Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for June, 2019

What Does It Mean to Be a Canadian?

A national identity, in a multicultural, multilingual, and highly mobile population, is a challenging concept for a modern post-nation state democracy. Nations are themselves a socially constructed community, imbued with rights, responsibilities and laws.

This Canada Day, reflecting on what Canadian citizenship means, and what legal democratic rights this citizenship provides, may provide some insight into our federal election this fall, and the future of our democracy.

In his 1983 book, Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson describes some of the features of these social constructs:

The nation is imagined as limited because even the largest of them, encompassing perhaps a

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Summaries Sunday: OnPoint Legal Research

One Sunday each month OnPoint Legal Research provides Slaw with an extended summary of, and counsel’s commentary on, an important case from the British Columbia, Alberta, or Ontario court of appeal.

Janus v. The Central Park Citizen Society, 2019 BCCA 173

AREAS OF LAW:  Landlord and tenant; Limitation periods; Res judicata; Personal injury; Negligence

~The test for postponement of the limitation period in a personal injury claim should not be interpreted to mean that a party is not in a position to start a claim until he is fully aware of the extent of his injuries and the . . . [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.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : La période pendant laquelle un adolescent est confié aux soins d’une personne à la suite d’une ordonnance, conformément à l’article 31 (1) de la Loi sur le système de justice pénale pour les adolescents, et les conditions d’un tel placement sont des circonstances qui doivent être . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Court Navigators – Another Important Tool to Increase Access to Justice

There is an active access to justice movement alive and growing in Canada. It is widely recognized that no one program, tool or activity will, by itself, solve the “access to justice crisis”. Instead, a variety of approaches are needed at all stages of the citizen’s journey through the justice system (not just in the courts).

In the United States, the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) issued a resolution in 2015 calling for “100% access to effective assistance for essential civil legal needs…through a continuum of meaningful and appropriate services.” As . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

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

New Rules Governing Unpaid Interns in Federally Regulated Workplaces

In December 2017, legislative amendments under the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2 (introduced as Bill C-63), to Part III (employment standards) of the Canada Labour Code (the Code) to limit unpaid internships in the federally regulated sector to only those that are part of an educational program were enacted but did not come into force right away. On June 8, 2019, the federal government published proposed regulations in the Canada Gazette to extend standard health and safety protections to unpaid interns and to enact supporting regulations regarding limitations to internships under Part III of the Canada Labour Code. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Asia Ignored by the Media?

In the 1940s during World War II, I remember the war news being mostly about the war in Europe and very little news of the war in Asia. The bombing of Europe dominated the North American radio news and newspapers. Apart from the atomic bombs, I do not remember news items about the bombing of Japan which was extensive.

Today some of our news media are again ignoring some of the news from Asia. For example, “Uzbekistan’s growth rate of 8 percent is one of the world’s highest.” The population of Uzbekistan is 32 million. We do get some news . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing, Miscellaneous

Book Review: Startup Law 101: A Practical Guide

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.

Startup Law 101: A Practical Guide. Edited by Catherine Lovrics. Toronto: LexisNexis Canada, 2017. xxxv, 432 pp. Includes list of contributors, preface, table of contents, index. ISBN 978-0-433-49118-7 (softcover) $115.00.

Reviewed by Kim Nayyer, BSc LLB MLIS
Associate University Librarian, Law
University of Victoria
In CLLR 44:1

An entrepreneur generates . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

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. R v. Matchee, 2019 ABCA 251

[31] One way of understanding s 718.2(e) and Gladue is as a partial remedy for the systemic discrimination suffered by aboriginal people which has led to their overrepresentation in the criminal justice system. The remedy requires sentencing judges to recognize these systemic factors and that they can play a part in offending behaviour. The sentencing judge . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

The Cat and Mouse Game of Alberta’s Ethics Investigations

Alberta political Insiders could not have been surprised by Ethics Commissioner Trussler’s decision last Friday finding Jason Kenney’s use of the “Premier” prefix for UCP fundraising correspondence not to be a conflict of interest. That’s because Trussler previously determined in similar cases involving previous Premiers that the use of public office for partisan purposes is beyond the scope of her legislated mandate.

Conflict of interest allegations were levelled by opposition parties against Premier Prentice in 2014, for staging political announcements in ridings with upcoming by-elections, and again in 2015 when Premier Notley attended a political fundraising dinner in Toronto. In . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Are Design Flaws in the Court System Like Eye Drops?

The court system is designed by lawyers for lawyers for a bygone era. As technology develops and the numbers of self-represented litigants increase, the design flaws in our paper based court system becomes more apparent.

Recently, the Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Honourable Heather Smith addressed this issue with the Toronto Star. Justice Smith stated that “there really is no difference walking into a courtroom at 361 University Ave than there was 40 years ago.” Justice Smith further adds that the way paper moves through the court system is madness. “Even digital files . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology

The Biz-Ification of Law

“Competitive markets are not much fun for sellers” – Richard Posner

It’s common knowledge that the billable hour is holding back the profession. Additionally, it’s clear that professional conduct rules insulate lawyers, prevent other professionals from getting involved, and stifle innovation. Yet, despite the billable hour still going strong and no changes in professional conduct rules, we are seeing an unprecedented boom in innovative legal services. It feels like something bigger must be going on.

Market cycles

While the literal number of lawyers remains a significant factor, more important is its ratio to finance, insurance, and real estate (“FIRE”) . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology, Practice of Law