
  2. improving the user experience of access to justice and
  3. improving costs (as they relate to access to justice).

Each participating organization has committed to a common goal to improve access to justice in BC and to action to pursue that goal. How organizations choose to act is for them to decide within the context of their respective mandates.

Implicit in . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Justice Issues

Workplace Culture That Includes Racism Is Very Costly for Employer

Recently, a Nova Scotia Human Rights Board of Inquiry awarded a record $593,417 in damages, including $105,650 for injury to dignity and $433,077 for wage loss, to a former Halifax transit worker employed as a mechanic who suffered racial harassment and discrimination at work.

In a previous ruling released in March 2018, Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission board of inquiry chair Lynn Connors found widespread racial discrimination and a poisoned work environment at Halifax Transit’s garage. The Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) was found vicariously liable for the actions of their employees.

Connors stated,

“I find based on the facts

. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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. Jacobs v. McElhanney Land Surveys Ltd., 2019 ABCA 220

[86] To determine whether there is a significant advance – important or notable progress – a court must assess at the start and end points of the applicable period the degree to which the factual and legal issues dividing the parties have been identified and the progress made in ascertaining the relevant . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

The T-Shaped Factor: An Exposure to Tech in Law School

For this month’s CFCJ Slaw blog, we asked Saba Samanian, a recent graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School to provide her perspective on a topic related to the future of the legal profession. Read on to learn what she has to say about law, technology, access justice and how she is thinking about her responsibility to be technically competent as she enters the profession.

As a recent graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School, and as someone who has an interest in technology and innovation, I often find myself thinking about how the two can intersect. While I have been looking . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Analyzing Court Decisions According to Judges

“Law is reason free from passion.” – Aristotle

As a precedent based system, law lends itself nicely to predictive analytics. In predictive analytics, historical data is used to build a mathematical model. This model can then be used to predict what will happen next.

As case law becomes easier to access, many companies are developing predictive analytic tools based on case law. Predictive analytics can be focused on different areas of law. For example, predicting the outcomes of cases in employment, tax, insurance, or family law. Another area predictive analytics can be focused on are on the actors. For example, . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Needed Change to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program

Much has been said about what is wrong with the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP), particularly in relation to certain categories of workers, whether fundamentally about the notion of “migrant worker” or about details of the program. One of the serious problems with the program has been the way in which workers have been tied to particular employers. A recent change, allowing workers to change employers, has the potential to address one of the negative aspects of the system. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law

Arbitration, by Any Other Name

I recently went looking for a simple definition of arbitration and ended up going around in circles.

Wiktionary, the online dictionary, defines arbitrate as to either make a judgement in a dispute as an arbitrator, or to submit a dispute to such a judgment. Arbitrator is then defined as a person to whom the authority to settle or judge a dispute is delegated.

The Oxford English Dictionary is even less helpful. It defines arbitrate as to “reach an authoritative judgement or settlement.” Arbitration is “the use of an arbitrator to settle a dispute,” and arbitrator is “an independent person or . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution