Author: The Wall of Law

Court May Force Probe Into OPP Bid To Hire Ron Taverner

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he wasn't involved in selecting family friend Ron Taverner, right, as the Ontario Provincial Police's next commissioner.

TORONTO — An Ontario Provincial Police deputy commissioner is asking a court to urgently consider ordering the provincial ombudsman to investigate the appointment of a friend of the premier’s to the job of top cop.

Brad Blair has applied to Ontario’s Divisional Court in an attempt to force an investigation into the hiring of Toronto police Supt. Ron Taverner as the new OPP commissioner.

Blair asked the Ontario ombudsman last month to probe the hiring process that saw Taverner get the job, but Paul Dube declined, saying cabinet deliberations are outside the office’s jurisdiction.

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A few days after Blair asked the courts to consider the case, the Integrity Commissioner launched an investigation and Taverner has delayed his appointment until it is complete.

Blair’s lawyer is arguing in documents filed to the court that the integrity probe could be complete in a matter of weeks, leaving a narrow window for the court case and he wants it to therefore be expedited.

The court is set to hear the plea for a sped up hearing on Monday.

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By The Wall of Law January 11, 2019 Off

Scott Brison Resigning From Liberal Cabinet, Won’t Run In 2019 Federal Election

Treasury Board President and Digital Government Minister Scott Brison has announced he is stepping down from cabinet and quitting politics to spend more time with his family.

OTTAWA — Scott Brison is quitting a political career he loves to spend more time with a cherished family that politics made possible.

After 22 years representing the Nova Scotia riding of Kings-Hants — initially as a Progressive Conservative MP before jumping to the Liberals in 2003 — Brison told The Canadian Press it’s time for a change. He’s decided not to seek re-election this fall.

He’s not sure whether he’ll remain a Liberal MP until the Oct. 21 vote but he will be resigning shortly from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet, where he serves as president of the Treasury Board.

“I’ve informed the prime minister that I’m not running again but I’ve also told him that I want to relinquish my cabinet responsibilities in a timely manner and support transition to a new minister,” Brison said in an interview. “My personal view is that the prime minister and the government are best served by ministers who will be running in the next election.”

He said he’s announcing his decision now to give Liberals in his riding time for a nomination contest to choose who will carry the party’s banner in the coming election.

Brison’s departure will trigger at least a small cabinet shuffle, although there is speculation that Trudeau will make bigger changes to his front bench as early as Monday to put it in fighting trim for the election.

Trudeau praised Brison in a tweet Thursday as “a tireless champion for the people of Nova Scotia and for Canada” and as “one of the friendliest people you will ever meet in this business.”

In an era of mounting cynicism about politics, Brison is passionate about its ability to make a difference in people’s lives.

“I believe now, more than ever before, that government matters, that members of Parliament matter and that politics matters. There’s no area of work where you can make more of a difference in people’s lives,” he said.

So why retire from the political fray he so evidently loves? He offered three reasons.

“They say that life begins at 50. Well, I’m 51 and I’m ready for new challenges,” he said, adding that he’ll likely wind up back in business, where he once worked as an investment banker.

Beyond that, he said he wants to leave when he’s “on top” of his political career, not waiting to be carried off “in a body bag or air-lifted off the field.”

But above all else, he said the decision is about — and was made together with — his family, husband Maxime St. Pierre and their four-year-old twin daughters Rose and Claire.

“I think Max and Rose and Claire, to me they’re miracles.”

Brison made history as Canada’s first openly gay federal cabinet minister and again as the first federal politician to wed his same-sex partner. Yet homosexuality wasn’t even legal in Canada until two years after he was born.

“I spent the first two years of my life destined for a life of criminality,” he quipped.

They say that life begins at 50. Well, I’m 51 and I’m ready for new challenges.

But Brison became emotional as he reflected on the transformation in gay rights since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was entrenched in Canada’s Constitution in 1982 and his own part in subsequent debates that resulted in equality for same-sex couples.

“When I realized I was gay, when I totally accepted that I was gay, I thought that my life, I thought that it was going to be very compromised,” Brison said, his voice catching as he struggled to hold back tears.

“I thought accepting the fact that I was gay was going to mean, among other things, that I would not be able to ever enter public life or successfully accomplish the kinds of things that I wanted to do. I thought it would mean that I would never have a spouse or children.

“I just feel very lucky in that I’ve been able to be part of changing history … during a time when these decisions have been made that have actually made a difference not just in the lives of Canadians broadly but have made a direct difference in my life.”

And those decisions, he emphasized, were made by politicians, underscoring his belief that “politics matters, government matters, leadership matters and good people can make a big difference in public life.”

For his own part, Brison believes he was able to make a difference in each of the seven mandates the people of Kings-Hants gave him, whether it was as an opposition MP in the “nosebleeds” of the House of Commons or on the front bench in the governments of Paul Martin and now Trudeau.

He denied that his decision to quit politics is in any way related to the current controversy surrounding his role in the suspension of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, the military’s second-in-command who has been charged with leaking cabinet secrets. Defence lawyers are expected to make Brison a star witness when the case goes to trial in August — just weeks before this year’s election campaign officially starts.

“If that issue had never occurred, I would be making the same decision that I’m making now,” he said, refusing to further discuss issues that are now before the court.

