Meng Wanzhou expected in B.C. Supreme Court to make changes to bail order

[ad_1]

Vancouver—Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is expected to appear at B.C. Supreme Court at 9:45 a.m. Pacific Time Tuesday to make changes to her bail order.

Meng, who was arrested on Dec. 1 at the request of the United States, was granted $10 million bail on Dec. 11.

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, right, arrives at a parole office with a member of her private security detail in Vancouver, on Wednesday December 12. She is expected in court this morning to make a change to one of the people acting as sureties for her $10 million bail.
Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, right, arrives at a parole office with a member of her private security detail in Vancouver, on Wednesday December 12. She is expected in court this morning to make a change to one of the people acting as sureties for her $10 million bail.  (DARRYL DYCK / The Canadian Press)

In a statement, the Canadian Department of Justice said on Tuesday Meng is seeking to change the name of one of the people named as a surety in her bail order.

“The British Columbia Supreme Court will decide whether or not to consider and accept a substitute surety for Ms. Meng,” said Ian McLeod, with the DOJ.

“The Crown agrees/agreed to this application, and it was anticipated at the time of the original bail order for Ms. Meng.”

Read more:

China reacts with warnings to Canada and U.S. to drop charges, Meng extradition

Chinese state media coverage of John McCallum’s dismissal shows former ambassador was viewed as an ally, says expert

U.S. unveils 23 criminal charges against China’s Huawei as Ottawa fights to free two Canadians detained by Beijing in retaliation

Previously, five parties had been named as surety, including a realtor who put up his own home, worth $1.8 million, two former employees of Huawei and their family members, a neighbour, Scot Filer, CEO of Lions Gate Risk Management — the group responsible for making sure she sticks to bail conditions, in addition to cash put up by her husband, Liu Xiaozong.

It’s unclear which party the Tuesday bail order change application involves.

More to come

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

La Cour suprême confirme le droit de vote des expatriés canadiens

[ad_1]

Les expatriés canadiens auraient toujours dû garder leur droit de vote, de l’avis de la Cour suprême du Canada.

L’ancien gouvernement Harper avait décidé d’utiliser une loi datant de 1993 pour refuser le droit de vote aux citoyens canadiens ayant quitté le pays depuis plus de cinq ans.

Deux Canadiens, privés de ce droit aux élections fédérales de 2011, se sont tournés vers les tribunaux pour s’en plaindre. Mais alors que leur aventure judiciaire était sur le point d’aboutir, le gouvernement Trudeau, en adoptant sa loi de réforme électorale le mois dernier, a redonné le droit de vote à tous les citoyens canadiens vivant à l’étranger.

La Loi C-76 a reçu la sanction royale le 13 décembre, au dernier jour avant les vacances de fin d’année.

Tout de même, dans un jugement de cinq contre deux, le plus haut tribunal du pays juge que la privation du droit de vote appliquée par l’ancien gouvernement conservateur était inconstitutionnelle. Le jugement pourrait donc servir de mise en garde pour tout gouvernement futur qui voudrait à nouveau ôter aux expatriés leur droit de vote.

Le juge en chef Richard Wagner a rédigé le jugement de la majorité.

« Toute restriction du droit de vote […] ne saurait être tolérée sans justification impérieuse », écrit-il dans son tout premier paragraphe.

C’est l’article 3 de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés qui est en cause. Alors que les procureurs fédéraux admettaient qu’il était violé, ils arguaient que cela était justifié pour « maintenir l’équité du système électoral à l’égard des Canadiens résidents » ; un argument que la Cour suprême rejette.

« Le [procureur général du Canada] a été incapable d’indiquer ne serait-ce qu’une plainte formulée concernant le vote par des non-résidents. L’absence de preuve ou de raisonnement logique indiquant un problème précis pour lequel un redressement est nécessaire affaiblit l’argument selon lequel la restriction du droit de vote de non-résidents a un lien rationnel avec le maintien de l’équité électorale », fait valoir le juge Wagner.

Le juge conclut que de « priver certains citoyens du droit de vote frappe non seulement au coeur de leurs droits fondamentaux, mais se fait aussi au détriment de leur dignité et de leur valeur intrinsèques ».

