Courts, Corrections, Incarceration

Anything related to the court system, sentencing of offenders, or incarceration issues

No EI for vaccine refuser

Federal Court of Canada has ruled that a Toronto-area Ontario man is not entitled to employment insurance benefits after he was fired from his healthcare job for refusing to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Anthony Cecchetto was placed on unpaid leave in September 2021 and then dismissed. His EI application was denied in October 2021 because he had lost his job due to “misconduct.” [node:read-more:link]

RCMP officers charged in B.C.

Two RCMP officers in Prince George, B.C., are charged with manslaughter in the 2017 death of an indigenous man in their custody, prosecutors announced February 1. Three others are charged with attempting to obstruct justice. Four of the officers remain on active duty while the other is on administrative leave for unrelated reasons. [node:read-more:link]

China Bank faces lawsuit

A B.C. woman defrauded of $69,000 in 2018 has won the right to sue the Canadian branch of the Bank of China after she appealed the ruling denying her claim. She had received a call from someone claiming to be with the Chinese consulate in Vancouver, saying she was being prosecuted for money laundering and that she could settle the issue by transferring funds, which she did with the help of a Bank of China teller. Her complaint that the bank was aware of fraudulent activities was eventually upheld January 30 by a Court of Appeal tribunal which ordered a retrial. [node:read-more:link]

Ontario company fined over assault

A construction company’s former employee has been awarded a total of $295,158 in damages by the Ontario Superior Court against the company and a supervisor who assaulted him. In awarding damages (Docket No. CV-20-0000361), Justice Joseph Di Luca said the claimant had been subjected to some of the worst treatment he had ever encountered, notably an assault requiring surgery. [node:read-more:link]

Homeless protected by courts

Citing similar cases in British Columbia, an Ontario Superior Court judge has denied a municipality’s application to clear out an encampment of homeless people. The Region of Waterloo had asked the court to find that some 50 people in a Kitchener were violating trespass laws but Judge Michael Valente ruled that there is a constitutional right for a person to shelter themselves if accessible indoor spaces aren’t available. [node:read-more:link]

Saudis stepping up executions

Saudi Arabia’s capital punishment rate has nearly doubled since 2015, according to reports by international and Saudi human rights groups. They said the death penalty, often carried out in secrecy has been used routinely to silence political dissidents and protestors, including detainees who were children when they were arrested. [node:read-more:link]

Ontario jail suicides worrisome

Forty-one suicides in Ontario’s correctional facilities in 2021, nearly double the previous year, have prompted calls for Solicitor General Michael Kerzner to set up a “dedicated independent oversight body.” Some 40 advocacy and other groups say in a letter it would “ensure timely reporting on deaths in custody and assist in taking urgent action.” [node:read-more:link]

Iran critic’s murder plot unveiled

The U.S. Justice Department of Justice has charged three suspects in a foiled plot to kill Iranian-American journalist and human rights advocate. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Iran had previously targeted the critic. [node:read-more:link]

Mandatory minimum sentences upheld

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled today that mandatory minimum sentences for convicted criminals who use firearms are constitutionally valid. In handing out its decision, the court was ruling on separate appeals (Docket Nos. 38438 and 39338) by two Alberta men sentenced for armed robbery. [node:read-more:link]

Boeing denies hiding 737 information

A Texas court preparing to hear accusations that Boeing concealed flight control systems information in the aftermath of 737 Max jetliner crashes in October 2018 was told by the company January 26 that nothing had been withheld. Relatives of the 346 victims want to reopen what they say was a “sweetheart agreement” with the Justice Department in 2021 whereby Boeing paid $2.5 billion in fines and compensation. [node:read-more:link]

New 737 Max challenge

The Boeing 737 Max crashes in October 2018 off Indonesia and February in Ethiopia killed all 346 crew and passengers and led to a 22-month global fleet grounding as investigators uncovered flaws in the flight control systems. The company avoided a trial by agreeing to pay US$2.5 billion in fines and compensation but now the victims’ families want a Texas court to reopen the settlement. [node:read-more:link]

Quebecker faces 22 years in prison

A Quebec woman accused of mailing ricin to Donald Trump in 2020 pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Washington today and agreed to a sentence of nearly 22 years. Pascale Ferrier, 55, of Saint-Hubert, who was arrested at a border crossing in 2020, also pled guilty to eight charges related to similar offences against law enforcement and corrections officials in Texas in 2019. [node:read-more:link]

Dutch suit against Russia proceeds

The European Court of Human Rights has agreed to hear a case brought by the government of The Netherlands against Russia over the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 as it overflew Ukraine in 2014. A missile fired by Moscow-backed Ukrainian separatists was confirmed as the cause and the suit argues that Russian disinformation about its role violated the human rights of victims’ families. [node:read-more:link]

Telecom takeover clears penultimate hurdle

Before hearing arguments January 24, Federal Court of Appeal David Stratas dismissed the Competition Bureau's effort to overturn Competition Tribunal approval of Rogers Communications’ $26-billion takeover of Shaw Communications. The takeover now needs only only cabinet approval to proceed. [node:read-more:link]

Telecom takeover plan in court

The Federal Court of Appeal today heard arguments on whether the proposed Rogers Communications $20-billion bid for Shaw Communications can proceed. The Competition Bureau opposes the deal on grounds that it will mean less competition and potentially increased costs to consumers who already pay some of the highest rates in the world, but that argument was rejected by the Competition Tribunal. [node:read-more:link]


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