SCC heard cases involving impaired driving and first-degree convictions
Folwer Law and Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada this week to argue drunk driving and murder cases. Meanwhile, Raven Cameron Ballantyne & Yazbeck LLP was in the Federal Court of Appeal in a labour and employment lawsuit against the RCMP. The constitutionality of the federal judicial appointment system was challenged in the Federal Court, with Ross & McBride LLP representing the parties.
Supreme Court of Canada
Fowler Law P.C. Inc. represented Jennifer Basque before the Supreme Court of Canada. The case stemmed from Basque’s arrest for drunk driving. She was released from custody on the condition that she would not operate a motor vehicle and the provincial court imposed a $1,000 fine along with a one-year minimum driving prohibition. The judge took into account a 21-month presentence driving prohibition and, as a result, Basque was not subjected to any further driving prohibition.
Richard Doxtator and Jasmine Doxtator were convicted of first-degree murder by a judge sitting with a jury. They appealed their convictions and requested a new trial. They argued that the trial judge committed an error in failing to leave for the jury’s consideration for Jasmine Doxtator, the included offences of second-degree murder and manslaughter. The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that the failure to leave second-degree murder and manslaughter for Jasmine narrowed the instructions for Richard and weakened his position that he was not guilty of first-degree murder. As a result, the court could not say that the verdict for Richard would have been the same. The case reached the SCC, where Richard Doxtator was represented by Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh.
Federal Court of Appeal
Raven Cameron Ballantyne & Yazbeck LLP represented Cathy Turner in her application for judicial review of a decision of the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board. The cause stemmed from Turner’s allegation that she was denied an opportunity to apply for an appointment because the Deputy Head of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) elected to use a non-advertised process to make the appointments. The Board ruled that the use of a non-advertised process was lawful, but the RCMP abused its authority when it “purposely watered-down the essential qualifications in the statement of merit criteria” for the positions in questions. Turner argued that despite substantiating the complaint, the Board committed an error by refusing to exercise its authority to order that the appointments in issue be revoked.
Hameed Law represented Michele Bergeron in her appeal of the Federal Court’s dismissal of her application for judicial review of the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s dismissal of her complaint against the Department of Justice alleging retaliation in violation of the provisions of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Bergeron argued, among others, that the Commission’s decision was “based upon a lack of thoroughness and neutrality.”
Democracy Watch and Duff Conacher challenged the federal judicial appointment system, alleging that the “Attorney General’s discretionary and ultimately political role in the appointments system creates and perpetuates actual bias or the reasonable apprehension of bias,” in violation of the constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Ross & McBride LLP represented Democracy Watch and Duff Conacher before the Federal Court.
Field LLP represented Paradis Honey, Honeybee Enterprises, and Rocklane Apiaries in a proposed class action against the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The action was brought on behalf of those engaged in the beekeeping business who were denied the opportunity to import live honeybee packages from the Unites States since 2006 as a result of the Crown’s prohibition on such importation.
CaleyWray Lawyers acted for Darryl Dafoe in a lawsuit against Transport Canada and Canadian National Railway (CN). Dafoe was employed by CN as a locomotive engineer. In January, he was informed that he would be required to work with a third person in the cab of a locomotive for the duration of his tour of duty. The case stemmed from Dafoe’s invocation of his right to refuse dangerous work. He specifically expressed genuine concerns on the rising COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron Variant.
In the area of intellectual property law, the firms present in court this week include Riches McKenzie & Herbert for Novartis, Blaney McMurtry LLP for Wheel Monitor Inc., Miller Thomson LLP for Chanel Canada, and Smart & Biggar for Tekna Plasma Systems Inc.