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Is Canada ready for zero-emission vehicles? Plus ONCA less likely to cite other provinces, BC’s biggest civil forfeiture, and the paralegal kicked out of the profession for flagrant misconduct.

Good morning.

Big news in the US yesterday. The Colorado Supreme Court held that Donald Trump is disqualified from the state’s presidential ballot. It’s a warmup round that sets the stage for a battle at the US Supreme Court — likely to take place early in the new year.

This is the last issue of Hearsay for 2023. Happy holidays ✌️

— Dylan Gibbs

TODAY’S DOCKET

  • Canada solidifies move toward zero-emission vehicles

  • ONCA appears less likely to cite other provinces

  • BC’s biggest civil forfeiture

  • Paralegal kicked out of the profession for repeated misconduct

LEGISLATION

Canada’s new vehicle rules are electric

Man charging electric vehicle with hair standing on end

Get ready for the ZEVolution. The federal government published its finalized regulations to ramp up sales of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). Manufacturers selling new light-duty vehicles need to meet ZEV sales targets starting in 2026 and sell nothing but ZEVs by 2035. The timing of the transition matches other jurisdictions, including the UK and several US states.

  • Credit system: The sales targets aren’t firm until 2035. Until then, manufacturers can make up deficits using credits. Manufacturers earn credits by exceeding the targets in a given year — which they can bank for later or trade to a manufacturer in need.

  • Zero* emission vehicles: The regulations give full credit to plug-in hybrid vehicles, as long as they have a fully electric range of at least 80km. Shorter-range hybrids count for partial credit.

  • Early adopter incentives: Manufacturers that meet sales targets in 2024 or 2025 can start banking credits early. And the government is also giving credits to anyone that invests in fast-charging infrastructure by 2027.

Big picture: Electric vehicles currently account for about 12% of Canadian sales. Manufacturers need to almost double that number by 2026 — and the industry isn’t too excited about it. Among the concerns: Canadians might not be able to afford the higher costs of electric vehicles, and we don’t currently have enough charging infrastructure to support the change, especially in more remote areas.

HEARSAY ROUNDUP

Canadiana

🤐 Is the Ontario Court of Appeal’s citation practice egocentric? Mireille Fournier published an interesting stats-based paper in the Canadian Bar Review about citation frequency among Canadian appellate courts. Her data suggests the Ontario Court of Appeal tends to cite itself and isn’t as likely to refer to other provincial appellate courts.

💰 A payment processing company agreed to the largest civil forfeiture in BC history. PacNet is facing charges in the US alleging that it processed payments for scammers that rip off elderly victims. The alleged scams involved physical mailers promising money, prizes, and psychic services in exchange for upfront payments. PacNet hasn’t admitted wrongdoing, but it did agree to pay the province $10 million.

♵ Federal restrictions on selling single-use plastics take effect today. For the past year, it’s been illegal to manufacture single-use plastic checkout bags and many single-use plastics used for eating or drinking. As of today, it’s also illegal to sell those items.

😳 A paralegal lost her license for flagrant misconduct that included lying to clients, forging documents, and resolving files without instructions.

↩️ The Alberta Court of Appeal sided with a woman who changed her mind about reducing her insurance coverage. The woman had life insurance covering her estranged husband. Just a few days after she reduced the death benefit from $1.3 million to $400,000, her husband passed away. The change came with a 10-day cancellation period, but the insurer said the woman couldn’t rely on that clause once the person insured by the policy passed away. The Court of Appeal disagreed.

FINAL WORD

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