glossary

Glossary

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Balance of probabilities is the standard of proof usually required in hearings at the Landlord and Tenant Board and other non-criminal courts and tribunals. The tribunal has to decide whose evidence is more believable – yours or your landlord’s.

Title: bankruptcy
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Bankruptcy is a legal process. When you begin the bankruptcy process, it’s called filing for bankruptcy. When you file for bankruptcy someone called a Licensed Insolvency Trustee decides what you have to pay your creditors.

When you file for bankruptcy, you can keep some of your assets, such as furniture, pension funds, and registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) that you’ve had for over 12 months.

But you may not be able to keep other assets, such as your home and RRSP contributions that you made within the 12 months before you filed for bankruptcy.

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A bargaining unit is a group of employees that is represented by a union.

Title: bench warrant
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This is a type of arrest warrant that can be issued by a judge when you miss a scheduled court date, hearing, or trial. A bench warrant gives the police power to arrest the named person and hold them in custody until they can be brought to court.

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The benefit period is the period of time in which you must collect all the EI benefits you qualify for. The benefit period is usually 52 weeks long, starting on the Sunday before your interruption of earnings. If you apply for EI late, your benefit period might start on the Sunday before you filed your EI application.

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The "best interests of the child" is a legal test that the court uses to decide many things about children. The test is different for different family law issues.

For example, the best interests of the child test in custody and access cases considers things like:

  • the relationship between each parent and the child
  • the emotional ties between each parent and the child
  • how long the child has lived in a stable situation
  • each parent's plan to care for and bring up the child
  • in some cases, the child’s views and wishes 
  • if there has been abuse against any family member or any child

In child protection cases involving the Children’s Aid Society, the best interests of the child test considers:

  • the child’s views and wishes, unless there’s no way to find out what they are
  • the importance of keeping the child’s identity and connection to their community and culture if they are First Nations, Inuk, or Métis, even if they are not an official member of the community
  • anything else that the judge thinks is important, such as the child’s:
    • physical, mental, and emotional needs and the best way to take care of those needs
    • culture and language
    • race, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, family diversity, sex, and sexual orientation
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Before you can be found guilty of a criminal offence, the Crown must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. "Beyond a reasonable doubt" describes how sure a judge or jury must be to find you guilty of a criminal offence. Proving something "beyond a reasonable doubt" is much closer to absolute certainty than being able to show a balance of probabilities.

Title: bound over
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When someone like a witness or accused person, is required to come to court for a scheduled proceeding, and the judge wants them to come back on another day. That person is "bound over" to the next court date. The court document that compelled the person's attendance on the first court date remains valid to compel attendance at the next court date. Any conditions of the document that compelled the person's attendance remain valid and in effect until the next court date.

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This is a criminal offence also known as breach of peace bond. If you don’t follow the conditions of your section 810 recognizance you can be charged with this offence.  If you are found guilty, you can be sentenced to up to 4 years in jail.

Title: budget
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A budget is a plan that says how you will spend the money you receive within a certain period of time. Usually, people create a monthly budget that shows the income they get in a month and all the things they need to, or want to, spend that money on in the month.

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