BenchPress--Vol 42-5.

Author:Peerani, Aaida
  1. Free the Beer Case

    New Brunswick's Liquor Control Act limits the amount of alcohol that someone can purchase from another Canadian province and bring back to New Brunswick. In October 2012, Gerard Comeau was charged for trying to bring back 354 bottles of beer and three bottles of liquor, which greatly exceeded the permitted limit. His car was under surveillance for cross-border liquor transport and was intercepted on his way back into New Brunswick.

    Mr. Comeau argued that the provincial law is unenforceable and that it violates Section 121 the Constitution Act, 1867 which states:

    Articles of the Growth, Produce, or Manufacture of any one of the Provinces shall, from and after the Union, be admitted free into each of the other Provinces.

    At trial, the judge agreed that the provincial law was unenforceable because it created a trade barrier that is not permitted under the Constitution as noted above. The New Brunswick Court of Appeal denied the attorney general of New Brunswick leave to appeal. However, this decision was appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, which allowed the appeal. The SCC found that the Liquor Control Act does not violate the Constitution and is valid law.

    In a 9-1 decision, the SCC found that the law's primary purpose was not to restrict trade, but to allow the production, movement, sale and use of alcohol to be supervised within New Brunswick. While Mr. Comeau was originally fined $292.50, the SCC also found that he had to pay the costs of the SCC application, which will surely cost him a lot more than the fine.

    R v. Comeau, 2018 SCC 15

  2. Legal Aid Ontario on the Hook for Costs for the First Time

    For the first time in its history, Legal Aid Ontario has been ordered to pay costs in losing a case it funded. The costs amounted to approximately $385,000.

    In Hunt v. Worrod, Legal Aid Ontario represented a woman, Kathleen Ann Worrod, against a man named Kim Kevin Hunt and his court-appointed guardians--his two sons.

    In June 2011, Mr. Hunt, who was 50 years old at the time, suffered severe and permanent brain injury after an ATV accident. On August 2011, the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee became Mr. Hunt's statutory guardian after finding that Mr. Hunt was not capable of managing property. He was released home in October 2011 to his two sons after they had received significant training to care for him. The day before he was released, his sons applied to become their father's guardians. Their application was granted sometime later.

    Three days after he arrived home from the hospital, Ms. Worrod's uncle picked up Mr. Hunt when his sons were not at home. They did not bring Mr. Hunt's medication, nor did they tell anyone that he was picked up. Ms. Worrod and Mr. Hunt were previously in a relationship and lived together in the same home, but separated after signing a separation agreement. Ms...

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