Canadian Lawyer

September 2021

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UPFRONT 10 www.canadianlawyermag.com ATLANTIC UPDATE NEWS BRIEFS No ambiguity in insurance policy's decontamination expense coverage: Nova Scotia Court of Appeal Appellate court rules decontamination clause was not ambiguous given ordinary meaning of 'sudden' and 'accidental' THE NOVA SCOTIA Court of Appeal has affirmed a lower court's determination that insurers had to pay the decontamination expenses incurred by the insured because the contamination was due to a sudden and acci- dental cause covered by the insurance policy. In Zurich Insurance Company Ltd. v. Halifax Regional Municipality, 2021 NSCA 43, hydrocarbon contamination was found in the soil near the respondent's transit bus depot in April 2014. An investigation found that the problem had persisted for three months before the discovery. Diesel fuel from an old supply line that had not been capped and discharged whenever the bus refuelling system was acti- vated caused the contamination. The respondent, who spent significant costs to decontaminate the soil, asked for indem- nity from the appellant insurance compa- nies based on a policy of insurance, active from Jun. 1, 2013, to Jun. 1, 2014. This policy covered the costs of decontaminating the prop- erty provided the contamination was due to a "sudden and accidental" cause. The appellant insurers denied the claim. The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, finding that the loss was within the insurance coverage, ruled in favour of the respondent. The insurers' appeal contended that the lower court erred in the interpretation of the insurance policy. The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, which African Nova Scotians offered justice outreach The African Nova Scotian Justice Institute will start offering services within a year, thanks to a $4.8 million investment from the province. The institute plans to offer eight justice- related programs for African Nova Scotians: a data collection and policing accountability unit; a court support program; a community justice legal defence program; a bail alternative, incarceration support and reintegration program; an alternative justice and victim services program; a public legal education and youth development program; and a human rights and policing accountability program. African Nova Scotians make up 10 per cent of admissions to sentenced custody, but only 2.4 per cent of the total population. PEI's restorative justice for victims, offenders Prince Edward Island has launched a program to let victims and offenders explore the root causes of crime and assist those impacted with the healing process. The restorative justice approach focuses on the harms caused while holding the offender accountable and provides victims and affected communities an avenue to safely share their experiences. Representatives from the province's Legal Aid organization, the Crown Attorney's Office, Community and Correctional Services, Victim Services, law enforcement and the Mi'kmaq Confederacy of PEI have collaborated to design the program. NB introduces mandatory training for liquor industry Effective Sept. 1, those serving and selling liquor at licensed establishments in New Brunswick must take Responsible Beverage, a mandatory online training course. The Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick is offering the training course to owners of licensed establishments free of charge until Mar. 31, 2022. A $150,000 grant from the province is funding the training. Completion awards a five-year certification. MADD Canada has approved the training course as compliant with its national standards. NS reviews adult capacity and decision-making law Nova Scotia wants feedback on whether the Adult Capacity and Decision-making Act is working as intended. The law, which took effect at the end of 2017, recognizes the autonomy of adults who cannot make some or all of their decisions for themselves. The public consultations offer numerous ways to provide feedback, including an online survey, targeted focus group sessions and email, mail and phone submissions. The government is expected to table a report covering the review by Dec. 28. Nova Scotia Barristers' Society to tackle discrimination Acknowledging that systemic discrimination against Indigenous and Black communities exists within the organization and in the justice system, The Nova Scotia Barristers Society has announced that it will conduct a comprehensive external review led by independent reviewer Doug Ruck. It will consist of a regulatory review of the organization's legislation, regulation, policies, procedures and practices relating to the regulatory aspects of its mandate, such as credentialing and professional responsibility, and an operational review of its policies, procedures and practices.

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