Le juge ontarien de première instance qui avait aussi donné raison aux expatriés avait souligné qu’en 2009, environ 2,8 millions de Canadiens vivaient à l’étranger depuis au moins un an et plus d’un million d’entre eux avaient perdu leur droit de vote en vertu de la loi appliquée par le gouvernement conservateur.

Les deux Canadiens, Gillian Frank et Jamie Duong, qui ont porté cette cause devant la cour vivent aux États-Unis et disent avoir l’intention de revenir au Canada s’ils peuvent y trouver du travail. La famille de M. Duong vit toujours à Montréal, où il est né.

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Should expat Canadians have the right to vote? The Supreme Court is set to decide

[ad_1]

TORONTO — Long-term Canadian expats are set to find out on Friday whether a 25-year-old law barring them from voting in federal elections is constitutional.

The pending decision by the Supreme Court of Canada should settle a legal battle begun in earnest during the former Conservative government of then-prime minister Stephen Harper, and which gained prominence in the election that brought the Liberals under Justin Trudeau to office.


READ MORE:
Cities across Canada want to let non-Canadians vote in municipal elections

Observers said they would be watching to see whether the country’s top court might justify limits on a constitutionally guaranteed right that potentially affects more than one million Canadians who live abroad.

“What makes this case so interesting is that the Constitution sets no limits on citizen’s voting rights, so does that mean legislatures get to impose one?” Toronto-based lawyer Andrew Bernstein said on Thursday. “Do the reasons why someone has moved make a difference? How strict will the court be when the government seeks to justify an infringement?”


READ MORE:
Trudeau rules out early election, 2019 federal vote to go ahead on Oct. 21

While the Constitution guarantees all Canadian citizens the right to vote, Canadians who have lived abroad for five years or more lose that right under provisions of the Canada Elections Act enacted in 1993. However, it was only under Harper that Elections Canada began enforcing the provisions more strictly, prompting the court battle.

Two long-time expats living and working in the United States launched the charter challenge after they were denied the right to vote in the 2011 federal election.

WATCH: Expats, non-Canadian celebs safe from fines after 2015 political endorsements






Essentially, Jamie Duong, of Ithaca, N.Y., and Gill Frank, 40, an academic living in Richmond, Va., argued nothing warranted the abridgement of their constitutional right to vote. They insisted they maintain deep ties to Canada, and taxes and other laws passed by Parliament could still affect them.

For its part, the government maintained the rules were reasonable and fair to Canadians living in Canada, who are more directly impacted by what goes on in Ottawa.

The case, which garnered attention from civil liberties groups, initially went in favour of Duong and Frank when an Ontario Superior Court justice sided with them in 2014. However, the federal government appealed and in a split decision in 2015, the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned the earlier ruling, paving the way for the current Supreme Court tussle.


READ MORE:
Canada blocking Venezuela expats from voting in weekend presidential election

While the Appeal Court agreed the law infringed on the rights of citizens, the majority found the infringement was justified in a democracy because the rules preserve the “social contract” between voters and lawmakers.

In arguments before the Supreme Court, the government noted almost all Canadians living abroad were barred from voting before the 1993 law changes. Ottawa also argued the five-year rule was a policy decision that aimed to maintain the fairness of the democratic system given that long-term non-residents have “different and less onerous responsibilities” under Canadian law.

The expats responded by calling the five-year threshold an arbitrary marker that did not take into account their ongoing connection to Canada.


READ MORE:
Canadians living abroad can’t vote in federal elections: Appeal Court

In the 2015 election, celebrities such as Donald Sutherland, Canadian business groups abroad and other expats rallied against Harper and the expat voting ban.

The campaigning Liberals promised a review and the Trudeau government, which faces an election campaign in October, introduced legislation in November 2016 to extend the franchise to all Canadians abroad. The legislation never got beyond introduction despite government claims it was a priority.

The issue, Frank has said, is that voting rights should not be “subject to the political whims of Parliament.”

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

She was handcuffed for not holding an escalator’s handrail. Ten years later, she’s headed to Canada’s Supreme Court

[ad_1]

The court will also rule on whether Kosoian’s lawsuit for damages is valid.

“It’s not about money,” says Kosoian, who sued for $69,000, split between the officer and Montreal’s transit commission. “I did not commit any crime. I did not do anything wrong. It was abuse of power on the part of the police.”

Kosoian lives in a cosy bungalow in London, Ont., with her husband and two teenage children. She says she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after the escalator incident in 2009, and decided it was best to leave Quebec.

“I was afraid to go outside. I had trouble sleeping. I was shaking. I was afraid of police. I always wanted to sit in the dark.

“I said, ‘I have to go somewhere where there is no métro,’ she adds, referring to Montreal’s subway. “And every time I see a policeman I’m thinking, ‘They’re going to arrest me.’ ”

“It’s about principles. It’s about the rule of law,” she says, nervously fingering court documents on her dining table. “It’s not just about me.”


Kosoian was born 47 years ago in Russia. She grew up in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, where she would meet her Canadian husband, Richard Church, an information technology specialist. She showed promise in chess by the age of 9, and played at semi-professional levels in France when she moved there in her 20s.

She came to Canada with her family in the early 2000s, settling in Quebec to pursue her studies in French. For years she worked as the “women’s co-ordinator” for the Canadian Chess Federation, organizing tournaments and corralling sponsors.

“In chess, if you don’t follow rules, you’re dead,” Kosoian says, emphatically. “I’m a person who followed more rules than anybody else since childhood.”

At about 5 p.m. on May 13, 2009, Kosoian stepped on the down escalator at a subway station in Laval. She was heading to her history class at a university in downtown Montreal.

Kosoian had used that same escalator almost every day for four years. She knew that at the front of the escalator, as well as at a spot halfway down, were yellow pictograms that said, “Caution … hold handrail.”

She deemed the pictogram nothing more than a warning or recommendation. Besides, the H1N1 virus was making the rounds, and Kosoian considered the handrail a cesspool of microbes.

The escalator takes 59 seconds to get to the bottom. Kosoian’s backpack was at her feet. She reached down to get a $5 bill from her wallet for subway fare and placed the pack on her back.

A police officer with the Laval force walked past her on the escalator and continued until he stepped off. A second officer in uniform then stopped in front of Kosoian on the step below when the escalator had taken her about halfway down.

The officer, Fabio Camacho, said something Kosoian didn’t hear. Two years later, during testimony at a municipal court hearing, Camacho said he saw Kosoian bent over at a 90-degree angle and told her to be careful. He claims Kosoian responded in an aggressive tone that he should go outside and do some real police work.

Camacho then ordered her to hold the handrail. Kosoian says she responded: “It’s my right to hold the handrail or not to hold it.”

According to Camacho, he warned Kosoian he would issue her a ticket and she responded by crossing her arms. Kosoian insists Camacho never warned her about a ticket. She insists he asked her for ID out of nowhere.

“I told him, ‘What have I done for you to ask for documents?’ ”

Camacho says he never asked her for ID on the escalator.

What isn’t disputed is that when Kosoian reached the bottom of the escalator, Camacho and his partner, the officer who initially walked past Kosoian, grabbed her by the arms and took her to a nearby locked room that also contained a jail cell.

In the room, Kosoian said she reached for her cellphone and announced she would call a lawyer. “They started to push me and shove me and took my bag and took my (identity) documents and handcuffed me at once.

“It was shocking for me,” Kosoian says. “We’re in a country of laws, no?”

Camacho testified that he immediately asked for Kosoian’s identification when they entered the room so he could write her a ticket for not holding the handrail. Kosoian insists that even then she was never told what she allegedly did wrong.

Camacho says she repeatedly refused to produce ID, so he placed her under arrest. He handcuffed her, he says, when she refused to hand over her bag so he could search for ID.

“I know that’s taking matters pretty far,” Camacho said, according to a transcript of his testimony. “I didn’t want to get to that point either. We had reached a point where I explained things to her but I wasn’t getting through at all.”

Camacho and his partner cuffed Kosoian’s hands behind her back and sat her in a chair. He searched her bag, found her driver’s licence and began writing her two tickets: a $100 fine for not holding the handrail, and a $320 fine for obstructing the work of a police officer.

Kosoian tried to get up to see the tickets they were writing. Camacho told her a camera in the room was recording the events and Kosoian calmed down. She says she was relieved to learn there would be evidence of what transpired.

