This latest issue of The Canadian Class Action Review looks forward into
the future as we enter a new decade. It addresses issues and limitations of
current class actions law in Canada and proposes possible routes forward,
boldly examining the ways class actions can have an impact on issues
ranging from climate change to corporate liability.
Terra Duchene’s deeply socially relevant article addresses the inter-
section of class actions and human rights. She analyses two class actions
brought against Canadian corporations that were implicated in human
rights violations abroad, and makes a compelling argument about the
need to hold Canadians and Canadian corporations accountable. As she
argues, “As long as corporate behaviours are legally barred from respons-
ibility, labour violations and human tracking are unpunishable of‌fences
that will lack redress,” and such a situation should be unacceptable to
Canadians and to the Canadian legal system. Duchene anticipates a time
when Canada, by holding both individuals and corporations responsible
for their actions and upholding ideals about human rights, can help lead
the way to a more conscientious future.
One of the most pressing global issues that we face today is climate
change, which grows more serious every year. Eliza Lynn Brown addresses
the urgency of the issue, arguing that class actions can and should play
a key role in holding governments, and especially the Canadian govern-
ment, accountable. After carefully dif‌ferentiating climate change class
actions from environmental class actions, Brown examines cases that have
had success in other countries and how they might pave the way for Can-
ada. Brown then discusses the current climate change class action that is
underway in Quebec, arguing that “As Canadian citizens are increasingly
impacted by climate change, class actions can of‌fer the most vulnerable
an opportunity to hold the government to account.”
Barry Glaspell’s article explains how public health inquiries often lead
to class actions and discusses the various issues that can arise in such cases.
CCAR 15-2.indb 1 3/2/2020 3:50:24 PM

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