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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Ontario Civic Holiday a “Stat Holiday”: Think Twice…

The upcoming Civic Holiday is celebrated on Monday, August 3 in Ontario. The holiday, which was created in honour of John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, often raises questions for employees and employers alike. Contrary to popular belief, the Civic Holiday is not a statutory holiday in Ontario; it is not listed as a public holiday in the province’s Employment Standards Act. This means that while many employers choose to give their employees a holiday, they are not required to do so by law.

A number of other provinces also have a public holiday, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

“It’s Summertime and the Living Is Easy” and the Contracts Are Short…

Summer is definitely here in Ontario and with the warm weather comes an uptick in seasonal and fixed-term employment. Ontario students seek summer employment and seasonal operations such as golf courses and amusement parks hire additional staff. These types of seasonal arrangements often lead employees to wonder when, if ever, a fixed-term contract converts into indefinite employment and what that means (usually an entitlement to reasonable notice of termination).

The short answer is that it depends on the reasonable expectations of the parties. While the law varies from province to province (and can be quite different in Quebec), Canadian . . . [more]

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

TWU’s Mandate Conflicts With LSUC’s

Earlier this month, the Divisional Court released its decision in Trinity Western University v The Law Society of Upper Canada, upholding the decision by the law society to refuse to accredit the religious law school based on its Community Covenant that prohibits sexual practices, including homosexuality.

The decision has been highly anticipated given the polarized views in the legal community, especially since the school initiated the accreditation process in Ontario in early 2014. Convocation heard written submissions and oral statements, and ultimately voted 28-21 against accreditation.

Video archives of the debate before Convocation, as well as the written submissions, . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Enforceability of Do-Not-Link Provisions

The PanAm games currently being held in Toronto had until very recently a ‘do not link’ term on its web page.

I do not understand why such a term would be enforceable. What legal right is asserted? Linking does not imply endorsement, as we know from defamation cases. Nor – so far as I know – does it constitute use of any trade mark in the URL linked to, by the person making the link. So – what?

The Toronto IP firm Bereskin and Parr sets out an analysis of this issue. It mentions some of the difficulties . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Standing to Bring a Class Action for Data Breach

It appears as if there is a major difference between Canadian and US law on standing to sue, at least in class actions.

Most US class actions by people whose personal information has been compromised in some way by a data breach have been stopped by a motion to dismiss. The essence of the argument is that the prospective plaintiffs have not suffered any demonstrable damage, and the US Constitution that authorizes the court system requires that there be a real dispute, which requires real damages.

On the other hand, the Federal Court of Appeal has just decided, in Condon . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list

SCC to Rule on Dismissal Without Cause Regime Under the Canada Labour Code.

Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. was thought to put to rest the long-standing debate among adjudicators of whether federally regulated employers can dismiss an employee without just cause if they meet certain criteria (Part III of the the Canada Labour Code (“the Code”) provides protection in the form of reinstatement for employees dismissed “without just cause”).

In January of this year, the Court of Appeal upheld the Federal Court’s decision to allow an application for judicial review concluding that the adjudicator unreasonably found that the law permits only dismissals for cause.

The Federal Court criticized the adjudicator’s reliance . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

When “use” Is Not Trademark “use”

Law sometimes hinges on subtle distinctions that are not obvious, and can lead to surprising results. The meaning of the word “use” for trademark purposes, for example.

A key principle of trademark law is that a business must actually “use” its trademark to keep its trademark registration alive, or to enforce its trademark rights against others.

But the legal concept of “use” for trademark purposes is narrower than most would suspect, and can result in a surprising loss of trademark rights for a business.

For example, a trademark on the side of a building, or on a business card, or . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Bill C-377 Is Back: Unions to Be Required to Make Financial Disclosures in Canada

A controversial Private Members Bill that will have a direct impact on unions across Canada is currently working its way through Parliament. Bill C-377, which was passed by the Senate last week, will require unions to essentially open their financial books to the public.

Included in the Bill is a requirement for unions to disclose: a yearly balance sheet indicating their assets, liabilities, income and expenditures; the details of all transactions over $5,000, including the name and address of each party, a statement regarding the purpose of the transaction, and a description of each transaction; a statement indicating the total . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

On the Eve of the Referendum – a New Dispatch From Our Greek Correspondent

It’s early Sunday morning in Greece, but Peter Carayiannis of ConduitLaw in Toronto is up late writing a dispatch from the front lines

Postcard from Greece – A Nation Holds Its Breath

As I write this, it is late Saturday night. Tomorrow is the day of Greece’s referendum. After a tumultuous week that started last Sunday when PM Tsipras & Co. abruptly ended negotiations with European counterparts we are now on the eve of the most important vote in modern times for Greece.

Ultimately, this is a referendum not just on the ongoing chronic economic catastrophe that has been the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

From Our Own Correspondent – a Canadian Lawyer in Greece

An unusual post today. Peter Carayiannis, whose Toronto firm Mitch Kowalski and Doug Jasinski have blogged about, is currently in Northern Greece, where he is a first hand observer at a momentous stage in modern Greek history.

He has been sending selected friends his notes on what he is seeing – and how it feels to be on Greek streets, as the population faces Sunday’s referendum on whether to accept the conditions of further economic aid, or go it alone, and exit the Euro.

Here is what he’s been seeing:

Greece – With Its Toes Over a Cliff . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Be Heard: The Ontario Ministry of Labour Wants to Hear From You!

Public consultations commenced in Toronto on June 16th as part of the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s (“MOL”) implementation of the Changing Workplaces Review, and are expected to continue throughout the summer until mid-September.

The Changing Workplaces Review was announced earlier this year as part of MOL’s mandate to increase protection for workers and create a support environment for businesses to thrive. The review will consist of public consultations in regions across Ontario to address the changing nature of the modern workplace. The consultations will focus on potential amendments to the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“LRA”) and the Employment . . . [more]

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

Novel Approaches to Sentencing in Occupational Health and Safety Convictions

The Nova Scotia Provincial Court is taking new approaches to dealing with occupational health and safety violations. Recently, it sentenced a company found guilty of breaching Occupational Health and Safety laws to complete community service hours.

The sentence was delivered pursuant to Section 75 of Nova Scotia’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, which allows the court to order any number of creative conditions which serve the purpose of “securing the offender’s good conduct and…preventing the offender from repeating the same offence”.

The company’s conviction came after an experienced employee was fatally electrocuted. In determining culpability, the Court found that . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions