Posts in Criminal Law
Aging Inmates are Creating New Challenges for Corrections Officials & Taxpayers

One of the biggest challenges facing our correctional service is the cost associated with caring for elderly prisoners. 

Aging inmates are more prone to experience chronic health problems. They are also much more likely to suffer from conditions that will affect their mobility. 

But it's not just inmates who are suffering as a result of inadequate housing structures and a distinct lack of sufficient care behind bars—taxpayers are suffering as well. This is particularly so due to the fact an aging inmate population is the most expensive demographic to incarcerate.  

Solutions, however, are not easy to come by...

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Bill C-23 May Have Major Implications for Canadian Travellers Hoping to Cross the Border

Bill C-23 has received Royal Assent...but many lawyers and human rights advocates are concerned.  

This bill broadens powers afforded to U.S. Border Guards, operating in pre-clearance travel areas throughout our country.  

What does this mean? And how is it likely to affect you?  

I sat down with Roundhouse Radio's Gene Valaitis to discuss the practical possibilities and the wide-ranging legal implications of this troubling bill.  

Listen to the full interview here.

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The B.C. Government Is Buckling Down on So-Called Dangerous Drivers

On December 1, 2017, the provincial government enacted stricter rules for so-called dangerous drivers in British Columbia.  Drivers can now face longer prohibitions, and immediate vehicle impoundments, as a result of dangerous driving behavior. 

But is it really making our roads safer?  And what's actually changed?

I joined Roundhouse Radio's Gene Valaitis to discuss what's really going on and what drivers can expect on the roads this holiday season and beyond.

Listen to the full interview here.

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Trudeau's Apology to the LGBT Community is a Good Start...But We Still Have a Long Way To Go

Last week, Prime Minister Trudeau issued a public apology to Canada’s LGBT community. 

He specifically pointed to the criminalization of sexual orientation and acknowledged how it resulted in the unjust arrest, conviction, and imprisonment of LGBT Canadians. 

Although some feel the apology was superfluous, it was anything but. Our government’s official recognition of the institutional oppression of sexual minorities is long overdue.

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How Do Canada's Sex Work Laws Actually Impact Real Sex Workers?

In 2013, Canada's long-standing laws against sex work were struck down in the landmark case of R. v. Bedford.  Following that, the government rewrote the law to fill the void that was left.  Their decision was to criminalize the purchasers of sex, rather than the purveyors.  They said it was necessary.

But has it worked?  How helpful have these laws really been?

I sat down with Carmen, a sex worker, and Caroline, a front-line volunteer at PACE Society, a non-profit organization geared towards helping sex workers in Vancouver's Downtown East Side, to discuss.

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Potential Legal Issues with Proposed Impaired Driving Laws

The federal government intends to change Canada's impaired driving laws, and have introduced amendments to the Criminal Code in order to do so.  Some of those amendments are extremely problematic.

On this segment of CBC's Power & Politics, I discuss some potential legal issues that could arise as a result of the Liberal government's proposed changes to our criminal impaired driving laws.

Watch the full interview.

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Christian ministers don't require their own special section in the Criminal Code

Some people have argued that eradicating this section of theCode will create concerns for peaceful, public worship. They are worried that their religious liberties will be jeopardized and that members of their religious organizations will not be properly protected under our laws. They are concerned that their religious freedoms are being undermined by our government.

While these arguments may gain some traction in a tumultuous sociopolitical environment wherein terrorism has become an all too familiar occurrence, there is little merit to them at the end of the day. 

Section 176 is superfluous and its wording is inconsistent with multicultural values such as inclusivity and equality.

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Criminal LawSarah Leamon
Good intentions for sexual-assault victims leads to unequal justice for accused under Bill C-51

The spirit of this bill is commendable. The goals it seeks to achieve are valid. I want to like it. I want to support it. But sadly, I cannot. 

Bill C-51 will not only compromise the rights of an accused person at trial, it will also create systemic delays that will frustrate its very purpose. Perhaps most disturbingly, though, is that it is likely to have the unintended affect of further marginalizing already marginalized individuals. 

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Justin Trudeau's marijuana bill gives police a free ride to target drivers

While the bill's main focus is centred around the legalization of marijuana, controversy is raging over the impaired-driving provisions. They seek to create a scheme that would involve arbitrary and mandatory roadside breath tests for motorists. 

If this new bill were to pass, police officers would be able to demand breath samples, regardless of the circumstances and even where there is no reasonable basis for doing so.

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