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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Does Copyright Apply to Chicken Sandwiches or Cheerleading Uniforms?

Lately the news has been too full of weighty stuff like elections, the Ashley Madison hack, stock markets, and the Chinese economy.

So today’s post is a bit lighter.

Courts in the United States have recently decided whether copyright applies to chicken sandwiches and to cheerleading uniforms. They decided that it applies to one – but not to the other.

If you guessed it doesn’t apply to the chicken sandwich, you got it right. In the US Court of Appeals the parties were fighting over rights to a sandwich consisting of a fried chicken breast topped with lettuce, tomato, cheese . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Minimum Wage on the Rise – Changes in Alberta and Ontario Could Be Just the Beginning

Just over one month ago, under the leadership of Premier Rachel Notley, the Albertan government announced that, effective October 1, 2015, minimum wage would increase in the province from $10.20 to $11.20 per hour. The increase is the first step for Premier Notley’s NDP in their quest to increase minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2018, a promise that was made repeatedly during the NDP’s 2015 provincial campaign. The changes will end Alberta’s reign as the jurisdiction with the lowest minimum wage in the country.

Interestingly, on the same day that Alberta’s minimum wage will increase, Ontario’s minimum . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Ontario Lawyers: Rule 48 Transition Toolkit Helps You Avoid Administrative Dismissal Claims

Effective January 1, 2015, a new Rule 48.14 brought significant changes to the administrative dismissal regime in Ontario. After several hundred claims and almost $10 million in claims costs in three and a half years, LAWPRO is happy to see old Rules 48.14 and 48.15 revoked.

While the new rule may help stem the tide of claims, the changed deadlines, processes and transition provisions introduce new claims risks that may trap the unwary lawyer. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Due Diligence Required When Using Exemptions to Disclose Personal Information Without Consent

Organizations may only disclose a person’s confidential information without the person’s knowledge or consent in very specific circumstances, set out in paragraph 7(3)(h.2) of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Now, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada recently found that in order to properly rely on the s.7(3)(h.2) exemption it is essential that an organization document the purpose for which personal information is disclosed and exercise due diligence to ensure that the disclosure is reasonable under the circumstances. . . . [more]

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

WestJet Pilots Vote Against Unionization Under New Canada Labour Code Provisions

WestJet’s pilots have voted against unionization following a narrow result released by the WestJet Professional Pilots Association (the “Association”) last week. Out of the nearly 1,300 pilots, 55% percent of those who voted were not in favour of forming a union. These results come following an extensive campaign by the Association, who vocalized their disappointment with the result through the release on their Facebook page.
The Association in the release stated that “[w]e hope that the open discussions that have taken place as part of this process will set the stage for constructive dialogue between our pilots and . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

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