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The Canadian Bar Association

National Blog

CBA has serious concerns with proposed impaired driving bill

By Kim Covert March 28 2018 28 March 2018


    The CBA appeared before the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in late February to reiterate its concerns with a bill that it says will introduce uncertainty into the criminal law and carry serious repercussions for permanent residents and foreign nationals.

    The CBA supports the overall aim of the bill, which contains amendments to better address both drug and alcohol impaired driving, but urges “careful consideration of our concerns and recommendations about Bill C-46.” 

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    Bill C-49 sends mixed messages to foreign investors

    By Kim Covert March 27 2018 27 March 2018


      You can attract flies with honey, but if you stand there swatting at them they might not stick around.

      That’s essentially the message from the CBA’s Air and Space Law Section in response to Bill C-49, which would increase foreign ownership limits of air carriers.

      As it stands, in order to qualify as “Canadian” and operate a domestic or international air service, foreign ownership and de facto control of the corporation is limited to 25 per cent of the voting interest.

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      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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