Four New Laws in BC, Local Harassment Stories and More

Four New Laws in BC, Local Harassment Stories and More

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Each month, Spraggs Law publishes Vancouver Legal News, a curated selection of articles about legal issues discussed in the news. This month, we’re outlining four new laws in BC, followed by two North Vancouver seniors being terrorized, a sexual assault case on a migrant worker at an Okanagan winery, and other local harassment stories in the news.

New laws in BC, including stiffer penalties for commercial truck crashes into overpasses.

New Laws in BC to Be Aware Of

Important news for commercial vehicle operators in BC

British Columbia plans to significantly increase penalties for commercial truck crashes into overpasses, with fines reaching up to $100,000 and potential jail terms of 18 months. The BC. Trucking Association supports the penalty hikes, highlighting the need for a strong safety culture in the industry.

Efforts to curb online hate

The Liberal government plans to introduce the Online Harms Act (Bill C-63), creating a Digital Safety Commission of Canada and a new ombudsperson to address online harms. The legislation aims to protect Canadians, especially youth, from harmful online content, including child sex-abuse material and revenge porn. The bill also includes amendments to the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act to address online hate speech and strengthen penalties for advocating genocide. Families of victims of online harms are advocating for the bill’s swift passage.

Putting a stop to revenge porn

BC’s new Intimate Images Protection Act, aimed at combating online harm, has already resulted in three orders to remove non-consensual intimate images. The act allows victims to request online platforms to remove intimate photos and videos shared without consent. The new legislation also provides access to victim services resources and marks a significant step in protecting individuals’ privacy and combating the spread of non-consensual intimate images online.

Recouping costs for harms caused by products 

British Columbia has introduced legislation that will allow the province to sue companies for health-related costs from harmful products. The proposed law, the Public Health Accountability and Cost Recovery Act, aims to hold companies, including social media platforms and product manufacturers, accountable for damages caused by their products. 

Unfriendly Neighbours

Is a social media trend to blame?

Two unidentified individuals are harassing two seniors in a North Vancouver home. The unknown perpetrators have allegedly kicked their front door, egged their house, and thrown a traffic cone through a window. The seniors, with no criminal history, are perplexed by the ongoing harassment. The incidents, caught on CCTV, are believed to be part of a trend where teens challenge each other to kick doors as a prank. The North Vancouver RCMP are seeking information to identify the suspects, who could face mischief charges. The repeated attacks have left the seniors frightened and unsure of what might happen next.

Escalating unneighbourly conduct

In a recent court ruling in British Columbia, property owners attempting to build a fence faced ongoing verbal and physical harassment from a neighbour. The court ordered the neighbour to cease the harassment and awarded over 21K in punitive damages to the property owners for the emotional distress caused by the situation. The ruling serves as a reminder of the importance of respecting property rights and boundaries and the consequences of engaging in harassing behaviour towards others.

Sexual Assault of a Migrant Worker and Harassed by an Ex

Winery co-owner accused of sexual assault

Allegations of sexual assault against a migrant farmworker highlight a broader problem. The worker alleges she was sexually assaulted while intoxicated by the co-owner of a popular Okanagan winery where she was employed. While the accusations have yet to be tested in court, the case sheds light on the vulnerability of migrant workers who often face exploitation and abuse in agricultural settings. The incident underscores the need for better protection and support for migrant workers to prevent such violations from occurring.

Breakups are complex, but this one is scary

A BC man was found guilty of criminally harassing his ex-girlfriend. The man had engaged in a pattern of threatening behaviour towards his former partner, including sending her numerous threatening messages, putting up missing posters, creating fake social media accounts and showing up at her workplace. The man pleaded guilty to criminal harassment and was also charged with breach of probation and more, stemming from a previous harassment case involving another ex-partner. The judge emphasized the seriousness of the man’s actions and their impact on the victim’s well-being.

What Do You Think? 

What do you think about these updates affecting citizens, employers, and employees across Canada? If you have questions about employment law, estate law, business law, personal injury or harassment laws for our team at Spraggs Law, we’d love to hear from you. Contact one of our lawyers in Vancouver today.

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