A. Cameron Ward Barristers and Solicitors
A. Cameron Ward
Vancouver BC
Latest Action Post

The other day, a friend of mine who lives in Vancouver Point Grey said he was conflicted about who to vote for in the provincial election.  I don’t live there, but if I did, the choice would be clear.  I have met Christy Clark, and she is certainly personable enough, but NDP challenger David Eby stands head and shoulders above her, literally and figuratively.  Dave is smart, principled and hard-working.  He has entered politics to further his burning desire to make a positive difference in real people’s lives.  There is no doubt in my mind that David Eby will be a better member of the Legislative Assembly than Ms. Clark has ever been, and, if given the chance, will make sound decisions that will be best for everyone,  whether they reside in the poorest or the wealthiest neighborhoods of this province.  A vote for David Eby will not be wasted and will never be regretted.

posted by

On May 7, 2013, the Court of Appeal delivered oral reasons for judgment dismissing an appeal from a lower court ruling that the province’s Attorney General is not required to be a lawyer.  We had earlier appeared as counsel for the Appellant, Lesslie Askin, and argued that British Columbia law displaced any royal prerogative that may have enabled the Crown to appoint anyone it chooses to the position.  The Court of Appeal decided that the four provincial statutes we relied upon, the Constitution Act, the Attorney General Act, the Queen’s Counsel Act and the Legal Profession Act did not expressly state or necessarily imply that the Attorney General needs legal qualifications to perform her duties.

Lawyers hired by the Law Society of British Columbia took the lead role in opposing the appeal, supported by counsel for the Attorney General herself.  The transcript of the Court of Appeal’s decision should be available in about two weeks.  Ms. Askin has 60 days to file an application for leave to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Incidentally, the Honourable Shirley Bond is the fourth Attorney General in the history of British Columbia who has lacked legal education or training.  Since Confederation, the only federal lay Attorney General was the Honourable Joe Clark, who briefly served as Acting Attorney General in the 1980’s.  For over five hundred years, lawyers have served as Attorneys General in England.

posted by

Election endorsements

April 30, 2013 in Opinion

I am of the view that it is in the public interest to have some lawyers sitting in the Legislature since it is, after all, the province’s law-making body.  I know each of the following candidates – David Eby, Jim Hanson, Leonard Krog and Andrew Wilkinson (listed in alphabetical order) – and can endorse each of them as worthy of receiving your vote.

posted by

The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments today in the case of Wood v. Schaeffer et al.  The case is summarized here and involves the police practice of having their notes vetted by legal counsel before releasing them to Ontario’s SIU, the body that investigates police conduct causing death or serious injury.  With any luck, Canada’s highest court will uphold the judgment of the Ontario Court of Appeal and put a stop to this practice.

The situation in British Columbia is similar, if not worse.  For example, when Jeffrey Berg was beaten and kicked to death by a Vancouver police officer in October of 2000, the homicide was investigated by his VPD colleagues.  The officer who killed Mr. Berg, along with the two other officers who were present when it happened, all visited the same lawyer after the incident, producing similar typed statements weeks later.  This deplorable practice has to stop if there is to be any measure of justice for the families of victims involved in these tragedies.

That is not to say there has been no improvement in this province.  We now have the Independent Investigation Office (IIO) so police-involved fatalities are no longer investigated by the police themselves.  The IIO has intervened in today’s appeal hearing, hoping that the Supreme Court’s decision establishes uniform national standards in this area.  We expect that judgment will be reserved and a decision rendered at a later date.

posted by

The Supreme Court of British Columbia released this judgment in Ivan Henry’s civil case today.  The decision is latest in a series of procedural issues that have been dealt with as Mr. Henry’s case proceeds towards a trial date schediuled to begin in September of 2014.  Mr. Henry is seeking compensation from the governments of Canada and British Columbia, as well as the Vancouver police officers responsible for the investigation that led to his conviction and imprisonment some thirty years ago.  His convictions were overturned by the British Columbia Court of Appeal on October 27, 2010.

posted by

web design by rob c - Log in