The Lac‑Mégantic derailment in Quebec last July involved the transportation of 72 tank cars of crude oil. This derailment caused the confirmed deaths of 42 people, with five more missing and presumed dead. Approximately half the downtown core was destroyed. It is one of the most significant train disasters in Canadian history.
Amidst all the excitement around the Federal Court's May 23, 2013 decision (pdf) in which the court held that "electoral fraud occurred during the 41st General Election," the court was also asked to dismiss the applications outright on the basis of how the applicants were funding their legal bills.
This was one of many tactics employed by the respondent Members of Parliament (MPs) to derail the litigation and prevent it from ever being heard.
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On January 8, 2013, Frog Lake First Nation and Mikisew Cree First Nation, through their respective Chiefs, launched judicial review cases in the Federal Court. They are challenging the passage of the now infamous federal government omnibus budget bills, Bill C‑38 (Jobs, Growth and Long‑term Prosperity Act, S.C. 2012, c. 19); and Bill C‑45 (Jobs and Growth Act, 2012, S.C. c.31).
On April 26, 2012, the federal government introduced Bill C‑38, which contains proposed changes to the Income Tax Act (ITA), affecting charities and how political activities are to be accounted for, in the context of a gift from one charity to another.
We provide a brief summary of the current legislative provisions, the proposed changes, and the impact of the changes on charitable foundations and organizations.
As currently defined in the ITA, charitable purposes include the disbursement of funds to qualified donees, usually other charities.
Charities are permitted to disburse funds as a gift to other qualified donees.
It's not that often that charities law and criminal law intersect, but the decision of R. v. Gour, decided June 28, 2012, did just that. The case was about an individual, Adam Gour, who had contracted to fundraise for charity, and his and his contractor's failure to disclose the commissions that would be earned. The court concluded this was a fraud. The case is only six pages long, and makes for a compelling read.
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A reader asked us if Canadian municipalities can pass an environmental bill of rights, as some American jurisdictions have with the help of the Community Environmental Legal Defence Fund. The example provided by the reader prohibited the extraction of natural gas by means other than gas wells installed and operating at the time of the enactment of the ordinance.