Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

OHRT Challenges Infamous Family Status Test

Written by Cristina Lavecchia, paralegal, Editor, First Reference

In a recent decision (Misetich v. Value Village Stores Inc.), the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (the Tribunal) questioned the value of various past case laws that have introduced and applied different tests for family status discrimination, including the Johnstone test. More specifically, the Tribunal disapproved of the existence of distinct “tests” for establishing family status discrimination. . . . [more]

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

Even Santa Needs to Get It in Writing

A Toronto mall and its former “Fashion Santa” are having a snowball fight over the character. The mall hired a new Fashion Santa this year instead of the person who played the role before. The dispute is over who owns the character and name. They even have duelling trademark applications for Fashion Santa.

In the end it comes down to the facts (including whether the individual is an employee or an independent contractor, and who developed the character) and the nature of any agreement that might exist.

While disputes over pubic characters makes for good press, this kind . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Proposed Nova Scotia Accessibility Legislation

On November 2, 2016, the Nova Scotia government proposed accessibility legislation to promote equality of opportunity and increase the inclusion and participation of Nova Scotians who have disabilities or functional limitations in all areas of everyday life by promoting and encouraging the prevention, reduction and removal of barriers.

Moreover, the government intends to help make Nova Scotia a more accessible and inclusive place to live and work. . . . [more]

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

The Future of MAID in Canada

When Bill C-14 received Royal Assent on June 17, 2016 Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) became law in Canada. But the debate over the limits of MAID are far from over.

Bill C-14 includes a number of review mechanisms. The entire scheme is subject to a 5-year review, with a report to be submitted with recommendations.

Specific portions of the Bill are subject to a shorter-term review, for “requests by mature minors for medical assistance in dying, to advance requests and to requests where mental illness is the sole underlying medical condition.” These issues were inadequately resolved at the time . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Proposed Manitoba Accessibility Standard for Employment

The Accessibility Advisory Council’s (AAC) is inviting interested stakeholders to provide their views to its initial proposal for an accessibility standard for employment. Therefore, employment is the second of five accessibility standards being developed under the Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA).

The purpose of the employment standards is to remove employment barriers for persons disabled by barriers—including the obligation to provide reasonable accommodation—under the Human Rights Code. This standard will have a timeline for compliance, however, all employers must engage in emergency planning one year after the standard comes into effect.

Specifically, the employment standards have the following . . . [more]

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

SCC Renders Practical Privacy Decision on Mortgage Information

The Supreme Court of Canada, in Royal Bank v Trang, made a privacy decision that will bring a sigh of relief to lenders and creditors.

A judgment creditor asked the sheriff to seize and sell a house to satisfy the judgment. To do that, the sheriff needed to know how much was owed on the mortgage on the house. The mortgage lender didn’t have express consent to provide the information, and said PIPEDA prevented it from giving it. Lower courts agreed.

But the SCC took a more practical approach. The issue was whether there was implied consent to release . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Modified Causation in Workers Compensation

Causation in law is a legal fiction. The philosophical underpinnings behind compensation in tort law require some finding of fault, in order to restore the party to their original position. The but-for test used to evaluate these claims is the compromise the law has developed to hold someone accountable for harm suffered by another party.

However, not all forms of compensation in law are administrated by tort law. Injuries suffered by workers as part of the workforce, in particular, have been carved out into a no-fault regime, specifically for the purpose of resolving these issues more efficiently, more effectively, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Québec’s New Signage Laws Comes Into Force on November 24, 2016

Last May we wrote about upcoming amendments to the Charter of the French Language regarding signage in French and trademarks. The amendments received public consultations from May 4 to June 18, 2016. On November 9, 2016, final amendments to the Charter under Regulation respecting the language of commerce and business and the Regulation defining the scope of the expression “markedly predominant” for the purposes of Charter of the French language were published and registered in the Gazette officielle du Québec. . . . [more]

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

Amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada

Amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada were published on November 2nd in the Canada Gazette Part II.

They will come into force on January 1, 2017.

The amendments include a new process for giving notice when an appeal raises a constitutional issue, as well as new deadlines for serving and filing appeal documents. An online Guide exists to help explain the changes.

The existing version of the Rules is available on the Justice Canada website. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Charities Political Activities: CRA Consulting on Rules

The Government of Canada has committed to modernizing the rules governing the charitable sector to ensure that they are operating in a regulatory environment that respects and encourages their contribution to society. One of the areas they are looking into is to clarify the rules governing charities political activities. . . . [more]

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

A Sentence to Go “Home”

The bar has often lamented the lack of “plain language” by the bench, a necessary prerequisite for transparency and open access to the public.

At times, the need for this approach has been criticized as overlooking the needs of the parties. Sometimes, like in the Meads case, this approach is intended to address broader, systemic problems. As I told Canadian Lawyer Magazine a few years ago,

“I think the fact that the judge even made this ruling suggests how big a problem it is,” says Toronto lawyer Omar Ha-Redeye. “This is a hot issue. Family law is in crisis

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

Update: Brexit Score – End of Second Period: Henry VIII 2 Henry II 1

Or, Ms May may not and must not; at least, not yet.

(For readers outside of the (ice) hockey world, substitute “end of first half”.)

The UK QB ruled unanimously (3-0) this fine English morning that the Tory gov’t cannot use the Crown’s prerogative to initiate the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The decision to withdraw or not – the decision whether to give notice under the applicable EU treaty – is for Parliament to make, not the party in power in Parliament; aka the “gov’t” or the Crown.

[111] for the reasons we have set out, we hold the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law