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The blog of the Great Library


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New Books for Spring

Here’s a selection of recent additions to our print collection:  

Cannabis in the Workplace by Gilmore. KF 3540 G55 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

This text provides guidance for employers facing challenges brought about by cannabis legalization. It covers areas of concern such as human rights, privacy, health and safety and impairment testing. References to relevant legislation and case law, as well as sample privacy and workplace policies are also included.

Employment Law for Paralegals by Romano & Filsinger. KF 3320 .ZB3 R66 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

Written specifically for paralegals, Employment Law for Paralegals offers substantive overviews of labour law, employment law, human rights and the new changes made to the Employment Standards Act in 2018. This text was created with the specific scope of paralegal practice in mind when speaking to the administration of legal services involving: the employment contract, privacy in the workplace, tort law, dismissal without cause, and more.

Fitness to Stand Trial: Fairness First & Foremost by Schneider & Bloom. KF 9242 S35 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

This book explores a legal issue that affects mental health practitioners and criminal courts daily: fitness to stand trial. Whether it involves fitness assessments, psychiatric reports or fitness hearings, Fitness to Stand Trial: Fairness First and Foremost helps navigate the complex and sometimes unsettled dynamics of the Fitness Rules. With chapters on the “Unfit to Stand Trial” test, psychiatric aspects of fitness, assessing fitness to stand trial, trial of the issues of fitness and more, this text helps to interpret this common but at times convoluted legal issue.

The Fundamentals of Statutory Interpretation by Hutchison. KF 425 H88 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

This book provides an accessible analysis of Canadian statutory interpretation, structured around Driedger’s modern principle. It covers the foundations of statutory interpretation, textual and contextual meaning and also includes separate in-depth chapters on legislative history and intent, temporal application of statutes, judicial review and constitutional interpretation.

Law for Healthcare Providers by Nelson & Ogbogu. KF 3821 N44 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

Acting as a primer of sorts for Canadian health care providers and their students, Law for Health Care Providers provides overviews of areas of health law which concern: indigenous peoples, medical negligence, consent, medical records, organ and tissue donation, end of life care and health research. This book mainly deals with Canadian common law jurisdictions. 

Prosecuting and Defending Offences Against Children: A Practitioner’s Handbook by Joyal et al. KF 9323 J69 2019 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

The latest title in the Criminal Law Series is a valuable resource for both Crown and defence counsel dealing with cases of sexual abuse and other offences against children. Differences in the way children and adults interact with the criminal justice system are examined, and procedural considerations, such as children as witnesses, testimonial aids, disclosure and expert evidence and sentencing, are covered. The text is clearly laid out and includes ample case references.

Surrogacy in Canada: Critical Perspectives in Law and Policy edited by Gruben et al. KF 3830 S94 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

In wake of the proposal of major reforms to the regulatory framework of surrogacy, Surrogacy in Canada: Critical Perspectives in Law and Policy explores the challenges associated with the regulation of surrogacy today. Addressing such issues as surrogate autonomy, lack of empirical research, the internationalization of surrogacy and the need for effective and responsive law and policy, this book offers a critical perspective on the governance and experience of surrogacy in Canada while making recommendations for change.

Taxation of Cannabis in Canada by Tomlinson. KF 6624 .M37 C36 2018 / Practice Collection, 2nd Floor.

This handbook covers taxation and regulation of recreational cannabis across all Canadian jurisdictions.  Appendices contain the text of relevant federal legislation, CRA forms and notices, as well as a sample calculation of federal and provincial cannabis duty.  


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Has It Been Appealed?

When you’ve found the perfect case that’s exactly on point, what’s your next step? Besides running out and buying a lottery ticket, you should note up the decision to see if it has been appealed. You can do this using Lexis Advance Quicklaw, WestlawNext Canada and CanLII. There may be a later decision that upholds or reverses your decision, awards costs or in some instances orders a new trial.

What if your perfect Ontario case is very recent and you’re wondering if it has been appealed to the Court of Appeal? The court’s website has a section that lists motions for leave to appeal, organized by year and then month. Once you have selected a year you can then do a ctrl-f search for one of the party’s names. The motions for leave to appeal begin with 2002.

What if leave to appeal has been granted and you’re desperate to know when the decision might be released? After checking the three case law databases listed above (but only after they have been checked), you can call the Court of Appeal. For inquiries about appeals, contact the Intake Office at 416-327-5020 and select Option #2.


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A Lesson in Anatomy: The Canada Gazette 

As the official newspaper of the Government of Canada, published under the authority of the Statutory Instruments Act, the Canada Gazette contains a wealth of government information from new and proposed regulations to various public notices. The materials published in the Canada Gazette can form the backbone of much of your primary legal research — if you know where to look! In this post we’ll examine the anatomy of the Canada Gazette and dissect its 3 separately published parts to provide some clarity.

