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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Judge Calls for Tenancy Law Reforms After Finding Tenant “Gaming the System”

An Ontario Superior Court Judge has expressed his hope that legislative changes will be made to stop unscrupulous tenants from “gaming the system”.

The facts of the case are straight forward and rather appalling.

The tenant entered into an agreement to lease a condominium in downtown Toronto starting in September, 2015. The rent for the first month cleared but the rent for October bounced. The tenant has not paid another cent since that time, although he continued to reside in the unit.

The landlord served a “Notice to End Tenancy Early for Non-Payment of Rent” on October 16, 2015. On . . . [more]

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

Making Canadian Culture Go Viral

I’m not even sure who watches television any more.

Most of us stream content these days, and much of that content isn’t even Canadian. So why is our Federal government still spending millions of tax dollars subsidizing traditional media?

That’s a question Mélanie Joly, Canada’s new heritage minister, is asking Canadians. Yesterday she announced an open consultation “to strengthen the creation, discovery and export of Canadian content” in a new digital world. She told the CBC,

As we adjust to the realities of rapid technological advances and changing consumer behaviour, I am launching consultations to better understand the challenges

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

Ontario Introducing New ORPP Legislation

On April 14, 2016, the Ontario government introduced new legislation to launch the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) legislation. Bill 186, Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act (Strengthening Retirement Security for Ontarians), 2016 will ensure that if the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is not enhanced, Ontario can proceed with the ORPP. However, the Ontario government says it remains committed to working with the federal government to enhance the CPP. . . . [more]

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

SCC Tosses Tough on Crime Agenda Out the Window

Let’s say it’s a Friday night, on April 20, 2007.

At the end of a long day, and the end of a long week, and you come home from work to smoke a joint with your spouse at home on your front porch. You don’t go out on the town, you don’t drive a car, you just stay home for the evening.

But because you smoked it on your porch your neighbor decides to call the police. They come over, and you get into a bit of a legal jam. Not any big deal, mind you, but it’s on your . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Constitutional Amendments for Electoral Reform

On November 11, 1947, Winston Churchill said to the British House of Commons,

Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…

The concept has been attributed to Churchill himself, but it’s clear he was quoting another unknown source. In the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, social scientists have explored with wonder . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Ontario Lawyers: Keep OHIP Subrogated Claims in Mind

This article is by Cynthia Miller, Unit Director & Counsel at LAWPRO.

Counsel representing clients who seek compensation for injuries caused by another’s negligence or wrongdoing are encouraged to be mindful that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care may also be entitled to recover its costs for health care and medical treatment provided to the injured party from the tortfeasor. Failure to advance OHIP’s subrogated claim can lead to adverse consequences for both the injured plaintiff and plaintiff ’s counsel.

Accordingly, solicitors are wise to develop a working knowledge of the principle of subrogation, and to implement file management . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Tip or Other Gratuity: Proposed Credit Card Processing Fee Exemption Under ESA

In general in Canada, restaurant and bar patrons are expected to leave a tip amounting to approximately 15 percent of their total bill when dining out or drinking. However, we usually do so without asking ourselves how the money will be divided among staff members. Well, it seems in Ontario, it is a common practice for restaurants to require servers to share their tips and gratuities with their managers and the owners.

Protecting Employees’ Tips Act, 2015 (Bill 12), amended the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) to provide that employers are prohibited from taking any portion of an employee’s . . . [more]

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

Is There Copyright in Klingon?

Major Hollywood studios are suing the makers of a fan-generated short Star Trek film for violation of intellectual property rights, including the film’s use of the Klingon language invented by the creators of Star Trek.

Does the claim about the use of Klingon make any sense? I don’t believe that the claim focuses on substantial use of passages of text from existing screenplays. The characters in the fan film are using their own texts according to the rules of the artificially-created language.

If not copyright, is there some other kind of intellectual property that might be infringed by the use . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Testamentary Freedom Reaffirmed

Early this month Ontario’s Court of Appeal released its decision in Spence v. BMO Trust Company, an important statement on the supervisory jurisdiction of Ontario courts regarding gifts in a Will that offend public policy.

The court affirmed that at common law, “… a testator’s right to dispose of her property and to choose her beneficiaries as she wishes, even on discriminatory grounds”, is protected.

Background

The deceased had two daughters. He moved to Canada after divorcing their mother. His daughter Verolin followed her father to Canada. The other daughter remained with her mother in England.

The deceased, a black . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Ghomeshi Controversy a Call to the Profession

I won’t comment much on the Ghomeshi verdict, other than to note that most of its detractors don’t appear to fully appreciate the nuance of the decision.

The animus exhibited by the complainants was mirrored by observers in the court room, and the crowd that gathered outside.

There was reason to be upset. Such incidents are rightly upsetting, but these feelings should not be directed towards the bench or the justice system.

The protections within our legal system, including our Charter rights, cannot be applied selectively, or withdrawn for individuals we don’t like, or we think are likely to . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Browsewraps – Why Bother?

Here’s a comment by Eric Goldman of Santa Clara law school on a California court of appeals case, refusing to validate an arbitration clause in a ‘browsewrap’ format – i.e. a link to ‘terms of use’ with no requirement of the contracting party to acknowledge them.

Are such clauses enforced in Canada, except to prevent obvious dishonest behaviour as in Sutton Realty in Quebec or the similar BC case, Century 21 v Rogers Communications, about scraping real estate listings off an MLS site? (See par 92ff of that decision). Why should they be?

The ULCC published a study of them . . . [more]

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

Privacy Torts in the Unionized Context

The tort of intrusion upon seclusion continues to grow and find application in new settings and circumstances, which is what we would expect for a tort created less than 5 years ago.

In Complex Services Inc v Ontario Public Service Employees Union, arbitrator Surdykowski sided with the employer in finding that this new tort dealt with non-legislated and non-contractual rights to privacy. These rights would necessarily be limited in the unionized context.

This holding was summarized in United Food & Commercial Workers, Local 206 v G & K Services Canada Inc as follows,

94. ..An employee does not have

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