📈 2017 — CanLII Connects’ Year

This is CanLII Connects’ 4th year end, and it’s gratifying to see the ongoing growth on the site. CanLII Connects contributors have written about 39,000 cases, that cover 150 years of Canadian caselaw from the first decision issued by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1867 to last week.

Here are the top commentaries and summaries from the last year:

Trinity Western: Did the Chief Justice of Canada make an illegal (or questionable) order?’ – Trinity Western University, et al. v. Law Society of Upper Canada, 2017 CanLII 8575 (SCC), by Patrick F. Baud and Maxime St-Hilaire

Top 10 Employment Law Cases of 2016’ – Paquette v. TeraGo Networks Inc., 2016 ONCA 618, by Jeff Dutton, Dutton Employment Law

Court of Appeal finds Motion Judge’s “Sarcastic” Comments Regrettable, Not Evidence of Bias’ – September Seventh Entertainment Limited v. The Feldman Agency, 2017 ONCA 815, by Cory Giordano, Supreme Advocacy LLP

Baker v Canada: What constitutes procedural fairness?’ – Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1999] 2 SCR 817, by Sean DelGiallo

Witty Judge Pens Acerbic Judgment’ – The Hearing Clinic (Niagara Falls) Inc. v. 866073 Ontario Limited, et al., 2014 ONSC 5831, by Georgialee Lang BA JD FCIArb

Quebec (Attorney General) v A—Much Ado About Saying “I do”’- Quebec (Attorney General) v. A, 2013 SCC 5, [2013] 1 SCR 61, by Stephanie Voudouris, The Court

Une décision incontournable au croisement du droit disciplinaire et de la cybersécurité’ – Conseillers en ressources humaines et en relations industrielles agréés (Ordre professionnel des) c. Milot, 2017 CanLII 35570 (QC CDRHRI), by Antoine Guilmain et Antoine Aylwin

Better Alternatives to Legal Aid Increases’ – Abdulaali v Salih, 2017 ONSC 1609, by Omar Ha-Redeye, Slaw.ca

Compliment or sexual harassment: Where do you draw the line?’ – Eldary v. Songbirds Montessori School Inc., 2011 HRTO 1026, by Doug MacLeod, First Reference

“Too pretty to drive a forklift”: Employee awarded considerable damages for workplace harassment and discrimination’ – Trinh v. CS Wind Canada Inc., 2017 HRTO 755, by Paul Willetts, Vey Willetts LLP – Ottawa Employment Lawyers

Teacher Voyeurism: Do Students have Reasonable Expectation of Privacy at School?’ – R. v. Jarvis, 2017 ONCA 778, by Thomas Slade, Supreme Advocacy LLP

Are Damages to your Mental Health at Work a Compensable Injury?’ – Saadati v. Moorhead, 2017 SCC 28, by Andrew Monkhouse, Monkhouse Law

We are grateful to the 1500 authors and 89 active publishers who have contributed content to CanLII Connects since 2014. Special thanks goes to the most prolific authors on the site:

Karim Renno founding partner at Renno & Vathilakis (CanLII Connects)

John Polyzogopoulos partner at Blaney McMurtry (CanLII Connects)

Russell Alexander principal at Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers (CanLII Connects)

Paul Daly University Senior Lecturer in Public Law, University of Cambridge and the Derek Bowett Fellow in Law at Queens’ College, Cambridge (CanLII Connects)

Sean Bawden partner at Kelly Santini (CanLII Connects)

And the most prolific publishers:

Law Society of Saskatchewan (CanLII Connects)

Barristers Society of Nova Scotia (CanLII Connects)

Supreme Advocacy LLP (CanLII Connects)

JSS Barristers (CanLII Connects)

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (“BLG”) (CanLII Connects)

Finally, thank you to the people who use the site to do research each day!


  1. Honoured to make the list.

    Family law will continue to be the most pressing area for legal reforms and access to justice, especially because those most in need are priced entirely out of the market for legal representation.

    Although the new decision here in Ontario for paralegals may help with this in part, the reality is that the underlying issues behind family law, including widespread abuses of the system and lack of accountability for both parties and their representatives, will require more systematic changes for there to be truly and significant improvements.

  2. Criminal law, not family law, will continue to be the most pressing area for improvements to access to justice. The unaffordability of legal services problem has resulted in many more accused persons appearing in criminal courts without counsel. That means the probability of wrongful convictions has risen greatly. Without lawyers, accused persons are much more likely to plead guilty, when they shouldn’t, and when they don’t believe that they are guilty, and to be found guilty because they can’t adequately present their defence, andto obtain inappropriate sentences (punishment).
    Our ability to detect wrongful convictions is just about zero. When they are detected, it is almost always long after the wrongfully imposed conviction, and the resulting sentence has been served, and the consequences of the unjustly imposed criminal record and loss of employability etc., endured, and lives thereby severely damaged. And when they are detected it is always inadvertently, e.g., years later, the police are investigating something else whereby they come upon evidence revealing the fact of the wrongful conviction.
    That is why the burden of proof in criminal cases must be as high as it is, “proof beyond a reasonable doubt”–to provide adequate protection against wrongful convictions. But without a lawyer, its ability to provide that protection is greatly diminished, if not rendered completely ineffective.
    See: (1) R. v. Hanemaayer 2008 ONCA 580, a wrongful conviction case wherein the Ont. CA, in its judgement removing the wrongful conviction, included a statement “of profound regret.”
    And see related thereto, by Ken Chasse:
    (1) “Plea Bargaining Is Sentencing” (2010), 14 Canadian Criminal Law Review 55; and,
    (2) “The Triumph of Plea Bargaining”(2011), 85 Criminal Reports, 6th Series, 29.
    Unrepresented accused persons + the greater rate at which they plead guilty + the power given the Crown prosecutor by plea bargaining, produce a lot of injustice.
    Therefore, because of the access to justice problem of unaffordable legal services, shouldn’t there be an expanded constitutional “right to counsel” in criminal cases?