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Archive for ‘Miscellaneous’

Three Business IP Scams to Watch For

It’s summer vacation season, and worth a reminder about some common business IP scams to watch out for. Staff covering for vacations and unfamiliar with these may be more vulnerable to them. While there are lots of scams out there, these three are the ones I get asked about most by clients.

The trademark registration scam. Scammers monitor the trademark application process, and send an invoice to the trademark applicant that looks like it is part of the trademark application process. If you read it very carefully it says it isn’t an invoice, and it is a pitch for a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous

Refugees in Schools: Intersection of Municipal Law & Federal Obligations

To date, the Federal government has accepted 27,580 Syrian refugees into Canada through various government programs and private sponsorships. The processing of this volume of applications has been a monumental task. In meetings, the Deputy Minister described how they created a 24/7 processing machine, using their resources around the globe to increase efficiency and decrease processing times. These +27,500 refugees join the ~150,000 other refugees from other source countries. When they arrive, there is no doubt that they require significant settlement services and the children need access to education. This is where things can get messy. While the Federal government . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Miscellaneous

Amendment to the Charter of the French Language: Signage in French and Trademarks

The Charter of the French Language currently allows for the exclusive use of trademarks in languages other than French unless a French version of the trademark has been registered. Seeing an increase in the presence of trademarks in a language other than French displayed on outdoor signage all over the province, the Québec Minister of Culture and Communications and Minister Responsible for the Protection and Promotion of the French Language, Hélène David, tabled proposed amendments to regulations under the Charter of the French Language (Loi 101). The amendments are to ensure a greater visibility of French in the display of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Enemy of the State – Still Topical

I recently watched the 1998 movie Enemy of the State . It is a spy thriller about a lawyer being smeared by politicians because they believe he has information that can implicate them in criminal matters – the murder of a politician who was opposing a privacy bill that is really a bill empowering mass surveillance. They use sophisticated, unsavoury, unethical, and illegal methods to watch him, discredit him, and retrieve the evidence. No one is watching the watchers, who are out of control.

While like any disaster movie the plot is a bit over the top, it was fascinating . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

Courting Controversy: Substantive Equality and the New Court Challenges Program

Following through on their election promise, the Federal Government has committed to reinstating and updating the Court Challenges Program (“CCP”) after the Harper government cut the entire budget in 2006. The process is well under way, with funding promised in the 2016 Budget, stakeholder consultations and Parliamentary Committee hearings currently in progress.

In its previous iteration, the CCP was made up of two separate panels: a Language Rights Panel and an Equality Rights Panel. The program provided funding for court cases of national significance that had the potential to advance constitutional language or equality rights. Equality cases were . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Ontario Introducing New ORPP Legislation

On April 14, 2016, the Ontario government introduced new legislation to launch the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) legislation. Bill 186, Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act (Strengthening Retirement Security for Ontarians), 2016 will ensure that if the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is not enhanced, Ontario can proceed with the ORPP. However, the Ontario government says it remains committed to working with the federal government to enhance the CPP. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Of Tweeters Laureate and Judicious Public Outreach

Last week’s BC Provincial Court’s #AskChiefJudge Twitter Town Hall went off with nary a glitch, and even received some fanfare in the Vancouver Sun for its being the first (known) instance of a time when a Canadian chief judge has taken to Twitter to answer live questions. Dave Bilinsky and Colin Lachance both shared news of this last week.

It proved many things—one of them being 2010 really is a pretty long time ago.

The Courts’ Affair with Twitter Since 2010

Back in 2010 only a fraction of courts even held a Twitter handle—7% according to a CCPIO report of . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Technology

Tip or Other Gratuity: Proposed Credit Card Processing Fee Exemption Under ESA

In general in Canada, restaurant and bar patrons are expected to leave a tip amounting to approximately 15 percent of their total bill when dining out or drinking. However, we usually do so without asking ourselves how the money will be divided among staff members. Well, it seems in Ontario, it is a common practice for restaurants to require servers to share their tips and gratuities with their managers and the owners.

Protecting Employees’ Tips Act, 2015 (Bill 12), amended the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) to provide that employers are prohibited from taking any portion of an employee’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Policy Position on Gender-Specific Dress Codes

Written for First Reference by Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, and PHD student at the University of Western Ontario

Can you think of a store, restaurant, or bar that appears to require women to wear low-cut tops, short skirts, tight dresses, or high heels when they go to work? Well, it might be wise for those employers to take another look at their dress code policy in light of the Ontario Human Rights Commission position on gender-specific dress code announced on International Women’s Day 2016 and the passing into law of occupational health and safety provisions protecting against workplace sexual . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Guidelines to Develop Whistleblowing System

The CSA Group (formerly the Canadian Standards Association) with the assistance of the nationally based law firm Grant Thornton LLP has developed a free guide to help organizations develop and maintain a whistleblowing system with the goal to encourage workers to report ethical and safety issues within an established mechanism. Reported issues include suspected tax fraud, accounting fraud, corporate fraud, insider trading, health and safety issues and other serious offenses. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

When Corporate Policies Can Backfire

Businesses and organizations rely on internal and external policies and procedures to document the way they do certain things. But if not written carefully, they can actually add risk.

Many of these are compliance based. In other words, they set out how in practice the business will deal with various legal obligations. Depending on the nature and size of the business, they could deal with things like privacy, anti-spam, workplace safety, money laundering, and the list goes on.

Having these policies can help reduce legal risk, and help ensure that employees do the right thing.

Sometimes businesses create policies and . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Leap Year Proposal Law

The leap year, where the shortest month of February gains an additional day, is one of the peculiarities of the Gregorian calendar. This additional day, February 29, also has some legal lore surrounding it in the Scottish law tradition.

On February 29, 1288, the unmarried Queen Margaret of Scotland is said to have codified the declaration of St. Patrick. In addition to fixing the calendar, the day could be used to “fix” other social norms as well.

The History Channel states,

According to legend, in 5th century Ireland, St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about women having to wait

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous