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Tag Archive: canadian rulings

Trinity Western University Wins Legal Fight To Open Law School

Trinity Western University, an evangelical Christian university based in British Columbia, won a legal victory that puts them one step closer to opening a law school.

The Appeal Court of B.C. released a unanimous decision in favour of the university on Tuesday, November 1. The court stated that the British Columbia law society’s efforts to deny accreditation to Trinity Western law graduates is “unreasonable”. All 5 judges on the appeal panel stated that the negative impact on the university’s religious freedoms would be severe and outweigh the “minimal effect” accreditation would have on LGBTQ rights.

The legal dispute started over Trinity Western University’s code of conduct that bans students from having sexual relations outside of heterosexual marriage. The Law Society argued that this rule discriminates against gays and lesbians who want to enter the legal profession. However, the Appeal Court found that denying approval to the university would not enhance access to law school for members of the LGBTQ community and that creating 60 new law school seats would divert some law school hopefuls from other programs, therefore increasing the number of seats available to LGBTQ applicants overall.

The judgment officially states that “a society that does not admit of and accommodate differences cannot be a free and democratic society – one in which its citizens are free to think, to disagree, to debate and to challenge the accepted view without fear of reprisal.” It also stated that the case overall “demonstrates that a well-intentioned majority acting in the name of tolerance and liberalism can, if unchecked, impose its views on the minority in a manner that is in itself intolerant and illiberal.”

B.C. Law Society spokeswoman Vinnie Yueng said in a written statement that Appeal Court decision “added another dimension to an already complex issue”. She also said that the society would review the ruling before considering next steps.

This isn’t the first time that Trinity Western University has faced push back on its “push for recognition” in the legal community. The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal denied the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society’s efforts to prevent the law school’s graduates from receiving accreditation. However, Ontario’s Appeal court upheld the ruling against Trinity Western, denying recognition to the university’s future law graduates.

Read more about this case on the CTV News website.

Story and featured image source: CTV News

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Physician-Assisted Dying is Now Legal in Canada

Following a week of debate, Canada has made physician-assisted dying legal, marking our country one of the first to allow sick people who want to end their lives to seek the help of doctors.

The new law does limit this option to only the incurably sick, and medical approval is required, as well as a mandated waiting period of 15 days.

The bill was introduced in April by the Canadian government, and it passed the final vote in the Senate this past Friday. It includes strict criteria that all patients who are seeking a doctor’s help in dying must meet.

That criteria includes eligibility for government-funded healthcare, which is meant to apply the law only to those who are Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and limit the possibility of suicide tourism.

The patient must also be 18 or older and mentally competent with a serious incurable illness, disease or disability, and they must be in an advanced state of irreversible decline that involves enduring and intolerable suffering.

When the patient officially signs their request for physician-assisted death, there must also be two independent witnesses present.

Most of the ongoing debate has to do with the criteria that stipulates the patient’s natural death is imminent, because some lawmakers want to broaden the law to include patients with degenerative diseases who are not close to death.

The law could be seen as immoral, based on the fact that those who are suffering a great deal but aren’t near to death could face even more suffering due to expensive court cases to gain the right to die.

That potential amendment was dropped, however, based on the fact that it could expand the law to those who have a wide variety of serious illnesses, be it PTSD, a spinal cord injury, or even someone plagued by the memories of a sexual assault.

Prime Minister Trudeau was an on-g0ing supporter of the legislation, ever since the Supreme Court struck down the ban on physician-assisted dying in 2015.

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Cable Companies Launch Suit Against Android TV Box Vendors

Android TV boxes are giving cable companies a run for their money, which may be why the biggest cable companies are trying to shut down vendors that sell these boxes with the promise of free television. For a one -time fee that ranges from $40 to $250, users can attach the box to their television and stream pirated content like movies, TV shows, and live broadcasts, thus eliminating the need to pay for cable.

Cable companies in Canada – Rogers Communications, Bell Media, and Videotron – have recently taken legal action against five Canadian Android TV vendors – iTVBox, Android Bros Sales, MTLFreeTV, My Electronics, and WatchNSaveNow – and have won a temporary injunction that prevents them from selling the boxes at this time.

At the hearing, the cable companies argued that these boxes cause “irreparable harm” to their business and claimed that “piracy is one of the top causes for declining subscriptions for television services in Canada”.

A lawyer for Vincent Wesley, owner of MTLFreeTV, argued that the Android boxes are simply like “iPads, Apple TVs or computers”, all of which can be used for both legal and illegal purposes and that “the vendor doesn’t control or authorize what users do, or what software providers enable users to do”.

According to CBC News, a source close to the case says that a sixth company has been added as a defendant. This source also states that the cable companies started with these five vendors because they could get a quick injunction, but that they also intend to widen it across the country to shut down illegal streaming via Android boxes as best they can.

To learn more about this case, visit the CBC News website. What are your thoughts on this case? Do you agree with the initial ruling siding with the big cable companies?

This is most likely not the last that we will hear about this issue as illegal streaming and piracy remain a hot topic in today’s digital world.

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