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Archive for ‘Case Comment’

Corporate Directors Found Liable for Employees’ Unpaid Wages

The Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (Board) notes that the following case is a “cautionary tale” for corporate directors. That is, the corporate directors in this case, unfortunately, “failed to scrutinize rigorously” the information provided to them by management and effectively left the day-to-day workings of the business’ operations solely to the owner, much to their detriment. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Seven Years After Bill 168, We Learn It Is Costly Not to Comply With Violence Provisions Under OHSA

It has been a little under seven years since Bill 168 made amendments to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) by adding employer obligations regarding the prevention of workplace violence and harassment. Considering the release of recent employer convictions for failing to comply with employer obligations to prevent and protect workers from violence under OHSA, we thought it would be good to look at some of these cases and revisit the legislation to help employers understand those obligations and comply. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Partisan Political Arguments in the Workplace, Part 2

In February, we posted a discussion with respect to how workplace political expression could go awry with human rights law. The article also provided best practices on how human resources professionals and employers can appropriately address human rights complaints specifically on the basis of political belief, activity or association. However, a comment sparked further discussion on how workplace political expression could also contravene harassment provisions under occupational health and safety legislation. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

What Rights Do Commercial Landlords Have When a Tenant Defaults?

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has reaffirmed that when a commercial tenant fundamentally defaults on its lease, the landlord is entitled to treat the lease as ongoing and sue for rent, as it comes due, without any obligation to mitigate.

 

In the instant case, the tenant, Pet Valu Canda Inc., ceased paying rent to the landlord. The landlord did not terminate the lease and instead elected to sue for ongoing arrears of rent.

 

The landlord moved for partial summary judgment on the rent that had already accrued and was undisputedly owing at the date of the motion. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law

What Makes a Proper Affidavit?

In opposed motions, many arguments masquerade as affidavits. This is improper. For the most part, legal argument should be confined to factums.

In Ferreira v. Cardenas, 2014 ONSC 7119, Justice Myers eloquently sets out the rules on affidavits sworn in support of motions:

[14] Lawyers’ affidavits can be quite helpful in cases where the lawyers, or their staff, have particular knowledge relevant to the facts in issue before the court. In Mapletoft v. Christopher J. Service2008 CanLII 6935 (ON SC) at para. 15, Master MacLeod provided the following guidelines for the use of lawyers’ affidavits:

  1. For the
. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment

ONCA Clarifies Scope of Court’s Jurisdiction to Award Costs Against Non-Parties

In what is certainly the most significant decision regarding the court’s ability to award costs against non-parties in over 45 years, the Ontario Court of Appeal has clarified the source of the court’s jurisdiction to award costs against non-parties and the applicable tests to be applied.

Chief Justice Strathy, writing for a unanimous court, noted that there had been considerable ambiguity in the case law as to whether the court possesses inherent jurisdiction, in addition to its explicit statutory jurisdiction, to award costs against a non-party. Strathy C.J.O. concluded that the court does in fact possession inherent jurisdiction in addition . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law

Despite Settlement Breach, an Award of Compensation Not Warranted

Written by Cristina Lavecchia, paralegal, editor at First Reference

An Applicant recently went before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (Tribunal), alleging that the Respondent failed to pay settlement monies owed to him per the schedule agreed to in Minutes of Settlement. The Applicant sought full payment of the general damages amount agreed to in the settlement and a further $1,000 for the harm caused by the breach. Although the Tribunal found there to be a contravention of settlement, it deemed that the delay in receiving the monies was relatively minor, and therefore an award of compensation was not warranted. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Ending the Signature Fetish?

A man was injured driving a go-kart at a track in Saskatchewan. He sued the owners of the track. The owners moved to dismiss the action because the plaintiff had waived their liability on an electronic form. The plaintiff argued that it was not clear that he had signed the waiver. Held: for the owners.

Quilichini v Wilson’s Greenhouse, 2017 SKQB 10 (CanLII)

The court considered SK’s Electronic Documents and Information Act, which implements the Uniform Electronic Commerce Act. The court properly (in my view) looked at s. 18 of the Act (s. 20 of the Uniform Act) . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, ulc_ecomm_list

The Thrill Is Gone: Sardonicism ‘R Us, Part Un

This post contains some parting, case-specific, comments on Canadian common law judicial reasoning for interested Canadian lawyers (or those interested for other reasons) to ponder, related to a few Canadian reasons for judgment delivered late in 2016.

It’s not my job or real concern any more, unless it’s at a friend’s request or for other good reason. Whether it ought to remain any part of my concern is something I don’t plan to ponder very much in 2017. If I do, though, it’ll be only after I’ve had much Macallan 25, or the equivalent, at somebody else’s expense and as . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

A Card Cannot Be Electronic: R v Albert 2016 NBQB 154

New Brunswick drivers are required by the Motor Vehicle Act to carry with them or in their vehicle a card issued by their insurer in a form approved by the government. A motorist who was asked for the card produced an image of a genuine card on her mobile phone. The New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench recently held that the image was not good enough. R v Albert, 2016 NBQB 154.

The Decision

At a first trial before a provincial court judge, the court held that the phone display satisfied the demand to show the “card”.

The Crown . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Legal Technology

Employee Did Not Have Right to Delay Work Refusal Investigation

Written by Cristina Lavecchia, Editor, First Reference

The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) recently dismissed an application where an employee claimed that her employer threatened her with discipline for exercising her right to refuse unsafe work. Why? The employee did not have the right to delay the employer’s investigation of her work refusal, to wait until her preferred union representative completed a personal matter and attended at the workplace. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation