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September 17, 2018

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PM #40762529 $5.00 • Vol. 29, No. 29 September 17, 2018 L AW TIMES C O V E R I N G O N T A R I O ' S L E G A L S C E N E • W W W . L A W T I M E S N E W S . C O M Little legal recourse for opponents of council cuts Rocco Achampong says the 'rule of law must be defended at all costs.' Photo: Robin Kuniski JURY POOLS Priority for new federal secretary P5 RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN Measured and efficient approach needed P7 FOCUS ON Competition Law P8 BY ANITA BALAKRISHNAN Law Times O ntario's provincial gov- ernment said it will use both the courts and the legislature to cut the size of Toronto's city council ahead of an Oct. 22 election. While some lawyers say the move by the province will likely be successful, others involved in the legal battle to stop the province from changing electoral boundar- ies of city wards say they won't give up the fight. Rocco Achampong, a lawyer who filed an application to chal- lenge the constitutional validity of cutting the council wards in the midst of an election cycle, says lawyers are "going to have a lot to do" for the next four years. "The rule of law must be de- fended at all costs," he says. Achampong, who practises law at Rocco Achampong, Barrister & Solicitor and is a council candidate for Ward 13 Eglinton-Lawrence, says that while he is stretched thin between his campaign, lawsuit and law practice, a challenge of these election results is "something to be contemplated." "As lawyers, never accept a conclusion as given," Achampong says. "[A]lways use your training, knowing full well that if it offends you in principle, chances are there is a legal argument to be made." The province's two-track ap- proach — appealing and seeking a stay of a decision that quashed the province's bill, alongside introduc- ing a new bill and invoking the notwithstanding clause in s. 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to override eligible Char- ter protections — is likely to succeed in cutting the number of Toronto councillors down to 25, according to Carissima Mathen, a professor of law at the University of Ottawa. "It is, of course, possible to chal- lenge the law on other grounds [that] are not subject to the Char- ter, but it is very unlikely that's going to happen before Oct. 22," Mathen says. "I don't see much room of fur- ther challenge of this in the courts. You could try and argue that the use of the notwithstanding clause itself is somehow deficient, but the Supreme Court [of Canada] has indicated that the legislature has a pretty broad brush when it comes to the notwithstanding clause." See As, page 2 Judges press for more resources BY ANITA BALAKRISHNAN Law Times C hief Justice Heather Smith of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice publicly called for more facilities for the courts and to implement a new system for appointing judges at the Opening of the Courts cere- mony last week. Smith, one of several top judg- es to appear at the ceremony, also alluded to "tensions between the judicial, executive and legislative branches of the government." She did not specify to what she was referring, but Smith's com- ments came during a week when Ontario Premier Doug Ford had spoken publicly about his concerns with judicial overstep. "I wish to underscore the vital importance of keeping the public's confidence in our justice system at the forefront of public policy deci- sion-making," Smith said. "It is fun- damental to the rule of law. If lost it would be very difficult to regain." Attorney General Caroline Mulroney emphasized the prov- ince's shared goals with the judi- ciary in her followup remarks at the Opening of the Courts in Toronto. "Everyone in this room serves the people of our province each and every day," Mulroney told the judges in the courtroom. "We value and respect the work you do and the role you play in the ad- ministration of justice in Ontario. While we won't always line up on a particular issue, these differences do not stand in the way of our shared commitment to the com- mon good. It is, indeed, through the most diligent execution of our unique mandates that we most ef- fectively serve the people." Smith also noted several issues that have yet to be solved in the jus- tice system: the completion of the new wing in the Brampton court- house, the lack of a Unified Family Court site in the Osgoode precinct and the consolidation of almost all the criminal matters in Toronto to a single area in the downtown core, See Tensions, page 2 Follow Legal News at Your Fingertips Sign up for Canadian Legal Newswire today for free and enjoy great content. Visit newswire-subscribe ntitled-4 1 2018-09-12 11:32 AM Celebrating In-House Counsel Sept. 20, 2018 | Arcadian Court, Toronto Keynote Speaker: The Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C. Governor General of Canada (2010 - 2017) Chair, Rideau Hall Foundation, Executive Advisor, Deloitte FORGING A STRONGER FUTURE Signature Sponsor Cocktail Sponsor Silver Sponsor Untitled-1 1 2018-09-12 10:50 AM Ontario Superior Court Chief Justice Heather Smith has called on the province to provide more facilities for courts. © Alexia Kapralos

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