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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Ontario Ministry of Labour Blitz

Ontario’s Ministry of Labour made headlines last week when they began an annual blitz on potentially abusive employers. The purpose was to target employers who take advantage of workers by failing to adhere to the requirements outlined in the Employment Standards Act. The targeted industries, according to the Ministry, include fitness and recreation, restaurants and janitorial services. The Ministry’s goal is to hold employers accountable for respecting employee entitlements such as minimum wage, eating periods and overtime pay.

The crackdown comes on the heels of amendments to the Employment Standards Act that came into force recently. The amendments, which stem . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

A Meaningful Mediation Avoiding Remedial Costs

The issue of remedial costs, previously discussed here, posed one of the few checks on the growing power of insurance companies in Ontario for motor vehicle collisions.

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released its decision in Ross v. Bacchus, reversing the trial judge’s award of remedial costs against the insurer for failing to comply with its obligations under the Insurance Act. Justice Doherty stated,

[51] Insurers, like any other defendant, are entitled to take cases to trial. When an insurer rejects a plaintiff’s offer and proceeds to trial, the insurer risks both a higher damage award

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

Web Site Accessibility Standards in Ontario

The Regulation on Integrated Accessibility Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) provides, in s. 14, that ‘large organizations’

‘shall meet the requirements of this section in accordance with the following schedule:
1. By January 1, 2014, new internet websites and web content on those sites must conform with WCAG 2.0 Level A.’

Are your clients or other large organizations you know of complying with this obligation? Have they sought your advice on how to comply?

I ask not in order to send in the forces of order (‘not my department’, as we say in government), but . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

When Unions Fight

Headlines get made when employers and unions wage labour war. Teachers fighting provinces, police officers fighting cities and postal workers fighting Canada Post all make for great news. Inter-union fighting makes less noise but is also fascinating when it ends up before labour tribunals. A recent case provides a great example of what happens when unions “raid” each other (“raiding” is when one union attempts to sign up members represented by another union).

The story seems to start here, with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) talking to its membership (Toronto area airport screeners) about . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

WSIB Proposing Significant Changes for Employers

Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is proposing significant changes to the employer Rate Group Classification System and premium rate-setting processes. Consultations are underway, and the board expects to start implementing the proposed changes starting in 2018, with full implementation by 2021. The “Proposed Preliminary Rate Framework” aims to simplify the system and make it fairer. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Privacy Torts as the Next Best Alternative

Which laws exist to protect patients from snooping eyes of health care providers?

Disciplinary hearings were held over the past few weeks in Ontario for nurses who looked at patient files without authorization. Despite the knowledge of several of these instances, there has never been a successful conviction of the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) since coming into force a decade ago, and some people are starting to ask why.

One of the major challenges is the regulatory regime itself, which is particularly unwieldy and requires prosecution by the Attorney General. The Health Minister has already promised to simplify . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Substantive Law: Legislation

Filing Suit Amid Suspension Isn’t Wilful Resignation

When the New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission decided unilaterally to place its executive director David Potter on indefinite paid suspension, the employee challenged the decision in court. The commission took the position that Potter’s legal challenge meant he had resigned, and cut off his pay and benefits. The case went to the Supreme Court of Canada and in Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission, the Supreme Court concluded that Potter was constructively dismissed and did not voluntary resign his position. The central issue was whether and in what circumstances a suspension with pay of a non-union . . . [more]

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

Manitoba’s Legal Landscape Is Changing

The prairie landscape is notorious for its endless horizons, enabling the traveller to see far ahead. This long view is evident in recent changes proposed to regulation of the legal profession in Manitoba, changes that are clearly oriented toward the future.

As reported on Canadian Lawyer’s Legal Feeds blog last week, the Manitoba government on May 7, 2015 introduced a number of amendments to The Legal Profession Act.

The proposed amendments included in Bill 19 include:

  • Altering the composition of the governing body of benchers
  • Amending the definition of a law firm
  • Permitting the regulation of law firms
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Substantive Law: Legislation

Catastrophic Changes in Ontario Budget for Motor Vehicle Injuries

When Ontario made wide-sweeping changes to automobile insurance and personal injury law in 2010, the intent was to reduce insurance premiums for the public. Although insurance companies did save money, much of these savings were not passed on to the consumers.

The amount of claims observed in Ontario did decrease in this period, but still remain the highest in the country. In 2006, accident benefits claims were $331, and rose to $588 per insured vehicle in 2009. This dropped down to $313 per vehicle in 2013 after the reforms.

 

Following the 2014 Cunningham Report, many anticipated that further . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Royal Baby Signals the End of Primogeniture

I’m not one much for the hype around royal babies, who as of now remains unnamed, but this one has some special significance for Commonwealth nations. The birth of the baby girl yesterday to Prince William and Kate Middleton signals the first royal born since the enactment of new succession laws in the U.K.

The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 ended the centuries-old practice of primogeniture. This can be traced in law to the Act of Settlement 1701, which states,

The Princess Sophia, Electress and Duchess Dowager of Hanover, Daughter of the late Queen of Bohemia, Daughter of

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

The Unasked Issue in the Benchers’ Election

Our non-Ontario readers will be thrilled that in an hour the polls close and you won’t have interminable discussions about Ontario’s election and its implications. This post responds to and builds on Mitch’s prescient post from 18 months ago, and Alice Woolley and Alan Cliff’s posts which dealt with the Ontario Benchers’ Election which wraps up today at 5 PM

My focus isn’t on the substantive issues that Alice focused on yesterday but rather on an underlying governance issue that no-one appears to be talking about. It’s about convocations, cabinets and the tyranny of geography

What are the most . . . [more]

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