Canadian Lawyer

July/August 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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UPFRONT 6 NEWS BRIEFS Sex with condom is legally different from sex without: B.C Court of Appeal B.C.'s highest court has ordered a new trial in a sexual assault case where a man is accused of failing to wear a condom in a sexual act with a woman whose consent was conditional on the sex being protected. The Provincial Court had acquitted the accused for lack of evidence of the complainant's claims. On appeal, two of the justices found sexual activity with a condom is fundamentally different from sex without one, thus, the complainant had not consented to the sexual activity. The dissenting justice disagreed on that point but maintained the accused had obtained consent fraudulently. Longest sentence from B.C. Securities Commission investigation The B.C. Provincial Court handed down the longest sentence resulting from a criminal investigation conducted by the B.C. Securities Commission. The court convicted James Warring Minnie of two counts of criminal fraud over $5,000, finding he had defrauded two investors of more than $500,000 between 2014 and 2016. The court sentenced him to four and a half years in prison. Minnie had been convicted of fraud and theft for his role in a scheme relating to a Papua New Guinea lumber project. He was given a five-year sentence and permanent prohibition from trading, buying securities and engaging in investor relation activities. Alberta Court of Appeal overturns approval of oilsands project In a unanimous decision, the Alberta Court of Appeal has overturned the Alberta energy regulator's approval of the proposed Prosper Petroleum Rigel oilsands project, siding with a First Nation that opposed the project. The Fort McKay First Nation dubbed the decision to rescind the approval both "historic" and "momentous." According to Fort McKay, the decision has important implications for the meaning of reconciliation. True reconciliation requires genuine respect and consideration of Indigenous treaty rights and the co-creation of partnerships with Indigenous communities, they said. B.C. launches justice system advisory groups B.C.'s Ministry of Attorney General created two provincial justice system advisory groups related to COVID-19 measures. These groups will boost the provincial government's work to keep the justice system running smoothly, support courts and tribunals and improve the delivery of services, while the pandemic persists. The Justice COVID-19 Response Group will facilitate and formalize discussions covering issues faced by the court system. The Cross-Jurisdictional Technical Advisory Group will aid the efforts of the first group and of the government through suggesting appropriate technology-related measures and other solutions to address backlogs and improve the delivery of services. New legal toolkit to help counsel in sexual assault cases West Coast LEAF has released a toolkit for lawyers representing clients in sexual assault proceedings. The toolkit seeks to aid complainant counsel in dealing with Criminal Code matters relating to the admissibility of evidence of the complainant's sexual activity and relating to the production of third-party records. The group said its 2018 report showed a host of issues faced by survivors of sexual assault when navigating the legal and justice system. Virtual deal the 'new normal'? Acquisition of B.C's Cytapex Bioinformatics was executed with no face-to-face meetings, M&A lawyer says IN WHAT may be the new normal for M&A lawyers, on May 20, Insightful Science completed its acquisition of B.C.'s Cytapex Bioinformatics in a transaction executed virtually — from start to close — between parties and lawyers who did not once meet face to face during the deal. While the nature of the transaction was new, it has become the norm, says Mark Longo, co-chairman of Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP's emerging and high-growth companies group and managing partner of the firm's Vancouver office. "What we are seeing, during the last eight to 12 weeks, is deals are still happening," he says. "We're doing a lot of venture financings. We're doing a lot of acquisi- tion transactions, and I think this will be a trend toward more of a virtual means of conducting the deal. And that includes even up until closing." Virtual deal making will be good news for Canadian technology companies, says Longo. With the remote process elimin- ating the geographical factor, Canadian businesses will be even more attractive for investment and acquisition, he says. The San Diego-based Insightful Science is a technology company that designs soft- ware used by scientists in conducting research. Cytapex specializes in algorithms that analyze cytometry data, helping to improve and automate high-throughput and high-dimensional cytometry inform- atics for clinical research, biomarker discovery and clinical trials. Cytometry is WEST UPDATE

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