Toronto Criminal And Civil Law Blog

Refresher on Federal Gun Law Amendments

Earlier this year, the Federal government passed a bill that allowed revisions to existing firearms laws across the country. The changes were implemented in light of increased gun violence in Canada.

However, with recent reports of more gun violence in urban cities across Ontario, as well as news reports of more mass shootings across the border in the U.S., it may be a good time to remind Canadians exactly what changes were made, and how they intend to keep people safe.

Controversy over new federal legislation on firearms

In May 2019, the federal government passed a bill for updated precautions on firearm ownership. More “enhanced” background checks for firearm owners is one example of the types of provisions included in the bill that aimed to reduce instances of gun violence across the country. The bill is currently awaiting royal assent before it is passed into law.

However, some politicians do not support the bill, and are calling for it to be repealed. As posted in an article on, the controversy is over whether or not the stricter rules imposed on gun ownership will actually impact the gun crimes in Canada. And then there are others still who say that the bill is a start, but there is still more to be done to improve gun-related crimes in the country.

Examining eyewitness testimony in criminal cases

Not every case involves eyewitness testimony. But those that do could have a heavy influence on the case. So, it’s no surprise that witness testimonies face strict tests for reliability and bias.

Eyewitness accounts are not always perfect, and they remain less reliable than other types of evidence. As a result, The Canadian Commissions of Inquiry has made several recommendations to enhance eyewitness reliability. Below, we examine some of the flaws and recommendations regarding eyewitnesses.

Employment Insurance (EI) Fraud: What You Need To Know

Throughout the course of your working life, you may find yourself relying on Employment Insurance (EI) once or twice. Whether it’s following the birth or adoption of a child or as the result of unemployment, having temporary financial assistance can be a big help.

So what happens if you find yourself under investigation for fraud while receiving EI? Given the serious implications, it’s important to understand what is involved.

Fighting accusations of tax evasion

Like many in Ontario, you work hard for your money. You obtained an education, received the proper training for your position and do whatever is necessary to stay on top of the changes and developments in your industry. You understand your obligations to others, including the government of Canada, but you are careful of how you distribute your wealth.

Perhaps this is why you are in the crosshairs of the Canada Revenue Agency. This government agency investigates and pursues those who violate tax laws through fraud, tax evasion and other offences. If you are under investigation for tax evasion, you have a lot at stake, and you would do well to understand the process and potential consequences of such an inquiry.

Due diligence is needed before bringing a gun into Canada

Most visitors to Canada are likely ready to face the inspection process at the border, knowing about the restrictions for food and alcohol taken into the country. However, not everybody is aware of the zero-tolerance policy for bringing firearms into Canada. In many instances, visitors from places that allow people to carry concealed weapons may be caught unaware.

If you are a Canadian visitor, and you forget about the handgun you have with you, the consequences can be severe. Although officers at the border can exercise discretion, they could order the destruction of your weapon, issue a fine, and you might even face jail time. Learning about the requirements and restrictions for transporting firearms into Canada might help you to avoid these harsh repercussions.

The differences between civil and criminal cases

Whether you face a civil lawsuit or criminal charges, you may be unfamiliar with the ensuing legal procedures. Civil lawsuits result from disagreements or injuries and damage caused by one party's alleged negligence, resulting in the plaintiff suing the defendant. On the other hand, criminal cases involve accusations of violations of public-law statutes.

Civil and criminal processes differ significantly. Criminal proceedings start with an arrest, and police must protect your rights -- one of which is to consult with a lawyer. You will then be in custody in a detention centre until a hearing in which the justice of the peace will order your release on bail, or you will remain in custody. A trial must follow within a reasonable time.

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Toronto Criminal And Civil Law Blog | Howard C. Cohen & Associates