Canada Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea got a pie in the face in Burlington, Ont. (CBC)

Officially I was back from vacation yesterday. But mentally, I’m expecting that to happen sometime around the middle of next week. But today being Change of Venue Day (Friday) and all, I thought I would share something from a far-flung venue.

So I’m sitting at my desk and whom do I hear from? A good friend, formerly of Phoenix, who moved last year to Toronto.

(Toronto in July sounds pretty good. She’s smilin’, we’re dyin’. But the worm will turn pretty soon, O (Snowy) Canada.)

Nedra Brown formerly was the Director of Sections & Committees at the State Bar of Arizona. But she headed back north to her ancestral home, where she now practices law. (And if I were her, I would wear a powdered wig every day.)

Nedra was a fantastic colleague, and I only miss her every single day. So I was pleased when I got this morning’s e-mail from her:

Since I don’t get to share American law with you, and it is Friday afternoon, I thought I would share a judgment from the Supreme Court of Canada that was released today.

The Supreme Court of Canada sets standards for deciding remedies for a Charter (think Bill of Rights, 4th Amendment) breach.

Also remember the Canadian Constitution is only 28 years old before you laugh too loudly.

Interesting that this comes out as G20 arrest cases will be moving up the pipeline.


When Nedra mentioned the Fourth Amendment and laughing loudly, she piqued my interest. And this opinion is one worth reading.

As my stuffy law professors would have intoned, the case “sounds in” constitutional and tort law.

Haven’t grabbed you yet? Then read this first line from the syllabus: “During a ceremony in Vancouver, the city police department received information that an unknown individual intended to throw a pie at the Prime Minister who was in attendance.”

Lawyer Cameron Ward being arrested on a pastry charge

It gets worse. There was a strip search (for, um, pie filling?).

And the misidentified suspect? A lawyer. All he originally asked for was an apology. Getting none, he pursued the case, all the way to Canada’s top bench—seven years of litigation.

I leave you with one other sentence from our understated magistrates from the icy north:

 In this case, the need for compensation bulks large.  Mr. Ward’s injury was serious.  He had a constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, which was violated in an egregious fashion. Strip searches are inherently humiliating and degrading regardless of the manner in which they are carried out and thus constitute significant injury to an individual’s intangible interests (P. 64)

Here is a CBC story on the messy pie matter.

And here is The Vancouver Sun, with its tasty “Political Pie Throwing: A Delicious History of Protest.”

Cameron Ward: Egg is now on the government's face

Enjoy your weekend.