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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Ontario Budget 2019-20 Summary of Interest to Employers and Other Measures

On April 11, 2019, the Ontario government tabled its 2019-20 fiscal budget, “Protecting What Matters Most” that sets out a five-year path to a balanced budget. The budget anticipates deficits of $11.7 billion for 2018-19 and $10.3 billion for 2019-20, and projects a modest surplus in 2023-24.

According to budget documents, the government has already reduced the deficit by $3.3 billion, going from $15 billion to a projected $11.7 billion for the 2018-19 fiscal year. The government is planning to further reduce the deficit by $1.4 billion in the 2019-20 fiscal years, lowering it to $10.3 billion. The . . . [more]

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

Some Legal Aid Can Never Be Costed

The recent release of the provincial budget in Ontario has many lawyers livid over the proposed cuts to Legal Aid, which amount to almost 30% of its funding. The cuts relate to broader reductions to the justice sector of approximately 2%, from $5.0 billion in 2018–19 to $4.7 billion in 2021–22.

These cuts may appear to stem from what appears to be higher figures for actual “Other Non-Tax Revenue,” which includes legal aid, from the interim projections for the 2018-2019 year, suggesting some concern that these expenses have been growing unsustainably. But a closer look at these figures suggests there . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Ontario Bill 66 Given Royal Assent and Impacts Employment and Labour Law

An amended version of the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2019 (introduced as Bill 66) was enacted into law on April 3, 2019, which revises several pieces of legislation, including the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act. . . . [more]

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

The Return of Textualism to the Court

Canada has largely been a leader in the use of arbitration for the resolution of disputes. When UNCITRAL finalized and adopted in July 2014 the”United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration“, also known as the “Mauritius Convention on Transparency,” Canada became the second State to ratify it on December 12, 2016. To date, 22 states have signed the Convention, and only 5, including Canada, have ratified it.

Although the focus of this Convention was on arbitrations between an investor and a State and the implementation of the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Another Quebec Law on the Religious Neutrality of the State

On March 28, 2019, the Coalition Avenir Quebec government tabled Bill n°21: An Act respecting the laicity of the State to fulfill an election promise to ensure the religious neutrality of the state and prohibit many public sector employees from wearing religious symbols at work. The proposed legislation is being studied in parliament at this moment.

After the failed attempts of the Parti Québécois with its charter of values in 2014, and the Liberal Party with Bill 62 in 2017 with an Act to foster adherence to State religious neutrality and, in particular, to provide a framework for requests for . . . [more]

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

Transgenderism Prevails Over Whatcott’s Truth

When Toby’s Act (Bill 33) passed in Ontario in 2012, the jurisdiction became the first in Canada to explicitly add gender identity to a human rights code.

Ontario’s Human Rights Commission had previously taken the position that gender identity was still a protected ground under the Ontario Human Rights Code based on the ban against sex discrimination, and the Human Rights Tribunal agreed with this interpretation in several cases, including in Hogan v. Ontario (Health and Long-Term Care).

In this 2006 case, the province argued that if the Ontario Code intended the definition to extend to these . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Privacy Guidelines for Managing Emails

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta has published guidelines on how to manage emails to minimize organizational risks and expenses that could be caused by a privacy breach. The guidelines indicate that “In light of the vast quantities of email sent and received daily by an organization, email management is not just a records management issue, but is also a necessary business process” that should be managed in accordance with records management principles and the requirements of Alberta’s access to information and privacy legislation. Although the guidance provided in this document is directed at managing emails, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Federal Budget 2019 Employment and Payroll Related Measures

On March 19, 2019, the federal government tabled its election budget, the 2019-20 budget. The budget expects a deficit of $14.9 billion for fiscal 2018-2019 and forecasts deficits of $19.8 billion for 2019-2020 and $19.7 billion for fiscal 2020-2021. The budget does not include any personal or corporate tax rate changes; however, the budget does include measures of interest to employers and payroll (some paraphrase included): . . . [more]

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

Identity Management and Trust Services at UNCITRAL

A few years ago, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) was reported here to be considering a project on identity management and trust services. That report outlined some of the legal and practical issues that these matters raise, and some of the options for going forward.

To nobody’s surprise, UNCITRAL did adopt a project on this topic, and its Working Group on Electronic Commerce has been considering it since 2017. A list of the principal policy documents and records of the Working Group’s discussions is here.

Recently the UNCITRAL Secretariat has released two Working Papers in . . . [more]

Posted in: International law, Legal Technology

A Tale About Rehiring a Sexual Harasser: Who Wins and Loses?

Today’s “#MeToo” climate and questions about when someone who has been accused of sexual misconduct, although not convicted of it, should be allowed back into the public sphere (to direct films, do comedy routines, assume an executive role in business or whatever) has been much in the media recently. Although not explicitly, a recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal tells us that even if the impact of someone’s return might have significant impact on a victim’s working — and broader — life, return may occur. The final result in Colistro v. Tbaytel 2019 ONCA 197 is not unlike . . . [more]

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

No Tort of Harassment for You!

The common law in Ontario has proven relatively adept at developing new torts, in particular in the area of privacy law, to change and adapt to relatively stagnant or unsatisfactory statutory developments.

Although the tort of intimidation has long been recognized as giving rise to a cause of action, as affirmed in cases such as Tran v. University of Western Ontario, the status of the tort of harassment has been much more divided.

The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed in the 1981 decision of Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology v. Bhadauria that human rights legislation . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

New Trademarks Rules Require a Different Approach for Swag

Including promotional items in trademark use descriptions will require a different approach under the new trademark rules. On June 17, 2019, the Trademarks Act and the registration process are changing dramatically. Trademark applications will have to classify the goods and services in the use description according to the international Nice classifications. There are 34 classifications of goods, and 11 classes of services.

Trademark filing fees and trademark renewal fees will be class based. Applications containing more than 2 classes of goods and services, and all renewals, will be more expensive than they are now.

Conventional wisdom was to include promotional . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law