Brison has been accused of pressuring the newly minted Trudeau government in 2015 to suspend a $700-million plan to build a new supply ship, a move that the RCMP alleges prompted Norman to leak secrets to Quebec’s Davie Shipbuilding so it could pressure the Liberals into restarting the project.

But he’s told the House of Commons that he simply did his job as Treasury Board president, the minder of the public purse, to ensure taxpayers were getting good value for the ship contract.

Brison has also denied accusations levelled by Norman’s lawyers and echoed by opposition MPs that he lobbied on behalf of Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding, which wanted the Liberals to cancel the Davie deal and hire Irving for the supply-ship job instead.

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By The Wall of Law January 10, 2019 Off

Scott Brison resigning from cabinet, won’t seek re-election

OTTAWA — Scott Brison is set to resign from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet after deciding he won’t seek re-election this fall.

The Treasury Board president says he’s decided it’s time for a change after 22 years representing the Nova Scotia riding of Kings-Hants — initially as a Progressive Conservative MP before jumping to the Liberals in 2003.

Brison says he wants to leave politics while he’s “on top” and is looking forward to new challenges.

But most importantly, he wants to spend more time with his spouse, Maxime St. Pierre, and their four-year-old twin daughters, Rose and Claire.

Brison made history as Canada’s first openly gay federal cabinet minister and again as the first federal politician to wed his same-sex partner.

Brison says he’s not sure whether he’ll resign his seat altogether before the Oct. 21 election but he will be resigning soon from the cabinet in the belief that the government is best served by ministers who intend to run again.

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By The Wall of Law January 10, 2019 Off

Spousal Support Lawyer in Vaughan Advocates Basic Understanding of Family Law

Spousal Support Lawyer in Vaughan Advocates Basic Understanding of Family Law

Spousal support lawyer in Vaughan advocates basic understanding of family law

Mazzeo Law, a spousal support lawyer in Vaughan wants to help more people learn the basics of family law.

The attorney, who is a family lawyer for a prominent Ontario-based firm, noted that family law governs issues that many couples and families often have to deal with. As such, there is value in learning the basics of how the law works. “As the adage goes, knowledge is power,” he said. “Whether it is the start of a marriage or the unfortunate end of one, family law comes into play. The crucial first step to protecting yourself, your loved ones or your assets is to understand how the law can help you.”

The same family lawyer in Vaughan added, “We’ve seen a lot of cases wherein our clients jump into huge decisions that could have been made with better judgment if they conducted due diligence or simply consulted with a lawyer.”

He cites spousal support as an example of a family law matter that people should know more about. As stated in the firm’s website, the law on spousal support is designed to help ensure that a spouse does not suffer undue hardship as a result of the separation or divorce.

According to Canada’s Department of Justice website, the federal Divorce Act sets out the rules for married couples who divorce. In cases wherein the couple is in a common-law relationship or is married but separating and not divorcing, provincial or territorial laws apply.

The Divorce Act stipulates that spousal support is “most likely” to be paid if there is a big difference between the spouses’ income at the time of the separation. Judges consider several factors in deciding whether a spouse should get support after divorce. These include length of the marriage; financial capability of both spouses; roles of each spouse during the marriage and how those roles and the breakdown of the marriage affect their current financial status; and care of the children; among other factors which can vary on a case-to-case basis.  

It is also important to note that Canada has a no-fault divorce law. This means that spousal support is not affected by the reasons the marriage ended.

A comon misconception about spousal support is that it will end once the supporting spouse has retired. The federal law indicates that a payor must prove that there is a “material change in the means, needs, conditions or other circumstance of either party.”

One report cited a case wherein the husband, who paid spousal support for seven years after a 22-year marriage, retired early at 55 years old. His income was reduced by more than half, he purchased a new home and got engaged. His ex-wife said she would have to continue working until age 65. The husband filed a motion to terminate spousal support but it was dismissed by the judge who noted that it was an “erroneous assumption” and that the husband “wanted to retire.”

The Vaughan-based spousal support lawyer furthered, “Ignorance of the law is not an excuse so there truly is value in understanding the basics. Our firm’s website provides a good starting point for those who want a general idea of how family law works. Naturally, it is always best to consult with a lawyer to navigate the complexities of the law. But that should not stop people from stocking up on valuable and practical information.”

For more information on the basics of family law in Ontario or to book an appointment with a reputable family lawyer, visit the firm’s website.

Contact us at any time:

Mazzeo Law Barristers & Solicitors

Mazzeo Law Barristers & Solicitors

3300 Hwy 7 Suite 904
Vaughan, Ontario L4K 4M3

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (905) 851-5909
Fax: (905) 851-3514



By The Wall of Law January 10, 2019 Off

‘I’m going to do whatever it takes to stay in my home,’ says man fighting Toronto islands act

Don Sampson stands in front of his Toronto Island home on  January 7, 2019. A man on the verge of losing his longtime family home on one of Toronto's islands says he plans to try and get provincial legislation changed to allow family members to leave such properties to people other than spouses or children.

Rules, laid out in a provincial statute that’s been in place for the past 25 years, state that specific houses on the island can only be transferred to a spouse or child.

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By The Wall of Law January 10, 2019 Off