Posts Tagged ‘Public interest’

Public interest should be central to regulation of charities’ political activities

January 6th, 2017 by Brian Iler

This article was first published on rabble.ca

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has been notorious in recent years for its attacks on charities for their alleged political activities. Charities concerned about climate change and Aboriginal rights bore the brunt, with some still awaiting the attitude change promised by Justin Trudeau when he took power.

Taking Trudeau at his word, our law firm provided our thoughts to the Liberals’ inquiry on the issue of how charities’ political activities should be regulated.

Below is a précis. Our full submission is here.

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Protecting public debate through anti-SLAPP legislation

August 28th, 2014 by Shelina Ali

Last week, Greenpeace Canada filed a defence in a claim by Resolute Forest Products Inc. This was the result of a failed motion by Greenpeace to have Resolute’s claim for intentional interference with economic relations dismissed by the Divisional Court of Ontario, together with an order requiring Greenpeace to pay $20,000 in costs. According to Resolute’s claim, Greenpeace widely distributed the Unsustainability Report on Resolute, together with other targeted communications to customers, investors and stakeholders, which harmed Resolute’s business, goodwill and reputation.

In response to the filing of its defence, Greenpeace stated that Resolute benefited from filing its claim in Ontario instead of Quebec where Resolute’s headquarters were located, because Ontario did not have legislation designed to prevent what are referred to as Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPPs).

Read more on rabble.ca

Upholding the rights of marginalized groups through public interest litigation

February 28th, 2013 by Shelina Ali

Canada’s human rights record has come under fire over the past several months. In December of 2012, Amnesty International released a highly critical report of the state of human rights in Canada. The report details abuses against vulnerable groups in Canada including indigenous peoples, women, migrant workers and refugees.

Amnesty International notes in its report that “support for strong advocacy and diverse, including dissenting, views in debates and discussion of important public policy issues is being dramatically undermined and rapidly dismantled [in Canada].

This month, Human Rights Watch published a report detailing police abuses against indigenous women and girls in Northern British Columbia. The report found that Canada was not meeting its obligations under international law to address violence against indigenous women and girls.

With the Canadian government under fire for failing in protecting and promoting fundamental human rights in Canada, are there legal avenues that may be available to uphold the rights of marginalized persons, rights enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

Read more on rabble.ca

How conflict of interest rules affect the public interest

December 20th, 2012 by Laura Bowman

Since the RedfordKatz, Ford and other scandals of late, there has been much discussion about conflict of interest rules, what is and isn’t a conflict of interest, and whether there can be degrees of conflicts of interest. What should the legislative penalties be where a conflict is found?

Conflict of interest can be a difficult subject. Various provincial and federal statutes govern conflicts of interest. Roughly speaking, a conflict of interest for a public office holder is usually defined as the exercise of an official power, duty or function that provides an opportunity to further private interests.

Read more on rabble.ca