Mistrial as Remedy for Delay

A recent Ontario Superior Court decision determined that a mistrial was the only solution for a personal injury jury trial which grossly underestimated the anticipated trial time requirement. In an extremely detailed, thoughtful decision, Justice Leach considered all the parties to the trial in coming to his regretful conclusion.  

[16]           For the sake of all the many stakeholders in our justice system, described above, all counsel need to be disabused of any notion that their trials will be allowed to proceed for as long as they may take, once they are underway, regardless of confirmed trial duration estimates.

Civil jury trials are extremely rare in Manitoba, so this situation is not likely to come up, however, the issue of delay and the inadequacy of court facilities is a national issue. 

Ismail v. Fleming, 2018 ONSC 6615

H/t “What’s hot on CanLII this week” 

Legislative Updates – Speech from the Throne

Yesterday marked the beginning of the 4th Session of the 41st Legislature. Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon delivered the Speech from the Throne, where the government set out its priorities for this session. 

Select highlights:

  • Improving accountability for results in the justice system and beginning in 2019, reporting annually on key measures such as recidivism rates, time to disposition of offences and custody counts;
  • Introducing an Immediate Roadside Prohibition Program to allow police to address lower-level alcohol-related cases more quickly using administrative penalties;
  • Enhancing supports for victims of domestic violence with two new pilot programs and introducing legislation to pilot a first-in-Canada family resolution service;
  • Helping keep children and families together and bringing forward legislative changes to The Child and Family Services Act and The Child and Family Services Authorities Act;
  • Bringing forward legislative amendments to allow the safe testing of autonomous vehicles on provincial roads. 

You can read more at the Government of Manitoba’s news release and the Speech from the Throne

Considering Cannabis – CPD Series Addressing the Legalization of Cannabis

The federal government’s legalization of non-medical (recreational) cannabis on October 17, 2018, marks the end of a 95-year prohibition in Canada. The magnitude of this change on a societal level is yet to be determined and understood, but lawyers are already grappling with the legal rules and ramifications of legalization. In its continuing professional development (CPD) series Considering Cannabis, the Law Society of Manitoba will offer programs addressing the legalization of cannabis from a variety of legal perspectives.

Our first program in the series features RCMP Sergeant Mark Hume who will speak about the extensive changes to the transportation provisions of the Criminal Code, with a focus on the sections relating to drug-impaired driving. This CPD  Reforms to Transportation Offences and Drug-Impaired Driving Offences takes place this Thursday, November 22, and registration for in-person or webinar  attendance is still available.

Coming up next in the series, on January 10, 2019, Tracey L. Epp, Pitblado LLP  will review the workplace impacts of cannabis legalization, including the need for employers to amend existing policies to address the use of recreational cannabis.

Please watch for further updates about Considering Cannabis programs to come in 2019.

Legislative Updates

With the end of the third session, 41st Legislature, the following bills received Royal Assent on November 8, 2018: 

The following bills were not proceeded with: 

  • Bill 28: The Public Sector Construction Projects (Tendering) Act
  • Bill 30: The Statutes Correction and Minor Amendments Act, 2018
  • Bill 200: The Planning Amendment Act
  • Bill 201: The Manitoba Conservation Officers Recognition Day Act
  • Bill 203: The Insurance Amendment Act
  • Bill 204: The Electoral Divisions Amendment Act
  • Bill 206: The Brookside Cemetery Recognition Act
  • Bill 207: The Legal Profession Amendment Act (Queen’s Counsel Appointments)
  • Bill 209: The Gift of Life Act (Human Tissue Gift Act Amended)
  • Bill 210: The Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Amendment Act
  • Bill 214: The Workplace Safety and Health Amendment Act
  • Bill 215: The Election Financing Amendment Act
  • Bill 216: The Human Rights Code Amendment Act
  • Bill 218: The Prompt Payments in the Construction Industry Act
  • Bill 222: The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act (Protecting Tenants from Rising Utility Costs)
  • Bill 224: The Public Schools Amendment Act (No Disclosure Without Consent)
  • Bill 225: The Human Rights Code Amendment Act (Genetic Characteristics)
  • Bill 227: The Animal Care Amendment Act (Dog Breeding and Exotic Animals)
  • Bill 232: The Efficiency Manitoba Amendment Act

To check when these bills come into effect, click here.

In addition, the Government of Manitoba proclaims the following:

With the advice and consent of the Executive Council of Manitoba, we name December 17, 2018, as the day on which The Film and Video Classification and Distribution Act (S.M. 2018, c. 11) comes into force.

Before this enactment, films were regulated under The Amusements Act. This Act establishes a new regulatory framework for the classification and distribution of films and other forms of prerecorded moving visual images, such as rental videos and video games.

The Manitoba Film Classification Board is dissolved and a director appointed for the purpose of the new Act.

The director must classify theatrically released films and adult films sold, rented or otherwise made available to the public (other than by the Internet or cable or satellite television). Distributors of such films must be licensed. With Cabinet approval, the director may enter into an agreement whereby classification and licensing determinations of another government or government agency apply in Manitoba.

Video games, videos and non-theatrically released films must be classified and the classification indicated as provided for in the regulations.

ICLR Weekly Case Law Update

Here’s the Weekly Case Law Update for November 12, 2018.

Decisions covering the following topics:

  • Civil Litigation
  • Commercial
  • Crime
  • Ecclesiatical
  • Employment
  • European Union
  • Family
  • IP and Media
  • Land Law
  • Public Law
  • Tax
  • Tort
  • Trusts and Chancery

If you are a member of the Law Society of Manitoba, and would like a copy of any of the decisions from the digest please contact the library and we will be  happy to provide those for you.