Legal Feeds Blog
Oct. 17 — Ontario — Manasie Ipeelee v. R.
Criminal law: Manasie Ipeelee was found intoxicated while riding his bike downtown and in possession of alcohol. He pleaded guilty to breaching a condition of his long-term supervision order to abstain from alcohol. The judge sentenced him to 2.5 years in prison and six months of pre-sentence custody. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. At issue is whether the judge gave sufficient consideration to the fact that the applicant is aboriginal and whether the sentence would differ between an aboriginal and non-aboriginal offender.
Oct. 17 — British Columbia — R. v. Frank Ralph Ladue
Criminal law: Frank Ralph Ladue was convicted of break and enter and sexual assault. He was released on a long-term supervision order. He later pleaded guilty to breaching the order by failing to abstain from intoxicants. The judge sentenced him to three years in prison. The Court of Appeal reduced his sentence to one year, ruling that the sentencing judge didn’t consider his aboriginal heritage and didn’t properly emphasize rehabilitation. Similar to the previous case, the main issue surrounds sentencing aboriginal offenders.
Oct. 18 — British Columbia — Catalyst Paper Corp. v. Corp. of the District of North Cowichan
Municipal law: Catalyst Paper Corp. challenged the District of North Cowichan’s property tax rates, claiming the rates were unreasonable because they have no relationship to the municipal service it uses or consumes. Catalyst sought a declaration that the property tax rate is illegal but the judge dismissed the petition. In question is whether a municipality has legislative discretion, including setting property tax rates, without statutory criteria.
Oct. 19 — Nova Scotia — Halifax Regional Municipality v. Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission
Charter of Rights and Freedoms: After Halifax and Dartmouth amalgamated Halifax was required by law to continue funding the Halifax Regional School Board. The Conseil Scolaire Acadien Provincial school board, for French-language schools, didn’t receive supplementary municipal funding. One of the respondents, Lucien Comeau, whose children attended a French school, filed complaints with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission alleging discrimination as a person of Acadian descent. Other parents challenged the provincial legislation in court and the N.S. government offered to amend the legislation so that both school boards receive the same funding. The human rights commission appointed an inquiry board, which Halifax successfully quashed. The main issue surrounds supplementary municipal funding for different school boards.
Oct. 20 — Manitoba — Nor-Man Regional Health Authority Inc. v. Manitoba Association of Healthcare Professionals
Labour law: An employee filed a grievance claiming she was denied certain vacation benefits, which violated the collective agreement she had with her employer, Nor-Man Regional Health Authority Inc. Nor-man maintained that casual time was excluded in calculating annual vacation time. The union held that casual time should be included. In question are collective agreement provisions relating to casual employees and annual vacation time.
Oct. 20 — Ontario — Mark Whyte v. R.
Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Based on an informer’s tip to police, Mark Whyte was arrested for various firearms offences without a warrant. At trial, evidence in regards to the firearms was excluded because his Charter rights had been violated and he was acquitted. The Court of Appeal overturned the trial judge’s decision and entered convictions. The main question is whether the trial judge erred in his decisions.
Oct. 21 — British Columbia — Franklin Shane Dorfer v. R.
Criminal law: Franklin Shane Dorfer was convicted of breaking and entering a dwelling house and committing sexual assault. He admitted to the break and enter but not the sexual assault, accusing another individual. The majority of the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. The main question is whether the judge improperly instructed the jury on the use of the accused’s criminal record and evidence of bad character.
The SCC will also release its decisions in the following two cases this week:
Oct. 19 — British Columbia — Wayne Crookes v. Jon Newton
Oct. 20 — Ontario — Robert Katigbak v. R.
Woman waits over decade for ruling in child-custody case, Toronto Star
SCC upholds acquittal for woman accused of killing husband, The Gazette
Man arrested in dragging death of gas station attendant, CBC News
Top court to hear case over military medal lying, Reuters
Supreme Court to hear Shell Nigeria human rights case, Reuters
Egyptian court rejects presidential hopeful's appeal, Reuters
Israeli court discusses appeals over prisoner exchange, Reuters
The Canadian Bar Association’s British Columbia branch has launched an offensive to build support for increased funding to the province’s legal aid program.