The officers removed the cuffs, gave Kosoian her tickets, and let her go. She had spent about 15 minutes in the room.

She went to her history class in a state of shock. She told her husband of the arrest and took pictures of the red rings around her wrists made by the handcuffs.

The next day, she went to a doctor, who noted Kosoian “is in a state of shock and cries profusely,” according to court evidence. Another doctor diagnosed PTSD and put her on medication.

Also that day, Kosoian’s husband called the transit agency, Société de transport de Montréal (STM), and asked to see recordings of the incident captured by subway cameras. His request was noted by STM officials on a form dated May 14.

On May 16, a Saturday, Kosoian’s story hit the news. Camacho was off work, but received a call from his boss that weekend ordering him to get the videos. Camacho waited until he got back to work, on May 18, before making the request.

He learned the next day that the subway cameras record on a five-day loop and evidence of the incident — both on the escalator and in the locked room — had been taped over, according to court testimony.

Kosoian and her lawyer, Aymar Missakila, are incredulous.

“How can it be that the STM didn’t find it necessary to keep the tape?” Missakila asks, noting Church’s official request and the extensive media coverage. “Wasn’t it their duty to make sure the tape was preserved, given how contested the incident was and the threat of a lawsuit?”

“Do you think if I did something wrong police would not show those videos?” Kosoian says. “Of course they would.”

Public reaction wasn’t kind, either. “Surely our resources could be put to better use instead of harassing citizens going about their business,” said a complaint received by the STM, and obtained by Church through a freedom-of-information request.

“Does this ‘peace officer’ carry a gun?” the complainant added. “I hope not, as anyone who demonstrates such poor judgment should not be armed.”

The Laval police force and the transit agency defended Camacho’s actions, while acknowledging in media reports at the time that Kosoian was the first to be issued a ticket for not holding an escalator handrail. They pressed for the fines to be paid, and Kosoian’s refusal triggered a municipal court hearing in May 2011.

In March 2012, Judge Florent Bisson acquitted Kosoian of the tickets, citing numerous contradictions between the notes the police officers made immediately after the event and their testimonies in court.

“The tribunal had the impression that adjustments were made to the evidence to justify the failure of this intervention which, initially, should have been banal,” Bisson wrote.

Kosoian, on the other hand, “is credible and is believed,” he added. The judge noted that under the Criminal Code, a person can refuse to identify themselves “so long as he is not informed of the offence against him.” And Bisson wasn’t convinced the pictogram obligated subway passengers to hold the handrail.

By then, Kosoian had launched a lawsuit against Camacho, the STM and the City of Laval. In August 2015, the Quebec Court dismissed it with a legal tongue lashing.


Justice Denis Le Reste described Kosoian’s behaviour during the incident as “inconceivable, irresponsible and contrary to the elementary rules of civism in our society.”

Kosoian, the judge added, “illegally and obstinately refused to comply” with Camacho’s orders to hold the handrail and to identify herself. He blamed everything on Kosoian’s “gratuitous aggressiveness.”

Le Reste said police officers were fully justified in arresting and handcuffing Kosoian. He noted that Camacho’s actions rested on an STM regulation — R-036 — which states that no one in a building or on “rolling stock” shall “disobey a directive or pictogram posted by the Society.”

“The court concludes that the work of officer Camacho, given all the circumstances of this matter, was exemplary and irreproachable,” Le Reste wrote. “He showed very great patience and acted in accordance with the standards any other reasonable police officer would have applied in the same situation.”

Kosoian describes the ruling as an attempt to assassinate her character. She appealed and, on Dec. 5, 2017, the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled against her in a 2-1 decision.

The majority judges described Kosoian as “the author of her own misery” because she refused to co-operate with police officers “who were doing their job.”

It’s not up to police officers to determine whether a regulation is valid, the justices wrote. Camacho was trained to enforce the handrail regulation, and therefore had “reasonable motives to believe that an infraction had been committed.” That justified writing a ticket and arresting Kosoian because she refused to identify herself, the judges ruled. The STM, meanwhile, is immune from civil responsibility because it’s a public body exercising its regulatory powers in good faith.

Their dissenting colleague, Justice Mark Schrager, could not have disagreed more — on all counts.

