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Scott Strasser

SU Law rep to host “Know Your Rights” session

By Scott Strasser, November 15 2016 —

Students’ Union law representative Mark Shearer will host a “Know Your Rights” session on Nov. 22.

Intended to provide University of Calgary students with a framework for understanding the basics of their legal rights, the session will discuss topics like the Residential Tenancy Act, traffic and bylaw tickets and employment law.

“It’s something I’ve thought about doing since I first joined [Students’ Legislative Council],” Shearer said. “I’ve learned so much in law school — especially working with the clinic on campus — it’s stuff I wish I’d known when I was an undergrad or when I was younger.”

According to Shearer, some of the most common legal issues that students have to deal with include speeding and Calgary Transit tickets, housing disputes with landlords and petty crimes like meal fraud or minor theft.

“Part of my intent is so people are aware of the legal issues they might face, which are quite common,” he said.

Shearer said knowing their rights can save students both time and money. He mentioned it is often possible to get a speeding ticket reduced and how a safety deposit for an apartment cannot be withheld if a  landlord didn’t perform a move-in inspection and supply the tenant with a copy.

While Shearer organized and will lead the session, members of Student Legal Assistance and a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer will also be involved.

The “Know Your Rights” session will take place on Nov. 22 from 2:00–4:00 p.m. in the SU Council Chambers in MacHall. The event will include a lecture and a Q&A session.

Some “know your rights” teasers…

  • Calgary Police or Transit officers can issue you an “obstruction of justice” charge if you supply a fake name when confronted by them.
  • In Canada, the government presses charges, not individuals.
  • If a Calgary police officer or Calgary Transit peace officer does not fill out a speeding or traffic ticket perfectly, the ticket might be void.

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