On The Wire

Chief Justice Wagner Should Resign From COVID-19 Committee

The Government of Canada has formed a self-described national leadership body called the Action Committee on Court Operations in Response to COVID-19. The committee is co-chaired by the Honourable David Lametti, Attorney General of Canada, and the Right Honourable Richard Wagner, Chief Justice of Canada. According to the federal government, ...
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Wanzhou Meng And A Back Room Meeting In Hong Kong

On May 27, 2020, Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes of the British Columbia Supreme Court released the ruling on double criminality in the extradition case involving Huawei Chief Financial Officer Wanzhou Meng reported as United States v Meng, 2020 BCSC 785. The ruling came as events continue to unfold in ...
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Building Mansions In Hell

A criminal conviction for a serious crime can rip a citizen from society for a long time. The fallout can be devastating. Families are torn apart. Children are often traumatized. The impact of incarceration may be generational. The damage to reputation is irreparable in the digital age where the online ...
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An Invitation To Human Rights Law

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed the national unemployment rate in Canada close to eight percent. Higher in Alberta. Many junior lawyers have lost associate positions during the economic downturn and numerous recent law graduates search for articling positions in vain. The forecast is bleak. And many ponder - where to ...
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The Limits Of Starting Point Sentencing In Alberta

What is the nature of starting point sentences and to what extent may appellate courts intervene to enforce them? This issue recently split the Alberta Court of Appeal in R v Godfrey and was clarified earlier this month by the Supreme Court of Canada in R v Friesen. 1. Introduction ...
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Housed Alone

That is how Wayne Wilcox began the description of his solitary confinement in the Edmonton Remand Centre, the largest prison in Canada. "I am housed alone," he said in a court filing. One hour a day free time from a seven by eight foot cell. No gym. No yard. A ...
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Accessing Seized Funds For Legal Fees

When the police identify property believed to be proceeds of crime, the Criminal Code allows them to seize or restrain it. They can take anything from the change in someone’s pocket to all of their assets. While the aim of such seizures is to swiftly deprive criminals of their ill-gotten ...
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A Firearms Collector Of Sorts

On May 8, 2014, RCMP investigators showed up at the residence of Jason Robertson in Kamloops, British Columbia, armed with a search warrant. The police found six stolen rifles including an RCMP Centennial Winchester 30-30 model 94 and a Little Bighorn Centennial Winchester 44-40 model 94. On August 17, 2017, ...
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Tricks, Trash And Privacy

Canadian constitutional law is replete with tricks and schemes conjured by the police to elicit incriminating statements, gain access to private information and seize physical evidence from unwitting targets. The police may passively surveil our daily activities or stage chance encounters with undercover officers. They can pose as almost anyone ...
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Fentanyl And The Public Interest

In a post to On The Wire titled Fentanyl Trafficking In Alberta dated March 30, 2019, I discussed the sentence of seven years imprisonment imposed on Patrick Felix by Justice Brian Burrows, in the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta, at Fort McMurray, for wholesale fentanyl trafficking indexed as R ...
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