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Articles | Lana Borenstein | July 30, 2018
Legislating Under the Influence: Is the Impaired Driving Act Constitutional?

Category: The Charter

Introduction As the Trudeau government sought to fulfill its campaign promise of legalizing cannabis with Bill C-45 (The Cannabis Act), it also introduced a complementary bill to address impaired driving last May. The Impaired Driving Act, or Bill C-46, was introduced by Justice

Articles | Chenoa Sly | July 27, 2018
Failing to Provide the Necessaries of Life: Freedom of Conscience and Religion, Parental Choice and Children’s Rights

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

Introduction David and Collet Stephan were convicted in April 2016 of failing to provide the necessaries of life (Criminal Codes 215(2)(b)) to their son Ezekiel, who died of meningitis in March 2012.[1] A family friend and nurse had suggested to

Articles | Chenoa Sly | July 26, 2018
Accommodating UNDRIP: Bill C-262 and the future of Duty to Consult

Category: Aboriginal Rights

Introduction In May 2018, Bill C-262, An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, passed in the House of Commons and moved on to be considered

Articles | Lana Borenstein | July 17, 2018
The Senate’s amendments to the Cannabis Act: Just a ‘sober second thought’ or high on power?

Category: Democratic Governance

The Canadian Senate has long been the object of criticism from Canadians and lawmakers alike[1]. Since its inception, politicians have sought to reform the upper chamber, and Senate reform has repeatedly appeared in the House of Commons.[2] Others have wondered why

Articles | Nathaniel Gartke | July 17, 2018
Two options for pay equity: complete compensation or no laws at all

Category: The Charter, Equality Rights (Section 15)

On May 10, 2018, the Supreme Court released two decisions about challenges to pay equity laws in Quebec.[1] Several unions challenged two provisions in the pay equity laws claiming they  violated equality rights under section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.[2] Only

Articles | Nathaniel Gartke | July 12, 2018
SCC clarifies freedom of religion, gives law societies license to limit it

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

On June 15, 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada released a highly-anticipated pair of decisions: Law Society of British Columbia v Trinity Western University[1] and Trinity Western University v Law Society of Upper Canada.[2] These also happened to be the last two decisions of

Articles | Lana Borenstein | July 6, 2018
Carbon Tax Showdown: Who Holds the Power?

Category: Federalism

Articles | Chenoa Sly | June 27, 2018
An End to Mandatory Minimum Sentences?

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

Imagine a college student returning from a spring-break trip to Seattle with one joint (cannabis) who is arrested for importing a controlled substance, convicted, and sentenced to 7 years in prison. The Supreme Court of Canada considered these hypothetical facts

Articles | Nathaniel Gartke | June 14, 2018
“Free the Beer” case falls flat at Supreme Court

Category: Federalism

On March 19th, 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in R v Comeau[1]—known popularly as the “Free the Beer” case. (A summary of the facts and issues can be found here.) Though commentators speculated that the case

Articles | Chenoa Sly | June 14, 2018
A Jury of Whose Peers?

Category: Democratic Governance, The Charter

On February 9th, 2018, Gerald Stanley was acquitted of second degree murder and manslaughter in the shooting death of Colten Boushie, an Indigenous man. Following the not guilty verdict by a jury, Boushie’s family, as well as Indigenous leaders, pointed

Articles | Nathaniel Gartke | May 23, 2018
Is “turning off the taps” constitutional?

Category: Federalism

Is “turning off the taps” constitutional? On Wednesday, May 16, 2018, the Alberta Government passed a law giving itself broad powers over the export of oil products.[1] Bill 12 passed its third and final reading, which means it is only

Articles | Katherine Creelman | October 23, 2017
Free expression: Do Canadian universities make the grade?

Category: The Charter, Fundamental Freedoms (Section 2)

Universities in Canada are currently grappling with balancing respect for free expression and the call for less offensive speech on campus, especially when it targets and harms marginalized groups. But, what is the law of free expression in Canada? Is

Articles | September 25, 2017
Reconciliation Conference a ‘turning point’ for Indigenous law | CBC News

Category: Aboriginal Rights

Article – U of A conference a ‘turning point’ for Indigenous law – CBC News (September 22, 2017)

Articles | Katherine Creelman | September 11, 2017
The Senate Reference: Supreme Court outlines Constitutional road to reform

Category: Democratic Governance

*This article was written by our summer student Katherine Creelman and published in Law Now’s September/October – Special Report on The Senate. Controversies in the Senate have caused many to question whether we need a Senate at all.[1]  Realistically, however,

Articles | Coleman Brinker & Raymond Chen | September 8, 2017
Governor General of Canada: the Role, the Myth, the Legend

Category: Democratic Governance

The Governor General of Canada is the representative of Canada’s head of state – the Queen.[1] The Constitution Act, 1867 expressly states that the executive branch of Canada’s government is assigned to the Queen and that the Governor General will

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