Escalators come with the handrail pictograms already stuck to them when they’re bought. Schrager argued the transit agency’s regulation about obeying all pictograms is therefore invalid because the STM is in effect delegating its regulatory powers to the company that makes pictograms and sticks them on the escalators.

Besides, the pictogram is nothing more than a warning to hold the handrail, not an obligation, Schrager argued. That’s made clear by the word “caution” in bold letters across the top and the pictogram’s yellow and black colours. The colour of prohibition and obligation is red.

“A reasonable person looking at the pictogram would conclude that she should follow its instructions to act prudently, but that she was certainly not subjected to an obligation to hold the handrail under penalty of receiving a ticket,” Schrager wrote.

Schrager agreed with his fellow judges that, in principle, police officers are subject to the standard of how a reasonable officer would act in the same circumstances. But that doesn’t justify Camacho’s actions, he added.

“The arrest and detention of the appellant, as described, were illegal since the infraction that could have justified them was non-existent,” Schrager wrote in his dissent.

It’s not good enough for Camacho to have honestly believed that the STM’s regulation was valid, Schrager argued. The absence of malicious intent is not a defence against civil responsibility.

“The infraction did not exist. The appellant’s refusal to identify herself was therefore justified … since no infraction was committed,” Schrager wrote. And since the arrest was illegal the search of Kosoian’s bag was also illegal, he added.

Still, Schrager believed Kosoian’s “inflammatory behaviour” made her partly responsible for her misfortune. He described Camacho’s request to hold the handrail as “common sense.”

Schrager said Kosoian should be awarded $15,000 in moral damages, plus legal costs and interest. The City of Laval, Camacho and the STM are all responsible. But only the STM should pay the award because of its faulty regulation, the inadequate training it gives to police officers, and for insisting on pursuing Kosoian in municipal court, Schrager wrote.

Kosoian and her lawyer again appealed, this time to the Supreme Court. They asked four questions: Does the pictogram legally oblige people to hold the escalator handrail? Can a police officer be sued if his actions against a citizen, including use of force and arrest, are not supported by an existing law? Is the STM responsible for Camacho’s actions? Did Kosoian contribute to the damages against her by refusing to identify herself when Camacho acted on a non-existent regulation?

A spokesperson for the City of Laval, which employs Camacho, refused to comment or make Camacho available for an interview. Their legal brief urged the Supreme Court not to grant the appeal, arguing that the STM regulation governing the pictogram is valid. They added it can’t be left to citizens to decide whether they’ll co-operate with police officers based on their personal interpretation of a regulation being enforced. “You can imagine the social chaos that would ensue,” they argued.

In the last decade, the Supreme Court has only granted about 10 per cent of the 500 or so requests for appeals it receives each year. So Thomas Slade, a lawyer who is not involved in the case, says he was initially surprised when the court agreed to hear Kosoian.

“Almost every year the Supreme Court grants at least one case that’s sometimes a little bit of a head-scratcher at first,” says Slade, a partner at Supreme Advocacy, an Ottawa-based firm that specializes in appeals to the highest court.

In hindsight, Slade believes the ruling will determine the validity of pictograms across the country, and decide whether police officers can be held responsible for acting on the fictitious belief that a law or regulation exists.

“If you’re punishing someone for an offence that doesn’t exist, that seems pretty far beyond what you can actually call reasonable,” Slade says in a phone interview.

If she is successful, the money Kosoian might win will not begin to cover the costs of the multiple court battles and the Supreme Court appeal. Missakila, her lawyer, is considering how he might raise funds to help cover the costs.

Slade did “a double take” when he realized Kosoian’s battle dates back to 2009: “The wheels of justice turn quite slowly, but this is definitely going at a bit of a snail’s pace.” He doesn’t expect the court to rule until at least next fall.

For Kosoian, a Supreme Court ruling can’t come soon enough.

“I want to get on with my life,” she says. “I don’t want to become obsessed.”

Sandro Contenta is a reporter and feature writer based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @scontenta

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Supreme Court decision on Vice Media a major ‘setback’ for investigative reporting in Canada: experts – New Brunswick

[ad_1]

The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to compel a Vice Media reporter to hand over material about an accused terrorist will have a damaging effect on investigative reporting across the country and weaken Canadian democracy, say experts and press freedom advocates.

