Superior Court of Justice: Practice Advisory – Application for Judicial Authorization of Physician Assisted Death

Update:

The interior of the Supreme Court of Canada' courtroom. In Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2016 SCC 4, the Supreme Court of Canada directed that applications may be brought to provincial superior courts for exemptions from the Criminal Code prohibition against physician assisted death, in accordance with the criteria set out in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 5 [Carter (2015)].
The interior of the Supreme Court of Canada’ courtroom. In Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2016 SCC 4, the Supreme Court of Canada directed that applications may be brought to provincial superior courts for exemptions from the Criminal Code prohibition against physician assisted death, in accordance with the criteria set out in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 5 [Carter (2015)]. photo by fightyourtickets.ca
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Practice Advisory – Application for Judicial Authorization of Physician Assisted Death

In Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2016 SCC 4, the Supreme Court of Canada directed that applications may be brought to provincial superior courts for exemptions from the Criminal Code prohibition against physician assisted death, in accordance with the criteria set out in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 5 [Carter (2015)].

This Practice Advisory is intended to provide guidance to counsel and parties who intend to bring applications to the Superior Court for an exemption to the Criminal Code prohibition against physician assisted death.

This Practice Advisory is intended to provide guidance to counsel and parties who intend to bring applications to the Superior Court for an exemption to the Criminal Code prohibition against physician assisted death. The direction provided in this advisory is always subject to any orders made by the presiding judge on the application. In addition, this Practice Advisory refers to the types of evidence discussed in Carter (2015) to assist counsel and parties. However, the onus rests with the applicant to confirm and meet the evidentiary requirements set out in Carter (2015).

Commencement of Application

  1. An application to the Superior Court of Justice for authorization for a physician assisted death shall be commenced by notice of application under Rule 14 of the Rules of Civil Procedure and be in accordance with this Practice Advisory.

Content of Notice of Application

  1. The notice of application shall state that the application shall be heard by a judge on a date to be fixed by the registrar at the place of hearing, such date not being earlier than fifteen days after the application is commenced and not being later than thirty days after the application is commenced. Depending upon the circumstances, certain applications may be heard sooner on an emergency basis. The nature of the relief sought on the application must be brought to the attention of the registrar by the applicant at the time of filing so that a hearing date within these time periods, or sooner, can be fixed.
  2. The notice of application shall state,
    1. that the applicant is seeking authorization for a physician assisted death;
    2. the date of the hearing as set by the registrar;
    3. the place of the hearing; and
    4. the documentary evidence to be used at the hearing of the motion.
  3. In addition, the notice of application should set out if the applicant intends to seek a publication ban, an order under s. 135 of the Courts of Justice Act to have the application heard in the absence of the public, or an order to seal the file, as well as the grounds upon which any such orders are sought.

Application Record and Factum

  1. As required under Rule 38,
    1. the applicant shall serve and file an application record and factum at least seven days before the hearing;
    2. the respondent(s) shall serve and file a factum and respondent(s)’s application record (if any), at least four days before the hearing.

Proof of Service

  1. Proof of service of the notice of application, application record, and factum shall be filed at least seven days before the hearing date in the court office of the place of hearing.

Service of Application

  1. The notice of application shall be served on,
    1. the Attorney General of Canada; and
    2. the Attorney General of Ontario.
  2. In addition, depending upon the circumstances of the applicant, the Court may require that notice of the application be served on the applicant’s spouse/partner, children, parents, grandparents, siblings, and any other person who will be affected by the order sought.

Evidence about the Applicant

  1. The application record should include an affidavit from the applicant concerning,
    1. the applicant’s birth date;
    2.  the applicant’s place of residence and the duration of that residency;
    3. the applicant’s medical condition (illness, disease, or disability);
    4. whether as a result of his or her medical condition, the applicant is suffering enduring intolerable pain or distress that cannot be alleviated by any treatment acceptable to the applicant;
    5. the reasons for the applicant’s request for an authorization of a physician assisted death;
    6. whether the applicant commenced the application after having been fully informed about his or her medical condition (illness, disease, or disability), diagnosis, prognosis, treatment options, palliative care options, the risks associated with the treatment and palliative care options, and the risks associated with a physician assisted death;
    7. the manner and means and timing of the physician assisted death for which the applicant seeks an authorization;
    8. whether the applicant is aware that his or her request for an authorization for a physician assisted death may be withdrawn at any time; and
    9. whether the applicant is aware that if the authorization is granted, the decision to use or not use the authorization is entirely the applicant’s decision to make.

Evidence of the Attending Physician

  1. The application record should include an affidavit from the applicant’s attending physician addressing whether,
    1. the applicant has a grievous irremediable medical condition (illness, disease, or disability) that causes suffering;
    2. as a result of his or her medical condition, the applicant is suffering enduring intolerable pain or distress that cannot be alleviated by any treatment acceptable to the applicant;
    3. the applicant was fully informed about his or her medical condition (illness, disease, or disability), diagnosis, prognosis, treatment options, palliative care options, the risks associated with the treatment and palliative care options, and the risks associated with a physician assisted death;
    4. the applicant has the mental capacity to make a clear, free, and informed decision about a physician assisted death;
    5. the applicant is or will be physically incapable of ending his or her life without a physician assisted death;
    6. the applicant consents without coercion, undue influence, or ambivalence to a physician assisted death;
    7. the applicant is aware that his or her request for an authorization for a physician assisted death may be withdrawn at any time;
    8. the applicant makes the request for authorization for a physician assisted death freely and voluntarily; and
    9. the applicant is aware that if the authorization is granted, the decision to use or not use the authorization is entirely the applicant’s decision to make.

Evidence of the Consulting Psychiatrist

  1. The application record should include an affidavit from the applicant’s consulting psychiatrist addressing whether,
    1. the applicant has a grievous irremediable medical condition (illness, disease, or disability) that causes the applicant to suffer;
    2. the applicant has the mental capacity to make a clear, free, and informed decision about a physician assisted death;
    3. the applicant consents without coercion, undue influence, or ambivalence to a physician assisted death;
    4. the applicant is aware that his or her request for an authorization for a physician assisted death may be withdrawn at any time;
    5. the applicant makes the request for authorization for a physician assisted death freely and voluntarily; and
    6. the applicant is aware that if the authorization is granted, the decision to use or not use the authorization is entirely the applicant’s decision to make.

Evidence of Physician Proposed to Assist Death

  1. The application record should include an affidavit from the physician who is proposed to be the physician authorized to assist death, who may be the applicant’s attending physician or another physician, addressing,
    1. the manner and means and timing of the physician assisted death;
    2. whether the physician providing assistance is willing to assist the applicant in dying if that act were authorized by court order;
    3. whether the physician believes that his or her providing assistance would be clearly consistent with the applicant’s wishes; and
    4. whether the physician understands that the decision to use or not use the authorization is entirely the applicant’s decision to make.

Disposition of Application

  1. On the hearing of the application, the judge may grant the relief sought, dismiss or adjourn the application for further evidence to be filed, or make such other order as is just.

January 29, 2016

Heather J. Smith
Chief Justice
Superior Court of Justice (Ontario)

 

Bill 106, Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015

Update:

Queen's Park Legislature. In a province with 700,000 condominium units — and 10,000 different condo corporations for their residents — Government and Consumer Services Minister David Orazietti said it was time to update the law.
Queen’s Park Legislature.
In a province with 700,000 condominium units — and 10,000 different condo corporations for their residents — Government and Consumer Services Minister David Orazietti said it was time to update the law. Bill 106, Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015 received Royal Assent on December 3, 2015.

see source

Some 1.3 million Ontario condo dwellers will be better protected and have more rights under long-awaited new legislation.

Some 1.3 million Ontario condo dwellers will be better protected and have more rights under long-awaited new provincial legislation that has passed unanimously at Queen’s Park.

In a province with 700,000 condominium units — and 10,000 different condo corporations for their residents — Government and Consumer Services Minister David Orazietti said it was time to update the law.

“The condo sector has been a bit like the Wild West,” Orazietti said in an interview this week.

“It came down to a couple of key things: first of all, the licensing of condo managers was one of the top priorities (and) establishing some kind of regime for condo managers so they would have training and those sorts of things,” the minister said.

