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Apr 25 2014 (FN)

In the Matter of a Reference by the Governor in Council Concerning Ref ...

Court : Canada Supreme Court

The Court ” I. Introduction [1] The Senate is one of Canadas foundational political institutions. It lies at the heart of the agreements that gave birth to the Canadian federation. Yet from its first sittings, voices have called for reform of the Senate and even, on occasion, for its outright abolition. [2] The Government of Canada now asks this Court, under s. 53 of the Supreme Court Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. S-26, to answer essentially four questions: (1) Can Parliament unilaterally implement a framework for consultative elections for appointments to the Senate? (2) Can Parliament unilaterally set fixed terms for Senators? (3) Can Parliament unilaterally remove from the Constitution Act, 1867 the requirement that Senators must own land worth $4,000 in the province for which they are appointed and have a net worth of at least $4,000? and (4) What degree of provincial consent is required to abolish the Senate? [3] We conclude that Parliament cannot unilaterally achieve most of the pro...

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Apr 24 2014 (FN)

Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services Vs. Information ...

Court : Canada Supreme Court

Cromwell and Wagner JJ. ” I. Overview [1] The main question before the Court concerns the interaction between Ontarios access to information legislation and its confidential Sex Offender Registry (œRegistry?). A requester under Ontarios Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31 (œFIPPA?), sought disclosure from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (œMinistry?) of the number of offenders registered under its Registry residing within the areas designated by the first three digits of Ontario postal codes (the so-called Forward Sortation Areas or FSAs). The information in the Registry, which is established and maintained under Christophers Law (Sex Offender Registry), 2000, S.O. 2000, c. 1 (œChristophers Law?), is confidential but is available for law enforcement purposes only to the Ministry and to police. In this respect, the Ontario Registry is different from those of some others jurisdictions which are...

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Apr 23 2014 (FN)

Peracomo Inc., Real Vallee Vs. Telus Communications Company

Court : Canada Supreme Court

Cromwell J. ” I. Introduction [1] The appellant, Ral Valle, fishes for crab in an area of the St. Lawrence River know as Zone 17, near Baie-Comeau, Quebec. He had been fishing for about 50 years, starting when he was just 15. In 2005 and 2006, he operated the fishing boat Realice which he owns through his company, Peracomo Inc. [2] While in his boat, he took an electric saw and cut a fibre-optic submarine cable that he raised to the surface after it had become entangled with his fishing gear. Mr. Valle knew he was cutting a cable and had adverted to the risk that it could be in use. However, he formed the belief that it was not. His belief was based on a handwritten note on some sort of map that he had seen for a few seconds the year before on a museum wall. This belief was wrong. The cable was live. The result was almost $1 million in damage. As the trial judge put it, Mr. Valle is a good man who did a very stupid thing. [3] Mr. Valle, his company and the vessel were sued succes...

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Apr 23 2014 (FN)

Douglas Jackson Vs. the Queen

Court : Canada Supreme Court

AbellaJ. ” We do not, with respect, see any basis for interfering with the reasons of Gillese J.A. and, in particular, with her conclusion that the trial judge made no error in determining that the minimal probative value of the proposed evidence was substantially outweighed by its prejudicial effect....

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Apr 11 2014 (FN)

CalvIn Clarke Vs. Her Majesty the Queen

Court : Canada Supreme Court

. [66]. . . if courts were to interpret all statutes such that they conformed to the Charter, this would wrongly upset the dialogic balance. Every time the principle were applied, it would pre-empt judicial review on Charter grounds, where resort to the internal checks and balances of s. 1 may be had. In this fashion, the legislatures would be largely shorn of their constitutional power to enact reasonable limits on Charter rights and freedoms, which would in turn be inflated to near absolute status. Quite literally, in order to avoid this result a legislature would somehow have to set out its justification for qualifying the Charter right expressly in the statutory text, all without the benefit of judicial discussion regarding the limitations that are permissible in a free and democratic society. Before long, courts would be asked to interpret this sort of enactment in light of Charter principles. The patent unworkability of such a scheme highlights the importance of retaining a forum...

