How long is too long to wait for trial?

In a split decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has set out new guidelines that will dramatically change the way our courts enforce the right under section 11(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to be tried within a reasonable time.

The old rules set down in 1992 involved balancing a series of factors, including the length of the delay, the reasons, any conduct by the accused that waived portions of the waiting time, limits to institutional resources for getting cases heard, and prejudice to the accused.

In R. v Jordan, after commenting on the harmful trend toward lengthier delays, the majority set out a fixed time-frame to determine whether charges should be stayed because of violation of section 11(b). 

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Are your members doing too much under essential services orders?

Each time the Supreme Court of Canada issues a new ruling, it takes some time for the effects to ripple out through tribunals and courts across the country. One change we're still waiting to see here in BC after the 2015 SFL decision is a restriction on the amount and type of work performed by essential service workers pursuant to the BC LRB's standard Global Order.

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Right to Strike Protected by the Charter

Today the Supreme Court of Canada issued the decision in the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour case on the right to strike---and yes, it is constitutionally protected.
The case can be found at the SCC website at

My favourite quote from the majority 7 to 2 decision written by Madam Justice Abella is this:

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Supreme Court confirms union’s right to employee contact information

A few days ago, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down a decision confirming a union’s right to personal contact information about the people it represents, in Bernard v. AG of Canada and PIPSC

Under federal legislation, Elizabeth Bernard was able to opt out of membership in the union representing her government service bargaining unit, but she retained the obligation to pay union dues. She was what is called a “Rand formula” employee – union membership is optional, but the union has a duty to represent all the workers, and has the right to collect their dues in return.

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