The right to silence is a constitutional right in Canada under s.7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Police have the right to investigate and question you but you have the right to tell them "I do not wish to give a statement or answer any questions" then remain silent and you should exercise that right to silence. Anything you say to the Police is considered a statement and can be used against you. The Police are sophisticated with their interviewing techniques, but until you speak with a legal professional you can + should stay silent.
Wills, Power of Attorneys, Representation Agreements, and Personal Declarations
A Will is testamentary documents done to set out your last wishes upon your passing. A well-drafted Will can ensure your last wishes are met and reduce confusion for friends & family.
In your Will you will set out your Executor(s) who you appoint to administer your estate and follow things as you've set out in your Will. When drafting your Will, we recommend that you place some thought into the legal rights of children and spouses to reduce the risk of a Wills Variation Action. We highly recommend speaking with a legal professional when drafting your Will to ensure that it is done properly and takes into account all possibilities.
A Power of Attorney (POA) authorizes a trusted person (or two, or with alternate) to make financial decisions for you when you are alive, on your instruction. Or, if you are incapable (i.e. significant dementia or a coma), on your behalf. It is a powerful document, and is effective only during your life - once you pass away the POA is no longer valid. It can be used to transfer land, access bank accounts, sign cheques, sign contracts, and more. If you are planning on using it for Land transactions (ie. selling or buying) then there are certain requirements in order to ensure the POA is valid for these specific purposes - something that our office can help with!
A Representation Agreement (RA) authorizes a trusted person (or two, or with alternate) to make health care decisions for you when you are alive but when you can no longer make those decisions (i.e. significant dementia or coma). It is a helpful and important document which lets your family and medical professionals know who would make those decisions for you if you can't. These decisions can be things such as: where you'd live, the treatment you'd receive, and other medical decisions. We recommend it anytime, but particularly for blended families to ensure everyone knows your choice, and certainly for those where your health is of a concern. This document can be signed with two witnesses (non-lawyers), but we do recommend a review with a lawyer along with signing with a lawyer to ensure a professional has notes about your mental capacity at the time of making.
A Personal Declaration (or Living Will) is essentially a well-written letter to the world setting out your wishes in the event you are in dire straights, death is imminent, and there is no real chance of recovery. It can be written in many ways, but the standard wording includes "no heroic steps" if you are in extreme pain and no chance of recovery. It is not a legally binding document, but gives those in a position where they are making decisions for you, to let them clearly know your wishes. Having a Personal Declaration can be helpful to ensure that your family and friends can make the tough decisions knowing what you would want.
Getting a ticket for using an electronic device while driving is costly, and if you receive multiple violations, can result in your license being suspended.
The Motor Vehicle Act prohibits the use of electronic devices while driving. The most ubiquitous electronic device is the cell phone, however, the term does encompass other devices.
In order to prove the offence, the officer must establish “use” of the device. The term “use" is defined broadly and includes holding the device in a position in which it may be used, operating one or more of the device’s functions, and using the device’s speakerphone or voice recognition technology. Even the act of picking up the device to plug it in while driving, is an offence. However, as long as the the driver is not operating any of the device’s functions, simply having a cell phone resting in the vicinity of the driver, such as on the center console or on the passenger’s seat, is not an offence, even if it is plugged into the vehicle.
There are significant exceptions to the general rule stated above. Perhaps the most important exception is that a driver may use certain functions of the device if the device is “securely fixed” to the vehicle. This means the device must be held in a cradle or similar apparatus that is mounted to the vehicle and does not obstruct the driver’s view of the road. Simply having the device in a cupholder or resting on the center console is not sufficient for these exceptions to apply. While the device is securely fixed to the vehicle, the driver may use the hands free telephone functions and navigation systems. The driver must not touch the device while operating the vehicle, except the driver may use a single touch to accept or terminate a call. This exception does not apply to Class 7 (novice) or Class 7L (learner) drivers.
If you have received a violation ticket for using an electronic device while driving, please call our office to speak to a lawyer that can assist you.
DISCLAIMER: The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained by a legal professional.