The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

National Blog

Proposed MAID regulations open door to self-incrimination for practitioners

By Kim Covert March 8 2018 8 March 2018


    The CBA’s End-of-Life Working Group has some concerns about the implications for medical professionals in the proposed Monitoring of Medical Assistance in Dying Regulations published in December.

    The regulations require medical practitioners and nurse practitioners who receive a written request for MAID, and pharmacists who dispense the drugs, to disclose certain information so governments can track how it is being used.

    The CBA Working Group sees problems both with the specific kinds of information requested and the fact that the information is being compelled on threat of criminal sanctions.

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    Extrapolating the decision in Green to other limited partnership cases

    By Kim Covert March 8 2018 8 March 2018


      The decision in Green v R, 2017 FCA 107, was engineered to avoid an inappropriate result, but in turn could lead to other inappropriate results if applied broadly.

      This sparked a discussion between the CRA and the Joint Committee on Taxation of the Canadian Bar Association and Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada late last year on what factors the Department should take into account if it proposes a legislative response to the decision. A recent submission sets out the Joint Committee’s position.

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      Principles for confidentiality in IP hearings

      By Kim Covert February 28 2018 28 February 2018


        The CBA’s Intellectual Property Section welcomed the opportunity to comment on the Federal Court’s Draft Report on Confidentiality Orders, offering up its own proposal for a set of six principles for establishing best practices on the protection and handling of confidential information.

        The Section says it supports the establishment of a series of guidelines or a Practice Direction based on these principles:

        1. Parties should try to come to an out-of-court agreement on handling information they consider to be confidential. It would be beneficial, the Section says, if the court could outline specific steps the parties need to take in order for the Federal Court to have jurisdiction to enforce the agreements.

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        Cannabis Working Group comments on proposed regulations

        By Kim Covert February 27 2018 27 February 2018


          The federal government continues to line up its ducks as its self-imposed 2018 deadline for cannabis to become legal in Canada quickly approaches.

          The government released a consultation document, Proposed Approach to the Regulation of Cannabis, in November, focusing on licences, security clearances, tracking and reporting, products, packaging and labelling, medical use and health products.

          The CBA Working Group on Cannabis commented on the consultation document in a recent submission, the latest in a line of submissions urging changes to the way Canada treats possession and use of marijuana dating back to 1978.

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          Strict timetables are good, a little leeway is better

          By Kim Covert February 23 2018 23 February 2018


            Setting strict schedules is all well and good, but a little flexibility is important when all doesn’t go according to plan.

            That was one of the messages from the CBA’s Intellectual Property Section in its response to the Federal Court’s proposed Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) timetable checklist. The Section would like to retain the document’s structure and content – with one broad proviso: it needs flexibility.

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            National security bill: better than the one that came before – but not perfect

            By Kim Covert February 21 2018 21 February 2018


              Almost two years after his appearance before a Parliamentary committee arguing on the CBA’s behalf against the passage of the Conservatives’ controversial Bill C-51, Peter Edelmann returned to Ottawa at the beginning of February to present the CBA’s submission on the Liberals’ Bill C-59.

              While in opposition the Liberals announced they would vote in favour of the Conservatives’ Anti-Terrorism Act, but would repeal parts of it once elected. Bill C-59, the National Security Act, 2017, is the result.

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              Improving Canada’s grade on UNCRC compliance reporting

              By Kim Covert January 31 2018 31 January 2018


                If the UN were grading Canada’s mandatory reporting efforts under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, with a particular focus on its record in following the recommendations found in the Concluding Observations to its previous reports, Canada might struggle to get a pass if the grading were done on a curve, but otherwise it would edge into failure territory.

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                Unified family courts will increase access to justice for everyone

                By Kim Covert January 29 2018 29 January 2018


                  It’s a common refrain – the federal government needs to move on filling the country’s judicial vacancies – a total of 63 as of Dec. 1, 2017.

                  But filling the vacancies isn’t all it will take to improve access to justice and reduce the burden on criminal and civil courts in this country.

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                  How do you solve a problem like privilege?

                  By Kim Covert January 22 2018 22 January 2018


                    Bill C-58, An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act, is a disproportionate response to a problem that doesn’t exist, the CBA said in a December letter to Treasury Board President Scott Brison and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.

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                    Cannabis laws could have disproportionate effect on immigrants

                    By Kim Covert January 16 2018 16 January 2018


                      The legislation to legalize cannabis in Canada comes hand in hand with proposed amendments to other laws and regulations, including the offences that could lead to inadmissibility under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

                      The CBA’s Immigration Law Section notes that offences in the Cannabis Act are broader than those in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which it effectively replaces, and that the potential impact on permanent residents and would-be immigrants is much harsher.

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                      Guatemalan lawyer faces death threats for actions against mining company

                      By Kim Covert January 15 2018 15 January 2018


                        Everyone deserves to be able to do their jobs without death threats and acts of intimidation and violence – including lawyers working to support the rights of an Indigenous people against corporate interests. Indeed, the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers state in part that:

                        • Governments shall ensure that lawyers are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference; and
                        • Where the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of discharging their functions, they shall be adequately safeguarded by the authorities.

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                        30 is the new over-the-hill: Time to update language law

                        By Kim Covert January 9 2018 9 January 2018


                          Canada’s Official Languages Act turns 30 next year, and is beginning to show its age.

                          CBA President Kerry Simmons wrote to the Ministers of Treasury, Canadian Heritage and Justice, the three portfolios that play the biggest role in the implementation of the Act, calling on them to bring the legislation – initially adopted in 1969 and consolidated in 1988 – into the 21st century.

                          While the reality of official languages in the country is continually changing, the Act is frozen in time, she said.

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