As Bill C-36 Gets Senate Approval, Parliament Proceeds to Essentially Criminalize Sex Work

ê The Supreme Court ruled sex work isn’t a crime in Canada; did Parliament lose the memo?

The Supreme Court ruled sex work isn’t a crime in Canada; did Parliament lose the memo?

On November 4, the Senate approved Bill C-36 with no amendments on its third reading.  By the end of the year, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA) will inevitably receive royal assent (if it hasn’t already by the time of this article’s publication), squeaking in before the deadline set by the Supreme Court after it struck down Canada’s previous prostitution laws last year. In their ruling, the Supreme Court specified that while Parliament is free to “[impose] limits on where and how prostitution may be conducted,” they must ensure that the new legislation does not inflict risks on sex workers. Somewhere along the line, this message must have been lost because, rather than take the advice of the Supreme Court and create provisions that protect sex workers, Parliament’s new bill will almost certainly make sex work more dangerous.

The Supreme Court’s 9-0 decision states, “…it is not a crime to sell sex in Canada.”  And indeed, the sale and purchase of sex in Canada wasn’t; however, the Criminal Code included provisions (such as the inability to have a consistent place of business, to be an employee or to employ staff as a sex worker, or to communicate about the sale of sex in public) that created risks for sex workers. Continue reading

Why the Toronto Maple Leafs have not been able to win the Stanley Cup for nearly half-a-century

Part Three of Three


Conclusion to why the Leafs can’t win the Stanley Cup.

If the Leafs are serious about changing their fortune, management needs to endure a painful full-scale rebuild. I am not suggesting that the Leafs should tank intentionally (particularly since finishing last will not ensure getting the 1st overall selection with the implementation of the draft lottery); rather, I am preaching that the organization should be patient and focus on drafting young talent and invest in player development, especially given that the NHL does not have a cap on how much a team can spend in this area (meaning that the team can make use of its financial resources and hire many more top scouts than small market teams so as to identify talents at the amateur-level that the franchise should pay close attention to and/or possibly draft down the road). Comprehensive scouting reports can then be composed for each prospective draftee.

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How bad is it really?

Giving Canada’s “Articling Crisis” Another Assessment

We’ve heard it for years, we’ve given it a name now and talk about it incessantly – the “articling crisis” that haunts the halls of law schools across the nation, an unprecedented mountain the legal profession has not seen before.

ê If you thought interviews on Bay Street were demoralizing, try battling the mean streets of Tokyo.

ê If you thought interviews on Bay Street were demoralizing, try battling the mean streets of Tokyo.

The worry is not as bad in first year, as everyone is just starting off fresh in building the resumes and experiences that will become the basis of hiring decisions in the summers to come. Come time for OCIs, the crisis begins to loom on a not-distant horizon, where the outcome of the second summer hires will become a critical factor in whether or not one can find shelter from the seemingly impending mass panic. For those who continue to be jobless into third year (and mind you, this is a large number), the nightmare is a real and persistent itch that never gets better until that elusive articling position is secured.

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Confessions of a 1L: The 0L Admissions Process, Holistic or not??

OL Experience


Around this time last year, myself and the other 290+ students of the Osgoode Hall Class of 2017 had the grueling task of tackling law school admissions. As we spent countless hours trying to decide exactly what a law school admissions committee would be looking for in an application, we asked past students, current students and prospective students to try to gain some insight. We asked ourselves many questions: “where do we start?”; “what do we say?”; “are our GPAs too low?”; and “what about the LSAT?!!” For many of us, these questions boggled our minds up until we got our very first acceptance into law school. I remember sitting with a current Osgoode student expressing my concern that maybe my GPA just was not high enough or that my LSAT score was not high enough and wondering how holistic the Osgoode admissions process actually was. I also remember being told by countless sources, including Professional School Support councilors, that the law school admission process was merely a numbers game…oh no!

 Those with a 4.0 GPA and 180 LSAT score may fill the halls of U of T, but here at Osgoode we value a different kind of law student.

Those with a 4.0 GPA and 180 LSAT score may fill the halls of U of T, but here at Osgoode we value a different kind of law student.

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Portion sizes that would feed an anorexic model for a week. As for the rest of us . . . WTF?

This week, my brunch companion was none other than the Obiter’s esteemed Editor-in-Chief, Karolina Wisniewski. After consulting a number of sources, we decided to check out Le Petit Déjeuner (LPD), a small restaurant located in St. Lawrence Market specializing in “Belgian-Canadian comfort food,” which also apparently serves the best waffles in the city. This review will be structured a little bit differently from my other ones, with me and Karolina both providing our opinions on each of the criteria.

Brunch Hours

While LPD has an actual brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 9-3, it also serves breakfast every other day of the week and the menu is exactly the same. Continue reading


Want to Win 1 of 20 Prize Packages from WestlawNext Canada?! Headphones, Portable Batteries, I-Tunes Gift Cards, USB Keys and more. Prizes packages vary. Contact ‘Christian’ for full details.

