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This Week's Issue

Careless driving cases show limits of POA

Alex Robinson - Monday, July 18, 2016

Edouard Le Blanc was cycling near his home in Scarborough when he was struck by a driver and died from his wounds in 2014.
What was the legal penalty for the death? The driver was charged with careless driving, issued six demerit points, and fined $700.

Lawyers say cases like Le Blanc’s highlight the limitations of the Provincial Offences Act, which governs the process for prosecuting regulatory offences.

“Just simply imposing fines doesn’t send any kind of message to the public,” says Patrick Brown, a lawyer with McLeish Orlando LLP, who is representing Le Blanc’s family in civil lawsuits.

Unlike the Criminal Code, lawyers say the act lacks a guiding rationale or principles for...


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Inside Story

Monday, July 18, 2016

SCC DECISION AFFECTS FEDERALLY REGULATED EMPLOYEES
In a dramatic reversal, the Supreme Court of Canada overturned what had been called a “game-changing” decision by the Federal Court of Appeal, and ruled that non-unionized employees of federally regulated business are entitled to similar protections against dismissal as those afforded to unionized workers.

The SCC ruled six to three in the case of Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. In February 2015, the Federal Court of Appeal had held that federally regulated employers may dismiss employees without cause.

The general consensus previously was that employees governed by the Canada Labour Code could only be terminated for just cause.

The decision affects half a million non-unionized employees working in banks, telecommunications, airlines, and other federal enterprises.

“It sets the law to what we thought it was prior to the Federal Court of Appeal decision,” says Stacey Ball, of Ball Professional Corp., who was counsel for the intervener...

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Law Times poll

Law Times reports some lawyers are criticizing the Provincial Offences Act, when it comes to the legal process following careless driving incidents. Do you think the POA needs overhauling for these offences?
Yes, the POA lacks consistency and is confusing when it comes to sentencing. It definitely needs updating.
No, the way the POA currently works is just fine. There are more pressing things that need attention from our legislators.