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Apr 11 2014 (FN)

Her Majesty the Queen Vs. Level Aaron Carvery and Another

Court : Canada Supreme Court

Karakatsanis J. ” I. Introduction [1] Like its companion case, R. v. Summers, 2014 SCC 26 (CanLII), 2014 SCC 26, this appeal concerns the interpretation of s. 719(3.1) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46. This provision allows judges to assign credit for pre-sentence detention at a rate of 1.5 days for every day of detention œif the circumstances justify it?. Pre-sentence detention does not count towards eligibility for early release or parole, and thus may result in a longer period of incarceration than if the offender were released on bail. The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal concluded that this loss of eligibility for parole and early release is a œcircumstance? justifying credit at a rate of 1.5 to 1. [2] In light of the principles articulated in Summers, and for the reasons that follow, I would dismiss the appeal. II. Statutory Provisions [3] In 2009, Parliament enacted the Truth in Sentencing Act, S.C. 2009, c. 29 (TISA). Section 3 of the TISA amended s. 719(...

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Apr 11 2014 (FN)

Her Majesty the Queen Vs. Sean Summers and Another

Court : Canada Supreme Court

Karakatsanis J. ” I. Introduction [1] When an accused person is not granted bail, and must be remanded in jail awaiting trial, the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, allows time served to be credited towards a resulting sentence of imprisonment. A day in jail should count as a day in jail. [2] However, crediting a single day for every day spent in a remand centre is often insufficient to account for the full impact of that detention, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Time in a remand centre does not count for the purposes of eligibility for parole, earned remission or statutory release, and this can result in a longer term of actual incarceration for offenders who were denied bail. Moreover, conditions in remand centres tend to be particularly harsh; they are often overcrowded and dangerous, and do not provide rehabilitative programs. [3] As a result, for many years courts frequently granted œenhanced? credit: 2 days for each day spent in pre-sentence custody. This p...

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Mar 28 2014 (FN)

Douglas MartIn Vs. Workersâandeuro;andtrade; Compensation Board of Al ...

Court : Canada Supreme Court

I. Introduction and Overview [1] The appellant, an employee of Parks Canada, initiated a claim for workers compensation. Under the federal Government Employees Compensation Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. G-5 (GECA), federal workers who suffer workplace injuries are entitled to compensation œat the same rate and under the same conditions? as provided under the provincial law where the employee is usually employed: s. 4(1) and (2). The compensation is determined by œthe same board, officers or authority? as determine compensation under provincial law: s. 4(3). The appellants claim was denied by the Appeals Commission for the Alberta Workers Compensation Board (Commission), 2009 CanLII 66292 (AB WCAC), 2009 CanLII 66292, because it did not meet all the criteria set out in Albertas Workers Compensation Board of Directors Policy 03-01, Part II, Application 6 (Policy) (online) authorized under the Alberta Workers Compensation Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. W-15 (WCA). The Alberta Court of Appeal fou...

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Mar 27 2014 (FN)

Diane Knopf, Warden of Mission Institution and Another Vs. Gurkirpal S ...

Court : Canada Supreme Court

Introduction [1] This case arises from a decision of correctional authorities to transfer a federal inmate from a medium security institution to a maximum security institution on an emergency and involuntary basis. In response to the transfer decision, the inmate filed an application for relief in the form of habeas corpus on the grounds that the decision taken was unreasonable and that it was procedurally unfair. [2] At issue in this case is the state of the law with respect to the writ of habeas corpus. In particular, this Court must clarify the scope of a provincial superior courts review power on an application for habeas corpus made by a prison inmate. The first question before the Court is whether on such an application a provincial superior court may rule on the reasonableness of an administrative decision to transfer an inmate to a higher security institution or whether the reasonableness of the decision must be dealt with by the Federal Court on an application for judicial rev...

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Mar 21 2014 (FN)

Her Majesty the Queen Vs. Jeffrey KevIn Leinen

Court : Canada Supreme Court

The appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal of Alberta (Calgary), Number 1201-0002-A, 2013 ABCA 283 (CanLII), 2013 ABCA 283, dated August 12, 2013, was heard on March 21, 2014, and the Court on that day delivered the following judgment orally: LEBEL J. ” We are all of the view that the charge to the jury, read as a whole, contained no reversible error in relation to either voluntariness or intent. For these reasons, the appeal is allowed and the convictions are restored....

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