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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

New Proposed Cannabis Regulations

This week, Health Canada announced the new amendments to the Cannabis Regulations, which set rules governing for the legal production and sale of edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals. The amended regulations will come into force on October 17, 2019, but will not be available to Canadians until mid-December 2019, due to the 60-day notice requirement for all federal license holders.

An overview of the amended regulations are available here, with a pdf summary here. The full regulations will be published in the Canada Gazette on June 26, 2019.

Some of the main features include placing . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Workplace Culture That Includes Racism Is Very Costly for Employer

Recently, a Nova Scotia Human Rights Board of Inquiry awarded a record $593,417 in damages, including $105,650 for injury to dignity and $433,077 for wage loss, to a former Halifax transit worker employed as a mechanic who suffered racial harassment and discrimination at work.

In a previous ruling released in March 2018, Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission board of inquiry chair Lynn Connors found widespread racial discrimination and a poisoned work environment at Halifax Transit’s garage. The Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) was found vicariously liable for the actions of their employees.

Connors stated,

“I find based on the facts

. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Needed Change to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program

Much has been said about what is wrong with the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP), particularly in relation to certain categories of workers, whether fundamentally about the notion of “migrant worker” or about details of the program. One of the serious problems with the program has been the way in which workers have been tied to particular employers. A recent change, allowing workers to change employers, has the potential to address one of the negative aspects of the system. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law

Pernicious and Unfair Assumptions Around Colonial Genocide

In 1991, the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. McCraw reviewed the threat of a criminally accused to inflict bodily harm, and discussed how rape is an act of violence, and not just a sexual act,

It is difficult if not impossible to distinguish the sexual component of the act of rape from the context of violence in which it occurs. Rape throughout the ages has been synonymous with an act of forcibly imposing the will of the more powerful assailant upon the weaker victim. Necessarily implied in the act of rape is the imposition of the assailant’s will

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

British Columbia Employment Standards and Labour Relations Reforms Passed

On May 30, 2019, the British Columbia government gave royal assent to an amended version of Bill 8, Employment Standards Amendment Act, 2019 to significantly update the Employment Standards Act, and royal assent to an amended version of Bill 30, Labour Relations Code Amendment Act, 2019 to provide greater protections for unionized workers. According to the government, the changes will better protect workers, bring greater stability for employers and more durable labour relations. . . . [more]

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

Using Law to Restrict Freedom of Religion and Conscience: The Vaccination Issue

Generally speaking, those of us above “a certain age” grew up suffering from dangerous childhood diseases, such as chicken pox, measles and mumps, among others. Most of us survived, but not every child did and even among the survivors, children lost their hearing or there were other negative consequences (increased risk of miscarriage for women contracting measles during pregnancy, for example). Measles can result in swelling of the brain, ear infections, pneumonia, among other serious conditions.

What a blessing the vaccines to end these diseases were. The measles vaccine was introduced in 1963, the mumps vaccine was approved . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Carding Finally Discussed at Supreme Court

Toronto has the most diverse population in Canada, and possibly the word. The myriad of different cultures and ethnicities not only co-exist, but largely mingle and interact on a deep level that is likely not seen anywhere else.

At the same time, the diverse populations of Toronto have a complicated relationship with police services, who they often perceive as treating inappropriately, based on stereotypes, prejudices, or even racial profiling. There are many reasons for this, but they include the challenge of many officers living or growing up outside these diverse communities, police divisions under financial and resource strains, and occasionally, . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Alberta Rolling Back Certain Employment Standards and Labour Relations Reforms

On May 27, 2019, the Alberta government tabled Bill 2, An Act to Make Alberta Open for Business to make amendments to the Employment Standards Code and the Labour Relations Code. This involves rolling back certain measures that were implemented by the previous government and adding in new rules. According to the government, the proposed Open for Business Act would reduce unfair burdens on businesses and give workers more rights in unionized workplaces.

Employment Standards Code changes

1. Introducing a $13 per hour minimum wage rate for students under 18:

This change is not part of Bill 2, but . . . [more]

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

How Law Affects the Relationship Between the People and Government

Law is a significant factor in how the individual is able or is forced to interact with the state. It may be a force of oppression, it may protect people from each other and indeed, from the state itself. It may enable people to attain rights and benefits. Our nexus with law helps to define us as a society. When the opportunity to employ law to attain rights is diminished or when law is used as a threat to force particular conduct based on improper motives, the nature of that nexus changes. Cuts to legal aid and the expected repeal . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information, Substantive Law: Legislation

Canada Introduces a Digital Charter to Better Protect Privacy

Misinformation and privacy have threatened the very foundations of Western democracy, and Canada has proposed a response – a Digital Charter.

An announcement this past week builds on the commitment made to join the Christchurch Call, to “bring together countries and tech companies in an attempt to bring to an end the ability to use social media to organise and promote terrorism and violent extremism.” The 10 Principles of the proposed Digital Charter are as follows:

1. Universal Access: All Canadians will have equal opportunity to participate in the digital world and the necessary tools to do so, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

British Columbia Upcoming Changes to the Labour Relations Act

On April 30, 2019, the British Columbia government tabled Bill 30, Labour Relations Code Amendment Act, 2019 to provide greater protection for unionized workers. According to the government, the changes will also bring greater stability for employers and more durable labour relations.

The labour changes are based on a report by a three-member, independent panel appointed last year that made 29 recommendations. The panel included labour and business representatives.

Harry Bains, Minister of Labour said that “for many years, B.C.’s workers have seen employment rights and job security seriously threatened. And yet the Labour Relations Code hasn’t had a substantive . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Religion and the Law: “Respect” or Denial?

In Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada v. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, the Ontario Court of Appeal sought to reconcile the religious views of doctors opposed to carrying out certain procedures with the rights of patients to equitable access to those procedures and to the public interest. Under Bill 21, the Quebec government seeks to deny the wearing of certain “religious” clothing in the interests of preserving a secular society. A comparison of these two situations help to illustrate how private religious beliefs might play out in the public sphere. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law