Part I

Part I of the Gazette is published every Saturday and is organized into six parts: Government House, Government Notices, Parliament, Commissions, Miscellaneous Notices and Proposed Regulations. It is most often used to look for orders-in-council, proposed regulations and their Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) and federal agency or departmental notices.

Quarterly Indexes provide a handy list of notices and orders-in-council published in Part I in the previous 3 months.

Part II

Part II is published bi-weekly on Wednesdays. This part contains important information for legislative research purposes, namely enacted regulations, other classes of statutory instruments, and orders. Part II is where to find orders fixing the coming into force dates for acts. Every document contained in Part II can be identified and is organized chronologically by a specified number: a Statutory Orders and Regulations (SOR) number or a Statutory Instruments (SI) number.

Part III

Part III contains official versions of public Acts of Parliament along with their enactment proclamations. This part of the Gazette is now less used than in the past, since recently enacted or “assented-to” versions of acts can be readily accessed in other places, such as the Justice Laws website or through LegisINFO. Part III is published irregularly, essentially whenever the Department of Justice determines there are enough newly enacted statutes to warrant it.

All parts of the Canada Gazette since 1998 are available on the “Canada Gazette Publications” webpage. (PDF versions since April 1, 2003 are official for evidence purposes.) For older issues, look to the Canada Gazette Archives. The Great Library has hard copies of the Canada Gazette from its inception in 1841 to 2014, the year the federal government discontinued the print publication.

For further reading, the Government of Canada has produced a helpful webpage on Understanding the Canada Gazette, as well as a History of the Canada Gazette.


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End of an Era: Bound Volumes of the Ontario Reports Discontinued

LexisNexis Canada has announced that it is ending production of the bound volumes of the Ontario Reports effectively immediately. The last print volume of the series is 142 O.R. (3d) 2019.

This marks the end of an era in law reporting in Ontario. The first volume of the Ontario Reports (ORs) was printed in Toronto in 1882 under the authority of the Law Society of Upper Canada (now the Law Society of Ontario). [i]  Since then, despite changes in name, (Ontario Law Reports (1901-1931)) and publisher (including Butterworths, Canada Law Book and LexisNexis Canada), the ORs have been a staple of Ontario legal practice.

But the sky hasn’t fallen. While the production of the handsome bound volumes has ended, all of the content found between the covers remains available in a variety of sources and formats.

The cases reported in the ORs are accessible online through CanLII, WestlawNext Canada and Lexis Advance Quicklaw.

In addition, LexisNexis Canada will continue to publish the weekly issues of the ORs for Law Society of Ontario licensees, in both digital and print form. The “paper parts”, which are read as much for the professional notices, law firm announcements, expert witness directory and classified ads as for the reports of recent decisions they contain, are posted weekly on the Digital Ontario Reports website. Back issues are available in pdf from March 26, 2010.

And the Great Library has you covered. We maintain a full set of the ORs (1882-2019) and provide free in-library access for LSO licensees to Lexis Advance Quicklaw and WestlawNext Canada. Plus, we keep one print copy of all the weekly issues and bind them annually (ads and all). So if you still have piles of paper ORs cluttering up your office or home, feel free to recycle them!


[i] For a history of the Ontario Reports, see Anne C. Matthewman, “Volumes of History: The Development of Law Reporting in Ontario” in Martha L. Foote, ed, Law Reporting and Legal Publishing in Canada: A History (Kingston, Ont: Canadian Association of Law Libraries, 1997).


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New Website: Ontario’s Family Law Limited Scope Services Project

This week saw the launch of a new website for Ontario’s Family Law Limited Scope Services Project. The Project is funded by The Law Foundation of Ontario. Its aim is to improve access to family justice for lower and middle income Ontarians by increasing the use of unbundled or limited scope legal services.

Currently in over half of family law cases, one or more parties is self-represented. The single biggest factor in a litigant’s decision to appear without counsel is the cost of legal services. The Ontario’s Family Law Limited Scope Services Project conducts research and provides information on alternatives to high cost, full-service representation, such as:

  • Limited scope retainers under which clients engage a lawyer to complete only specified tasks while taking responsibility for handling the rest of the matter themselves.
  • Legal coaching where the client navigates their legal issue with guidance from a lawyer.
  • Summary legal counsel where lawyers provide day-of-court assistance for a fee to unrepresented family litigants not eligible for Legal Aid.

The Project’s website provides resources on these options for both family law clients and lawyers. For clients, there’s a directory of Ontario lawyers who offer unbundled family law services. There’s an FAQ section that provides practical information on limited scope services, what they cover, how they differ from traditional legal services and how to work with a lawyer to allocate tasks under a limited scope retainer.

The website also helps lawyers better understand the concept of limited scope representation and how to provide unbundled services. Lawyer resources include a best practices guide, precedent retainer agreement and FAQs.

For more information on limited scope legal services, see

ABA Unbundling Resource Center

Alberta Limited Legal Services Project

Limited Scope Representation Resources (LawPRO)

Unbundling Legal Services (Law Society of British Columbia)

“Unbundling” of legal services (Law Society of Ontario)