Sharon Matthews, president of the CBA-BC, says the campaign, which features Internet ads and a web site, will target the general public.
“We fully understand the fiscal pressure the government is under; we want to engage the government in a positive fashion to begin the process of catching up,” says Matthews.
“Our research shows that the more the public knows about the real costs of continuing to under-fund legal aid, the more supportive they are of legal aid. People understand that real justice can only be achieved through equal access and that it is our mothers, children, and grandparents who are being most negatively impacted by the status quo. Through our web site and online ad campaign we will have real people speaking of their personal experiences in the system.”
Matthews says legal aid under-funding is at least partly responsible for overloading the court system with self-represented litigants and jamming up the courts with cases that should be dealt with outside court.
“Aside from the costs to the system, this is one reason for delays that lead to more and more criminal cases being dismissed because they aren’t heard in a timely manner. This is bad for taxpayers and bad for public safety,” Matthews said.
She will be bringing her message to B.C.’s interior and island communities on a provincial tour beginning Monday.
Police release sketch, offer reward in Quebec student murder probe, The Globe and Mail
Man faces charges in alleged attack on Halifax bus driver, Toronto Star
Quebec court extends injunction against striking McGill support staff, Montreal Gazette
Seattle superhero vigilante appears in court, Reuters
Panel requests former Kansas attorney general's law licence be suspended, Reuters
Dutch court rejects Samsung's request for injunction against Apple products, Reuters
Vote fraud complaints spark several lawsuits at Cameroon court, Reuters
Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Justice Nicole Duval Hesler to the position of chief justice of the Quebec Court of Appeal on Oct. 7. She replaces Justice J.J. Michel Robert, who retired on Sept. 1.
Martin Sheehan, president of the CBA’s Quebec branch, says Duval Hesler is “an all-around well-diversified and thorough jurist.” He is confident she will excel as chief justice, not only because she is well-liked by the members of the court but also because she embraces technology.
“She was clearly one of the first technology-friendly judges. Years ago when you pleaded before her you would hear her type on a laptop . . . when nobody else was doing that. So that to me is refreshing,” he tells Legal Feeds. “I think that one thing that the law in Quebec needs is to get into the 21st century and be more technologically friendly.”
Duval Hesler is no stranger to the bench. She was appointed to the Quebec Superior Court in 1992 and then to the Quebec Court of Appeal in 2006. Prior to her appointment to the bench in 1992, she was a partner at McAllister Blakely Hesler & Lapierre. Her main area of practice was civil litigation with an emphasis on tort law, product liability, construction law, insolvency and environmental law.
She was called to the Quebec bar in 1968 and served on the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal from 1979 to 1992.
She has been a frequent speaker for various organizations, including the Canadian Bar Association.
Sheehan says the fact that Duval Hesler is the first female chief justice is a sign of what the legal profession in Quebec has accomplished but it’s not why she was appointed.
“She will be a great ambassador for people,” he adds. “She has always been seen as a judge for whom justice and equity go hand-in-hand in the sense that she believes that justice is a tool to do good.”
Canada Post workers fight back-to-work legislation, The Chronicle-Herald
Judge rejects B.C. teachers' bargaining request, The Globe and Mail
Woman confesses to killing husband's mistress in 1992, court told, The Vancouver Sun
Supreme Court questions strip searches at jails, Reuters
Nigerian man pleads guilty to U.S. airliner bomb plot, Reuters
Australian court bans Samsung tablet, Reuters
Alleged Saudi assassination plot may have violated UN treaty, Reuters
Labour and employment law is the top area business leaders will look to lawyers for their advice over the next year, according to a survey released yesterday by law firm Miller Thomson LLP.
The survey, conducted in the second half of August, polled 200 senior business executives from a broad spectrum of the Canadian economy, including manufacturing, financial services, retail, forestry, agriculture, and mining.
The poll asked what issues were most likely to keep those business leaders up at night. Profitability, a high Canadian dollar, and attracting talent topped their list of worries.
