Tag Archives: Community

Canada Day Weekend: Fireworks Safety

By: Dale Orlando and Nicole Fielding, Summer Student


The Canada Day weekend is fast approaching, and with this year being Canada’s 150th birthday, it is a special time to celebrate. Fireworks can be a fun and exciting activity to enjoy with family and friends, but they can also be dangerous and unpredictable when handled incorrectly. Improper use of pyrotechnics can result in serious burns and personal injuries. If you choose to host your own fireworks show, there are a number of things to keep in mind to ensure a fun and safe fireworks display.

Planning Ahead

Before you pick up your own fireworks, it is a good idea to check out the bylaws in your area concerning their use. The Government of Canada, Provinces and many Municipalities have set restrictions on when and where fireworks may be enjoyed.  For example, in Toronto, fireworks displays/discharges must comply with the City of Toronto fireworks bylaw, and fireworks may only be used without a permit on designated holidays.

When obtaining fireworks, purchase them from a reliable source that sells products meeting safety standards. Some Municipalities issue vendor permits to regulated retailers. Steer clear from illegal explosives or firecrackers, and do not attempt to create your own.

Consumer fireworks cannot be sold to anyone under the age of 18.

Prepare Your Display

Location is critical when it comes to setting off fireworks. Set up your supplies in a clear, open space, away from combustible materials and hazards, on a hard, flat and level surface to ensure stability. Always read the instructions, cautions and warnings on the fireworks you have purchased.

Arrange spectators a safe distance away from the set-off location, and be sure that any wind is blowing away from your audience. Discharge fireworks only if weather conditions allow for it.

Before igniting, fireworks should be buried at least half their length in a bucket of sand if a firing base is not available. Never discharge fireworks from a metal or glass container. Be sure that all the fireworks are firmly supported in their base or sand, and aimed straight and away from your audience. Always keep a water hose or a pail or water close by when discharging fireworks.

Natural Resources Canada has issued a short video about fireworks safety which can be viewed here.

Protect Yourself and Your Family

When setting off your fireworks, light only one firework item at a time. Always light the fuse at the tip, and light the firework at arms length, then stand back. If you get a “dud” or defective firework, never attempt to re-light it, and wait 30 minutes to ensure it does not go off.

Only a responsible adult should be handling fireworks. Always keep fireworks out of reach of children, and store them in a space that is inaccessible to younger members of your family.

Sparklers burn extremely hot, and can cause clothing to catch fire, cause blindness or result in severe burns. If choosing to include sparklers in the celebration, remember to keep these away from young children. Sparklers should be doused in water or immersed in a bucket of sand after burning out, as they remain hot for some time.

Sometimes, the safest and most stress-free way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a show handled by professionals. There might be events hosted in your community being overseen by a trained, certified professional. Check out the Government of Canada’s list of Canada Day celebrations happening near you.

If you or someone you know has suffered burns or other serious injuries as the result of an accident, contact one of the critical injury lawyers at McLeish Orlando LLP for a free consultation.

March Blood Drive

March Blood Drive

As personal injury lawyers, we know that many of our clients depend on blood donors after their car accidents, motorcycle accidents and biking collisions. That’s why we commit to donating blood as often as we can. Earlier today, staff from McLeish Orlando headed to Canadian Blood Services to give the gift of life.

We were excited that today’s numbers showed that 75% of our donors were doing so for the first time. McLeish Orlando loves being able to give back to their clients and the community, and will continue to donate blood regularly.

If you are interested in joining us during our next blood drive, please email .


McLeish Orlando Gives the Gift of Life

Did you know the best gift you can give this holiday season is a gift that cannot be bought? Canadian Blood Services is hoping to start a new holiday tradition this year, urging all eligible Canadians to donate blood.

Today, the staff and lawyers at McLeish Orlando will be heading to the King and University Clinic to donate blood. Due to the nature of work we do at McLeish Orlando, we understand the critical need for blood donors, and how donations can save lives. Blood is in high demand this holiday season, and in order to maintain the national blood supply, Canadian Blood Services will need at least one hundred thousand new donors by early next year.

The image below shows how many donors are needed for some common scenarios:













We will be planning another blood drive next year, and all those interested in joining us are encouraged to email .

BIST, Mcleish Orlando Accepts Your Challenge!

Written By: Lindsay Charles

Lindsay is on the BIST 5k Run Committee. This year, she is supporting BIST by planning fundraising initiatives at McLeish Orlando. McLeish Orlando regularly supports the BIST 5k Run, Walk & Roll, and are excited to lead the charge once again.

