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. Toronto (City) v. Ontario (Attorney General), 2021 SCC 34

[1] While cast as a claim of right under s. 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, this appeal, fundamentally, concerns the exercise of provincial legislative authority over municipalities. The issue, simply put, is whether and how the Constitution of Canada restrains a provincial legislature from changing the conditions by and under which campaigns for elected municipal councils are conducted.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. R. v. Grant, 2009 SCC 32 (CanLII), [2009] 2 SCR 353

[1] Mr. Grant appeals his convictions on a series of firearms offences, relating to a gun seized by police during an encounter on a Toronto sidewalk. The gun was entered as evidence against Mr. Grant and formed the basis of his convictions. The question on this appeal is whether that evidence was obtained in breach of Mr. Grant’s Charter rights, and if so, whether the evidence should have been excluded under s. 24(2) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. R. v. Romano, 2021 ONCA 211

[34] These principles were applied in this court’s decision in Romano 2017, reversing the appellant’s acquittal at his second trial. Paciocco J.A., writing for the court, explained that for both the actus reus and mens rea of dangerous driving, the focus should be on the manner of driving, not the consequences or the cause of those consequences: at paras. 68-69. A consequence can verify the nature of the risks that existed but should not be used in determining whether the manner of driving was dangerous or in marked departure from the norm. “In assessing the dangerousness of the driving the relevant risk is not the risk that the specific accident event would materialize…what is of interest is danger to the public generally”: at para. 72.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Drolet c. R., 2021 QCCA 1421

[49] Le fait qu’il existe une pratique dans ce genre de dossier d’attendre l’arrivée au poste avant de faciliter l’accès à un avocat, et de ne permettre un appel du lieu de l’arrestation que s’il y a un long délai d’attente pour une remorqueuse, est troublant. Les policiers doivent, dans chaque cas, faciliter l’accès à un avocat à la première occasion raisonnable, ce qui dépend des circonstances propres à chaque situation. Ils doivent envisager la possibilité de permettre à la personne détenue d’utiliser son téléphone cellulaire sur le lieu de l’arrestation et considérer s’il y a de bonnes raisons pour ne pas le permettre, plutôt que de reporter systématiquement l’accès à un avocat à l’arrivée au poste[27]. Ni le juge de première instance ni le juge d’appel ne traitent de cette question. Cela constitue à mon avis une erreur de droit révisable.

(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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