Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation v Canadian Media Guild, 2021 CanLII 761 (CA LA)

While violating an employer policy may be grounds for discipline, expressing disagreement with a policy is not. I fail to see any basis for discipline in this message, and I agree with the union that if employees could lose their jobs for privately criticizing their bosses – even if in crude terms – this country would be facing a severe labour shortage.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Campeau v. Ontario, 2021 ONSC 129 (CanLII)

[17] It is to be noted that the immunity contained in s. 11(2) relates to the making of a regulatory decision. It does not extend to the implementation of a regulatory decision once made. This essentially codifies the common law distinction between policy and operations that the Supreme Court of Canada summarized in Ingles v. Tutkaluk Construction Ltd., 2000 SCC 12 (CanLII), [2000] 1 S.C.R. 298:…

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. Waksdale v. Swegon North America Inc., 2020 ONCA 391 (CanLII)

[10] We do not give effect to that submission. An employment agreement must be interpreted as a whole and not on a piecemeal basis. The correct analytical approach is to determine whether the termination provisions in an employment agreement read as a whole violate the ESA. Recognizing the power imbalance between employees and employers, as well as the remedial protections offered by the ESA, courts should focus on whether the employer has, in restricting an employee’s common law rights on termination, violated the employee’s ESA rights. While courts will permit an employer to enforce a rights-restricting contract, they will not enforce termination provisions that are in whole or in part illegal. In conducting this analysis, it is irrelevant whether the termination provisions are found in one place in the agreement or separated, or whether the provisions are by their terms otherwise linked. Here the motion judge erred because he failed to read the termination provisions as a whole and instead applied a piecemeal approach without regard to their combined effect.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd. c. Roadnight, 2021 QCCA 17 (CanLII)

[54] Bref, la L.a.t.m.p. crée un régime autonome et complet (« clos sur lui-même », écrit le juge LeBel dans de Montigny c. Brossard (Succession)[48]), conférant aux travailleurs le droit à l’indemnisation, le droit à la réadaptation ainsi que le droit au retour au travail et mettant à leur disposition une variété de recours[49]. L’application de ce régime est entièrement et exclusivement confiée à une instance spécialisée[50] (art. 349 L.a.t.m.p.), dont les décisions peuvent faire l’objet d’un appel devant une autre instance spécialisée à compétence exclusive[51], le tout à l’exclusion des tribunaux de droit commun (sauf par le truchement du contrôle judiciaire), ce que renforce l’immunité de poursuite décrétée par l’art. 438 L.a.t.m.p. Cette immunité elle-même, très vaste, fait partie du compromis social et historique en la matière : les employeurs financent le régime, sous tous ses aspects (art. 281 L.a.t.m.p.), et, en échange d’une prise en charge complète du travailleur par les instances spécialisées, ne peuvent être poursuivis en justice pour tout ce qui se rapporte à une lésion professionnelle et aux droits ou recours y afférents, immunité qui s’étend aux collègues de travail (art. 442 L.a.t.m.p.).

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

* As of January 2014 we measure the total amount of time spent on the pages rather than simply the number of hits; as well, a case once mentioned won’t appear again for three months.

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