Monthly Archives: October 2016

#ThrowbackThursday: Carleton County Jail 2

In honour of Halloween, we thought it appropriate to look back at one of the most popular sites on Ottawa’s Haunted Walks: the Carleton County Jail on Nicholas Street.


Credit: Wilson, N.D. / Library and Archives Canada / PA-044698

The maximum security Nicholas Street Gaol was opened in 1862 as one of the area’s earliest prisons, intending to be a new model jail for prison reform and rehabilitation of prisoners. It fell far short of this however, instead becoming a site of a variety of inhumane and unsanitary conditions (Sound familiar?). In 1869 it played host to the public execution of Patrick James Whelan, by hanging, for the assassination of Thomas D’Arcy McGee.


Female Prisoners outside of their cells. Credit: Topley Studio / Library and Archives Canada / PA-027437

The jail was closed in 1972 and its prisoners were transferred to the new Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre. In 1973 it was re-purposed into a hostel. The building remains a heritage building under the City of Ottawa By-law 380-78.

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Provincial Statutes Now Available in HeinOnline

I am far too overly excited to see that historical Provincial Statutes are now available in HeinOnline!

It seems coverage varies between the provinces, but it is fairly extensive thus far and the quality of the pdf scans in HeinOnline are always top notch. Ontario in particular looks to have everything back to 1867. For those needing to do historical legislative research from the comfort of their own office desks, this is excellent news!


Ontario lawyers have free remote access to HeinOnline through the Law Society. Email us for your password!


Ottawa Blog Roll: October 2016

Below are links to blog posts or articles authored by the Ottawa legal community in October.

Civil Litigation

Pay When Paid Clauses
– Owen Bourns, Ottawa Litigation

Auto Insurance Coverage: You Don’t Know What You Got ‘Till It’s Gone
– Frank Van Dyke, Van Dyke Injury Law Blog

Having trouble locating and serving a defendant? You may want to consider substituted service upon their liability insurer.
– Nicholas Krakana, Girones Lawyers

The Steps in a Civil Litigation Action
– Alexandra Ormond, Perley-Robertson Hill & McDougall LLP

Corporate Commercial Law

Canada’s New Eligible Capital Property Tax Regime and What It Means for Canadian Controlled Private Corporations
– Kentt Coburn, Startup.Buildup.Sellup.

Integrity and Good Governance is more than Paperwork
– Michael A. Chambers, Maclaren Corlett

Criminal Law

Are the Ottawa Police Racist?
– Michael Spratt, Abergel Goldstein & Partners LLP

Criminal Defence Lawyers Oil the Machinery of Justice, and We Pay For That Privilege
– Michael Spratt, Abergel Goldstein & Partners LLP

Joint positions and the administration of justice
– Anne-Marie McElroy, McElroy Law

The legality of sexting
– Anne-Marie McElroy, McElroy Law

September Criminal Law Round-up
– Anne-Marie McElroy, McElroy Law

New penalties for drug-impaired driving take effect Oct. 2, 2016, in Ontario
– Brett McGarry, McGarry Law

Parliament considering tough new impaired driving laws
– Brett McGarry, McGarry Law

Legalized Marijuana: Lessons From the U.S. Experience
– Tim McCunn and Alicia Czarnowski, Perley-Robertson Hill & McDougall LLP

Employment & Labour Law

Active Employment and Employee Bonus Entitlements
– Paul Willetts, Vey Willetts LLP

Wrongful resignation: Revisiting the employee obligation to provide reasonable notice
– Andrew Vey, Vey Willetts LLP

Duty to Provide an Employer with Reasonable Notice of Termination
– Jill Lewis, The Workplace Matters

Deletion of Browser History in Failed Attempt to Protect Privacy Not Spoliation of Evidence
– Sean Bawden, Labour Pains

Mitigation – It Doesn’t Happen In A Vacuum
– Christopher Rootham, The Workplace Matters

Changing Workplaces Review: Update The Definition of “Employee”?
– Janice Payne, The Workplace Matters

Continue Reading…

Recently Published Ottawa Decisions

Find below recently published Ottawa decisions, available for free through

Family Matters

Yosef v Shabana (2016 ONSC 6312)
non-depletion — settle — husband — spousal support — wife
Justice A. Doyle

Lachapelle v Leblanc (2016 ONSC 6327)
parenting capacity — cost of the assessment — child support — bilingual psychologist in the city — equal net disposable income
Justice M. Shelston

Nagle v Demers (2016 ONSC 6323)
father — parenting — costs — spousal support — child
Justice A. Doyle

Karar v Abo-El Ella (2016 ONSC 6284)
offer to settle — motion — costs — indemnity — access visits
Justice S. Corthorn

Continue Reading…

Weekend Edition – October 22 & 23

Howdy, Ottawa legal community! It’s the weekend, so the reference desk is closed. But to give you some inspiration, here’s what we’re reading, watching, and listening to this weekend.


Jen: Closed Casket – Sophie Hannah
Oh hey! You’ve probably heard I like British detective fiction! I really liked Sophie Hannah’s first Poirot novel, and I picked up the second when I was in England last week. It’s so deliciously cozy already, and I’m only a couple chapters in.

Brenda: “Should We See Everything a Cop Sees?” -Mckenzie Funk, New York Times Magazine
I’m interested to read this new article on police transparency and body cameras, and how it’s developed for the past two years in Seattle.

Emily: Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween – Lisa Morton
Continuing with my thematic Halloween reading month, I’ll be brewing some tea and reading the chapter “Snap-apple Night and November Eve: Halloween in the British Isle”.


Brenda: Black Mirror, Season 1
This series has come highly recommended to me from a couple people now, so I think I’ll have to finally check it out.