  • A new Condominium Authority will be established in 2017 to prevent common disputes and serve as a cheaper alternative than the court system to resolve problems. It will be an independent, not-for-profit corporation self-funded by a $1-per-unit monthly fee and will fall under the oversight of the provincial auditor general.
  • There will be mandatory licensing and education requirements for condominium managers. The new administrative authority is designed to regulate condo managers and property management companies through a compulsory licensing system and a code of ethics.
  • Governance requirements for those on condo boards will include training of directors. Boards would no longer have to pass a by-law in order to hold a conference call or virtual meeting online. And they would be required to update owners regularly on insurance and any legal proceedings.
  • There will be clearer rules to protect owners from sticker-shock costs after purchasing newly built units. Developers will be required give buyers a guide to condominium living at the time of sale and the Ontario new home warranty will soon also apply to some condo conversion projects in older buildings.
  • Improved regulation for condo corporations should help curb financial mismanagement and organizational bungling and reduce fraud. It would forbid condo corporations from finalizing some maintenance contracts unless they have sought competing bids for work and give owners more information about their corporation’s finances and clarify rules about reserve funds.

 

Former supreme court justice Louise Arbour sounds alarm over financial tracking law

Update:

On June 19, 2014 omnibus Bill C-31 came into effect. The effects of this legislation has already been felt by Canadians. Louise Arbour (a Supreme Court judge for 5 years from 2004 to 2009) said her daughters Emilie and Catherine have been unfairly targeted by their banks and have been asked personal questions about their finances — inquiries about deposits, income sources, and the names of family members on joint accounts — because of the legislation. Her daughter Catherine had her account suspended until she answered the questions, Arbour added.
On June 19, 2014 omnibus Bill C-31 came into effect. The effects of this legislation has already been felt by Canadians. Louise Arbour (a Supreme Court judge for 5 years from 1999 to 2004) said her daughters Emilie and Catherine have been unfairly targeted by their banks and have been asked personal questions about their finances — inquiries about deposits, income sources, and the names of family members on joint accounts — because of the legislation.
Her daughter Catherine had her account suspended until she answered the questions, Arbour added.

see source

Could affect ‘politcally-exposed’ persons like judges, MPs, military officers and their families

A retired supreme court justice and former United Nations human rights commissioner whose daughter is running in the 2015 federal election is sounding the alarm about an obscure piece of legislation designed to track the financial transactions of so-called “politically-exposed persons.”

Louise Arbour said her daughters Emilie and Catherine have been unfairly targeted by their banks and have been asked personal questions about their finances — inquiries about deposits, income sources, and the names of family members on joint accounts — because of the legislation.

Her daughter Catherine had her account suspended until she answered the questions, Arbour added.

 It casts a very wide net to catch, frankly, probably very few fish. – Former supreme court justice Louise Arbour

“You wonder why they would be asking such questions.” Arbour told Robyn Bresnahan, host of CBC’s Ottawa Morning, on Friday.

Louise Arbour sat on the Supreme Court from 1999 to 2004.
Louise Arbour sat on the Supreme Court from 1999 to 2004. She was the 71st Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Emilie Taman is a federal prosecutor who is running for the NDP in the riding of Ottawa-Vanier. Earlier this week, Taman lost a legal battle to keep her job after she was denied a leave of absence with pay to run for federal office.

Although the phone calls to her daughters came three years ago, Arbour — who wrote an editorial in the Globe and Mail this week about the little-known legislation — said she wanted to speak out now because of changes to the law introduced in a 2014 omnibus bill, slated to go into effect next year.

The earlier version of the legislation, introduced in 2008, targeted “politically-exposed foreign persons” and their families, said Arbour.

Arbour believes she and her family shouldn’t have been covered by that legislation. But last June, that legislation was updated as part of Bill C-31, officially titled “An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures.” Louise Arbour French Immersion School

The new bill amended the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act to include “politically-exposed foreign persons” — such as mayors, high-ranking military officers, heads of government agencies, and the “holder of any prescribed office or position.”

emilie taman election 2015 NDP candidate Ottawa-Vanier

Louise Arbour’s daughter Emilie Taman, an NDP candidate for Ottawa-Vanier in the 2015 federal election, was targeted by the law, Arbour said. (CBC)

The amendments also would cover family members of those individuals and people who are “closely associated, for personal or business reasons.” They would also cover judges like Arbour.

