Law Times

Sept. 8, 2015

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Relationship with courts among key election issues for lawyers BY TALI FOLKINS Law Times hat the upcoming federal election will mean for legal and justice issues in Can- ada is certainly hard to say given the nearly three-way tie the major parties are currently sitting at in the polls. But whatever the final result, a few particularly politically minded lawyers predict the election will be a crucial one on a number of fronts. Bob Rae, a former NDP premier of Ontario, interim federal Liberal leader, and now a senior partner at Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP, says that among the most important le- gal and justice issues now hanging in the balance are the relationship between the government and the courts and what he says has been a marked increase in the politiciza- tion of judicial appointments. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, "in my view, made a major error in judgment in deciding that he would take on the Supreme Court of Cana- da in a very personal way," says Rae. "I think most Canadians, including most Conservatives, were offended by that, and that's something that I hope we never see a repeat of. "I think equally significant is the question of judicial appoint- ments and I think the fact that the politicization of the appointment process has been an ongoing chal- lenge and Mr. Harper's taken it to another level. The process needs to become more transparent and it needs to be much less based on the whim of the government of the day. And that's my own view, but I don't think we'll see that under Mr. Harper. I hope we'll see it un- der the other two parties. I think it's an area that needs to change." After 10 years of what he says has been "essentially a Reform govern- ment," Rae says too many Canadi- ans are going to jail and the Crimi- nal Code has become too complex. Rae admits that the NDP has committed to changes on a number of key legal and justice issues such as repealing Bill C-51 and hold- ing a commission of inquiry into the issue of murdered and missing aboriginal women in Canada. He believes, however, that the Liberal platform addresses legal and justice issues more thoroughly than the NDP's proposals. For example, he Edmond_LT_Sep8_15.indd 1 2015-09-02 12:37 PM Common securities regulator moves forward Lawyers say looming changes should make their work easier BY TALI FOLKINS Law Times n effort more than half a century old to forge something like a national securities regulator for Canada is finally close to frui- tion after the release of draft regulations this summer, securities lawyers say. "For creating a co-operative regulator, I think we're over the hump. I think we're there," says Heather Zordel, a partner in Cassels Brock and Blackwell LLP's securities group and a member of the expert panel on securities regulation tasked by the federal government with advising it on the matter. "I'm very excited about that coming to fruition." "The release of the revised consultation draft of the uniform act — the capital markets act for the provinces and territories and the regulations — that is a significant milestone," says Kathleen Ritchie, a partner at Gowling Laf leur Henderson LLP's Toronto office and a member of the Ontario Secu- rities Commission's securities advisory committee. Canada is the only G20 country that doesn't have a national securi- ties regulator. Efforts to create one have been on the table for decades but they've run into opposition from some provinces. Alberta and Quebec challenged a renewed effort by Ottawa to impose a single regulator on the provinces in 2009. In 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in their favour but it allowed a co-operative approach in which provinces are free to opt in or out. The federal government then unveiled its co-operative version in 2013 with immediate backing from Ontario and British Co- lumbia. Since then, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Is- land, and the Yukon have come on board as well. This summer saw three major developments in Ottawa's push for a com- mon regulating body: the appointment of a chairman to head the regulator, the establishment of an interim regulator, and the release of a draft new law and regulations governing securities. The province expectes the new author- ity to be operational next fall with a head office located in Ontario. APOLOGY ACCEPTED? Ruling offers guidance on recent legislation P7 FOCUS ON Class Actions P8 'There's hope now that Nova Scotia is getting close,' says Heather Zordel of the potential for other provinces to sign on. Photo: Robin Kuniski See Parties, page 4 See New, page 4 'We have seen a disturbing record of confron- tation and contempt by the Harper govern- ment for the judiciary and the Supreme Court of Canada in particular,' says Garry Wise. PM #40762529 & $#&!&jmmm$cYa[bbWh$Yec ntitled-4 1 12-03-20 10:44 AM $5.00 • Vol. 26, No. 27 September 8, 2015 Follow LAW TIMES on L AW TIMES A W ROSENBERG REMEMBERED Legal profession mourns prominent judge P4

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