On Friday, Canada’s highest court ruled in a 9-0 decision that Vice reporter Ben Makuch will have to turn over any communications with Farah Mohamed Shirdon, a Calgary man who left Canada to join the so-called Islamic State.

Jeffrey Dvorkin, director of the journalism program at the University of Toronto Scarborough, said the decision is a major “setback for journalists in Canada” as it could leave them open to being perceived as operating as “police agents.”

“Anytime a journalist says to a confidential source, ‘I promise keep your name out of the story,’ now journalists can’t give that guarantee,” Dvorkin said. “We are going to see more intimidation from organizations that are going to prevent journalists from doing their jobs.”

READ MORE: Canadian jihadi Farah Mohamed Shirdon killed in Iraq airstrike in 2015

Dvorkin said that confidential sources, like whistleblowers, might think twice about speaking with a journalist if security agencies can compel journalists to reveal information.

“This is going to be the detriment of journalism and our democracy in general,” he said.

The Supreme Court decision centers on several articles written by Makuch in 2014 based on interviews he had with Shirdon, an outspoken Canadian ISIS member who was infamously featured in a propaganda video that showed him ripping up his Canadian passport and throwing it in a fire.

Shirdon was charged by RCMP with six terror-related offences and investigators obtained a production order in 2015 for Makuch to hand over any communications with the suspected terrorist in order to build their case.

Global News first reported in September 2017 that U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), which oversees U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq, found that Farah Mohamed Shirdon was killed in the city of Mosul on July 13, 2015.

VICE Media and Makuch had fought to have that production order overturned in three lower courts, but the decision was upheld by the Supreme Court on Friday. Several civil liberties groups and media outlets, including Global News, acted as intervenors in the case.

READ MORE: Vice Media challenges RCMP demand for reporter materials in top Ontario court

Writing on behalf of the majority, Justice Michael Moldaver said the production order for Makuch’s materials should stand because disclosure of the materials would not reveal a confidential source as Shirdon used the media to publicize extremist views.

“Mr. Makuch’s own conduct shows that the relationship was not confidential in any way,” Moldaver wrote. “It was Mr. Makuch, not the police, who identified Mr. Shirdon to the public, by publishing the articles that linked Abu Usamah to Farah Shirdon and the YouTube video.”

“The production order strikes a proportionate balance between the rights and interests at stake,” the court ruled. “The order is narrowly tailored, targeting only the journalist’s communications with the source, and those communications are not available from any other source.”

Vice media said the court’s decision “has failed to recognize the importance of a free, and independent press.”

“Today’s decision will no doubt have a chilling effect on both sources, who may be reluctant to talk to reporters, and on journalists themselves, who could be less inclined to report on sensitive issues,” Vice said in a statement. “We strongly believe that the journalism — which is already under attack across the globe — needs to be free from state intervention.”

Karyn Pugliese, with the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, said the ruling is a “dark day” for Canada and reporters will now have to reevaluate when to offer sources anonymity.

“It’s not just about media rights, it’s about the public interest,” she said. “If people are afraid to come forward because they see us as agents of the police — that’s concerning — people won’t come forward.”

WATCH: Canadian terrorism researcher comments on death of Canadian foreign fighter






In its ruling, the Court avoided the Journalistic Sources Protection Act that the Trudeau government enacted in 2017, which aims to shield sources from police investigation.

“Going forward, this new regime will govern production orders relating to ‘journalists,’ even where no confidential source is involved, the facts in this case arose before the JSPA was brought into force,” the court said

Dvorkin said the JSPA is still “very murky” and has yet to be tested in court and it does not put journalists’ sources entirely beyond the reach of a court orders.

A spokesperson for Public Safety Canada said in an email that the ministry is reviewing the decision, which they said attempted to “strike a balance between” the priorities of security agencies and the rights of a free press.

“The intersection between the two is crucial to our democracy. That’s why a unanimous ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada is ‎so significant,” said Scott Bardsley in an email. “We all need to examine and understand the Court’s analysis.”

*With a file from Mike Armstrong

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Supreme court orders Vice reporter to give RCMP info on accused terrorist – National

[ad_1]

The Supreme Court of Canada says a reporter must give the RCMP material he gathered for stories about an accused terrorist.

The decision is likely to be seen as a defeat for media that could leave them vulnerable to serving as investigative arms of the police.


READ MORE:
Vice Media challenges RCMP demand for reporter materials in top Ontario court

In 2014, Vice Media reporter Ben Makuch wrote three articles about the involvement of Farah Shirdon, formerly of Calgary, with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Exchanges between Makuch and Shirdon through a text-messaging service were crucial to the stories.

The RCMP obtained a production order under the Criminal Code that directed Vice Media and Makuch to hand over documents and data related to communications with Shirdon.


READ MORE:
Vice Media reporter forced to turn over materials to RCMP after Ontario appeal court ruling

Makuch brought an application to quash the production order, but it was dismissed _ a decision upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal and now the Supreme Court.

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Supreme Court rules today in ‘critically important’ press freedom case

[ad_1]

Canada’s top court will release a decision this morning in a high-profile case that pits journalists’ ability to protect their sources against police officers’ ability to conduct investigations.

Vice Media reporter Ben Makuch is challenging an Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that ordered him to hand over to the RCMP the background materials he used for stories on an accused terrorist.

The case dates back to 2014, when Makuch wrote three stories about Farah Mohamed Shirdon, a former Calgary resident, and his ties to the Islamic State.

Intrigued by the idea of a young man leaving a Canadian city to fight for a terrorist group, Makuch embedded himself in Shirdon’s online world and eventually convinced him to explain some of ISIS’s online recruiting and radicalizing strategies.

In 2015, the RCMP obtained an ‘information to obtain order’ (ITO) compelling Vice and Makuch to hand over all his communications with Shirdon — who reportedly has been killed since — including his KIK Messenger chats, paper printouts, screen captures and any other computer records.

Makuch brought an application forward to quash the RCMP’s production order, but it was dismissed — a decision upheld by the Court of Appeal.

The Supreme Court of Canada justices will release their verdict just after 9:45 a.m. ET.

‘Corrupting’ journalism

Makuch and his lawyers have maintained that journalists do not constitute an investigative arm of the police and have called the RCMP’s request a « fishing expedition. »

« When you ask a journalist to become an investigative body of an intelligence agency or a law enforcement agency, you are asking them to essentially corrupt what they do, » Makuch told the CBC’s  Anna Maria Tremonti back in May.

The CBC and a coalition of 12 press freedom and civil liberties groups from around the world were granted leave to intervene in the hearing.

« This is a critically important case for press freedom in Canada. What this is really about is whether or not the police can essentially turn the media into an arm of police investigation and how much protection journalistic sources will get from from those police investigations, » said Josh Paterson, executive director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, one of the intervenors.

« The courts have made clear in the past that there is a public interest in protecting the right of journalists to do their job. There’s a public interest in being able to prosecute crime.

« But that public interest in prosecuting crime doesn’t necessarily mean having to have access to every possible shred of evidence from every possible source. »

Balancing the duties of reporters and police

Paterson said the intervenors are hoping to see clearer guidelines from the Supreme Court on how to balance the ability of both journalists and police to do their jobs.

« We think that the current standard is weighed too heavily, or has been interpreted too heavily, in favour of police investigations and away from the public interest in protecting journalistic sources, and we think it’s time that the court should take a look at that and rebalance it, » he said.

Crown lawyers have rebutted the claim that the RCMP was on a « fishing expedition. »

« The police are seeking to obtain highly reliable evidence relating to serious terrorism offences, which they cannot obtain from any other source, » their factum reads.

« They are not required to go further and establish that the prosecutor will actually need that evidence to prove the case at trial, nor are they required to exhaust all other investigative avenues. »

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Pas de compromis sur les langues en cour, tranche la Cour suprême

[ad_1]


Photo: Sean Kilpatrick La Presse canadienne

Ottawa — Aucun compromis ne peut être fait sur le droit des témoins de s’exprimer dans la langue de leur choix devant un tribunal fédéral, a tranché vendredi la Cour suprême du Canada, qui a confirmé que ce droit prévu à la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés ne peut être enfreint. « Par conséquent, un juge ne peut demander à une personne de s’exprimer dans une autre langue officielle que la langue de son choix », peut-on lire. Cette décision découle d’une querelle judiciaire entre un ex-employé d’Industrielle Alliance qui réclamait l’admissibilité à l’assurance-emploi. Devant la Cour canadienne de l’impôt, les témoins de l’entreprise qui désiraient témoigner en français — que le plaignant ne comprend pas bien — l’ont finalement fait en anglais, à la suggestion du juge.

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Supreme Court limits when accused drunk drivers can get breathalyzer logs

[ad_1]

Canada’s top court has set new limits for defendants trying to beat a drunk-driving charge in a ruling that may have consequences for anyone accused of being high behind the wheel.

What the Supreme Court of Canada laid out over two decisions released Friday was a framework for when an accused person can get the maintenance log of a breathalyzer so they can question how well the device worked and whether the results can be trusted.

The high court said an accused can get the logs only if they can show that the records are relevant to their defence.

Defence lawyers regularly ask for the records, often held by private companies or police forces, even though they may not be directly related to the evidence collected as part of a case. In each of the cases the court ruled, the Crown argued it didn’t have to hand over the information.

In a near-unanimous ruling on two drunk-driving cases coming out of Alberta, the court said the records are not material to how a breathalyzer works when a driver is tested, only whether the device was properly maintained.

« The only question that must be answered is whether the machines were operating properly at the time of the test — not before or after, » Justice Malcolm Rowe wrote for the majority.

« The time-of-test records directly deal with this. The maintenance records, according to the expert evidence, do not. »

Justice Suzanne Cote was the lone dissenter.

A ‘highly instructive’ ruling

The decisions mark the second time this decade the court has weighed in on how far breathalyzer tests can be challenged in court using maintenance and training records, and defence lawyers believe it takes away another option for those trying to answer an impaired driving charge.

Defence lawyers will have a difficult time showing the maintenance records are relevant to the case if they can’t see the documents to begin with, said Lisa Jorgensen, a partner in the Toronto law firm of Cooper Jorgensen.

« It is, I would suggest, nearly impossible for the defence to ever show those records are likely to contain anything in particular other than the possibility of error, » she said.

« It’s confusing and very challenging. »

Ottawa-based lawyer Michael Spratt said the Supreme Court ruling will be « highly instructive » for judges when they consider requests for maintenance logs for roadside marijuana tests.

« It, I think, does tilt the slope so that accused will have an uphill battle to make the arguments to get the records of those machines as well, » Spratt said.

New impaired driving offences that took effect at the end of June set limits on how much THC, the primary psychoactive element in marijuana, a person can legally have in their system before they face penalties ranging from a $1,000 fine to a one-year driving suspension, to up to 120 days in jail.

To prove the offences, police have to take blood samples within a two-hour window.

Drager DrugTest 5000

The federal government has approved one roadside device to check if a driver is high, but some police forces are hesitant about using the Drager DrugTest 5000.

Courts may be hesitant to put as much faith in the drug tests as they do with breathalyzers, eventually leading to a similar decision from the Supreme Court on the relevance of certain records in drug-impaired driving cases, said Stephanie DiGiuseppe, who specializes in criminal and constitutional law with Ruby, Shiller, Enenajor, DiGiuseppe Barristers.

« A lot of it will come down to obtaining records and finding out about these new devices, » she said.

« We’ve not put these new devices through the muster to getting anywhere close to a level of confidence for courts. »

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Supreme Court to hear case exploring police use of force in Caledonia, Ont. 

[ad_1]

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada says it will hear a case involving a man who sued the Ontario Provincial Police and claimed permanent injury after a struggle in Caledonia, Ont. in 2009.

Randy Fleming says he was walking down a street with Canadian flags near lands occupied by Indigenous protesters with the intention of joining a counter-protest to the occupation of a development known as Douglas Creek Estates.


READ MORE:
Hamilton lawyer faces charges for allegedly misappropriating funds in Caledonia class action

As officers spotted Fleming walking alone, police vehicles approached him, causing him to retreat on to disputed lands.

A struggle ensued after an officer moved on to the land and arrested Fleming.

A trial judge awarded damages including for false arrest, wrongful imprisonment and a breach of charter rights but a majority of the Ontario Court of Appeal set aside this judgment, ordering a new trial to determine whether excessive force was used during the arrest.

As per its custom the Supreme Court gave no reasons for the decision to hear the appeal.

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس