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Articles | Russell Green | July 12, 2019
Delay in Alberta Public Sector Arbitration: Responsible Measure or Illegal Attack?

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

Introduction: Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act On June 28, 2019, the Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act became law in Alberta.[1] The Act suspends and delays binding wage arbitrations between various public sector unions and their members’ employer – the provincial government. The

Articles | Julia Amelio | July 9, 2019
Is it Time to Dust-Off Section 28 of the Charter?

Category: The Charter

Introduction Quebec has passed Bill 21, An Act Respecting the Laicity of the State (“the Act”) which bans some public sector workers from wearing religious symbols while on the job. The Act uses the notwithstanding clause of the Charter which means the Act remains

Articles | Russell Green | July 5, 2019
A Long and Uncertain Road to Alberta Independence

Category: Federalism

Alienation Accelerated Premier Jason Kenney has suggested that Canada is facing a “crisis of national unity” because Albertans, and other western Canadians, are feeling disrespected by the rest of the country.[1] Premier Kenney has cited a poll from the Angus Reid Institute where

Articles | Russell Green | June 27, 2019
Can the Federal Government Disallow Québec’s ‘Anti-Religious Symbols’ Act?

Category: Federalism

Introduction: The Call to Disallow Québec’s Bill 21 On June 17, 2019, the government of Québec passed Bill 21 into law – the Act bans some public sector workers from wearing religious symbols while on the job.[1] Further, the law requires

Articles | Michael Graham | June 27, 2019
Climate Emergency vs Emergency Powers

Category: Federalism

The Constitution sets out the Powers of Parliament and grants Parliament the ability “to make laws for the Peace, Order, and good Government of Canada.”[1] This power is known as POGG power and embedded within it are Parliament’s emergency powers.

Articles | Russell Green | June 19, 2019
The Role of the Senate: Robust Regionalism or Diligent Deference?

Category: Democratic Governance

The Senate was designed to provide “sober second thought” to bills that have passed the House of Commons. A key component of “sober second thought” is the consideration of regional interests in national policy discussions. The Founders of Confederation[1] intended the

Articles | Julia Amelio | June 18, 2019
Equal Pay for Equal Work? Not in Alberta

Category: The Charter, Equality Rights (Section 15)

Introduction Students aged 13 to 17 will soon have to accept a lower minimum wage than the rest of Alberta workers. The Government of Alberta recently amended the Alberta Employment Standards Regulations[“Regulations”] to introduce a $13 per hour youth minimum wage.[1] Workers

Articles | Julia Amelio | June 6, 2019
Supreme Court Appointment Process and the Prime Minister of the Day

Category: Democratic Governance

Introduction The decisions of Supreme Court Justices have a significant impact on Canadians, yet there is no formal process legislated for the appointment of these justices.[1] The Supreme Court Act, the governing legislation for the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”), states appointments

Articles | Russell Green | June 6, 2019
“Inherent Tension”: Is it Time to Separate the Minister of Justice from the Attorney General?

Category: Democratic Governance

During the SNC-Lavalin scandal, former Minister of Justice [MOJ] and Attorney General [AG] Jody Wilson-Raybould stated that there were attempts by the Prime Minister’s Office and other government officials to “politically interfere” with her independent discretion as AG.[1] This episode has

Articles | Chenoa Sly | October 19, 2018
Dismantling the Safe Third Country Agreement

Category: The Charter, Legal Rights (Sections 7-14), Equality Rights (Section 15)

Introduction There are increasing calls on the Canadian government to suspend, and then end the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States. These calls have been prompted by recent developments in the United States regarding immigrants, asylum-seekers and refugees,

Articles | CCS Administrator | October 19, 2018
“Purging” Facebook of Threats and Hate Speech: Is this Constitutional?

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

Introduction Two women in Manitoba have been charged with uttering threats and public incitement of hatred for their Facebook comments, posted in response to the vandalism of one woman’s car.[1] The women blamed the vandalism on on-reserve “Indians” and agreed to

Articles | CCS Administrator | September 25, 2018
Section 33 (Notwithstanding Clause): The Charter’s Sleeping Giant by Prof Barbara Billingsley

Category: The Charter

Billingsley, Barbara. “Section 33:The Charter’s Sleeping Giant.” 21st Windsor Year Book of Access to Justice 331 (2002): 331-346. Section 33 was included in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a concession to those who were concerned that the Charter would

Articles | Nathaniel Gartke | September 18, 2018
Wading into murky waters: Courts and the complexities of organized religion

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

 Introduction An old maxim has it that there are three things one should never discuss around the dinner table: sex, politics, and religion. In some way, the same holds true at Canada’s highest court. Though the Supreme Court of Canada

Articles | Katherine Creelman | September 17, 2018
What is the Notwithstanding Clause?

Category: The Charter

This article was written by a law student for the general public. Updated: May 31, 2017 33 (1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may

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