This contest is only open to Osgoode Hall Law Students, and with so many prizes, your odds are great!

How to Enter:

  1. Follow @WestlawCanada on Twitter (Link:
  2. Send the correct answer to the daily trivia question along with your Twitter handle, and your first and last name to
  3. Each question answered correctly, earns you another entry!

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A Tale of Two Sex Scandals

Douglas, Ghomeshi, and Process in Sexual Assault

T’was the best of times for sexual predators, t’was the worst of times for the women upon which they prey.

ê When we turn to our justice system to resolve issues relating to sexual assault, gender should not be the key that  unlocks those doors.

When we turn to our justice system to resolve issues relating to sexual assault, gender should not be the key that unlocks those doors.

A female judge faces removal from the bench for an incident involving nude photos which were shown and distributed online without her knowledge or consent. She has been the subject of a pernicious and protracted inquiry for over two and a half years. Meanwhile, in the Twitterverse, Jian Ghomeshi’s fans and supporters are decrying the supposed lack of due process in his termination from the CBC.

Court of Queen’s Bench Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas has been at the centre of a nude photo scandal that has rocked the Manitoba judiciary for over four years. Her trespass? Allowing her husband to take nude photos of her. Her husband, Jack King, who was also a lawyer and has since passed away, then showed the photos, without her knowledge or consent, to a male client in a bid to entice him into having sex with his wife—again, unbeknownst to her. After Justice Douglas was appointed to the Manitoba bench, the client claimed Mr. King’s actions constituted sexual harassment and filed a $67 million law suit and a formal complaint with Canadian Judicial Council, but he settled for $25,000 with a promise to destroy and never distribute the photos. He then proceeded to distribute the photos.

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The Canadian Museum for Human Rights… for whom?

Osgoode’s Trip to Winnipeg

ê The group takes a break in the Israel Asper Tower of Hope, at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

The group takes a break in the Israel Asper Tower of Hope, at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

From October 24 to 26, a twenty-two person Osgoode group went to Winnipeg to visit the newly opened Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Our group consisted of the twelve students in the Anti-Discrimination Intensive Program, ADIP directors Michelle Mulgrave and Bruce Ryder, visiting professor Jeffery Hewitt, artist-in-residence Julie Lassonde, and six other passionate Osgoode students selected through an application process.

We supplemented our engagement with the “official” version of human rights presented at the museum by learning about the lived experiences of Aboriginal people in Winnipeg. To that end, we spent a day at Winnipeg’s Indian and Métis Friendship Centre. Julie Lassonde’s two performances during the trip helped us engage with the emotional and creative aspects of law and human rights struggles. Finally, we explored the academic side of human rights issues by visiting the Centre for Human Rights Research and the Canadian Journal of Human Rights, both housed at the University of Manitoba.

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Labels Without Legal Meanings

The truth behind “free-range” farms

Photo credit: Petras Gagilas

Photo credit: Petras Gagilas

With increased awareness of the inhumane practices occurring at factory farms, more and more people are opting for meat from free-range or cage-free farms. However, as Dr. Charles Olentine, editor of Egg Industry magazine, articulated, “just because it says free-range does not mean that it is welfare-friendly.” Contrary to what many believe, free-range or cage-free farms are remarkably similar to factory farms. Labels such as “free-range,” “cage-free,” “free-run,” and “natural” have yet to be legally defined in Canada. There are currently no laws or regulations in Ontario indicating what these labels signify, nor are there third-party inspectors to oversee operations. Such farms operate according to the honour code and are left to govern themselves.

Just as is done on factory farms, male chicks born to the egg industry on free-range farms are often either thrown in a macerator and ground up alive or disposed of in dumpsters. Since the egg-laying breeds of chickens do not have much meat, it is not profitable to raise them for meat. The female chicks are often debeaked, raised to lay eggs, and slaughtered when egg production slows down, which is generally at only one-and-a-half or two years of age. They are slaughtered at this age despite the fact that chickens can live up to ten years or more.

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OUTlaws call on B.C. government to reverse Trinity Western law degree approval

Today, the leaders of Canada’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (“LGBTQ”) law students wrote to the Honourable Amrik Virk, British Columbia’s Minister of Advanced Education, to request that he reverse his Ministry’s approval of Trinity Western University’s (“TWU’s”) law degrees.

TWU’s ‘Community Covenant Agreement’ prohibits sexual intimacy outside of heterosexual marriage, which discriminates against LGBTQ individuals. Earlier this year, the OUTlaws wrote to all provincial and territorial law societies, including the Law Society of British Columbia (“LSBC”), outlining their view that accrediting TWU is inconsistent with Canadian law and public policy, the equality rights of LGBTQ individuals under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the obligation of the legal profession to advance the cause of justice and protect the public interest.

TWU’s law school has now been denied accreditation by law societies in Nova Scotia and Ontario, and most recently, in British Columbia. The Law Society of New Brunswick may soon follow suit.

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