Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for June, 2011

From Peach to Screech

Unless you are a Canadian who has been spending a lot of quality time in a cave over the past month you are no doubt aware that Winnipeg has regained an NHL team by way of Atlanta causing a bit of a chain reaction. The Atlanta Thrashers have moved to Winnipeg to become the TBAs (but might have a name today by the time you read this). The reaction being that Winnipeg had a pre-existing AHL hockey team the Manitoba Moose which has now moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland.

On the surface many believed that “the Moose” would be . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Friday Fillip: Sugru, the Good Goo

I’ve confessed here before to liking stuff. If you’re a maker or a mender, you’ll probably like stuff, too. And I’ve come across something that is likely to gladden the heart of any bricoleur: sugru. It’s a pliable, adhesive, coloured substance that sets at room temperature to become a heat- and wear-resistant rubbery object. Think silly putty + epoxy and you’re close. You use it to modify — hack — those things around you that weren’t made right in the first place, or to repair those things that have developed just a little fault.

It’s often the case that . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Giving Back

by Elke Churchman*

Giving back is a way of life for me. It is fulfilling and has made me a much better lawyer, a better family member and a better member of society.

It has not always been that way. I was very narrow and grasping in my focus and cut off from the world. I lived in a nightmare of my own mind. Never feeling good enough but at the same time feeling I must pretend that I was better than, an egomaniac with an inferiority complex! I never fit in and felt I had nothing of value . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Launch of Business & Children Portal

On June 14th, the non-profit Business & Human Rights Resource Centre launched an online portal on Business & Children.

The Portal covers issues such as child labour, dangerous products, education, forced labour, pollution damaging health, pregnancy discrimination, sexual exploitation and trafficking. The content comes from many sources including NGOs, international organizations such as UNICEF and the ILO, governments, journalists, academics, and companies themselves. It features responses by companies to allegations of misconduct as well as positive initiatives they, NGOs and other organizations have taken to protect the rights of children.

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre tracks the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Check to See if Your ID Has Been Compromised at New Stolen Password Search Site

From a CBC story

A website that lets people check whether their email addresses, usernames and passwords have been stolen in a cyberattack and posted online has been launched by an Australian who is a former IT security consultant.

This new website,, allows concerned internet users to enter an email address and see whether it appears in stolen information posted online by groups such as Lulz Security. If an email is listed in the database of stolen data, the site will list what information among your email, username and password have been compromised, how many times it has . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Federal Government Launches Workplace Mental Health Standards Initiative

Since the economic burden of mental illnesses in Canada has been estimated at $51-billion per year, with almost $20-billion of that coming from workplace losses, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) has launched a collaborative project with the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ) and the standards division of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA Standards) to create a voluntary national standard for mentally healthy workplaces. The standard aims to help Canadian employers support the psychological health and safety of their employees. According to the government, Canada is the first country in the world to develop such a standard.
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

E-Reader Roundup

E-books and e-readers are constant topics of discussion. Every new device released results in a flurry of activity; one only needs to think of the recent press around the new iPad 2 and the Blackberry PlayBook. Tablets and iPads are frequent topics here on Slaw. And in May, Amazon reported that since April 1, 2011, sales of Kindle books had exceeded the sale of print books. 

When I was at CALL recently, a show of hands indicated that more than half the audience owned at least one e-reader. Everyone I spoke with was enthusiastic about their e-reader or tablet of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Supreme Court of Canada Trade-Mark Decision on Confusion

The Supreme Court of Canada recently released its decision in the case of Masterpiece v Alvida which clarified some trade-mark issues, particularly on the issue of confusion.

Here are some notes from an IT-Can roundtable conference call from today that discussed the case. Presenters were Kelly Gill of Gowling, Lafleur Henderson LLP, Clarke Hunter of Macleod Dixon LLP and Brandon Potter of Macleod Dixon LLP.

The issue in the case essentially related to the use by different parties of “Masterpiece Living” vs “Masterpiece the Art of Living”, and whether they are confusing.

The main issues:

Is it relevant that the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Getting the Most Out of Online Usage Reports

(This article is based on a talk that I gave at this year’s Canadian Association of Law Libraries conference.)

With online services accounting for an ever-increasing percentage of libraries’ budgets, it is important to be able to keep an eye on the usage of these services. Fortunately, a number of these online services offer usage reports. These reports allow the account administrators to get a clearer picture of how these services are used and how to get the most out of them.

Where to get usage reports

The availability of usage reports varies greatly from publisher to publisher, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Authentication of Electronic Records – Some Recent Developments

Canadian and American courts (and others) have been making pronouncements about the reliability of electronic documents for various purposes, not all of them equally persuasive, and the Canadian ones more sceptical than the American courts — perhaps only because of the facts before them.

Comments welcome on any of these cases: were they rightly decided? Do they suggest gaps in legislation? . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

New Outlook Software

Outlook 2010, I love you, I think. Yesterday I attended an internal training class that introduced me to Outlook 2010. This is one of the beginning steps (from the user perspective) of a renovation, evolution, revamp, revision of our firms desktop software. From the perspective of our IT department, this is the mid-point in a long line of projects that will culminate in current Office Suite software for our firm’s users.

Since other Slawyers may be going down (moving up?) this particular software update road, I am sharing a couple of my Outlook 2010 experiences. Note that we jumped from . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Office Technology

Simon Fraser University Award of Excellence

Simon Fraser University's Masters of Arts in Applied Legal Studies has received a 2011 Award of Excellence from the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education. The prestigious award was presented at the CAUCE national conference recently held in Toronto to John Whatley, the CODE program director. Dr. Whately received the award on behalf of SFU’s School of Criminology, Centre for Online and Distance Education (CODE) and, in particular, all the people responsible for the design, implementation and continuing delivery of the program.
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools