The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Yves Faguy

Interprovincial trade

Comeau booze battle before the Supreme Court

By Yves Faguy December 6, 2017 6 December 2017

Comeau booze battle before the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Canada is hearing arguments today in the “free-the-beer” case (R. v. Comeau)

What’s the issue?

Five years ago, Gerard Comeau was arrested and fined for bringing beer he purchased in Québec into New Brunswick. Comeau is challenging the constitutionality of section 134 of the New Brunswick’s Liquor Control Act that limits the quantity of alcohol that can be brought into the province by an individual. The trial judge declared the contested provision unconstitutional, as it amounted to a trade barrier in violation of section 121 of the Constitution Act, 1867, which stipulates that goods must “be admitted free into each of the other provinces.” That, Comeau is arguing, prohibits both tariffs and non-tariff barriers. The Court of Appeal of New Brunswick dismissed the application for leave to appeal, and the Supreme Court granted leave in May.

In a 2016 post, Ian A Blue wrote:

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The Supreme Copurt

Sheilah Martin named to the Supreme Court of Canada

By Yves Faguy November 29, 2017 29 November 2017

Sheilah Martin named to the Supreme Court of Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has named Justice Sheilah Martin from the Alberta Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada to replace the seat left vacant by retiring Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, who is retiring on December 15. In doing so the prime minister maintains the gender composition of the court (five men, four women), which now has two justices hailing from Alberta (the other being Justice Russell Brown). The first female Dean of Law at the University of Calgary, Justice Martin was first appointed to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench in 2005 and then elevated as a Justice on the Alberta Court of Appeal in 2016. She is well known for her particular interest in Indigenous issues and advancing justice for women in Canada.

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Equality rights

A long-awaited apology to LGBTQ2 Canadians

By Yves Faguy November 27, 2017 27 November 2017

A long-awaited apology to LGBTQ2 Canadians

The Canadian government has reach an agreement in principle with plaintiffs in a class action filed on behalf of former LGBTQ2 employees of the federal government.

The details of the agreement will be made public tomorrow, as the government is scheduled to make a formal apology in the House of Commons to LGBTQ2 Canadians for its role in past persecution and injustices.

Coinciding with the apology, the Liberal government will also introduce legislation to expunge the criminal records of Canadians convicted in the past for engaging in consensual same-sex activity.

The apology has been a long time coming – some would say long overdue. In March, Michael Motala spoke with the Liberals' special adviser on LGBTQ issues, MP Randy Boissonnault, who addressed some of the reasons why it has taken so long.



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Immigration law

The CBA on the medical inadmissibility of immigrants

By Yves Faguy November 22, 2017 22 November 2017

The CBA Immigration Law Section appeared before a standing committee yesterday to make its submission on the medical inadmissibility of immigrants.

Under s. 38(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), a foreign national can be found inadmissible for entry to Canada on health grounds if their condition is considered a risk to public health or public safety, or is expected to weigh too heavily on health and social services.

The CBA Section broadly supports IRCC’s efforts to address flaws in how Canadian immigration officials assess hundreds of applications each year and streamline the demand process.

In its submission, the Section points out that a medical inadmissibility finding carries serious consequences as it “can hinder family reunification and have significant consequences for Canadian businesses. However, a decision made in error could also lead to the admission of individuals whose medical conditions result in excessive demands on Canadian health and social services.”

In the above clip Toronto immigration lawyer Mario Bellissimo, who appeared for CBA, explains the Section’s position.

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Internet law

Extra-territorial rulings are showing their limits

By Yves Faguy November 20, 2017 20 November 2017

Earlier this month, a U.S. District Court in California granted Google's request to block enforcement of the Supreme Court of Canada's decision, in June, upholding an injunction against the internet giant forcing it to de-index a website from its global search results. The SCC ruling was the culmination of a lawsuit begun by Equustek Solutions, Inc. against a rival hardware distributor, for violating its trade secrets and other IP rights.  Google’s position following that was that the Canadian order to de-index — one that has extra-territorial reach, no less — is unenforceable in the U.S. because it violates the country’s constitutional right of freedom of speech.

What’s the big deal?

Well, a god number of legal experts on this side of the border – including some who were critical of the June ruling –are saying that the Supreme Court of Canada is not getting the respect it deserves from the California court. Barry Sookman calls it an “unfortunate precedent,” given the global nature of Google’s operation:

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