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Olson's Faint Hope

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on August 18, 1997. Partner content is not updated.

If there is a benchmark for evil, in the minds of many Canadians it is Clifford Robert Olson. During the last 40 of his 57 years, Olson has been outside the walls of a prison for barely 48 months. But in that short time, he caused incalculable pain, suffering and injury.

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Father Admits to Drowning Kids

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on March 29, 1999. Partner content is not updated.

As soon as she heard the news, Katharina (Tina) Marlatt felt sick, and suspicious. It was the day of the drowning deaths of her former boyfriend Thomas Dewald's two children, Christopher, 12, and Jennifer, 10. They died on Aug.

Macleans

Taber Shootings

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on May 10, 1999. Partner content is not updated.

As a spring snowstorm lashed against her face, 11-year-old Megan Drouin stood outside W. R. Myers High School in Taber, Alta., last Thursday and recalled the horrors of the previous 24 hours. On April 28, shortly after the lunch-hour break, a 14-year-old gunman had entered W. R.

Macleans

Teen Describes Murders

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on December 25, 1995. Partner content is not updated.

Following their brutal murders in suburban Montreal last April, Frank Toope, a 75-year-old retired Anglican minister, and his wife, Jocelyn, 70, were uniformly praised by friends and former parishioners as a warm, caring and generous couple.

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Regan Acquitted

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on December 28, 1998. Partner content is not updated.

Gerald Regan waited silently for his moment of truth in a Halifax courtroom late last week.

Macleans

Teen Killing in Toronto

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on November 29, 1999. Partner content is not updated.

At the foot of Dmitri Baranovski's bed are some weights, a soccer ball, tennis rackets and - what his stepfather picked up at a garage sale to help him adjust to Canadian life - a football and two hockey sticks.

Article

Calder Case

The Calder case (1973) — named for politician and Nisga’a chief Frank Calder, who brought the case before the courts — reviewed the existence of Aboriginal title (i.e., ownership) claimed over lands historically occupied by the Nisga’a peoples of northwestern British Columbia. While the case was lost, the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling nevertheless recognized for the first time that Aboriginal title has a place in Canadian law. The Calder case (also known as Calder et al. v. Attorney General of British Columbia) is considered the foundation for the Nisga’a Treaty in 2000 — the first modern land claim in British Columbia that gave the Nisga’a people self-government.

Article

Cod Moratorium of 1992

On 2 July 1992, the federal government banned cod fishing along Canada’s east coast. This moratorium ended nearly five centuries of cod fishing in Newfoundland and Labrador. Cod had played a central role in the province’s economy and culture.

The aim of the policy was to help restore cod stocks that had been depleted due to overfishing. Today, the cod population remains too low to support a full-scale fishery. For this reason, the ban is still largely in place.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

Article

Sparrow Case

R. v. Sparrow (1990) was the first Supreme Court of Canada case to test section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. Initially convicted of fishing illegally, Musqueam man Ronald Edward Sparrow was cleared by the Supreme Court and his ancestral right to fishing was upheld.

Article

Van der Peet Case

In the R. v. Van der Peet case (1996), the Supreme Court of Canada defined and restricted what constitutes Indigenous rights, as previously defined by the R. v. Sparrow case (1990). Criticized for narrowing the scope of Indigenous rights, the Van der Peet test — a set of criteria established by the court to prove Indigenous rights — stipulates that the Indigenous custom, practice or tradition in question must be integral to the distinctive culture of the Aboriginal group claiming the right and originate from before contact with the Europeans.

Article

Sustainability in Canada

Sustainability is the ability of the biosphere, or of a certain resource or practice, to persist in a state of balance over the long term. The concept of sustainability also includes things humans can do to preserve such a balance. Sustainable development, for instance, pairs such actions with growth. It aims to meet the needs of the present while ensuring that future people will be able to meet their needs.

Article

Persons Case

The Persons Case (Edwards v. A.G. of Canada) was a constitutional ruling that established the right of women to be appointed to the Senate. The case was initiated by the Famous Five, a group of prominent women activists. In 1928, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that women were not “persons” according to the British North America Act (now called the Constitution Act, 1867). Therefore, they were ineligible for appointment to the Senate. However, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council reversed the Court’s decision on 18 October 1929. The Persons Case enabled women to work for change in both the House of Commons and the Senate. It also meant that women could no longer be denied rights based on a narrow interpretation of the law.

Article

Guy Paul Morin Case

The Guy Paul Morin case was the second major wrongful conviction case to occur in the modern era of the Canadian criminal justice system. The case was riddled with official errors — from inaccurate eyewitness testimony and police tunnel vision, to scientific bungling and the suppression of evidence. Morin had been acquitted of the murder of nine-year-old Christine Jessop in 1986, only to be found guilty at a retrial in 1992. He was cleared by DNA evidence in 1995 and received $1.25 million in compensation. In 2020, DNA evidence identified Calvin Hoover, a Jessop family friend who died in 2015, as the real killer.

This article contains sensitive material that may not be suitable for all audiences.

Article

Roncarelli v Duplessis

 In 1946, Maurice DUPLESSIS, then premier and attorney general of Qué, caused the Liquor Commission chairman to revoke the liquor licence of Frank Roncarelli, a Montréal restaurant owner, so ruining the restaurant.

Article

Secularism in Quebec

The Quiet Revolution (1960–1970) gave rise to secularism within Quebec society. The latter became both secular by widening the separation between Church and State, as well as non-confessional by removing religion from institutions. 

However, the issue of secularism is still a matter for debate. In June 2019, the passage of the Act Respecting the Laicity of the State fueled many discussions about the place of religion in public domain.

Article

Elizabeth Wettlaufer Case

Elizabeth Wettlaufer is a former nurse who murdered eight elderly patients and attempted to harm six others in southwestern Ontario between 2007 and 2016. One of the most prolific serial killers in Canadian history, she was sentenced to life in prison for the murders in 2017. The case prompted widespread public outrage and made headlines internationally. It later resulted in lawsuits against Wettlaufer, and the nursing homes she worked for, and a sweeping provincial inquiry into flaws in Ontario’s long-term care system.

Article

Allan Legere Case

Convicted murderer Allan Joseph Legere escaped custody in 1989, and for 201 days terrorized the residents of the Miramichi region of New Brunswick, brutally killing another four people. Known as the “Monster of the Miramichi,” Legere became the object of one of the most intense manhunts in modern Canadian police history.

This article contains sensitive material that may not be suitable for all audiences.