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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Quebec’s Religious Neutrality of the State Bill Passed

An amended version of Bill 62, An Act to foster adherence to State religious neutrality and, in particular, to provide a framework for religious accommodation requests in certain bodies to foster respect for religious neutrality of the state and aimed in particular to frame requests for religious accommodations in certain organizations passed third reading on October 18, 2017, with a vote of 66-51. It is now awaiting royal assent to become law. . . . [more]

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

Compliment or Sexual Harassment: Where Do You Draw the Line?

Written wholly by Doug Macleod Employment and labour lawyer at MacLeod Law on First Reference Talks

Despite a number of legislative initiatives that are intended to reduce and ultimately eliminate sexual harassment in society, sexual harassment continues to be a problem in Ontario’s workplaces.

One of the more nuanced areas of sexual harassment law is what kind of language a male can direct towards a woman in the workplace. Sometimes there is a fine line between complimenting a female co-worker and sexually harassing her.

An occasional non-sexualized compliment is usually not a problem but a comment of a sexual nature . . . [more]

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

October 1, 2017 and Upcoming Minimum Wage Increases

Five Canadian provinces are increasing the general minimum wage rate October 1, 2017 as follows: Alberta ($13.60), Manitoba ($11.15), Newfoundland and Labrador ($11.00), Ontario ($11.60) and Saskatchewan ($10.96). The general minimum wage rate increase results in corresponding increases to other rates in the respective provinces.

Note that British Columbia’s general minimum wage increased September 15, 2017 to $11.35 per hour. Other provincial minimum wage rates were also adjusted at that time. . . . [more]

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

Perceptions Matter, but Reality Matters More

Judges are not immune from scrutiny, but we should be cautious in the manner in which we exert that scrutiny.

Sometimes that scrutiny is thrust directly into the public forum, as with Justice Zabel’s incident on Nov. 9, 2016, when he wore a hat from the American president’s election campaign.

Lawyers were upset, understandably, as there were legitimate concerns about political partisanship generally, but also about the appearance of bias towards any of the historically marginalized or radicalized groups that the presidential candidate had made offensive comments about. The public were even more concerned, especially where a Canadian judge appeared . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Tribunal Addresses Disabled Employee Resignations

In addition to affirming that an employee’s resignation must be clear and unequivocal to be valid, this case tells us that employers do not have a greater onus when it comes to long-term disabled employees who resign. The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal did not accept the employee’s claim that it was unreasonable in the circumstances for her employer to conclude that she wished to resign without further inquiry. . . . [more]

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

New MMS.watch Website Tracks Constitutionality of Canadian Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Mandatory minimum sentences (MMS) for criminal and drug offences have been getting a lot of attention lately. The federal government recently conducted a public survey on MMS, causing some commentators to wonder whether the Liberals will make good on their campaign promises to roll back the MMS created by the previous government. The question is timely since Parliament resumes next week. Even StatsCan’s excellent Juristat weighed in last month with a detailed analysis of the effects of MMS.

We noticed that much of this debate was happening without reference to just how many MMS have already been struck down as . . . [more]

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

Privacy Information: Cookieless Identification and Tracking of Devices

This blog post is entirely written by Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, for First Reference Talks. Christina is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Western Ontario with a focus on privacy law.

On August 21, 2017, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released an informative piece regarding cookieless identification and tracking of devices. Interestingly, there is a new technique called, “fingerprinting”, which can work to enable website operators, advertising companies, and other organizations to track users – even when they clear their cookies. The document explains the implications and what people can do to protect their . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet

PIPEDA Privacy Breach Notification Regulations Published for Comment

The draft privacy breach regulations under PIPEDA have just been published. They are open for comment for 30 days.

These regulations detail the mechanics of notifying the Privacy Commissioner and individuals when there is a privacy breach. PIPEDA was amended some time ago to require mandatory notification when there is a breach that results in “real risk of significant harm”. Those provisions will come into force after the regulations are passed.

The draft regulations are about what were expected. They are similar to those under Alberta privacy legislation.

I agree with David Fraser’s view that section 4(a) that says notification . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Court Stays Criminal Negligence Charge Against Worker

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice stayed a criminal negligence charge against a boom truck worker who pleaded guilty to an Occupational Health and Safety Act charge three years earlier after causing a workplace fatality. The Court reasoned, in part, that the police’s uncertainty in laying the criminal charges after the worker’s guilty plea to the OHSA charges constituted a breach of the sense of fair play. The Court cited a breach of sections 7 and 11(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. . . . [more]

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

Employee’s Appeal for Dismissal of His Wrongful Termination Action Rejected

The employee in this case appealed the dismissal of his wrongful dismissal action. One of the issues on appeal was whether the trial judge reversed the onus on the employee to prove just cause. . . . [more]

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

An Online Newspaper Is Not a Newspaper

Newspapers have for centuries played a central role in giving effect to freedom of expression in Western democracies. The limits, and privileges, afforded to them have changed over time. The courts are still struggling to redefine these limits, especially in a digital era when even traditional newspapers are increasingly moving their content online.

The inception of the printing press in the 15th-16th c. revolutionized Western Europe, widely disseminating ideas like never before. Many of these ideas were considered dangerous to the state, either treasonous or heretical (or both, given the close relationship between church and state at that time), and . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions