Canada’s online legal magazine.

Journalistic Sources Protection Act Evaluated by Supreme Court

Despite the important role that the media plays in a democracy, Canada has long lagged behind other jurisdictions when it came to source protection. When law enforcement sought an order under the Criminal Code or compelled disclosure was sought through civil discovery, the courts were forced to resort to common law principles.

With the passing of Bill S-231 -An Act to amend the Canada Evidence Act and the Criminal Code in 2017, Canada formalized these protections through the Journalistic Sources Protection Act.

Some of the main features of the Act include a broad definition of a journalist. The Court . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

One Sunday each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, Supreme Advocacy Letter, to which you may subscribe. It’s a summary of all appeals as well as leaves to appeal granted so you will know what the SCC will soon be dealing with (August 8 to September 26, 2019 inclusive).


Class Actions: Certification; Limitation Periods; Discoverability; “Plain and Obvious”
Pioneer Corp. v. Godfrey, 2019 SCC 42 (37809)(37810)

Is it plain and obvious that the claim under s. 36(1)  . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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.

TRAVAIL : La Loi assurant la continuité de la prestation des services juridiques au sein du gouvernement et permettant la poursuite de la négociation ainsi que le renouvellement de la convention collective des salariés assurant la prestation de ces services juridiques porte atteinte à la liberté d’association des juristes de . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Using Multi-Factor Authentication Blocks 99.9% of Account Takeover Attacks

It was big news in late August when Microsoft said that users who enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) for their accounts will end up blocking 99.9% of automated attacks. This doesn’t apply just to Microsoft accounts. It applies to any other account on any website or online service.

Today, virtually all service providers support multi-factor authentication, and in most cases, there is no charge. It can be something as simple as SMS-based one-time passwords or advanced biometrics solutions.

“Based on our studies, your account is more than 99.9% less likely to be compromised if you use MFA,” said Alex Weinert, Group . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

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

Lack of Clarity on Discretionary Payments Benefited Terminated Employee

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference

In Thoma v Schaefer Elevator Components Inc., 2019 BCSC 100 (CanLII), the British Columbia Supreme Court re-affirms the need for employers to establish and communicate clear and explicit rules when discretionary bonuses form part of an organization’s compensation scheme. These rules should regulate an employee’s entitlement to bonus payments (both during employment and during a notice period), as well as the eligibility criteria and how and when payments are to be made. This case shows how a lack of clarity in this respect can expose an employer to significant financial liability, . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Thursday Thinkpiece: Trees and the Law in Canada

Periodically on Thursdays, we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

Trees and the Law in Canada
© 2018 Dunster & Associates Environmental Consultants Ltd.
Available to purchase at

Written by Dr. Julian A. Dunster, one of Canada’s leading consulting arborists, Trees and the Law in Canada covers nuisance, trespass, negligence, damage appraisal, personal injury, and property damage. In Chapter 8, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Book Review: Wigmore on Cannabis: The Forensic Toxicology of Marijuana for Lawyers and Other Medicolegal Professionals

Several times each month, we are pleased to republish a recent book review from the Canadian Law Library Review (CLLR). CLLR is the official journal of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD), and its reviews cover both practice-oriented and academic publications related to the law.

Wigmore on Cannabis: The Forensic Toxicology of Marijuana for Lawyers and Other Medicolegal Professionals. By James G. Wigmore. Toronto: Irwin Law, 2018. xxxviii, 554 p. With a foreword by Robert M. Langville. 9781552214848 (paperback) $110.00.

Reviewed by Margo Jeske
University of Ottawa Library
In CLLR 44:1

Author James G. Wigmore . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

Mr. Attorney General, Please Help Lawyers Short of Clients

On March 20, 2918, I received an email message about Legal Aid Ontario’s (LAO’s) increases in financial eligibility for legal services.[1] But the majority of the taxpayers who fund Legal Aid Ontario, cannot afford legal services for themselves (except for very routine, simple legal services). Any legal service that takes any significant amount of a lawyer’s time is unaffordable to that majority of the population. And so, the majority of lawyers is short of clients.

Legal Aid’s funding is indeed very poor (see the tables of figures in that email message). In R. v. Moodie, 2016 ONSC 3469, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

How Can We Get Lawyers to Change the Way They Do Advance Medical Care Planning With Their Clients? a Physician’s Reflections

I recently visited with a friend in my hometown in Lethbridge, Alberta who is struggling with an incurable cancer. He was suffers from pain, confusion, and despair. He loves his life and his family and is sad to think about dying.

I asked about his future medical plans and his wife proudly declared, “we’ve been to the lawyer and filled out those forms” — suggesting that nothing more needed to be done. But can a form filled out in a lawyer’s office really ensure that you get the medical care that’s right for you?

I asked my friend’s wife for . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

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. Colistro v. Tbaytel, 2019 ONCA 197

[27] The requirement that the defendant have intended to produce the harm that occurred, or known that the harm was substantially certain to follow as a result of his or her conduct, is an important limiting element of the tort and distinguishes it from actions in negligence. It is now well established that a plaintiff . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

UK Supreme Court on Prorogation: The Role of Unwritten Constitutional Principles

This morning, the UK Supreme Court issued its unanimous decision on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s advice to the Queen to prorogue Parliament. Its decision in R (on the application of Miller) v. The Prime Minister and Cherry and others v. Advocate General for Scotland held that the Prime Minister had broken the law because the length of the prorogation without reasonable justification “prevented Parliament from carrying out its constitutional role [of holding the Government to account]” [para.56].

The decision is significant in finding that considering whether the Prime Minister acted lawfully in this instance is justiciable and that the reasons . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions