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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Shocking the Criminal Justice System Into Action

We meant what we said, when we described in R. v. Jordan last year, a culture of complacency towards delay in the criminal justice system.”  This could encapsulate what the Supreme Court of Canada signaled in its recent decision in R. v. Cody, where they rejected submissions by interveners by provincial governments to provide greater flexibility in applying unreasonable delay.

Section 11(b) of the Charter was always expected to be interpreted judicially as to what a reasonable delay in our justice system meant. The highly subjective nature of prejudice under the previous 1992 Morin framework was also unpredictable, as . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Coast to Coast Provincial Cannabis Legislation Update

While it is still early days with the Cannabis Act having only been tabled about two months ago, things have begun buzzing at the provincial and municipal level where issues such as sale, distribution and consumption will be legislated. Below is a coast to coast summary of what is transpiring at the provincial (and in some instances municipal) level.

British Columbia

Out on the West Coast, British Columbia is known around the world for its cannabis but getting a sense for how liberal the law might be in B.C. is challenging at the moment.

After a highly publicized Provincial General . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Citizenship Act Amendments Passed

One of the most contentious aspects of the last Federal election was the platform of the incumbent government, which included powers that allowed the government to strip Canadians of their citizenship based on national security. With their defeat, the majority government in place has had the ability to attempt reforms in the area of citizenship that were mentioned during the campaign (but not the official platforms).

After several amendments were proposed by the Senate to the Citizenship Act and agreed to by the House, The Senate voted to send Bill C-6 for Royal Assent on June 15, 2017. Until . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Primer to Legislative Research Across the Provinces and Territories

Alan Kilpatrick, a law librarian with the Law Society of Saskatchewan (LSS), wrote earlier this month on the Legal Sourcery blog about a new Primer to Legislative Research Across the Provinces and Territories published by the Vancouver Association of Law Libraries (the linked version is a reprint by the LSS).

From the text of the Primer:

“This primer to legislative research is arranged by province/territory, with each table providing answers to seven questions.

  1. Do you have a centralized resource for Court Rules (either print or online)?
  2. Do you have any resources that help you with Provincial Point-In-Time Research?
  3. What is
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Legislation

Alberta Employment and Labour Law Reforms Passed

On June 7, 2017, outside of House sitting, Bill 17, Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act received royal assent. This means effective January 1, 2018, most of the new rules updating employment and labour law in union and non-union Alberta workplaces will come into force. Other provisions will come into effect when the Act receives Royal Assent. However, the youth employment provisions which will only come into effect on proclamation and will probably be at a later date to allow consultations on the regulations defining hazardous and light work. The essential services changes come into force effective May 25, 2017. The . . . [more]

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

CASL Private Right of Action Suspended – but CASL Is Still Here

The Canadian government has suspended the CASL private right of action that was to have come into force on July 1. The private right of action (most likely in the form of class actions) would have allowed people to sue anyone for sending spam. Or more accurately for those who violated the technical provisions of CASL.

This is a welcome move. But while we can breathe a sigh of relief that this remedy is gone, CASL still remains in force and must be complied with.

The government’s press release said:

Canadians deserve an effective law that protects them from spam . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Ontario Court of Appeal Clarifies Requirements for Releasing Unknown Claims

The Ontario Court of Appeal has clarified that “exceptionally comprehensive” language may not be required to release claims that were unknown at the time the release was signed.

A release of a category of claims arising prior to a certain date, does not need to say unknown claims in that category are being released. There is no need to further specify the types of claims. All claims are included – even unanticipated claims – unless specifically excluded.

So says the Court of Appeal in its reasons for decision in Biancaniello v. DMCT LLP, handed down 15 May 2017, reversing . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Québec National Assembly Guide on History of the Civil Code

The website of the Québec National Assembly has created a thematic guide to the history of the Civil Code of the province from its origins in France’s Napoleonic Code of 1804 t0 today.

The guide outlines the major amendments and repeals up to and including those affecting the new Civil Code of Quebec that came into force in 1994.

For each change, the guide provides a detailed historical description with associated documents (bills, parliamentary debates, briefs or “mémoires” submitted by stakeholders in front of parliamentary committees etc.)

All the documents mentioned are available from the legislative library of the National . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Legislation

Ontario Labour Relations Act Reforms Underway

On June 1, 2017, Bill 148, The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 was tabled in legislature. The measures amend the Labour Relations Act and include some of the following:

1. Union certification

  • Establish card-based union certification rather than voting, for the temporary-help agency industry, the building services sector and home-care and community services industry.
  • Make the following changes to the union certification process:
    • Eliminating certain conditions for remedial union certification-allowing unions to more easily get certified when an employer engages in misconduct that contravenes the LRA;
    • Making access to first contract arbitration easier, and also adding an intensive mediation component
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Ontario’s Occupiers’ Liability Act Abolishes Common Law Duty

When the legislature codifies principles of common law, it can be perceived as a pruning of the living tree, helping to direct the law in growing in a specific direction, and sometimes preventing it from growing in other directions entirely.

The area of occupier’s liability is a perfect example of this. The Supreme Court of Canada conducted an exercise of statutory interpretation over the Occupier’s Liability Act, which was created in 1980, in the 1991 case of Waldick v. Malcolm. At the time, provincial legislatures across Canada were attempting to consolidate this area of law in their respective jurisdictions. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Petition to House of Commons to “Fix” Crown Copyright

University of Alberta Copyright Librarian Amanda Wakaruk is asking people to sign the petition she started to get the Canadian government to fix Crown copyright.

Her text has been shared widely in the past few days on social media and on various librarian discussion lists:

“Canada is one of many countries stating a commitment to Open Government. It is also, conversely, one of a decreasing number of countries to retain a legal provision that gives the government the sole right to reproduce and distribute works produced for public consumption. For example, the vast majority of federal US government works

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Legislation

Upcoming Alberta Employment and Labour Law Changes

After a recent review of Alberta’s employment law, the Alberta government tabled Bill 17, Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act on May 24, 2017 to make a number of significant amendments to the Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code. If enacted, the majority of changes will take effect January 1, 2018.

Both the Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code have not been significantly updated in almost 30 years and according to the Alberta government, the nature of work and family life have changed a lot since then. . . . [more]

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