ABlawg: The Year in Review, 2015

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It is that time of year again – time for ABlawg to put together a compilation of our highlights from the past year. It is also the 10th anniversary of the Clawbies, and we have included a list of some of our favourite Canadian Law Blogs here as well.

Milestones and Numbers

ABlawg hit the milestone of 1000 all-time posts this fall, with Nigel Bankes achieving a personal milestone of 200 all-time posts this year. One hundred and fifty-two (152) posts have been published on ABlawg so far in 2015, written by 48 different authors. We welcomed a number of new bloggers this year: new faculty and sessional colleagues Anna-Maria Hubert, Michael Nesbitt, Erin Sheley and Lisa Silver; students Scott Allen, Hannah Buckley, Jennifer Cox, Alex Grigg, Elysa Hogg, Elliot Holzman, Caroline Law, Ashton Menuz, Ian Pillai, and Heather White; and guest bloggers Meinhard Doelle, Glen Luther, Mansfield Mela, Avnish Nanda, and Seamus Ryder.

The posts that generated the most traffic to ABlawg were Jennifer Koshan and Alice Woolley’s contributions on R v Wagar, 2015 ABCA 327, a sexual assault decision that led to a complaint to the Canadian Judicial Council. The post that gathered the most comments was Saul Templeton’s Trinity Western University: Your Tax Dollars at Work (and see Prof Templeton’s other posts on Trinity Western here and here).

New Look

On June 1 2015, ABlawg unveiled a new look, incorporating the University of Calgary crest and colours into our new header of the iconic Lake Louise, and making it easier for readers to tweet ABlawg posts.


On June 30 2015, we launched the first in a series of ebooks, gathering together posts in particular areas of law as a service to our readers. Our first ebook, compiled by Nigel Bankes, concerns oil and gas contracts. Our second ebook, compiled by Jonnette Watson Hamilton and Jennifer Koshan, was on equality rights. A third ebook, being compiled by Jennifer Koshan, deals with the rights of farm workers in Alberta and will be released before ABlawg goes on hiatus for the holidays. Other ebooks that are currently planned will cover oil and gas leases, the Alberta Energy Regulator, and carbon law and policy.

ABlawg and the New Provincial and Federal Governments

Alberta’s new NDP government made some important policy decisions soon after its election in spring 2015 and introduced several Bills in the fall, leading to the following ABlawg posts:

  • Shaun Fluker posted commentary on the long-awaited decision of Alberta Environment and Parks to protect the Castle Wilderness area.
  • Jennifer Koshan posted her analysis of Bill 6, the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act, and provided links to previous ABlawg commentary on the issue of farm workers’ rights. In spite of the controversy over Bill 6, this post received the most Facebook likes of any ABlawg posts in 2015.

We also published commentary relevant to some of the most contentious issues in the federal election campaign:

  • Hannah Buckley posted commentary on Bill 24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, SC 2014 c 22, in which the Conservatives expanded the government’s ability to revoke Canadian citizenship.
  • Martin Olszynski and Alex Grigg published their research on the impact of Bill C-38, the omnibus budget bill, on fisheries habitat protection, concluding that the former Conservative government had “all but abdicated its role in protecting fish habitat in Canada”.
  • Maureen Duffy posted on the Conservatives’ handling of the Omar Khadr file, and we also posted an open letter to members of Parliament on Bill C-51, which was signed by several faculty members.

ABlawg Impact

A number of ABlawg posts were cited, excerpted and reprinted in judicial decisions, the Alberta legislature, professional publications, and the blogosphere, a sampling of which follows:

Our Favourite Canadian Law Blogs

ABlawg organized a roundtable on Blogging and Legal Education at the Canadian Association of Law Teachers conference in May 2015. We would like to recognize the other bloggers who participated in that roundtable as worthy candidates for the Clawbies in the category of Best Law School / Law Teacher blog:

We encourage our readers to participate in the Clawbies by nominating your favourite Canadian law blogs. Instructions for how to do so are here.

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