Get PD hours, get involved, and get out and vote! - October 2019

  • October 18, 2019

We have some great Section and CBA community updates.

Legal Aid Matters – Get Out and Vote!

The federal election is Monday, October 21, 2019. Did you know that CBA is running a national campaign on the importance of legal aid? It’s not too late to have your say! Let candidates know that #LegalAidMatters on social media, and take a few minutes to write to the candidates in your riding.

Don’t Fall Behind on Your PD

Get CLE hours with webinars – Purchase live and on-demand law series webinars. You can also search webinars by series to pick the best programs that meet your needs.

Check out this Alberta event open to all – The CBA-AB Branch with the Criminal Defence Lawyers Association (Calgary) and the University of Calgary, Faculty of Law are hosting the 2nd annual Hersh Wolch, QC Symposium on Technology in the Law November 22-23, 2019 in Calgary. Registration requests can be sent to

Save the date for the national conference – On Saturday, April 25, 2020 the 7th annual CBA Criminal Justice Conference will return to the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. The signature “movie hypothetical” format, as well as top-flight jurists from across Canada, will be back again. The conference sold out last year, so keep an eye out for registration information coming soon!

Get Involved

Seeking webinar ideas – The Section is preparing proposals for 2020 CBA Law Series webinars. Do you have a great topic in mind? Please contact us as soon as possible. Final proposals are due no later than November 1, 2019.

Member articles wanted – Email us to submit your work and get published in Voir Dire (open access).

Legislation and Law Reform Highlights

The Executive Committee will be developing tools for members that address reforms called for in our Section’s successful resolution on Disclosure of Non-Conviction Records at last year’s CBA Annual General Meeting.

You will recall that our Section made several submissions respecting Bill C-75 – the most recent submission being on April 11, 2019. This bill received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019, resulting in significant changes to the Criminal Code. On September 19, 2019 the following changes came into effect, and there have already been trial-level decisions in both areas. For example:

  • Jury Selection
  • Preliminary Inquiries
    • See R v. R.S., 2019 ONCJ 629 for a decision holding that the changes to the availability of a preliminary inquiry is a substantive change and thus, if a preliminary inquiry had been requested or commenced on a matter where the maximum penalty is less than 14 years, then those preliminary inquiries ought to continue.
    • See also R. v. Clark, 2019 ONCJ 678.

Bill C-75 will also result in significant changes to Bail and the creation of a Judicial Referral Hearing, with those changes taking effect December 18, 2019. Watch the CBA Criminal Justice Section website for further updates on these changes.

The Section also made a submission on June 20, 2019 regarding Bill S-251, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (independence of the judiciary).

The Uniform Law Conference of Canada hosted its 101st annual event in St. John’s, NL August 18-22 this year. Two CBA delegates joined in the week-long debate on numerous proposed amendments to the Criminal Code and other legislation. The CBA delegates participated in the debate, advancing several amendments and proposals consistent with CBA’s criminal law policy.


Kathryn Pentz
Chair, CBA Criminal Justice Section