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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. J.N. v. C.G., 2022 ONSC 1198

[26] I won’t belabor the point, because I still have to get to my real job: determining what’s in the best interests of these two children. But the word needs to get out that while the court system won’t punish intolerance, it certainly won’t reward it either.

[27] All parenting issues – including health issues – must be determined based upon the best interests of the child. Last year’s amendments to the Divorce Act (applicable in this case) and the Children’s Law Reform Act make it mandatory for the court to include consideration of a child’s views and preferences to the extent that those views can be ascertained.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Li et al. v. Barber et. al., 2022 ONSC 1176 

[12] The legal question in a nuisance action is whether the interference is substantial and unreasonable. It is important to understand that although the question of whether the defendant’s activity is lawful or illegal factors into the question of whether the interference is reasonable, it is not determinative. Even lawful activity may be tortious measured against this standard.[2] Even if the defendants are ultimately found to be lawfully exercising constitutional rights of protest and dissent, it does not follow that in the exercise of those rights they do not have responsibilities to their fellow citizens. Under our system of law, citizens have legal rights, but they also have legal responsibilities. Perfectly lawful acts which cannot result in fines or imprisonment, may nevertheless result in liability to those who are intentionally or inadvertently injured as a result. Civil liability is not the same thing as “guilt” under criminal or regulatory law.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. R v Pawlowski, 2022 ABPC 37

[30] Section 11(1)(e) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the right of any person charged with an offence not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause. The reasonableness of bail has two basic components. The first, reasonable bail, has to do with quantum of any monetary component and the types of conditions imposed. The second has to do with “just cause”. “Just cause” only occurs in a narrow set of circumstances, and a denial of bail must be necessary to promote the proper functioning of the bail system, not undertaken for any purpose extraneous to the bail system. Detention is not the rule, but the exception. It must be the exception because at the interim release stage, the person whose liberty is at stake is merely accused of a criminal offence. They still have the presumption of innocence. See: R v Antic, 2017 SCC 27 (Antic); R v St-Cloud, 2015 SCC 27; R v Zora, 2020 SCC 4 (Zora).

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Merck Canada inc. c. Procureur général du Canada, 2022 QCCA 240

[133] La validité constitutionnelle d’une loi ou d’un règlement en vertu du partage des compétences doit être résolue suivant une analyse qui se déroule en deux volets. Le tout débute par une opération de qualification de la loi ou du règlement en cause. Quel est son sujet? Sur quoi porte-t-il? Quel est son objet, son caractère véritable? Une fois cette opération complétée, il s’agit, dans un deuxième temps, de référer aux compétences énumérées aux articles 91 et 92 de la Loi constitutionnelle de 1867 et de voir, qui du fédéral ou des provinces, est habilité à légiférer sur la matière couverte par la loi ou le règlement. La seconde opération en est une de classification[127].

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

* As of January 2014 we measure the total amount of time spent on the pages rather than simply the number of hits; as well, a case once mentioned won’t appear again for three months.

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