“What we are hearing from Canadian business leaders is that external economic forces are clearly taking a toll on corporate bottom lines,” says Gerald Courage, chairman of Miller Thomson. “There is no doubt that a high Canadian dollar has been a major factor, so it is reassuring to see some recent relief in this area.”
But as it was conducted by a law firm, the survey also asked what type of legal advice those business leaders would most likely seek out. Over the next 12 months, 73 per cent of those polled will be looking for labour and employment advice: 57 per cent will need assistance with mergers and acquisitions; followed by 56 per cent looking for tax law help, 55 per cent probably requiring assistance with litigation, 33 per cent with intellectual property protection, 31 per cent with succession planning, and 28 per cent with environmental law.
For 79 per cent of execs in the areas of mining, oil and gas, and exploration industries, as well as the finance, insurance and real estate industries, M&A advice is likely what they’ll be seeking out the most over the next 12 months.
Click here for Miller Thomson’s regional breakdown of the results in the areas of business issues, issues of national importance, and legal advice sought.
Miller Thomson’s survey was conducted by Research House. A sample of 200 senior and C-level executives were surveyed (157 males and 43 females). With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 6.9 per centage points, 19 times out of 20.
Sherrard Kuzz LLP celebrated its 10th anniversary at The Royal Conservatory's Koerner Hall on Oct. 11.
Founding member Erin Kuzz and Stephen Mabey, managing director of Applied Strategies Inc.
(l to r): Founding member Michael Sherrard, Pat Whyte of Quicksilver Arbitration Services, Hugh Secord of Bruce Power, and Larry Steinberg of Larry Steinberg Dispute Resolution.
Sherrard Kuzz also made donations to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Malawi School, and Veterinarians Without Borders.
(l to r): Rhonda Cohen, managing director of Sherrard Kuzz; Charles Humphrey, vice chairman of the Ontario Labour Relations Board; and Barbara Humphrey of Barbara G. Humphrey Professional Corp.
All photos by Karen Lorimer.
SCC to hear case on Canada's hate laws, The Globe and Mail
Child porn evidence can be used at trial, court rules, Toronto Star
Que. sets up program to open safe-injection sites, The Globe and Mail
Supreme Court refuses to hear same-sex parents case, Reuters
Winklevoss twins lose $13M appeal of law firm award, Reuters
Myanmar releases over 300 political prisoners, Reuters
Russian court expected to toss $2.8B lawsuit against BP, Reuters
The dollar store chain has been a hot property, pursued by at least two other rival offers. In March the chain received a proposal to be taken private by members of the Schiffer-Gold founding family and Leonard Green & Partners LP, in a deal valuing the company at $1.34 billion.
Torys LLP acted for CPPIB on the deal with a team that included lead partner Stefan Stauder, Peter Keenan, Jon Wiener, Andy Hope and Morgan Dann, all from the firms New York City office.
Industry experts say dollar stores have become takeover targets as they lure consumers who prefer quicker purchases and smaller stores compared to going to larger discount department stores when buying items such as toothpaste and packaged foods.
The dollar-store chain, led by chief executive officer Eric Schiffer, reportedly had $221.8 million in cash and marketable securities with no debt at the end of its fiscal first quarter.
Members of the Gold/Schiffer family who own the chain have entered into a voting agreement in support of the transaction and will continue to hold a significant minority ownership stake. Schiffer, president and chief operating officer Jeff Gold, and executive vice president Howard Gold will continue in their current leadership roles and serve as directors.
“We are pleased to be partnering with the Gold/Schiffer family and Ares in making this investment in 99 Cents Only Stores, which has a strong market position and attractive store economics in a growing retail sector,” said Andre Bourbonnais, senior vice president, private investments of CPPIB in a statement. “This investment is consistent with our strategy of investing alongside strong partners in an asset that we believe is well positioned for the long term and has shown good performance in various economic environments.”
Founded in 1982, 99 Cents Only Stores operates 289 retail stores in California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada. Over half of the company’s sales come from food and beverages, including produce, dairy, deli and frozen foods, along with organic and gourmet foods.
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Gail J. Cohen