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Case Commentary

A Questionable Ruling on Aboriginal Rights

As has been widely reported, an Ontario court has ruled that native parents have a right to deny their children life-saving medical treatment. The case of Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation v. D.H. concerned an 11-year-old child, J.J., who was diagnosed with leukemia in August 2014. Her treatment team determined that she had a 90%-95% chance of being cured with chemotherapy, ...

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Looking for Rights in the All the Wrong Places: A Troubling Decision from the Supreme Court

Earlier this month this Supreme Court of Canada held that there is a blanket constitutional right to access the civil courts. The decision in Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v. British Columbia (Attorney General) did not make huge headlines when it was released on October 2, but it probably should have. The Supreme Court has done something truly unprecedented in ...

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Court Confirms Two Years Means Two Years

Mr. Justice Bielby of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Guelph has confirmed that the Limitations Act, 2002 means what it says. In Slack v. Bednar, the plaintiff suffered a spinal fracture in a ski accident and required surgery. The accident occurred on March 18, 2006 surgery was performed nine days later on March 27. During the course of ...

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Do Hard Cases Make “Inherently Bad Laws?” Carter v. Canada and the Right to Physician-Assisted Death

The Supreme Court of Canada has granted leave to appeal in a British Columbia decision involving the right to physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. In Carter v Canada (Attorney General), a terminally ill British Columbia resident sought to declare the provisions of the Criminal Code which prohibit physician-assisted dying. The concepts of “physician-assisted suicide” and “euthanasia” are not identical. Physician-assisted suicide ...

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Common Sense for Contracts but not for Statutes

The Supreme Court of Canada has reaffirmed an integral principle of contract law: the interpretation of contracts should be based on the text of the agreement, not the subjective intentions of the parties. Sattva Capital Corp. v. Creston Moly Corp.1 involved the interpretation of a finder’s fee agreement in a mining property acquisition, and specifically what date ought to determine ...

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Supreme Court Alters the Balance of Power Between Labour and Business

On June 27, 2014, the Supreme Court released a decision that will affect every employment relationship across Canada.  In United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 503 v. Wal Mart Canada Corp., a 5-2 majority of the Court held that an employer – in this case Wal-Mart – is prohibited from permanently shutting down its business during the collective bargaining process, unless it ...

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