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Archive for June, 2020

From Discrimination to Systemic Racism: Understanding Societal Construction


Recently RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki admitted she really didn’t understand the term “systemic racism” and later showed she was correct when she provided an old and obvious example of indirect discrimination as an example of systemic racism. Here I explore the evolution from discrimination to systemic discrimination to systemic racism and why they are different, although related. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on practice, research, writing and technology.

Research & Writing

Let’s Get Phygital
Neil Guthrie

As long as we don’t call it that, though. (In part because Let’s get phygital may conjure up images of Olivia Newton-John in a headband for those of a certain age.) Phygital is a newish (and unlovely) term for communication or connection that combines the physical and the digital. It comes from the world of marketing and sales. … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Coffee in the Times of COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down. However, new and innovative strategies have emerged to help lawyers reduce stress and improve mental health in these uncertain times of the global crisis. Technology has been a key enabler in supporting people to connect, socialize and engage in dialogue about the impact of the virus in our lives and reminding people that “you are not alone.” A simple gathering for some DIY coffee in a positive virtual environment can stimulate a profound impact on one’s well-being.

One such innovative initiative was launched in May 2020 by the Canadian . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award­-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from more than 80 recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

This week the randomly selected blogs are 1 .Family LLB 2. 3. RT Blog 4. Canadian Securities Law 5. BC Injury Law Blog

Family LLB
What is the Cheapest Way to Get a Divorce?

Let’s be clear, a “divorce” is simply the legal right to re-marry. If you are not married, you will

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

A Historic Verdict

History was made on June 26, 2020, in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision in R. v. Theriault.

It was a very detailed and meticulous decision that was well over 300 paragraphs long. It cited nearly 50 cases, and carefully went through the evidence and the law. But that’s not what made it noteworthy.

For the first time in Canadian history, the verdict was read out loud and live-streamed via Zoom on YouTube, to a massive audience. Over 20,000 people were reported to watch the verdict, which consisted of a judge reading his decision into a screen for the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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 tenue d’un nouveau procès est ordonnée pour l’appelant, déclaré coupable de meurtre au second degré au terme d’un procès devant jury, car la déclaration incriminante qu’il a faite aux policiers aurait dû être exclue de la preuve, ayant été obtenue à la suite d’une violation de . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Jigsaw Puzzles and System Change

Since mid-March, my husband and I have been trying to “stay safe, stay home”. But it wasn’t until May that I decided to try a jigsaw puzzle.

I’m now on my fourth puzzle and offer some reflections on how jigsaw puzzles can illuminate the challenge of deep system change:

  1. Open mind: To make it harder I put the box away and I don’t look at the photo of the finished puzzle until I’m done. This seems closer to the reality of system change. We try not to have a particular image or solution in mind and to be open
. . . [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

Employer’s Ultimatum to Accept Changes or Quit Backfires

Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

In McLean v Dynacast Ltd., 2019 ONSC 7146 (CanLII), the employer drastically changed the plaintiff’s job and forced him to accept the new arrangement or quit. The plaintiff chose the latter option and successfully sued for constructive dismissal. In accepting the plaintiff’s claim, the court summarized recent case law on mitigation, and awarded significant aggravated or moral damages to the plaintiff. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Book Review: LGBTQ2+ Law: Practice Issues and Analysis.

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.

LGBTQ2+ Law: Practice Issues and Analysis. Edited by Joanna Radbord. Toronto: Emond, 2020. xxvii, 607 p. Includes table of cases and index. ISBN 978-1-77255-432- 8 (softcover) $136.00; ISBN 978-1-77255-433-5 (digital) $116.00.

Reviewed by Sally Sax
Collections Librarian (Business, Public Affairs, Legal Studies)
Carleton University
In CLLR 45:2

LGBTQ2+ Law: Practice Issues . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

A Family Lawyer’s Role Is (Not) to Minimize Conflict

Do family law lawyers have an obligation to minimize conflict? It seems obvious that given the stakes involved in family law matters, especially where there is family violence or children, that a lawyer’s role ought to include minimizing conflict; however, that idea is not as straightforward as it sounds. A family lawyer does have an obligation to advise her client on the impact of actions that inflate conflict; but a lawyer’s role properly understood, does not include an objective of minimizing conflict. This may seem like splitting hairs, but it is an important distinction.

Minimizing Conflict

The BC Family Law . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

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. Waksdale v. Swegon North America Inc., 2020 ONCA 391 (CanLII)

[10] We do not give effect to that submission. An employment agreement must be interpreted as a whole and not on a piecemeal basis. The correct analytical approach is to determine whether the termination provisions in an employment agreement read as a whole violate the ESA. Recognizing the power imbalance . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII