June 2016

Self-Regulation of Professions

Like most sensible people living in the Lower Mainland I have a dream of owning a house. A dream that I know is probably an impossibility. It is no secret that the real estate market in the Lower Mainland is out of control. People across the province have been calling on the Government to do something about it. Even Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson told the Government that if they don’t start taxing vacant homes, he will.

And so the Government came up with a brilliant response. I say that dripping with sarcasm. Their idea: end self-regulation of realtors.

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Ethical Obligations of Defence Lawyers

I’ve written before about the process of appealing an unsuccessful Immediate Roadside Prohibition review decision. I conduct countless judicial review hearings in BC Supreme Court, and file innumerable Petitions to the Court. The majority of my appeal cases are resolved without having to make arguments in court, and in favour of my clients.
While plenty of the cases I take to court deal with routine issues, such as how an adjudicator resolves a credibility issue or their interpretation of the evidence there are a significant number of judicial reviews that I advance that deal with far more significant issues.
You may have read my recent post about my success rate in these types of cases. Part of the reason I won so many hearings in summer 2015 related to finding certain pieces of evidence that called into question numerous breathalyser calibration certificates. In order to respond to this, the police amended a standard form that was submitted for every hearing with declarative information indicating that what they said was correct.

What happened next was very interesting.

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Still More Delays in the Immediate Roadside Prohibition DUI Scheme

As mentioned in two previous posts, there have been significant issues with delay in deciding Immediate Roadside Prohibition review cases.
This has resulted in substantial problems for drivers who are affected by the delay, as the prohibition remains on the driving record during this time. The drivers have been made to pay the towing and storage costs, and there are consequences that are specific to many individuals like increased life insurance premiums or termination from employment.
So what is the Government doing to address the problem?

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Bad News from the Court of Appeal for Unconstitutional IRPs

Today, the BC Court of Appeal released its ruling in Jaswal v. British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles). This case was the appeal of whether drivers who were issued an Immediate Roadside Prohibition that was unconstitutional are entitled to have the IRP removed from their driving record, and to have their fines and penalties reimbursed.

The Court has upheld Justice Sigurdson’s initial ruling that despite the fact that the IRP law was unconstitutional from September 2010 to November 2011, there will be no remedy for those affected by it. Many drivers are out thousands of dollars, have lost their employment, and have their driving records permanently marred by an unconstitutional law that continues to affect them to this day. The judge found — and the Court of Appeal confirmed — that the ruling represented a substantial change in the law and did not entitle drivers to a remedy.

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