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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

Bad Faith Abounds at Landlord Tenants Tribunal

Over the past 6 months, after many landlords in Ontario claimed that some tenants were using the pandemic as an excuse to not pay rent, it’s becoming increasingly clear that many landlords themselves are using these circumstances to violate the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006.

The Landlord Tenant Board (LTB) has been described as “chaos,” as early as late 2020, and the circumstances since that time have not improved. The province’s Digital First Strategy was intended to save money and improve efficiencies, and probably works best in court proceedings where all the parties are represented.

At the LTB, most tenants are . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Calculations of the Pandemic Limitations in Ontario

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit Ontario, the provincial government made a special order on March 20, 2020 under s. 7.1(2) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, creating a suspension of limitations under O. Reg. 73/20,

Limitation periods

Period of time, steps in a proceeding

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

Defining Aboriginal Peoples of Canada to Include Non-Canadians

While Canada wrestles with the mounting tolls of historic deaths at residential schools, many are reconsidering how to celebrate Canada Day on July 1, 2021. There are calls for an independent probe, and even for criminal charges to be laid.

The upside is that this might be Canada’s moment of reconciliation, with unprecedented interest in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Accepting the realities of this past may be the first steps to creating a better future.

How the legal system deals with these issues is equally challenging, as illustrated by the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision earlier . . . [more]

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

Representation Orders in Small Claims

In Ontario, Small Claims Court’s monetary jurisdiction increased from $25,000 to $35,000 on Jan. 1, 2020. This has allows far more claims to be heard in this venue, with its streamlined processes and less procedural delays. Even prior to the pandemic, the Small Claims Court handled more than half of all of Ontario’s civil disputes.

Wrongful dismissal claims in particular have been effectively advanced in this venue, especially during the pandemic, and for those looking to avoid the cost consequences of improperly advancing a claim in Superior Court. However, in order for these proceedings to be heard effectively, the courts . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Notwithstanding in Ontario, Yet Again

Nearly three years ago, I wrote here that the use of s. 33 in Ontario constituted “UnChartered waters.”

Given the successful appeal in that case, the use of the clause ultimately wasn’t necessary. However, I was fortunate to appear as an intervener before the Court to note that the potential use of the notwithstanding clause would presumably emerge in circumstances that were clearly pressing and substantial, and asked the Court to carefully scrutinize any such rationale as a result. That decision is still pending.

Perhaps because the case involved the elections of a single city (albeit the largest in Canada, . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Facing Problems, Employer Buries Head in Sand

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

Many readers will remember the Bugs Bunny cartoons that featured an ostrich who would bury its head in the sand to avoid a predator or some other form of imminent danger. It turns out that ostriches do not really bury their heads in the sand to avoid problems, but the cartoon offers a nice analogy to the way the employer in Cybulsky v Hamilton Health Sciences, 2021 HRTO 213 (CanLII) handled one of its employees’ allegations of discrimination. In this case, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario considered the plight . . . [more]

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

Crown Immunity Means Tough Luck for the Police: A Good Call?

In Ontario (Attorney General) v. Clark (“Clark“), the majority (8 judges) of the Supreme Court of Canada held that Crown immunity precludes claims based on misfeasance in public office. Justice Côté dissented. Here I consider the policy underpinnings and ramifications of the two opinions. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

LinkedIn Is Not Facebook

You’ll see it every few weeks on LinkedIn. Somebody somewhere is complaining that LinkedIn is not Facebook. They’re usually complaining about it on LinkedIn, and the comments on these posts bear an earie resemblance to social media platforms that are not LinkedIn.

Joshua Titsworth says that despite being founded in 2002, the site has gone through significant changes since that time,

The truth about LinkedIn is that despite its intended use, it has always been a form of social media… Given the relatively community-based origins of the site, it may seem strange to take issue with LinkedIn for becoming too

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

Experienced Plaintiff Wins Wrongful Dismissal Suit to Some Extent

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

Employees who are unjustly dismissed cannot simply sit back, relax and wait for their payday in court. They have a duty to mitigate their losses by taking reasonable steps to find work elsewhere. In Wilson v Pomerleau Inc., 2021 BCSC 388 (CanLII), the plaintiff learned this the hard way, seeing his damages reduced on account of his lax approach to mitigating his losses. . . . [more]

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

How Open Is an Open Court Online?

In 2015, Shauna Hall-Coates wrote in the Dalhousie Journal of Legal Studies,

Walk into any courtroom today, critics venture, and it will look stunningly similar to those of the past; the judge will be sitting behind the bench, the jury in its box, and the witness on the stand.1 As everyone settles into his or her place selected by centuries of ritual and status quo, the courtroom may even appear as a sanctuary from the trappings of digital technology, so doggedly pursued outside its walls.

This segregation between the courtroom and digital technology is nonetheless collapsing, as trial spectators

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

The Employer Post-Dismissal Release Repudiated Contract

Written by Lewis Waring, Paralegal, Student-at-Law, Editor, First Reference Inc.

In Peretta v Rand v Technology Corporation (“Perretta”), an employer repudiated an employment contract by insisting that a new term be added after the contract had already come into effect. The reason that the employer’s insistence on adding a new term resulted in the repudiation of the contract was that the new term was so important that the employer’s attempt to force the employee to agree to it showed an intention to not be bound by the original contract. . . . [more]

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

Forum Non Conveniens Online

Like it or hate it, virtual hearings are with us in some part indefinitely. With virtual witnesses, and all of the parties attending remotely, there’s certainly some savings in travel expenses.

But what about complex trials, and where trial fairness may be significantly impaired through an online format alone? Can a forum non conveniens argument be raised in this context?

A party who is outside of Ontario can move under R 17.02 Rules of Civil Procedure staying the proceeding, including if the court concludes Ontario is not a convenient forum. This is different from the real and substantial connection test, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions