Legal files such as those pertaining to Bill 218

Why Are We Protecting Negligent Businesses?

Last week the Ontario government introduced legislation that would unfairly protect negligent businesses that fail to take proper measures to protect people from Covid-19. Bill 218, dubiously named, Supporting Ontario’s Recovery Act, will protect long-term care homes where thousands of Ontarians died or became very ill from Covid-19. A copy of the bill can be reviewed here.

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Judges gavel like those used in sentencing people to provincial jails in Ontario

Are We Safer With Fewer People In Jail? COVID19 Highlights Issues With The Incarceration Of Non-Violent, Low Risk Inmates

As the COVID19 pandemic drags on and we approach six months since the last time Ontario courthouses were open to the general public, it is worth reflecting on what the lasting effects of the pandemic will be on the justice system.  In previous posts, the Bonn Law blog has addressed the technological changes that COVID19 has forced upon the justice system. Physical distancing measures have forced lawyers and to embrace video conferencing, digital document exchange and other much needed reforms.

Another lesson that we can learn from the COVID19 pandemic is the necessity of releasing nonviolent offenders prior to trial.

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Infants sleeping in car seats can be forgotten in the car due to Forgotten Baby Syndrome

Don’t Forget About Forgotten Baby Syndrome

Things were a little hectic this morning. You didn’t get much sleep last night because your son was fussy. But you’re in the car now, on your way to drop your son off at daycare – and then off to work. Your son has decided to take a nap in his car seat.

Suddenly, you get a call from your boss – there is a crisis at work! You frantically try to get it sorted out over the phone, and you tell her that you’re on your way in.

As soon as that phone call ends, you get another phone call. Another crisis! As you finish dealing with this you arrive at work. You have a busy day full of work, tasks and errands. While you work you have this nagging feeling in the back of your mind that you forgot something. But you don’t know what it could be.

It isn’t until you get back to your car that you realize what you’ve forgotten – your son, still in the back seat.

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Man looking out a window at cityscape

COVID-19 Has Changed The Framework Through Which We View And Engage With The Criminal Court System

“Lord, Make me an instrument of Your Peace…” Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.

Many years ago, when I was learning about the importance of seeing things from other perspectives, I was taught a very useful exercise: Picture yourself at the top of a hill, looking out at the most beautiful view imaginable. Between you and the view is a small wall, set with three windows. One of the windows is circular; one is square and one is diamond-shaped. You look through the circular window and admire the scenery through it. You move to the square window and realize that, even though you are looking at the same scene, it appears different. When you gaze at it through the diamond-shaped window it is even more different – it could be an entirely different landscape. Step away from the wall, and it changes and expands even more dramatically.

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Investing in community to reduce crime requires teamwork

Investing in our Community to Reduce Crime

In the wake of the tragic death of George Floyd, a public movement has begun to “defund the police”. 

As I understand it, very few people are calling for the abolition of the police as an institution. Rather, most are calling for a transfer of funds presently being invested in policing toward investment in community programs and resources. The rationale being that many community programs have the potential to lead to better outcomes at a lower cost. As the old adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 

Although “defunding the police” is not the choice of words that I would have used, the underlying concerns warrant serious consideration. 

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