Listening To

Jen: Lore – Trick or Treat 2016, Set 1
Lore is a delightful podcast that tells mysterious, sometimes scary stories. Halloween is obviously the best time of year for these sorts of tales. Check it out if you’re looking for something a little dark and spooky!

Emily: Mars Cosmic Rays – Quirks & Quarks
The red planet has been making the news lately, and it never fails to fascinate me. This video discusses how exposure to cosmic rays on future mars missions could cause astronauts to experience a condition dubbed as ‘space brain’.

#ThrowbackThursday: CCLA Newsletter 1

Long before we started our weekly e-newsletter (which of course you’re subscribed to), the CCLA had a print bulletin. A few years back, we collected all the copies of this we could find in the library and had them bound in a hard-cover format. I refer to them constantly for information on the CCLA from years past, and I was curious when this was started (or at least, how far back we have copies of the newsletter). To my great delight, the oldest CCLA Bulletin we have is dated October 20, 1972 – perfect for this week’s Throwback Thursday!


Other notable entries from this newsletter include notice for the 1973 Law Ball, that the LSUC was looking to establish a lawyer referral service for Ottawa, and that a group of local lawyers had organized a dinner and speech by Earl Nightingale. That Annual Member Dinner under item number one certainly sounds like a ripping good time – perhaps we should reintroduce a comedic element to our AGM?!

As an aside, if you’re ever cleaning out your offices and come across old copies of the CCLA Newsletter or CCLA Bulletin, that would otherwise be destined for recycling, please let us know! We’d love to fill the gaps in our collection.

Resource Spotlight: Small Claims Court – Procedure and Practice

Once a month, Robeside Assistance will feature a resource that we purchase for the library that you might not know we have. Our collection is full of great books, databases, programs, and other materials, so definitely visit us in the library if you’d like to use anything mentioned here!

A few years back, the CCLA Library started acquiring books from Emond Publishing that were typically written with the paralegal and law clerk audience in mind. In fact, some of these books are used as text books in the paralegal and law clerk programs. We were drawn to their very practical and step-by-step nature, and felt they’d be good for the paralegals and clerks we help, but also to students and new lawyers who are still getting the lay of the land.

One book from this series that became an instant hit was Small Claims Court: Procedure and Practice. Now looking much-loved, our copy has proven useful to many of our clients who have been preparing for their first Small Claims trial. With sample forms and precedents, loads of practical tips, and simply written instructions, this book is frequently off the shelf. We even made sure it hadn’t gone missing before we chose to write about it for this week’s post!

If you’d like to take a look at this title, you can find it in our texts section at KF 8769 K55 2014. While you’re here, we have quite a few books from Emond that are similarly good entry points to the practice in many different areas. If you’re browsing our shelves, keep an eye out for these green, softcover books.


Today in Legal History: Persons Day

Today, October 18, we celebrate Persons Day: the day on which in 1929 the historical decision was made to include women in the legal definition of “persons” under the B.N.A. Act, 1867. The decision itself, officially cited as Edwards v. Canada (Attorney General), was handed down by our highest court of appeal, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council of Great Britain.


Agnes Macphail was the first woman to be elected to the House of Commons in 1921, but the Senate still remained off limits due to the narrow interpretation of “persons” found in s. 24 of the British North America Act. The text of that section read at the time:

The governor general shall from time to time, in the Queen’s name, by instrument under the Great Seal of Canada, summon qualified persons to the Senate; and, subject to the provisions of this Act, every person so summoned shall become and be a member of the Senate and a senator.

In their decision, Lord Sankey wrote for the committee that “The British North America Act planted in Canada a living tree capable of growth and expansion within its natural limits. […]  Their Lordships do not conceive it to be the duty of this Board — it is certainly not their desire — to cut down the provisions of the Act by a narrow and technical construction but rather to give it a large and liberal interpretation” ([1930] 1 DLR 98 at 106-107). This new concept of constitutional interpretation would come to be known as the living tree doctrine.

On October 18, 1999, Governor General Adrienne Clarkson unveiled a Women Are Persons! monument at the Olympic Plaza in Calgary, Alberta, which commemorated this historic legal decision. A similar monument honoring the Famous Five was erected in Ottawa and can be seen near the East Block on Parliament Hill.

We also have a book on this topic here at the library: The Persons Case by Robert J.Sharpe and Patricia I. McMahon.

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#ThrowbackThursday: Criminal Law 1985

This weekend is the DCAO / CCLA’s 28th Criminal Law Conference, so naturally we dipped into our conference papers collection for this week’s TBT.


The first DCAO / CCLA Criminal Law Conference was held in May 1985, and you can see here the table of contents of papers from that year.  The colours refer to a rather unusual method of organizing the printed collection of papers; unfortunately a copy of the agenda has been lost to time so it’s hard to say if it was anything more than that during the conference.  Our old conference paper collections are always an interesting look at what was a hot topic during the time, and truly at some of the fantastic speakers we’ve had at our conferences over the years.

Sites Unseen: Jurisource

Far and away the most reference questions we get are asking for precedents or forms of some kind. We don’t have many french precedents in our collection, but thankfully is here to help with that!

A project by the AJEFO, Jurisource provides free access to french legal materials, including forms, precedents, and helpful checklists. The site is easy to navigate, allowing either a site-wide search or a browse through one of eight category choices on the homescreen. You can then search for what you are looking for, and narrow down your search results using the filters on the left-hand side of the screen.


Their library of resources is quite extensive, including acts, court decisions, studies, precedents, checklists, and reports. We offer Jurisource training in the library periodically, so if you’d like to learn more about everything they have available, keep an eye out for when the next session will be!