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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

Shocking Communications With a Job Applicant Cost Employer $8,000 in Damages

When an employer denied a job candidate’s application with a text message saying, “I don’t hire foreners I keep the white man working" (his spelling not mine!), the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal had no trouble finding that the job applicant experienced discrimination on the basis of race, color and place of origin.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Employee Constructively Dismissed Because of a Temporary Layoff

Can a temporary layoff, in the absence of an express or implied contractual term authorizing such action during the term of employment, constitute a constructive dismissal? Ontario’s Small Claims Court recently answered this question in the case of Janice Wiens v. Davert Tools Inc., 2014 CanLII 47234.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Short Updates: A Thank-You to Eugene Meehan

The amount of information required to stay abreast of the changing law, in a general sense, is massive. Supreme Court of Canada statistics tell us that there were over 70 decisions to read from that court alone every year. Add your jurisdiction’s Court of Appeal and trial courts decisions, federal and provincial legislative changes, tribunal decisions, municipal and other delegated legislation and you have way more material than any generalist can reasonably consume.

Of course you don’t need to know it all. Many of those pieces of legal information can be learned just in time rather than just in case. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Worker Could Sue Executive Officer for Massage, but Not Employer

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal recently decided that an employee was not allowed to sue her employer in court because the workers’ compensation regime prevented it. However, the employee was allowed to sue the executive officer of the employer who allegedly assaulted her because he was not acting in an employment-related capacity regarding the conduct that was subject to the civil action.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Of Unicorns and Leprechauns: Applying the Threatened Species Taxonomy to Administrative Law

A colleague & I were recently discussing the ever-shrinking categories of questions in administrative law that might attract a correctness standard (see paras. 58-61 of Dunsmuir and paras. 25-26 of McLean). I suggested that true questions of jurisdiction could be likened to unicorns and general questions of law of central importance to the legal system as a whole might be more in the nature of leprechauns. She suggested a better parallel might be found in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s threatened species taxonomy. In her view, true questions of jurisdiction are “extinct in the wild” . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Interesting Take on the Duty to Accommodate

An employer can do nothing and still meet its duty to accommodate, so long as it turns out that the employer could not have accommodated the complainant without undue hardship. This was the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal in the recent case, Canada (Human Rights Commission) v. Canada (Attorney General).
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

“Sympathies” Alone Insufficient to Form Terrorist Plot

An Ontario pathologist who was arrested on terrorism charges was acquitted today in R. v. Sher.

Dr. Khurrum Sher, a graduate of McGill University who was working at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital in St. Thomas, Ont., visited the home of his co-accused on July 20, 2010. During this visit, his host and another guest engaged in a protracted discussion about violent terrorist activity.

The accused was present throughout the discussion, did not appear to vigorously object to their plans, and at its conclusion appears to pledge his allegiance to them. He was friends with the host of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Tragedy of Medical Negligence

Current and “wannabe” litigators practising (or hoping to practise) in the medical negligence area would do well to read, and consider, what happened, and why, in the just released Briante v. Vancouver Island Health Authority, 2014 BCSC 1511. Regardless of one’s position on the legal validity of the result, the result is a reminder (for those old enough to remember, or otherwise be aware of) of these statements and calls for reform (outside of the tort system) in cases such as Ferguson v Hamilton Civic Hospitals (1983), 40 OR (2d) 577, 1983 CanLII 1724 (ON SC) aff’d (1985) . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Court of Appeal Confirms Canada Is a Constitutional Monarchy

While the headline to this post shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, it has made headlines. In a recent decision, the Court of Appeal of Ontario rejected claims that requiring potential Canadian citizens to swear an oath to Her Majesty was unconstitutional and reaffirmed that because Canada is a constitutional monarchy, it is acceptable to be required to verbally ascribe to what the Monarch represents. For those of us who are history geeks (me) and monarchists (also me), the decision is a fascinating read. It discusses our history, our Queen (she is the Queen of Canada) and . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Appellate Lawyers Take Heed

Sattva Capital Corp. v. Creston Moly Corp, 2014 SCC 53

will change existing practice (necessarily outside of Quebec civil law cases: I leave the effect on civil law to others) where the central appellate issue is the meaning of the contract.

From the headnote:

The historical approach according to which determining the legal rights and obligations of the parties under a written contract was considered a question of law should be abandoned. Contractual interpretation involves issues of mixed fact and law as it is an exercise in which the principles of contractual interpretation are applied to the words of the

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

Quebec Employer’s Right to Waive Resignation Notice Decided by Supreme Court of Canada

On July 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Quebec (Commission des normes du travail) v. Asphalte Desjardins inc., on the issue of whether an employer who receives a notice of termination from an employee can terminate the contract of employment before the notice period expires without in turn having to give notice of termination or pay in lieu of such notice.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation