National Newswatch

Saskatchewan judge rules sex assault trial reforms passed by Liberal government are unconstitutional

Aug 9 2019 — Brian Platt — A Saskatchewan judge has found the Liberal government’s sexual assault trial reforms are unconstitutional because they force defence lawyers to disclose too much of their evidence to the complainant ahead of time, potentially allowing the complainant to modify their testimony in response. The provincial court decision addresses reforms contained in Bill C-51, which took effect […]

Liberals gamble that bringing Gerald Butts back for election campaign is worth reviving SNC-Lavalin scandal

Jul 22 2019 — Brian Platt — Gerald Butts has returned to help re-elect the Liberals — but his reappearance has also ignited the flames of the SNC-Lavalin scandal. “Gerald Butts is back, the Lav-scamsters are reunited, and nothing has changed,” said Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre at a news conference at Ottawa’s National Press Theatre Monday. “If Trudeau and Butts are returned […]

Ontario judges reject two Charter challenges of Liberal government’s sex assault reforms, passed after Ghomeshi case

Jul 22 2019 — Brian Platt — Defence lawyers in two separate Ontario cases have failed to strike down the Liberal government’s overhaul of sexual assault trial laws, a package of reforms widely seen in the legal community as a response to the Jian Ghomeshi trial. Bill C-51, passed in December 2018, contained numerous sexual assault reforms. But the most controversial one […]

Architecture battle grips Canada’s capital amid fears the Chateau Laurier is about to be ruined

Jul 4 2019 — Brian Platt — Under normal circumstances, a three-year planning dispute in Ottawa wouldn’t make the national news. But when it involves the landmark Chateau Laurier hotel, the turreted jewel of the postcard landscape alongside the Parliament buildings and the Rideau Canal, the stakes get higher. “This is going to, as it currently stands, disfigure an iconic, famous, important, […]

Government backs down on attempt to force judges to disclose individual expenses

Jun 13 2019 — Brian Platt — The government has backed down on a plan to force federally-appointed judges to disclose their individual expenses, a move judges had warned was unconstitutional and would undermine the public’s confidence in the judiciary. The climbdown comes after judicial organizations voiced pointed objections in testimony at the Senate legal affairs committee. The committee then amended Bill […]

In new court filings, federal prosecutors say SNC-Lavalin misunderstands the AG’s role in criminal cases

Jun 5 2019 — Brian Platt — The federal prosecution service says SNC-Lavalin misunderstands the role of the attorney general in criminal cases, and should not be allowed to file new arguments as the company fights in the Federal Court of Appeal to avoid a criminal trial on corruption and fraud charges. SNC-Lavalin is challenging the decision of the Director of Public […]

‘We did it well’: Lametti defends Justice Department’s response to subpoenas in Mark Norman case

May 21 2019 — Brian Platt — Justice Minister David Lametti says he’s satisfied his department did the best job it could in finding, reviewing and disclosing thousands of government documents requested by Vice-Admiral Mark Norman’s defence team. Norman’s lawyers argued the documents were crucial to his ability to defend himself, and they criticized the department for the lengthy, arduous process in […]

Federal government hunted for person who leaked Omar Khadr’s $10.5M settlement payment: internal report

Apr 4 2019 — Brian Platt — An internal report obtained by the National Post reveals details of how the federal government launched an investigation spanning six departments and agencies to hunt for who leaked information about a reported $10.5-million settlement with Omar Khadr in July 2017. But the Privy Council Office is refusing to say whether it ever referred the probe […]

Military chief kept no notes of discussions about Norman case with Trudeau, Butts and Telford, court hears

Jan 31 2019 — Brian Platt — Canada’s top soldier says he kept no records of discussions he had with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other senior political officials after he moved to suspend Vice-Admiral Mark Norman from duty. Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance testified in court Wednesday as part of a third-party records hearing ahead of Norman’s criminal […]

Brison seeks standing at Mark Norman hearing, seeking to protect his ‘privacy’

Jan 29 2019 — Brian Platt — Scott Brison, the veteran Nova Scotia MP and former Treasury Board president who resigned from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet earlier this month, is seeking standing in a hearing in Vice-Admiral Mark Norman’s criminal case in a bid to “protect against unmerited intrusions into his privacy.” A lawyer representing Brison filed an application dated Jan. […]