National Newswatch

Getting jury trials back on track

Jun 24 2020 — Dale Smith — During his annual press conference last week, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Richard Wagner warned that the justice system in Canada was not prepared for a pandemic emergency, and that it should be time to consider new initiatives as a result of the crisis. “To do nothing would be irresponsible,” Wagner said. […]

Concerns over time extensions

Jun 5 2020 — Dale Smith — Federal Justice Minister David Lametti has been circulating draft legislation that would suspend or extend the statutory and regulatory timelines that govern court processes in several areas, including divorces, bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings, and foreign takeovers. In a submission letter to the Justice Minister, several CBA sections are raising concerns on aspects of the proposed […]

Extradition ruling almost certain to be litigated further

May 28 2020 — Justin Ling — It’s been 160 years since a Toronto court ordered John Anderson, an escaped slave, sent back to Missouri to stand accused of murdering a slave owner in self-defence. More than a century-and-a-half hasn’t changed the principles of the law — and politics — around extradition. The B.C. Supreme Court, on Wednesday, denied a motion from […]

Losing ground on the backlog

Apr 29 2020 — — The suspension of most court sittings has meant more delays to a system that faces backlogs, and when it comes to custody cases, that can be a very big delay indeed. Some provinces, like Alberta, were already grappling with three-and-a-half-year wait times for a custody trial dates. Then came the global COVID-19 pandemic, which will […]

The end of globalization as we know it?

Mar 30 2020 — — The global COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on lives and the economy, but it is also prompting questions as to its lasting repercussions on what our globalized world will look like. According to Nicholas Lamp, a law professor at Queen’s University, the pandemic has offered fuel to pre-existing narratives over globalization. Protectionists will use it […]

Carbon pricing: What’s the matter?

Mar 2 2020 — Justin Ling — Heading into the big game, there’s some disagreement about the score. Some say it’s 3-1. Others say it’s a more drawn-out 8-7. Whichever it is, it’s heading to the Supreme Court. That’s roughly the state of play after the Alberta Court of Appeal handed down its opinion on the federal carbon pricing scheme last month. […]

An environment chapter with teeth

Feb 13 2020 — Dale Smith — No trade deal is ever perfect, and the new NAFTA agreement – otherwise known as either USMCA or CUSMA – is hardly an exception to the rule. Critics have pointed to several flaws, from insufficient improvements to the labour provisions to pharma patent rules that offer inadequate protection to consumers. And on the biggest challenge […]

Oversight at the border

Jan 28 2020 — Dale Smith — Since their creation in 2003, the Canada Border Services Agency remains the sole enforcement organization with police-like powers in the country that has no independent civilian oversight. Judges, lawyers and parliamentarians cannot have access to immigration detention facilities, as they do to correctional facilities. The only complaint mechanism available is internal to CBSA’s structure. Only […]