‘Invasion of privacy rights’

Arbour said the amendments are misguided.

“I think it casts a very wide net to catch, frankly, probably, very few fish,” Arbour said.

“Maybe elsewhere in the world, the capacity for moving money illegally belongs to this elite class of public servants. Maybe they have better access to the means to do that. I don’t think there’s any evidence in Canada that that’s where the problem is,” said Arbour.

A debate on the new legislation “at the very least” should have taken place, she added.

“This is not an earth-shattering issue. But it’s also a pretty serious additional invasion of privacy rights, which I think has been increasingly invaded by a government that’s very keen on surveillance of every sort,” said Arbour.

Bill 31

Based on the 2014 omnibus Bill 31 (assented to on June 19, 2014), some of the following amendments to different laws in Bill 31 can be found:

Ontario: First Province to Allow Road Tests of Self Driving Cars

Update:

Ontario will become the first province in Canada to allow road tests of self-driving cars starting January 1, 2016.
Google’s Self-Driving Car. Ontario will become the first province in Canada to allow road tests of self-driving cars starting January 1, 2016.

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Ontario will be the first province in Canada to allow road tests of automated vehicles, according to Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca.

“For Ontario, the benefits of being part of automated vehicle innovation are clear,” said Del Duca in a speech at the University of Waterloo on Tuesday morning. “In order to compete, Ontario needs to be consistent with the approach of U.S. jursidictions.”

The province will allow testing of self-driving cars, as well as related technologies, starting on Jan. 1 of the new year. The provincial government is also pledging an additional $500,000 to the Ontario Centres of Excellence Connected Vehicle/Automated Vehicle Program. That program pairs academic institutions with businesses to further transportation technology.

Del Duca was joined at the university by Brad Duguid, the province’s minister of economic development, and local MPPs Daiene Vernile (Kitchener Centre) and Kathryn McGarry (Cambridge), as well as Feridun Hamdullahpur, the university’s president.

“We intend to be leaders in this disruptive technology,” Duguid said.

In the U.S., Nevada, California and Michigan currently have laws that allow for autonomous car testing on roads, while Virginia has designated just over 110 kilometres worth of roads in the northern part of the state for testing.

"Look Ma, No Hands"! Google Self Driving Car
“Look Ma, No Hands”! Google’s Self Driving Car

Rules vary from state to state. In California, for example, manufacturers must apply for a permit to test autonomous cars, and those cars must have a human test driver. Ten companies, including Google, Tesla Motors, BMW and Nissan, have been approved for road testing in the state.

Waterloo students work on golf cart

It’s likely the province picked the University of Waterloo as the site of the announcement because the school is home to WAVELab, the Waterloo Autonomous Vehicles Laboratory, headed by Prof. Steven Waslander.

WAVELab works on both aerial and ground autonomous vehicles, and has partnered with local robotics companies, including Aeryon Labs and Clearpath Robotics.

In addition to WAVE, two Waterloo students started a company, Varden Labs, that focuses on self-driving vehicles.

Michael Skupien and Alex Rodrigues say they achieved a Canadian first in August when their autonomous golf cart successfully drove itself for 10 minutes along Ring Road, the road that circles the boundary of the University of Waterloo campus.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York Embraces the “Fight for $15” Campaign

Update: see previous post – June 30, 2015 Alberta: To Raise Minimum Wage to $15/hr by 2018

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo pushed a $15 state minimum wage on Thursday at an event with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo pushed a $15 state minimum wage on Thursday at an event with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

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With Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. at his side, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York presented himself as a champion of the working class on Thursday, pledging to campaign for a statewide minimum wage of $15 an hour.

Mr. Cuomo’s proposal, which would require legislative approval in Albany, was another pivot by the governor on the issue of mandating how much employers can pay their workers. Just six months ago, he said $15 an hour, the minimum that fast-food workers demanded, was “too high,” and proposed $10.50 as an alternative.

But on Thursday, surrounded by hundreds of supportive union members in a convention hall in Manhattan, Mr. Cuomo said he would carry the banner for a $15 minimum wage, which would be more than double the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. Several cities, including Los Angeles and Seattle, have laid plans to raise their minimum wages to $15, but no state has gone that far.

Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, said that New York, which he called the “progressive capital of this nation,” should lead the way in setting a minimum wage that would provide workers with a decent standard of living. As a rhetorical flourish, he evoked the memory of his father, former Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, and a speech he delivered at the 1984 Democratic National Convention.

Quoting his father’s allusion to the despair of the working poor and unemployed, Mr. Cuomo said that raising the minimum wage broadly would restore dignity to workers who could not support their families without public subsidies. “It will herald a new economic contract with America and it’s about time,” he said.

Mr. Cuomo announced that the state’s acting labor commissioner, Mario J. Musolino, had signed an order that would raise the minimum wage for many fast-food workers in the state to $15 an hour over a few years. Having engineered that increase, the governor vowed to shoulder the bigger task of persuading lawmakers to extend the increases to all workers in the state.

Mr. Biden said that Mr. Cuomo’s embrace of the “Fight for $15” campaign would have “a profound impact” and would cause other governors to consider following suit. But the vice president stopped short of saying the Obama administration would join in. He affirmed that President Obama was pressing Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour, an initiative that Republicans in Washington have strongly opposed.

Restaurant industry groups and other business associations argue that raising the minimum wage hurts workers by forcing employers to cut payrolls. They say many of the businesses that pay wages at or near the minimum are small, family-owned establishments that cannot absorb big increases in labor costs.

Mr. Biden said that Mr. Cuomo’s embrace of the “Fight for $15” campaign would have “a profound impact” and would cause other governors to consider following suit. But the vice president stopped short of saying the Obama administration would join in. He affirmed that President Obama was pressing Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour, an initiative that Republicans in Washington have strongly opposed.
U.S. Vice-President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York’s embrace of the “Fight for $15” campaign would have “a profound impact” and would cause other governors to consider following suit. But the vice president stopped short of saying the Obama administration would join in. He affirmed that President Obama was pressing Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour, an initiative that Republicans in Washington have strongly opposed. $15 an hour is more than double the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. Federal Governor Cuomo’s proposal would require legislative approval in Albany.

But Mr. Biden said the administration believed that raising the wages of the lowest-paid workers would add to economic growth because those workers would spend their additional income and that spending would “ripple” through the economy. “Guess what happens?” Mr. Biden said. “You raise everybody up.”

Progressive leaders celebrated Mr. Cuomo’s announcement. Bill Lipton, New York state director of the Working Families Party, said, “If Gov. Cuomo wins $15 statewide, it will be one for the history books, no exaggeration.”

 Adjusted for inflation, $15 an hour is exactly what Henry Ford paid his workers over 100 years ago. Ford famously decided in 1914 to raise his workers’ wages to $5 a day while cutting the workday from nine hours to eight. Five dollars in 1914 has the same buying power as $119.32 in 2015. Divided by eight, that’s $14.92 an hour. When Ford made his announcement, the New York Times proclaimed that “The theory of the management at Ford Motor Company is distinctly Utopian and runs dead against all experience.”
Adjusted for inflation, $15 an hour is exactly what Henry Ford paid his workers over 100 years ago.
Ford famously decided in 1914 to raise his workers’ wages to $5 a day while cutting the workday from nine hours to eight. Five dollars in 1914 has the same buying power as $119.32 in 2015. Divided by eight, that’s $14.92 an hour.
When Ford made his announcement, the New York Times proclaimed that “The theory of the management at Ford Motor Company is distinctly Utopian and runs dead against all experience.”

But Republicans in Albany do not see a $15 minimum wage as inevitable. They agreed to phase in an increase in the state’s minimum wage to $9 next year, from $8.75 now. They rejected Mr. Cuomo’s earlier push for $10.50.

State Senator Jack M. Martins, a Republican and chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, held a hearing in Albany on Thursday about the panel appointed by Mr. Cuomo that recommended raising the minimum for fast-food workers to $15. He said many owners of fast-food franchises were “scared” and “concerned as to their ability to stay open.”

“I really don’t know what happened between $10.50 six months ago and $15 now,” Mr. Martins said. “What’s the significance of $15? In my mind, it’s a political number. The governor has not established $15 as a fair number.”