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. Nanda v. McEwan, 2020 ONCA 431 (CanLII)

[41] In my view, expressions concerning racism, sexism, corruption, abuse of union funds, and misconduct by a candidate for President of the Toronto Local of a Canadian public sector union relate to a matter of public interest. In the words of McLachlin C.J.C. in Torstar, at para. 102, “[i]t is enough that some segment of the community would have a genuine interest in receiving information on the subject”: see also Torstar, at para. 105. Members of the Toronto Local, beyond the recipients of the posters and WhatsApp messages, would clearly have a genuine interest in the expressions in the context of an election campaign. But the scope of public interest would extend even further, to the broader community served by members of CUPW and the public sector.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Pearson v Pearson, 2020 ABCA 260 (CanLII)

[38] The key to ceasing to act is that: (1) the client must know that the lawyer has ceased to act and that the client is now on his or her own; and (2) the opposing lawyer must also know because the opposing lawyer is not entitled to communicate with a represented client, and 10 days after the lawyer ceases to act, the address for service is no longer effective: Rule 2.29(1) and (2). When a lawyer serves a client with a Notice of Withdrawal of Lawyer of Record, the affidavits of service should be filed in accordance with the Rules. The Court must know who is on the record. The departing counsel will want to file it to ensure that his or her offices are no longer an address for service: Rule 2.30. But the failure to attend to this paperwork does not mean a new lawyer cannot act. In fact, a new lawyer should file a notice of change of the new client’s lawyer of record in which case the notice of ceasing to act and the affidavit of service are unnecessary. Rule 2.28 does not require a notice of ceasing to act when a notice of change in the lawyer of record is filed.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Reference re Genetic Non‑Discrimination Act, 2020 SCC 17 (CanLII)

[39] Reading the definition this way would support — not detract from — the conclusion that the Act aims to combat discrimination based on genetic test results. Health‑related genetic tests reveal highly personal information — details that individuals might not wish to know or share and that could be used against them. The prohibitions target a broad range of conduct that creates the opportunity for genetic discrimination based on intimate personal information revealed by health‑related tests. Parliament saw genetic test results relating to health as particularly vulnerable to abuse and discrimination. The intrinsic evidence suggests that the purpose of the provisions is to combat discrimination based on information disclosed by genetic tests by criminalizing compulsory genetic testing, compulsory disclosure of test results, and non‑consensual use of test results in a broadly‑defined context (the areas of contracting and the provision of goods and services). The extrinsic evidence points largely in the same direction.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Falcon c. R., 2020 QCCA 867 (CanLII)

[19] Il s’agit de deux obligations distinctes. La première vise la légalité d’un ordre et la seconde est une des conditions nécessaires pour conférer au certificat sa « valeur » pour la mise en œuvre des présomptions. Satisfaire les conditions législatives permet à la poursuite de déposer le certificat qui fait alors la preuve des résultats et de l’alcoolémie de l’accusé au moment de la conduite sans qu’il soit nécessaire de faire comparaître les témoins pour l’établir. L’importance de ces raccourcis a été reconnue dans l’arrêt Alex, où on leur associe un objectif d’efficacité pour ces poursuites criminelles. Il est erroné de prétendre que le raisonnement de l’arrêt Alex s’applique à la condition de l’alinéa 258(1)c)(ii) du Code. Dans cette affaire, la question portait sur la légalité de l’ordre (à l’ancien par. 254(3) : R. c. Alex, 2017 CSC 37 (CanLII), [2017] 1 R.C.S. 967, par. 6. Comme l’écrit le juge Moldaver, la légalité de l’ordre n’a rien à voir avec les conditions des anciens sous-alinéas 258(1)c)(i) à (iv) et 258(1)g)(i) à (iii) du Code : R. c. Alex, [2017] 1 R.C.S. 967, par. 27.

(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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