January 21, 2021 – Search of Student’s Purse Uncovering Cocaine Not a Violation of Charter

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Search of Student’s Purse Uncovering Cocaine Not a Violation of Charter

R. v Calabretta2020 ONCJ 435

The Ontario Court of Justice determined that a student’s freedom from unreasonable search and seizure pursuant to section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom was not violated when her purse was searched by an employee of the School Board.

While the student attended her high school prom, the vice-principal performed a mandatory search of her purse and found two grams of cocaine. The Court held that, despite the absence of reasonable grounds for the search, the mandatory security search of bags at a prom was reasonable in all the circumstances.



Catherine v Greater Essex County District School Board2020 HRTO 706

The applicant alleged discrimination in employment on the basis of age because he was not hired by the School Board after he applied for a position.

The School Board requested that the Application be dismissed as having no reasonable prospect of success. The Tribunal determined that the Application could continue on the basis that the applicant had presented sufficient evidence in support of his allegations.



Hannam v Medicine Hat School District No. 76, 2020 ABCA 343

The Court of Appeal of Alberta dismissed the student’s mother “slip and fall” action against the School District. The custodian of the school was putting sand on the sidewalk while the student’s mother was walking behind him, and she slipped.

The Court held that the School District was neither negligent nor in breach of its duty under the Occupiers’ Liability Act. The Court added that there was nothing more the School District should have done to make its sidewalk safe for visitors. Alberta’s winter have conditions that present risks to its inhabitants.


Rachelle Doucette-Oxley v District Scolaire Francophone Sud et al., 2020 NBQB 222

A former employee, an Education Assistant, claimed significant damages against the School Board for discrimination and harassment in the workplace. The Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick dismissed the former employee’s action against the School Board. The Court determined that the matter was within the exclusive jurisdiction of the arbitrator pursuant to the collective agreement.



Commission scolaire francophone et al v Minister of Education, 2020 NWTSC 28

The applicants, non-right holder parents pursuant to section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, disputed the Minister of Education’s refusal to admit their children to the Francophone minority schools in the Northwest Territories.

The Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories granted the parents’ applications for judicial review, holding that the Minister’s decisions were unreasonable. The Court held that the Minister’s conclusions were largely based on considerations that were unsupported by the evidence. The Minister’s decisions were set aside and the matter was referred back to the Minister for reconsideration.