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Articles | Greg Clarke | December 12, 2008
Harper to Fill Senate Vacancies

Category: Democratic Governance

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has promised to appoint Conservatives to fill all remaining Senatevacancies before Christmas 2008. The prime minister had not been filling Senate seats as retiring senators vacated them. To do so would have contradicted the federal government’s proposed legislation, designed to implement the Conservative Party’s Senate-reform policy. This policy includes introducing provincial consultative elections to guide the prime

Articles | Terry Romaniuk | December 11, 2008
Supreme Court Strikes Down Portions of Employment Insurance Act

Category: Federalism

The Supreme Court of Canada (S.C.C.) has ruled that two sections of the Employment Insurance Act in force in 2001, 2002, and 2005, respectively, are unconstitutional.[1] In Confédération des syndicats nationaux v. Canada (Attorney General) the Court held that insurance premiums were collected unlawfully.[2] The federal

Articles | Alex Bailey | December 8, 2008
The Oilpatch, the Environment, and Constitutional Jurisdiction

Category: Federalism

Concern over the environmental impact of the Alberta oil sands has led to talks of trade bans in the United States, to attempts to place limits on bitumen exports by the Canadian federal government, and to constitutional questions over which

Articles | Terry Romaniuk | December 2, 2008
National Press Celebrates the Prospect of Police Investigations

Category: Human Rights

Promoting hatred is a criminal offence under the hate propaganda sections of Canada’s Criminal Code (318 through 320.1).[1] Allegations made under those sections are investigated by police officers and prosecuted by Crown prosecutors. This means that guilt in those cases must be

Articles | Alexandra Bailey | December 1, 2008
Japanese Canadian Internment During World War II

Category: The Charter, Equality Rights (Section 15)

On June 13, 2008, the Energy and Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) was given Notice of a Constitutional Question filed by the Métis Nation of Alberta (“MNA”).[1] The question was raised pursuant to Section 12 of the Administrative Procedures and Jurisdiction Act (“APJA”)[2] and

Articles | Terry Romaniuk | December 1, 2008
One Disability, One Airfare

Category: Human Rights

On November 20, 2008 the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an appeal in Air Canada et al. v. Canadian Transportation Agency et al.[1] The decision means that air carriers and airports must accommodate persons with disabilities, even if doing so requires the

Articles | Jonathan Maryniuk | November 17, 2008
Dancer Claims Age Discrimination

Category: Human Rights

An exotic dancer has filed a discrimination complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. Kim Ouwroulis, 44, complained that the strip club she worked at fired her due to her age. She had worked there 4 years before being fired.

Articles | Jonathan Maryniuk | November 17, 2008
Aboriginal Bands Reach Land Settlement in Saskatchewan

Category: Aboriginal Rights

Three First Nations in Saskatchewan have received land settlements amounting to approximately $80 million. The Cote, Keeseekose, and Key bands in Saskatchewan will receive $80 million from the federal government in exchange for lands taken from them by the government

Articles | Jonathan Maryniuk | November 12, 2008
Equalization Payment Changes – 2008

Category: Federalism

The federal government is seeking to slow down the growth of payments under Canada’s equalization program. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty recently stated that equalization has of late been growing at an unsustainable 15 percent per year, saying “We need to

Articles | Alex Bailey | November 1, 2008
Youth Criminal Justice and the Harper Government

Category: The Charter, Legal Rights (Sections 7-14)

The Youth Criminal Justice Act In 1908, the Juvenile Delinquents Act determined that young people would be charged with “delinquency” rather than specific criminal offences.[1]Youth were treated much like adults under this regime. Judges based their discretionary sentencing decisions on the likelihood of rehabilitation.[2] In

Articles | Terry Romaniuk | October 30, 2008
Publication Ban Victory for Press

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

On October 30, 2008 the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an appeal in Toronto Police Association v. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.[1] In 2001, an RCMP-led Special Task Force began to investigate allegations made against certain members of the Toronto Police Service (TPS).[2] The task

Articles | Terry Romaniuk | October 28, 2008
Update: Supreme Court Hears Alberta Hutterite Case

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

The Supreme Court of Canada (S.C.C.) heard arguments in Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Alberta v. Hutterian Brethren of Wilson Colony, et al on October 12, 2008. A decision is pending. The case arose after

Articles | Terry Romaniuk | October 28, 2008
The Homeless Can Tent Overnight in City Parks

Category: The Charter, Legal Rights (Sections 7-14)

On October 14, 2008 Judge Ross issued reasons for judgment in Victoria (City) v. Adams.[1] Homeless people had been setting up “tent cities” in Victoria’s city parks. In response, the City brought in bylaws which had the effect of banning overnight camping

Articles | Terry Romaniuk | October 19, 2008
Update: Aboriginal Water Rights – Clarified or Muddied

Category: Aboriginal Rights

(The Duty to Consult With Aboriginal Peoples) The Alberta government has been licensing water usage since 1894. In the early 2000s, it realized that the number of licenses it was issuing was reaching the capacity of the southern rivers. The

Articles | Jonathan Maryniuk | October 17, 2008
New Brunswick Court Opens up Lawyers’ Discipline Hearings

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

A New Brunswick court has struck down a section of a law mandating that its province’s Law Society disciplinary meetings be held in private.[1] The New Brunswick News Inc. challenged section 62(2) of the New Brunswick Law Society Act, which states: All

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