In recent years, drones have become an increasingly popular hobby for people of all ages. Department stores all over the country have begun to stock drones as part of their regular inventory, with models ranging in price from the low hundreds to thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, many retailers do not inform customers of the legal requirements associated with owning and operating a drone in Canada. You will not see any notices around the sales displays or general requirement for sales staff to inform the public prior to purchase. This can create a situation where a purchaser invests thousands of dollars in a drone without knowing or being told they may not be able to use it. What may be surprising to some consumers is that there are very stringent laws surrounding the ownership and operation of drones. Similar to a motor vehicle, a drone must be registered when purchased and the operator must be licensed. These facts, however, are not common knowledge, leading many Canadian’s to unknowingly break the law. Prior to purchasing a drone, it is important to understand all of the legalities surrounding ownership and operation. Registration As of June 1, 2019, all drones that are operational and weigh between 250 grams and less than 25 kilograms must be registered with Transportation Canada through the Drone Management Portal. Drones that weigh less than 250 grams do not need to be registered and drones that weigh more than 25 kilograms do not need to be registered but do require a special flight operations certificate. Once a drone has been registered, the pilot must mark the drone with the registration number prior to taking flight. Licensing According to the Canadian government, a drone is considered
In recent years the Supreme Court of Canada has sent an important message in relation to sentencing for sexual offences against children: the sentences must increase. Over the years, the sentencing principles used to determine the appropriate sentence for those convicted of sexual offences against children have evolved significantly. With a much deeper understanding of the lifelong trauma caused by sexual abuse, courts across Canada have begun imposing more severe penalties on those convicted. As recently as 2010, those convicted of committing explicit sexual acts on children were regularly being sentenced to lower single digit prison sentences. To reflect the trauma caused by childhood sexual abuse, the Federal government has recently amended the Criminal Code to increase the maximum penalties for those convicted of certain sexual offences against children. The maximum penalty for sexual interference for example, has increased to fourteen years in prison. In 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in R. v. Freisen, a case involving a man charged with sexual interference after having explicit sexual contact with his intimate partner’s young daughter. The accused was sentenced to 6 years in prison at trial, but the sentenced was reduced to 4.5 years on appeal. After hearing the case the Supreme Court restored the 6-year sentence, arguing that the trial court had imposed the correct sentence. The Supreme Court went on to justify the decision by pointing out that the maximum penalty for sexual interference had increased and therefore the average sentence should increase as well. The Court argued that the appropriate sentence for an individual convicted of sexual interference of this nature is an upper single digit to lower double digit prison sentence. As directed by the Supreme Court, the
A Prohibition Order, as outlined in section 161 of the Criminal Code, is an order placed on individuals convicted of certain designated sexual offences involving persons under the age of 16. Designated sexual offences include (among others) child pornography offences, invitation to sexual touching, sexual interference, incest, making sexually explicit material available to a child, sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm, and sexual assault. What does a Prohibition Order Prohibit? When an offender is convicted of a designated sexual offence, the sentencing court may order the offender to refrain from: Attending public parks or swimming areas where persons under the age of 16 are present or can reasonably be expected to be present, daycare centres, schoolgrounds, playgrounds or community centres; Being within two kilometers, or any other distance specified in the order, of any dwelling-house where the victim identified in the order ordinarily resides or of any other place specified in the order; Seeking, obtaining or continuing any employment whether or not the employment is renumerated, or becoming or being a volunteer in a capacity, that involves being in a position or trust or authority towards a person under the age of 16 years; Having any contact – including communicating by any means – with a person who is under the age of 16, unless the offender does so under the supervision of a person whom the court considers appropriate; or Using the Internet or other digital network unless the offender does so in accordance with conditions set out by the court. What Happens if I Breach the Order? An individual who breaches a section 161 order may be charged under section 161(4) of the Code with
In 2011, the federal government enacted a piece of legislation called An Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service. The Act sets out various reporting duties and other regulations that apply to Internet service providers who become aware of child pornography offences. Duty to Report Internet Address Section 2 of the Act stipulates that if a person is advised, in the course of providing Internet service to the public, of an Internet Protocol (IP) address or a Uniform Resource Locator where child pornography material may be available to the public, the person must report the IP address or Uniform Resource Locator to law enforcement officials. The Act does not authorize Internet providers to seek out child pornography material. Duty to Notify Police Officer Section 3 of the Act creates a duty to notify an officer, constable or another person employed for the perseveration and maintenance of the public peace, where a person providing Internet services has reasonable grounds to believe their service is being used to commit a child pornography offence. Preservation of Computer Data Section 4 of the Act creates a duty to preserve all related computer data in the Internet providers possession for a period of 21 days after a notification is made to an officer constable or another person employed for the perseveration and maintenance of the public peace. No Disclosure Section 5 of the Act stipulates that an individual must not disclose that they have made a report under section 2 of the Act or a notification under section 3 of the Act, or disclose the contents of the report or notification, if the disclosure could prejudice a criminal investigation, whether or
Conditional Sentence to Child Pornography Charge Record Suspension/Appeals Waiting Period: Criminal Records Act 4(1) states that an individual is ineligible for a Record Suspension until the following time periods have elapsed after the expiration of any sentence, including a sentence of imprisonment, a period of probation and the payment of any fine imposed for an offence; (a) 10 years, where the case is prosecuted by indictment or is an offence for which the offender was punished by a fine of more than $5,000.00 or imprisonment for more than six months. (b) five years, where the case is prosecuted by summary conviction. Ineligible Persons: Criminal Records Act 4(2) indicates that subject to subsection (3), a person is ineligible for a record suspension if he or she has been convicted of: (a) an offence referred to in schedule 1 Schedule I s. 1 (v) Child Pornography (s. 163.1 cc) Exception: Pursuant to s. 4(3) of the Criminal Records Act an individual who is convicted of an offence under Schedule I may apply for a record suspension if the Board is satisfied that (a) the person was not in a position of trust or authority towards the victim of the offence and the victim was not in a relationship of dependency with him or her (b) the person did not use, threaten to use to attempt to use violence, intimidation, or coercion in relation to the victim; and The person was less than five years older than the victim. US Waiver A person would be inadmissible with a child pornography conviction. An person would be required to apply for a US Waiver of inadmissibility, however given the nature of the offence its very unlikely the waiver would be granted.
With the COVID-19 outbreak causing a near complete lockdown of the country, life has changed in a huge way. Businesses all over Canada are suffering after having been forced to close their doors roughly two months ago. In most respects, law firms are no different. COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerabilities of many law firms, both small and large, including their reliance on open courts for revenue. As a lawyer, it is easy to get lulled into a false sense of confidence regarding job security. Many people believe that since crime will always exist, criminal lawyers will always be needed. The COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown that has accompanied it has shown that this is not always the case. With courts shut down, even recession proof criminal lawyers have been without work. The pandemic has put into perspective how important it is as a lawyer or any business owner to control expenses and make regular investments in the business. Control Expenses Law firms can experience periods of rapid growth during a strong economy. However, without proper budgeting and planning, they can just as easily find themselves failing during periods of economic downturn. This is especially true when there is little to no notice, as was the case with COVID-19. With overhead expenses remaining and no new business, many law firms have found themselves struggling financially, in some cases, not being able to cover overhead expenses. The best way to avoid this is to consistently manage the firm’s expenses. These expenses include rent, insurance costs, support staff and technology. While it may be tempting to spend more on expenses when the economy is strong, it is important to have overhead expenses that may be managed for a period