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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

The New Bardal Factors May Just Be the Old Bardal Factors

Calculation of reasonable notice in employment law is one of those peculiarities where very little is definitive. Reasonable notice, and payment in lieu, is more of an art than a precise determination.

Employers are not obligated to hire indefinite term employees forever, but where employees are dismissed without cause the employer should provide employees enough time to find replacement work. This notice period, or payment provided instead of working notice, are intended to compensate employees for losses a period of reasonable notice.

The principle was clearly stated by the Supreme Court of Canada in Machtinger v. HOJ Industries Ltd. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Female Candidates Preferred? When Job Postings Time Travel…

A Toronto web design company recently published a job posting for a writing job indicating that “female candidates are preferred”, seemingly time-warping back to the Mad Men era… Specifically, the position was for a content writer and search-engine optimization specialist on LinkedIn. However, the posting also indicated that the successful candidate will need to fulfill the “responsibilities of a receptionist, so female candidates are preferred.”

Not surprisingly, the job posting has attracted negative attention on twitter and news outlets have picked up the story. The company responded on Twitter and LinkedIn by stating that they “did not mean to discriminate . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Even Pedophiles Have Charter Rights

The true test of a society is how we treat the most vulnerable, despicable, and heinous members of our society. The ability of the legal system to temper passions, quell inflammatory biases, and dispense justice to all individuals is the reason why the justice system is valued and respected by society at large.

R. v. Williamson, an interesting case awaiting a hearing before the Supreme Court, helps illustrate these tensions. The case was debated this year at the 2015 Paralegal Cup.

Kenneth Williamson was accused of multiple charges of sexual assault of a minor between 1979-1980. These allegations . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law

Proposed Ontario Changes to Accessibility Regulations

The Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure has proposed changes to the Customer Service Standard and Integrated Accessibility Standards regulations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If approved, the changes will be enacted on July 1, 2016, and take immediate effect.

This proposal includes incorporating the Customer Service Standard into the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation and making changes to requirements of the Customer Service Standard (see details below). . . . [more]

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

Criminal Justice From a Restorative Perspective

The preamble to Manitoba’s new Restorative Justice Act sets the foundation for the provisions of the Act, in force today:

…WHEREAS there are circumstances when the interests of justice are served by having an offender and the victim of the unlawful conduct or other community representatives find a resolution that promotes public safety by providing healing, reparation and re-integration into the community outside the traditional criminal prosecution process;

AND WHEREAS unlawful conduct by some offenders arises out of mental health conditions, addictions or other behavioural issues and there are instances when it is more appropriate to address these issues rather

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Drug Smuggling Lawyer Reversed on Appeal

As lawyers, we hold ourselves to a higher code of conduct. So when that code is called into question, for example through allegations of impropriety around drug trafficking, they create cause for concern for the entire bar.

In 2012, Deryk Gravesande was charged with trafficking after approximately 58 grams of marijuana and a parcel of lidocaine was found on his former client, who was incarcerated at the time. The guard claimed to search the prisoner both prior and following his meeting, and it was in the second search that the drugs were found in the prisoner’s underwear.

He was convicted . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Slow Aether in Ontario, Too

This being Friday the 13th, my alternative post-title was the name of the song you’ll find here and here; on the other hand, I am allergic to most cats, black or otherwise. What does that have to do with the problem in the decision I’m about to write about? Well … how about this? If we can’t blame the problem on “slow aether”, maybe it’s just bad luck. I mean, what else could it be?

Consider these paragraphs from Taylor v Great Gulf Group Limited, 2015 ONSC 6891 (CanLII) released on 9 Nov. 2015. Taylor is the . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

How to Prove That a Computer Uploaded Documents to the Cloud

In R. v Cusick, the Ontario Superior Court upheld a search warrant of a computer where that computer was suspected of having been used to upload child pornography to a cloud storage service.

What one searches for, apparently, are ‘artifacts’ – digital traces of the child porn files that passed through the computer on the way to the cloud. The case notes the difference between uploading from the computer’s hard drive (in which case the files may also still be on the computer) and uploading from a USB drive or mobile device (in which case they may not be, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Manitoba Customer Service Accessibility Standard in Force and Other Accessibility News

The Manitoba Customer Service Accessibility Standard (CSAS) under the Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) came into effect November 1, 2015. The CSAS requires all of Manitoba’s public, private and non-profit organizations with one or more employees that provide goods or services directly to the public or to another organization in Manitoba, to establish and implement measures, policies and practices to remove barriers for access to the goods or services it provides. . . . [more]

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

Potential Legal Battle to Ensue Over Transit Employees’ Right to Strike

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the Charter) guarantees that everyone has the “freedom of association” (section 2(d)). The Charter’s guarantee of freedom of association has often been leveraged to protect employees’ rights in the labour relations context. According to recent media reports, the union that represents the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) employees is looking to rely on section 2(d) to combat provincial legislation that declares the TTC an essential service and prohibits its employees from striking.

In January 2015, section 2(d) was successfully used to persuade a majority of the Supreme Court of Canada to . . . [more]

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

Problems With Bitcoins as Money?

As you know, the Canadian Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce published earlier this year a report on Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Bradley Crawford, author of the leading banking law treatise in Canada, has recently written a commentary on that report and on digital currencies generally. That comment – quite critical of the Senate’s report – will be added to his treatise later this month.

He raises one issue that seems to me particularly important to those who promote the use of digital currencies in commercial exchanges: the transfer of control of units of Bitcoin (or equivalent) . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Avoid a Toxic Workplace Environment: New Developments on Sexual Harassment

This article is by Cristina Lavecchia, Editor, HRinfodesk, published by First Reference Inc.

Sexual harassment in the workplace can be toxic, and it is an issue that can have a profound effect on both an employer and their employees.

In response to this issue, on October 27, 2015, the Ontario government introduced Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2015 (“Bill 132”).

If Bill 132 is passed, it would amend various statutes with respect to sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence and other forms of abuse. . . . [more]

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