Protecting the vulnerable

What can be done about financial abuse of vulnerable people? This column shows how to detect it and what to do about it. Signs of financial abuse include: Bills are left unpaid/notices of eviction or shut-off utilities arrive. Unexplained withdrawals from, or transfers between, bank accounts. Bank statements stop coming. Valuable objects go missing. Unexplained […] Read more

Power of attorney doesn’t have to be a one person job

As our population ages and the life expectancy in Canada increases, more and more seniors have their financial affairs managed by a power of attorney. Here are some suggestions to protect yourself. Choose wisely. You must completely trust your power of attorney. Legislation exists in some provinces to prevent certain people from acting in this […] Read more

One size doesn’t fit all

When friends and family gather subjects involving law often come up, whether it be wills or the divorce of a cousin. That usually leads to “here’s what the lawyer told me to do.” The problem is that the legal advice tailored for your aunt Alice might not fit your needs. For example, insurance is one […] Read more

Conservation easements

A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement that allows landowners to continue to own and manage their land, but gives certain rights associated with that land to either a private organization or public agency. It is put in place to protect and conserve a piece of land for a specific purpose such as preserving […] Read more

Assisted dying laws

The much-anticipated Supreme Court of Canada decision on physician-assisted dying was released last month. Criminal Code section 241(b) states that anyone who aids or abets a person to commit suicide is guilty of an offence. Criminal Code section 14 states that no person is entitled to have death inflicted upon him, and such consent does […] Read more

Hidden house defects may have recourse

Q: I purchased a house a few months ago. The listing said it was a full concrete basement and I had no reason to believe otherwise. Recently, I found water in my basement and when I removed some of the wall panelling, I discovered that my basement was not full concrete at all, but had […] Read more

Injured suspects protected by Charter of Rights

Everyone has the right, upon arrest or detention, to talk to a lawyer without delay and be informed of their right to do so under Section 10 B of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In the 2014 case of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Taylor, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a […] Read more

Neglect can lead to criminal charges

We sometimes hear of a person being charged criminally for “failure to provide the necessities of life.” The charge is actually worded so that it refers to the necessaries of life, which means approximately the same thing: the food, clothing, shelter and care needed to stay alive and be healthy. There is a duty, under […] Read more

Lawyers bound by codes of conduct

The lawyer-client relationship is a complicated one. There is a common misconception that lawyers are hired to do as the clients instruct, without fail. Lawyers owe duties to several sometimes competing interests. They owe a duty to their client and must keep their confidence, act in their best interest and be their zealous advocate. The […] Read more

Protecting personal information

Q: I am applying for a gym membership at a facility that is run by the town in which I live. I have to fill out a form and give a lot of information about myself. Is that information protected? A: There is provincial protection of privacy legislation across Canada, and personal information is protected […] Read more