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Monday, November 2, 2015


A Superior Court judge had strong words for a justice of the peace who quashed a traffic ticket on her own motion.

“It is abundantly clear, pursuant to section 36, that it is up to the defendant and not the court to bring a motion to quash,” wrote Justice Mark Edwards, referring to s. 36 of the Provincial Offences Act.

In Regional Municipality of York v. Lorman, Edwards took justice of the peace Rhonda Shousterman to task for not following recent decisions on that issue: Regional Municipality of Niagara v. Kosyatchkov and York (Regional Municipality) v. Datoo.

“Justice of the Peace Shousterman did not follow the decisions in Kosyatchkov and Datoo. . . . She also did not follow two other decisions of this court where it was made very clear that she did not have jurisdiction to quash a certificate of offence on her own motion where the defendant was before the court,” wrote Edwards.

Apparently, it’s not the first time the issue has arisen. “This court has spoken, on more than one occasion, with respect to the proclivity of Justice of the Peace Shousterman to bring her own motion to quash certificates of offence,” Edwards continued.

“Her decision to quash the certificate of offence where there was no motion by the respondent to do so was a clear error of law. It is clear from her earlier decisions that she knew she did not have the jurisdiction to quash the certificate of offence yet she proceeded to do what she knew she had no jurisdiction to do and thus challenged the prosecution to appeal.”

In the end, Edwards quashed Shousterman’s decision on the ticket. But he made it clear he wanted to emphasize the importance of stare decisis.  “Ultimately, we all have to abide by the decisions of an appellate court. Justices of the peace, like judges of this court, are human and may not always like the decision of an appellate court. Fundamentally, however, we must all abide by the decisions of the higher court whether we like it or not.”


The Ontario Securities Commission is seeking comment on its proposed whistleblower program.

The OSC says the program, which is an effort to encourage the reporting of serious securities-related misconduct, would be the first of its kind for securities regulators in Canada. Most notably, it would provide eligible whistleblowers up to $5 million if the OSC recovers funds.

“The OSC recognizes that whistleblowers are an incredibly valuable source of information. We are providing strong incentives for them to come forward. Our whistleblower program is well considered, and we believe it will result in real-time tips on complex securities law matters that may otherwise be difficult for us to detect,” said chairman and chief executive officer Howard Wetston. “This is a game changer for the OSC and our ability to achieve stronger outcomes for investors and the capital markets.”

Besides the $5-million cap, the policy would also allow for payments of up to $1.5 million regardless of whether the regulator recovers any money or not. Eligible whistleblowers include directors and officers, chief compliance officers, in-house legal counsel, and culpable whistleblowers. The regulator is seeking comment by Jan. 12, 2016 and aims to have the program in place by the spring.


The results of the latest Law Times online poll are in.

Canadians already had some input on the niqab issue during the Oct. 19 election, but Law Times also sought its readers’ thoughts as the vote got underway last month. According to the poll, 60 per cent of respondents felt the federal government shouldn’t try to continue to ban the niqab at citizenship ceremonies.

The outgoing Conservative government, of course, has vigorously fought the issue in the courts, but the matter is now likely moot given the position taken by the Liberal party to oppose the ban.

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