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Monday, October 24, 2016

INJUNCTION REJECTED

Despite the dismissal of an injunction to stop the Cleveland Indians baseball team from using its name and logo during playoff games at the Rogers Centre, lawyers say the fight is far from over.

Canadian indigenous activist Douglas Cardinal has filed human rights complaints with both the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, in addition to his application for an interlocutory injunction with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Cardinal, who is of Blackfoot descent, wants a ban on the use of the team’s logo, as well as the word Indian in association with that logo, which the case argues is racist and discriminatory under Canadian law.

“What we’re saying is when you deliver a service in Ontario, whether it be Rogers through the Rogers Centre or its broadcast, or the Cleveland team by coming and participating in that service, when you’re in this province you have to deliver that service without discrimination,” says Rebecca Jones, partner at Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP and counsel for Cardinal. Justice Thomas McEwen has yet to give reasons for his ruling.

Another of the lawyers representing Cardinal, Paul-Erik Veel also of Lenczner, says he was disappointed with the decision, but he adds that the rejection of the injunction does not necessarily touch upon whether the name and logo are discriminatory.

“The question of whether an injunction is appropriate involves a lot of considerations beyond the merits of the case and one of the things our opponents argued quite strenuously was all of the practical problems that could emerge if an injunction was granted,” he says.

LSUC TEMPORARILY SUSPENDS LAWYER

The Law Society of Upper Canada has temporarily suspended the licence of a Toronto lawyer accused of sexual assault. Toronto police arrested Francois Lesieur in late September for allegedly sexually assaulting girls under the age of 18. In submissions to a tribunal, law society counsel argued there were reasonable grounds to believe there would be a significant risk of harm to members of the public “if an order is not made suspending the Responding Party’s license.”

SEGREGATION OVERUSED: OHRC

More than 38 per cent of prisoners placed in solitary confinement in Ontario’s prisons in late 2015 had been flagged for mental health problems, according to data released by the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

The OHRC released the data to step up the pressure on the provincial government to end solitary confinement in Ontario’s correctional facilities.

LAW TIMES POLL

Law Times reported that labour lawyers say Legal Aid Ontario is dragging its feet when it comes to allowing its articling students to unionize.

Readers were asked if they think LAO is right to push for seven bargaining units to represent the articling students.

Roughly 20 per cent said yes, LAO is right to participate in this dispute at the Ontario Labour Relations Board, even if this delays the process overall.

The remaining 80 per cent said no, LAO should stop stalling and the union is right to push for one province-wide arrangement in terms of representing the articling students.

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The Law Society of Upper Canada’s governing body has approved a proposal to create a new licence for paralegals that would train them in some aspects of family law such as form completion, uncontested divorces and motions to change. Do you agree with this move?
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