Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

⛰️ CanLII’s Top Ten Accessed Cases From 2018 ⛰️

Surely the winter holiday season wouldn’t be complete without the annual list of the most viewed cases from CanLII in the prior year. We’re not sure what legal information tidbit would complete other holidays, but we’re open to suggestions. Over recent years we have been averaging over 30,000 site visits per day on CanLII.org, and we are grateful for the ongoing support of the legal community and the trust Canadians place in us for their legal research needs. Interestingly no case released in 2018 made the top ten list. It will remain to be seen if this year has been . . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

CRTC Jurisdiction Over Broadcast Content

The Toronto municipal election earlier this year has attracted nation-wide scrutiny given the changes to council size and invocation of s. 33 in Bill 31. In an election already marred by confusion and uncertainty, there has also been some controversy around the candidates involved. One mayoral candidate, Faith Goldy, who has received a disproportionate amount of attention online, is described by The Globe as “a troubling extremist” and “manipulative monomaniac.” She is generally assumed to reflect the views of the growing “alt-right” across Canada, and as a result, many debate organizers have deliberately excluded her from events. Goldy’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Wilful Act Required to Prove WSIB Fraud

According to the Ontario Court of Appeal, when the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) charges a worker for “wilfully failing to inform the Board of a material change,” the WSIB must prove a wilful act, and, moreover, that a worker intended to obtain WSIB benefits to which he or she is not entitled to. . . . [more]

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

Need for Greater Protections of Investigative Journalism

On Nov. 21, 2018, Finance Minister Bill Morneau provided the 2018 fiscal update, which includes nearly $600 million in tax credits and incentives over the next 5 years for the media, as well as a temporary tax credit for subscribers to digital news media sites. Non-profit media organizations will be eligible for charitable status and may receive funding from other registered charities. The role of the media within our legal system is emphasized in our constitution. Though commonly referred to as simply “freedom of speech,” the Charter‘s expressive guarantee under s. 2(b) is slightly more refined as,

freedom

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

Go West – Life Is Patently Unreasonable There

The potential of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) has long been touted by many of us as part of the solution to the access to justice problem in Canada, especially for low-intensity disputes. The first province to introduce ODR was B.C. in 2012 with the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act (the “Act”), followed soon after by Quebec’s Plateforme d’Aide au Règlement des Litiges en ligne (PARLe). The success of ODR internationally means that it is a question of time as to when it comes to Ontario, especially with the introduction of programs like joint divorce applications online. A few features of the . . . [more]

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

Towards a National Security Regulator

I had always presumed, erroneously, that all those entering the legal field would have some modicum of interest in public policy, equity issues, and promoting the rule of law. A significant chunk of the profession certainly do share those concerns, even while differing in the positions they may take. But I was bewildered by those I encountered early in my legal education who simply were indifferent towards politics or any legal topic that did not directly impact their professional pursuits. I could only assume that such an existence was a by-product of a lifestyle and existence that was not threatened . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Public Disclosure of Private Facts – Redux

Privacy law is the new frontier in personal rights. Although privacy may be “a protean concept” (R v. Tessling, para 25), it is one of the most fundamental issues in a digital era. The lack of statutory development, and the challenges of extending existing statutory frameworks to emerging privacy issues, has forced the courts to develop new rights of action to protect the privacy interests of Canadians. The second of these, the tort of public disclosure of private facts, has a troubled history. Decided on a default judgement, including the setting aside of the decision when . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Smelling of Alcohol Not Reasonable Cause to Test for Drugs

A British Columbia Arbitrator recently held in a preliminary award that an employee who reported to work smelling of alcohol did not provide the employer with reasonable cause to test that employee for drugs.

What happened?

. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Careful, Lawyer’s Communications Are Not Always Protected

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently found that the communications and conduct of the employer’s lawyer regarding sexual harassment investigation were not privileged and could be referred to in the employee’s Statement of Claim in the litigation against the employer

What happened?

A long-service employee (employed since 2002), while being placed on a performance improvement plan (PIP), raised allegations that her supervisor was bullying and sexually harassing her. In response, her employer:

  • Conducted an investigation but failed to interview the complainant employee during this process;
  • Concluded that the claims were unsubstantiated.
. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Workplace Accident Is Not Enough to Prove Employer Committed General Duty Offence Under OHSA

Following a fatal workplace accident, the Alberta Court of Appeal provided a more comprehensive framework for the actus reus requirement of the general duty provision in Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and clarified that the mere occurrence of a workplace accident does not prove the employer committed a violation.

Fatal workplace accident – Did the employer violate its “general duty” to ensure the health and safety of an employee?

During a “tripping out” procedure on December 20, 2010, at an employer’s drilling rig, an employee suffered a workplace accident and died from blunt cranial trauma and multiple cranial . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Parliamentary Privilege Does Not Always Reign Supreme

The next few years are likely to reveal further insight into the demarcations between the judiciary and the legislature, given the election of the right-leaning political parties in Canada’s largest provinces. With the introduction of Bill 31 in Ontario, the government justified it no no small part on the basis of parliamentary privilege. House Leader Hon. Todd Smith cited the House of Commons Procedure and Practice as the basis for the Bill during the debate on Sept. 1, 2018 as follows:

The exclusive right of the House of Commons to regulate its own internal affairs refers especially to its control

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

Roadside Drug Screening to Be Tested by Courts

On Wednesday, Ontario’s new government announced a change in policy for cannabis use, indicating that they will allow it to be used anywhere where tobacco is smoked when it is legalized on Oct. 17, 2018, and not restricted to residential homes as previously planned. This move would align the province’s policy with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) set up as the proposed regulator to issue private store licences. One of the ancillary effects of this is that residents in the province will invariably be consuming cannabis outside of the home, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions