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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

An Algorithm’s Charter Rights

Everywhere I go during the holidays I seem to be surrounded by Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Assistant. While these computers don’t yet talk the way do, it did have me thinking about the expression rights that might be protected by the Charter.

In 1996, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in Daniel J. Bernstein et al., v. United States Department of State et al. that software source could be protected under the American First Amendment,

…the particular language one chooses change the nature of language for First Amendment purposes. This court can

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

Welcome to 2018 With New Employment and Labour Law Rules and Obligations Across Canada

Welcome to 2018 and a load of new employment and labour law rules and obligations across Canada.

As most of you already know, a number of new or amended laws and regulations came into effect on January 1 or will come into force later in 2018 across Canada, including marijuana legalization and higher minimum wages in Ontario, Alberta and other jurisdictions. Here is a brief reminder of the new or amended rules you need to be aware of and implement to ensure compliance. . . . [more]

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

The Healthy Respect Between Judiciary and Executive

As we enter 2018, we begin the new year with a new Chief Justice, and an opportunity to reflect on the Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin’s 17 years in this role, the longest in the entire history of Canada.

A well-experienced jurist, who has been on the bench since 1981, her role on the Court has had a discernible impact on the development of the Charter and its interpretation. The Charter is one of the most important national symbols of Canada, outranking even the flag, the national anthem, the RCMP, and even more than hockey. The CBA Presidents who . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Sears Shortcomings Highlight Regulatory Deficiencies

The Canadian Press conducted a survey recently of journalists, nearly 47% of whom voted the closure and controversies of Sears Canada as the 2017 Business News Story of the Year.

The public interest in the story was fuelled in no small part by its iconic status, but also the $270-million pension deficit that is unlikely to be fully serviced in light of other outstanding debts. As Michael Powell, incoming president of the Canadian Federation of Pensioners points out, it really shouldn’t be so significant,

Sears should not be the Canadian Press 2017 Business News Story of the Year

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

📆 What You Were Looking at in 2017: CanLII’s Top Cases

[This post is being published simultaneously on our blog]

At the end of a year that saw the news take a more central role in our lives and when so much is uncertain, some things remain constant and one of them is the list of cases that is most accessed on CanLII. All of the top three cases were in the top three last year, and only one of the top 10 cases was issued in 2017. Eight of the cases were on the list last year. Six of the cases are the same as were on . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Regulating Proportionality in Civil Litigation

The rules of civil procedure in Manitoba are about to undergo significant changes. Amendments to the Court of Queen’s Bench Rules, effective January 1, 2018, will introduce an overarching requirement that the Court considers proportionality in making orders and directions under those Rules.

A new Practice Direction outlines the breadth of the changes about to come into force in respect of case management of civil proceedings, scheduling of trials, use of judicially assisted dispute resolution and summary judgment proceedings.

The Practice Direction describes the objectives underlying all the changes as follows:

Animating the comprehensive amendments to the Court of

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

Agencies, Boards and Commissions

It is fascinating to recognize that you can get fired by legislation. OK, that is over-dramatic, but I got your attention. About legislation. During the busy holiday season. #DIGJAM

In Alberta there has been an ongoing review of public Agencies, Boards, and Commissions. Read more if you are curious at the Public Agency Secretariat. The secretariat promotes a consistent approach to public agency governance, recruitment and compensation.

On December 15, the Alberta legislature wrapped up the session and Bill 21 Agencies, Boards and Commissions Review Statutes Amendment Act, 2017 was assented to. In what will no doubt baffle legal . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Privacy Commissioner of Canada on Genetic Testing

Molecular medicine and medical genetics are at the forefront of new and emerging health technologies. With these new techniques and discoveries come new challenges for the law, especially on the privacy front.

Earlier this year, I referenced Bills S-201 and 127 as legislative examples of society attempting to prevent the misuse of genetic information. In particular, there is a concern that incomplete knowledge or understanding of genetic predispositions, and still evolving understandings of how multiple genomes interact with each other, could result in logically skewed and flawed conclusions about employees or the insured, and result in a form of unwarranted . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Glance at Labour Relations Act Requirements Under Ontario Bill 148

On November 27, 2017, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148) received royal assent and is now law. Bill 148 makes significant amendments to the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and are designed to make it easier for unions to obtain collective bargaining certificates in the private sector. Although these changes were originally scheduled to come into force six months after Bill 148 received royal assent, they will now come into force on January 1, 2018. Significant changes to the LRA include: . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Canadian Cannabis Proposed Licensing System Revealed

The Canadian Government recently released its proposal on what the Canadian cannabis regulatory regime could look like, including a fairly detailed account of what the business licensing system could entail.

Purpose of Licenses

The Government has indicated that its proposed system of licenses, permits and authorizations is intended to:

  • allow a range of different activities with cannabis (for example, cultivation, processing, research);
  • enable a diverse, competitive legal industry comprised of both large and small players in regions across the country;
  • reduce the risk that organized crime will infiltrate the legal industry; and
  • provide for cannabis products that meet high quality
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

A Glance at ESA and OHSA Requirements Under Bill 148 With Implementation Dates

On November 27, 2017, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148) received royal assent and is now law. Bill 148 makes significant amendments to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000, Labour Relations Act, 1995 and the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The amendments are significant and have various implementation dates. This article deals with providing a timeline for provisions in force from the date of assent to January 1, 2019 under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). Changes to the Labour Relations Act, 1995 will be dealt with in . . . [more]

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

Ontario Bill 148 Updating Employment and Labour Legislation Passed

Blog post updated on November 23, 2017 after publication

On November 22, 2017, an amended version of Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 received third reading and passed. It is now waiting for royal assent to become law. Once it receives assent, the Bill will become law and amend significantly the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“LRA”). . . . [more]

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