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Put Your Docks Up!

Municipalities often struggle to address contentious local issues through zoning bylaws out of fear that their actions will be subject to legal challenge.

On March 31, 2016 the B.C. Supreme Court rendered its decision in Dong v. Bowen Island Municipality, 2016 BCSC 553. The case was the culmination of a long and bitter feud that pitted long-time residents of Bowen Island against municipal council and other residents with respect to the construction of docks on the southwest coast of the island.

The X-cess files: when is a property file personal?

Local Governments routinely deal with informal requests to access property and licensing files at the “counter” as well as more formal freedom of information requests.  Information in those files may typically seem to be “about” the property or business.  In some cases, however, the property information will have a personal dimension.  As a result, the Local Government may be required to withhold that information without consent to disclose or providing notice under FOIPPA

How can Local Governments manage these requests?

The new IoC: Would you like a consent form with that shirt?

Waves of smart clothing will be hitting the market in the coming years.  A variation on the Internet of Things, the Internet of Clothes (IoC), will have its own unique issues.

Consumers and retailers will not be used to the privacy and security issues that come with the sensitive information that might be collected regarding the location, use, wear, wash and disposal of clothing.

Update on Medical Assistance in Dying: Bill C-14

On April 15, 2016, the Liberal government responded to the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 5  by introducing Bill C-14 into the House of Commons for first reading. While Bill C-14 addresses many of the issues raised by the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying, it appears to ignore one of the committee’s key recommendations, namely, that medical assistance in dying be available to patients with non-terminal illnesses who are not near death. It also leaves some matters to be determined by provincial governments, health care institutions and regulatory bodies for physicians and nurse practitioners.

Does the BC Privacy Act trump Facebook's terms of use? The SCC will weigh in

The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to entertain arguments in the appeal of Douez v. Facebook, Inc., 2015 BCCA 279. 

At the heart of the case is whether BC residents can rely on the legislative protections in the Privacy Act, or whether Facebook can rely on its terms of use as a contract which trumps BC law and jurisdiction.  The decision may have wide ranging ramifications for privacy rights on the internet: are privacy rights fundamental and inalienable human rights, or can (must) we contract out of them when we agree to use a webpage or web-service?

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