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).
Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’
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]
In Keenan v Canac Kitchens, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice concluded that two workers were owed termination notice by their employer because they were not independent contractors as the employer tried to argue, but rather dependent contractors as the evidence showed. Therefore, the employer did owe them termination notice. . . . [more]
In an appeal, everyone who has lost a case has sometimes felt the urge to viscerally complain about some aspect of the decision.
A recent decision of the Quebec Court of Appeal reminds us of the importance of making tempered criticism of the trial judge. Overstated criticism can even affect the overall credibility of an argument. In Dunkin Brands Canada Ltd. v. Bertico Inc., the Court of Appeal began its reasons with a dissection of the language used by the appellant in the factum, referring to “gross errors of law”, evidence that was “almost completely ignored” and “blatant” mistakes . . . [more]
Perhaps the best way to raise awareness of the 2015 Bencher Elections is to highlight what the function of the law society is. The LSUC website states,
The main function of the Law Society of Upper Canada is to ensure that all persons who practise law or provide legal services in Ontario are competent, follow proper procedures and behave ethically.
Ethical behaviour is generally interpreted through the lens of the Rules of Professional Conduct, and is one of the main disciplinary functions of the law society. Discipline, though rarely pleasant, is one of the necessary components of self-regulation. Understandably . . . [more]
The long-dead brains of history are still quite handy when you need to brandish something with rhetorical flourish—Plato, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Milton, Locke, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill are some obvious choices. But it’s rare that a quote at the head of a judgement is as good as what BC Supreme Court Justice Sharma gave us this past Friday in Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users v. British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal. Here’s how the reasons begin:
. . . [more]
“Near the end of the 19th Century, the poet, author and Nobel laureate Antole France composed this oft-cited saying: ‘[t]he law in its
A panel of three Divisional Court Judges have affirmed that when a homeowner sells their home, they lose their standing to maintain a Tarion warranty claim under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (the “Act”).
Ms. Blair took possession of her new condominium townhome in February, 2010. Thereafter she made a complaint to Tarion about insufficient heating in the home. Ultimately, Tarion ordered that duct modification work was required in all nine townhouse units in the complex.
Ms. Blair installed a gas fireplace in her home without Tarion’s approval (to address the heating issue) and claimed compensation for the . . . [more]
Many Canadian cities are debating the use of body cameras by police and the privacy impacts involved. The Toronto police have started a pilot project.
A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal relating to the G20 protests illustrates the power of video: six paragraphs of the Court’s decision describe a YouTube video (which appears to be here). The Court noted the video had been viewed more than 100,000 times and was viewed by the application judge and by the panel of the Court of Appeal. The Court concluded that police violated the right to travel unimpeded . . . [more]
The Court of Appeal in England has upheld a 2014 decision against Google about its scraping of information from users of the Safari browser. It classified a privacy action as a tort that will support a class action (called a ‘group action’ there) and also service out of the jurisdiction. The Court allowed the action to proceed without proof of pecuniary damages. It also held that ‘browser generated information’ (BGI) was personally identifiable information to which the Data Protection Act applied, though it did not contain the name of the person using the browser.
A Canada Revenue Agency employee’s moonlighting activities constituted a serious conflict of interest and, along with his subsequent insubordination, gave the employer sufficient cause to terminate the employee, the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board recently confirmed in Cavanagh v Canada Revenue Agency. . . . [more]
In January 2015, the Ontario Superior Court provided another example of how, as an employer, if you’re going to terminate an employee for cause, you better have a good case backed by solid evidence. The case, Partridge v. Botony Dental Corporation, 2015 ONSC 343 (CanLII), is a relatively simple one. The employee, a dental hygenist, Ms. Lee Partridge, was terminated for cause by her employer, Botony Dental Corporation, after 7 years of employment. On her record of employment and in defence, the Employer alleged versions of the following grounds for termination:
Partridge chose to reject her
We’re about five years away from a demographic tsunami—that forecast point in time when 25% of Canadians will be 65 or older. Standing in the shallows, you can already feel the sucking silence. Every institution senses the water being drawn out from around its feet. They are all bracing for the shuddering power of change when that wave hits.
Much hand-wringing is occurring over how our economic apparatus will handle this surging demographic threat, but there is also a broader social component emerging. I’m referring to the emerging awareness and everyday discussions around significant “end-of-life” issues, such as the ones . . . [more]