Statistics Canada – in collaboration with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities – announced the launch of the Centre for Municipal and Local Data (CMLD) portal.
The CMLD aims to serve as a clearinghouse for consistent and comparable municipal data, while “empower[ing] municipalities through timely, trusted and reliable data.”
The portal includes:
- a data integration and visualisation tool which displays a set of key indicators geographically;
- a data catalogue of statistics and indicators relevant to municipalities, such as the integration of census data, as well as housing, health and crime statistics;
- a municipal mapping function;
- a municipal financial and socioeconomic dashboard which currently allows for comparisons across 35 Canadian cities on standard financial indicators, including those relating to infrastructure spending, as well as allowing integration of selected socioeconomic indicators
Statistics Canada and the FCM invite stakeholders and the public to check the portal regularly as new data and features will continue to be added.
The recently launched Centre for Municipal and Local Data can be accessed online at: https://www159.statcan.gc.ca/index-eng.htm.
Some details about the CMLD in this post were copied from a news release from Statistics Canada’s Stakeholder Relations and Engagement Division.
The Canadian government is seeking input on the future of Canada’s immigration system. Until April 2023, the government is engaging stakeholders across Canada to collect feedback on:
- How Canada’s immigration system can better support Canada’s future economic and social goals;
- What works about the current immigration system;
- Changes that would make the current system more successful, and milestones for future successes; and,
- How Canada can best meet the needs of newcomers
Members of the public can share their views via a 15-minute online survey, available in French and English: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/campaigns/canada-future-immigration-system.html.
The survey closes on April 27, 2023.
The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) has released a third major report examining artificial intelligence (AI) and automated decision-making (ADM) in the Canadian justice system.
“Accountable AI” analyzes AI and ADM systems used to assist government decision-making, and considers issues of legal accountability when these systems are applied in decision-making in the civil and administrative justice systems.
Key questions explored in the report include:
- Why and how governments are using AI
- How AI changes government decision-making
- The elements of AI regulation
- How to fulfill the promise of “Trustworthy AI”
- How to adapt human rights and administrative law to government AI decision-making
- Ensuring public engagement
- Improving access to justice
The LCO’s “Accountable AI” report identifies 19 recommendations to address bias in AI systems, “black-box” decision-making, due process, and the need for public engagement.
The final report is available online here: https://www.lco-cdo.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/LCO-Accountable_AI_Final_Report.pdf.
For the LCO’s other reports on AI, ADM and the justice system, visit the LCO website here: https://www.lco-cdo.org/en/our-current-projects/ai-adm-and-the-justice-system/.
The Department of Justice of Canada has released a call for projects under the Canadian Family Justice Fund (CFJF). The CFJF “facilitates access to the family justice system for families experiencing separation and divorce through the provision of various services, programs and information resources”.
Project proposals are being sought that focus on the following priority areas:
- Supporting the well-being of family members
- Reaching diverse and underserved populations
- Supporting alternatives to court
- Improving and streamlining family justice system links/processes
Individuals, non-profit organizations and non-profit professional organizations, societies or associations, educational institutions, and private sector organizations sponsoring non-profit projects in partnership with federal, provincial, or territorial governments are invited to apply. Information on the Canadian Family Justice Fund is available in English at https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/fund-fina/famil/index.html et en français à : https://www.justice.gc.ca/fra/fina-fund/famil/index.html.
Justice Canada has published a series of reports examining experiences with serious legal problems in Canada’s provinces. The Canadian Legal Problems Survey (CLPS) joins other Canadian legal problems surveys (in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2014) in providing important insights into Canadian’s experiences with serious legal problems and the impacts of these experiences.
Experiences of serious problems or disputes in the Canadian provinces, 2021 is published in English here: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/220118/dq220118c-eng.htm.
Expériences de conflits ou de problèmes graves dans les provinces canadiennes, 2021 est disponible en français ici : https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/220118/dq220118c-fra.htm.
Justice Canada has also published a series of qualitative legal problems reports from studies carried out with different populations in different parts of Canada. Each report details experiences of these populations with serious legal problems. The collection of reports includes:
Serious Legal Problems faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Other Sexual-Minority People in Western Canada: A Qualitative Study: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/jr/lgbtq/index.html.
Les graves problèmes juridiques rencontrés par les personnes lesbiennes, gaies, bisexuelles et autres membres de minorités sexuelles dans l’Ouest canadien : Une étude qualitative : https://www.justice.gc.ca/fra/pr-rp/jr/lgbtq/index.html.
A Qualitative Look at Serious Legal Problems Faced by Immigrants in Greater Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/jr/ivvbc/index.html.
Un examen qualitatif des problèmes d’ordre juridique graves auxquels se heurtent les immigrants dans les agglomérations de Victoria et de Vancouver (Colombie-Britannique) : https://www.justice.gc.ca/fra/pr-rp/jr/ivvbc/index.html.
A Qualitative Look at Serious Legal Problems Facing Immigrants in London and Toronto, Ontario: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/jr/ilto/index.html.
Un examen qualitatif des problèmes d’ordre juridique graves auxquels font face les immigrants à London et à Toronto (Ontario) : https://www.justice.gc.ca/fra/pr-rp/jr/ilto/index.html.
Serious Problems Experienced by People with Disabilities Living in Atlantic Canada: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/jr/pwdac-phca/index.html.
Problèmes graves rencontrés par les personnes handicapées au Canada atlantique : https://www.justice.gc.ca/fra/pr-rp/jr/phca-pwdac/index.html.
A Qualitative Look at Serious Legal Problems for People with Disabilities in Central Canada: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/jr/pwdcc-phcc/index.html.
Un examen qualitatif des problèmes d’ordre juridique graves touchant les personnes handicapées dans le centre du Canada : https://www.justice.gc.ca/fra/pr-rp/jr/phcc-pwdcc/index.html.
Serious Problems Experienced by Diverse People with Disabilities: Western Canada: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/jr/pwdwc-phcw/index.html.
Problèmes graves rencontrés par diverses personnes en situation de handicap – Ouest du Canada : https://www.justice.gc.ca/fra/pr-rp/jr/phcw-pwdwc/index.html.
Canadians rely on duty counsel to help navigate the justice system. They play an important role in facilitating access to justice in Canada.
Duty Counsel Day is a national, virtual event that will take place on October 27th from 5-6pm ET/2-3 pm PT.
Here are some ways that you can participate in Duty Counsel Day:
- Encourage staff to register for the nationwide online event: www.knowdutycounsel.ca/event
- Share your personal video greeting during Access to Justice Week (Oct. 25-29): https://youtu.be/J8ODcKC2jO0
- Post on social media (here are some sample posts to make things easy):
“Every Canadian deserves help navigating the justice system. Celebrate our charter right to legal support. I’m taking part in Duty Counsel Day Oct 27. Please join me at the nationwide online event www.knowdutycounsel.ca #a2j
« Chaque Canadienne et Canadien devrait pouvoir progresser dans le système de justice. Célébrez notre droit à l’aide juridique conféré par notre Charte. Je participerai à la Journée des avocats de service qui aura lieu le 27 octobre. Joignez-vous, dans tout le pays, à cet événement qui se déroulera en ligne. https://avocatsdeservicealaune.ca/
You can also download social media images for Duty Counsel Day.
For more information on Duty Counsel Day, please visit: https://www.knowdutycounsel.ca/ or https://avocatsdeservicealaune.ca/.
Data from the recently published 2019-2020 Civil Court Survey reveals a 7% year-over-year decline in family law cases in Canada. This decrease represents the largest decline in family law cases in 5 years. The data is for the period from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020 and, in large part, does not reflect the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the justice system, including from court closures and stay-at-home orders. It is anticipated that there will be an even greater decline in family law cases in the 2020-2021 Civil Court Survey.
Of the more than 228,000 active family law cases during the 2019-2020 period, 47% were divorce cases. Of this number, almost three quarters involved requests for a divorce judgement to legally end a marriage; the remainder involved matters related to custody, access, and support. Notably, the data also shows that custody and access family law court cases during this period reported more activity than non-family cases, which the report on the data suggests may be “an indication of the amount of time and court resources they require”.
The Juristat report on family law cases in civil courts for 2019-2020 and the 2019-2020 Civil Court Survey data are available on the Statistics Canada website here: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/210628/dq210628d-eng.htm.
« Profil des causes de droit de la famille au Canada, 2019-2020 » est disponible en français ici : https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/210628/dq210628d-fra.htm.
A new report by the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO) examines how the move from in-person to online hearings is impacting low-income tenants across Ontario. “Digital Evictions: The Landlord and Tenant Board’s Experiment in Online Hearings” discusses the challenges and consequences for tenants who do not have access to reliable internet and phone services for their hearings. The report also indicates that the shift to online hearings may have disproportionate adverse impacts for rural and remote households, tenants whose first language is not English, people with mental health issues, and people who are illiterate or innumerate.
The ACTO report explores data from several sources, including surveys of digital hearings that were carried out across Ontario from March to May, 2021 and reveals several drawbacks to participation in a virtual hearing by video or phone. The report also highlights ACTO’s concern that the digital first approach to hearings will continue post pandemic. “Digital Evictions: The Landlord and Tenant Board’s Experiment in Online Hearings” is available on the ACTO website here: https://www.acto.ca/production/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Digital-Evictions-ACTO.pdf.
“The Right to be Heard: The Future of Advocacy in Canada” is a new report by the Advocates’ Society that discusses the future of oral advocacy in Canada’s justice system. The report also examines the history behind the right to be heard, considerations for the mode of hearing, and the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the justice system.
The Right to be Heard report is the culmination of months of research and consultations with judges, advocates in different practice areas, justice system participants, advocacy groups and others. This initative was led by the Modern Advocacy Task Force, which was established in spring 2020 “to make recommendations with respect to the future of oral advocacy in the Canadian justice system”.
This Final Report of the Modern Advocacy Task Force recognizes improvements made possible by modern technology during the pandemic but cautions that such changes to the justice system “should not be mistaken as a panacea for the grave challenges of access to justice, nor as an adequate replacement for in-person justice in all, or even most, cases.”
According to the report, there are four core principles that lay the foundation for the Task Force’s recommendations:
- The open court principle;
- The imperative of access to justice;
- The integrity of the court process; and
- The principle of proportionality
In discussing the significance of the report, former Chief Justice of Canada and member of the Modern Advocacy Advisory Group, The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin noted that the report “offers a timely examination of the fundamental role of court advocacy in securing justice and how it can be preserved in a digital world.”
“The Right to be Heard: The Future of Advocacy in Canada”, published by the Advocates’ Society, is available here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/tld-documents.llnassets.com/0027000/27521/the_right_to_be_heard_the_future_of_advocacy_in_canada_digital.pdf.
The Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) has released an updated version of Ethical Principles for Judges / Principes de déontologie judiciare. For more than twenty years, this publication has provided guidance on a range of questions within the judicial community.
While this new publication maintains a format similar to the 1998 volume, it raises questions about present day subjects such as the digital literacy of judges and addresses a range of important issues such as the need to be alert to “the history, experience and circumstances of Canada’s Indigenous peoples, and to the diversity of cultures and communities that make up this country”. In discussing the importance of this new iteration of Ethical Principles for Judges, Chief Justice of Canada and Canadian Judicial Council Chairperson, the Right Honourable Richard Wagner, noted that, “[t]hese revised principles explore new and emerging issues relevant to our modern times”.
Ethical Principles for Judges includes sections on:
- Judicial Independence;
- Integrity and Respect;
- Diligence and Competence;
- Equality; and
Ethical Principles for Judges / Principes de déontologie judiciare, published by the Canadian Judicial Council, is available in English and French here: https://cjc-ccm.ca/sites/default/files/documents/2021/CJC_20-301_Ethical-Principles_Bilingual%20FINAL.pdf.