As personal injury lawyers in Toronto, we’ve seen the damage a serious brain injury can cause an individual and their families. According to BIST’s “Brain Injury Facts and Figures” More than 11,000 Canadians die each year as a result of traumatic brain injury and over 500,000 Canadians sustain neurotrauma injuries each year. That’s why we’re proud to be leading the charge on this year’s BIST 5k Run, Walk & Roll, and we’re challenging you to join us!

The 5k Run, Walk & Roll is an annual event hosted by the Brain Injury Society of Toronto, of which McLeish Orlando is a proud supporter. Every year, the firm gives their staff the chance to participate by paying the registration fees for all those interested. However, we’d like to take it a step further. We’re encouraging our staff to do their own fundraising, get passionate and get creative. The firm will provide a free lunch to any staff member who raises a minimum of $20. The top fundraiser will be awarded a $100 Cadillac Fairview Gift Card. All the funds raised will go towards supporting several new BIST initiatives, including a concussion support program, print and online brain injury resources, etc.

McLeish Orlando lawyers have dealt extensively with brain injury clients and understand the struggle first hand.

This year’s event will be superhero themed, and will celebrate all brain injury heroes. Whether you’re a survivor, a family member, a care giver or a health care or legal professional, we’re inviting you to come out on Saturday, October 3 to celebrate YOU! Check out our event page for more details on how you can get involved.

See you out there!

A Weekend of Giving Back

McLeish Orlando Supports BIST 5k Run, Walk and Roll and SCIO Wheelchair Relay Challenge

This past weekend, McLeish Orlando staff, family and friends came out to support two very important causes in our community. In spite of the rain on Saturday, there were close to 300 participants who finished the race for the 3rd Annual BIST 5K Run.

McLeish Orlando participated as part of The Personal Injury Alliance with a team of close to a hundred staff and supporters.

Through sponsorship, fundraising and registration, BIST generated over $50,000 that will go a long way in supporting programs, services and efforts to raise brain injury awareness.

The Brain Injury Society of Toronto supports brain injury survivors and family members. BIST aims to enhance the quality of life for people in the City of Toronto, living with the effects of brain injury through education, awareness, support and advocacy.

Photos from bist.ca- Click the photo to enlarge


As part of our weekend of giving back, on Sunday we participated in Spinal Cord Injury Ontario’s Wheelchair Relay Challenge held at Ontario Place.  Continue reading

Insurance Bureau of Canada Misinforms Officials, OTLA Taking Action

The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association has recently sent out a newsletter to every MPP in Ontario regarding the Insurance Bureau of Canada misinforming officials about insurance premiums, claims cost and profits.

McLeish Orlando stands behind  OTLA in ensuring that MPP officials are well informed. See below for the newsletter sent out by OTLA.

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Gale Cup Victory for Osgoode Hall Law School

McLeish Orlando LLP congratulates Ian Perry, along with the rest of his team from Osgoode Hall Law School, for their recent victory at the 40th annual Gale Cup Moot. Ian summered with the firm in 2012 and will be returning as an articling student for 2013/2014.

The Gale Cup, one of Canada’s oldest moot competitions, takes place in Toronto at the Ontario Court of Appeal and is meant to simulate a fictional appeal from a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada.  Judging panels are made up of presiding judges drawn from various jurisdictions across Canada. This year’s final panel included the recently appointed Justice Richard Wagner of the Supreme Court of Canada.

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9 Things NOT to Say to Someone with a Brain Injury

An excellent blog post written by Marie Rowland, PhD, EmpowermentAlly. 

Brain injury is confusing to people who don’t have one. It’s natural to want to say something, to voice an opinion or offer advice, even when we don’t understand.

And when you care for a loved one with a brain injury, it’s easy to get burnt out and say things out of frustration.

Here are a few things you might find yourself saying that are probably not helpful:

1. You seem fine to me.

The invisible signs of a brain injury — memory andconcentration problems, fatigue, insomnia, chronic pain, depression, or anxiety — these are sometimes more difficult to live with than visible disabilities. Research shows that having just a scar on the head can help a person with a brain injury feel validated and better understood.

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Law Firms raise $245,000 for Daily Bread Food Bank in Law Firm Challenge

During the month of December, the staff and lawyers at McLeish Orlando LLP banded together for the great cause of raising money and collecting food for the Daily Bread Food Bank. Every December, a number of Toronto law firms get together, led and organized by Blakes LLP, for the Holiday Law Firm Food Bank Challange to see who can be
raise the most money for the Daily Bread Food Bank.

The Daily Bread Food Bank’s mandate is to fight to end hunger. As Canada’s largest food bank  the Daily Bread Food Bank provides food to thousands of individuals and families across Toronto. The annual law firm challenge raised $245,000.00 this year for the Daily Bread Food Bank. For every $500.00 that is raised, a truck is able to deliver 275,000 lbs of food. For every $25 that is raised, a hamper box containing 3 days worth of groceries is provided to a person in need.

This was our first year participating in the Holiday Law Firm Challange and we were out to win and show our strong support for this great cause. With the help of many very generous donors and the overwhleming enthusiasm  of the McLeish Orlando staff and lawyers, we were able to raise $37,041.49. Not only was this the largest amount raised on a per capita basis, but this was also the largest amount raised by a Toronto law firm in the challange. We are proud to support such a great organization, and we are already looking forward to next year’s competition to help raise even more money than this year for the Daily Bread Food Bank.

McLeish Orlando Gives Back: Co-Sponsorship of Conference Raises over $20,000 for Toronto Rehabilitation Institute

The 10th annual Practical Strategies for Health Care Professionals conference took place on Thursday June 9, 2011 and was an overwhelming success.  Each year, McLeish Orlando co-sponsors this conference which is undertaken as a fundraising venture with 100% of the registration fees being donated to charity.  This year, the conference raised over $20,000.00 for the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.  McLeish Orlando wishes to thank all of the presenters and each of the over 200 attendees that helped make the conference a success.

Lawyers Take up Injured Veterans’ Fight for Benefits

From today’s Toronto Star:

Moved by the stories of Canada’s wounded soldiers who’ve come home only to be forced to fight the federal government for benefits, Ontario’s trial lawyers say they’ll represent injured veterans for free.

And in Ottawa, sources tell the Star that the Liberals will present legislation Tuesday that, if passed, would elevate the Office of the Veterans’ Ombudsman so that it reports to Parliament, and not the minister of national defence, as is currently the case.

A recent Star series entitled Our Wounded Warriors exposed the fight Canada’s 1,500 injured soldiers — many disabled and traumatized after serving in Afghanistan — face when they return home.

The 1,100-member Ontario Trial Lawyers Association told the Star it is astounded by the “hurdles, the runarounds and the hardships” Canada’s veterans face when they try to collect federal military service and disability benefits.

“These veterans fight for our country and they really should not have to fight for these benefits,” said lawyer Patrick Brown, chair of the new initiative called Trial Lawyers for Veterans.

“If we can help out, we will,” said Brown. “The commitment from our volunteers is to offer free services. It is all pro bono.”

After suffering devastating injuries from roadside or suicide bombers, missile attacks, vehicle rollovers or gunshot wounds, the veterans are often stunned when they find themselves battling Ottawa for money, for a job and for respect.

The Star series, plus a suggestion from lawyer and mediator Paul Torrie, prompted the executive of the association to ask its members if they would consider helping the injured soldiers. Trial lawyers specialize in disability claims, injuries and fatalities.

Association president Dale Orlando said the response from the province’s lawyers was “remarkable.”

“We had all read the stories in the Star, so we had a little bit of background, and we did a little bit of investigating and we did find that Canadian veterans — to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude — were having to navigate a maze of government red tape in order to receive compensation,” Orlando said.

“We heard some horror stories about the roadblocks they were facing.

“We thought, that is what we do in our day-to-day jobs — fight for victims so they do receive fair compensation. There was a natural fit for our organization.”

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Essential Tips for Consumers renewing their Car/Auto Insurance in Ontario.

After September 1, 2010, car insurance companies and brokers across Ontario will be presenting consumers with new choices for their auto insurance renewals.  A daunting process is ahead.  The insurance system in Ontario is one of the most complicated systems in North America. 

Even though car insurance is a major budgetary item for many families, many consumers are unfamiliar with the coverage they actually have.  After September 1, consumers will be given a number of choices as to amount of benefits they wish to purchase. By giving such a choice, the intent was to give them a break on premiums being paid.  

The new basic auto policy being sold contains far less benefits than what existed before September 1.  With benefits being drastically reduced, one would of course expect to see some significant reductions in how much one has to pay in premiums. 

Therefore it is absolutely critical that each consumer ask their insurance company and brokers what are they buying and at what price.  Like shopping in a supermarket, each item ought to have a price tag. Continue reading