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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Legislation’

Balancing Transparency and Independence in the Judiciary

On July 28, 2020, the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs is expected to publish for the first time expenses of federally-appointed judges.

The changes come about from amendments to the Access to Information Act as a result of Bill C-58: An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, which was first tabled on June 19, 2017.

The Bill followed various political promises to prioritize federal access to information, to create a more open government, including providing greater powers to the Information Commissioner, ensuring . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Genetic Discrimination Measures Upheld

In Chapter 11 of the “Canadian Health Law Practice Manual,” Genetics and the Law, Amy Zarzeczny, Tracey M. Bailey and Timothy Caulfield state,

One concern that consistently emerges in relation to obtaining genetic information is the worry that an individual may be discriminated against on the basis of his or her genetic make-up and, specifically, on the basis of a predisposition to a certain condition or disease.

Discrimination can of course occur on a wide variety of fronts including, but not limited to, employment, education, housing and insurance…, not to mention on a social level.

Whether or

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

Alberta Tables Significant Proposed Employment Law Changes

On July 7, 2020, the Alberta government tabled Bill 32, The proposed Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act that will support economic recovery, restore balance in the workplace and get Albertans back to work. The Bill proposes changes to the Employment Standards Code and the Labour Relations Code. Labour and Immigration Minister Jason Copping stated to the media that the proposed legislation would support economic recovery by cutting “red tape” for businesses and would reverse some changes made by the NDP when they were in government. . . . [more]

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

The Toronto Mask by-Law: Velvet Law in a Velvet Glove?

Laws serve several purposes. In broad terms, they reflect government policy and prescribe the behaviour required to achieve it. More specifically, they tell us what we cannot do, unless we want to risk penalty, whether criminal, civil or regulatory; they identify (and these are not all laws) the moral attributes of a society; they serve to control, by framing the parameters of permissible activity; they have the goal of changing behaviour. Generally, laws are successful when they are enforced effectively and fairly, although neither may be the case for a particular law. And they tend to work when people think . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Employer’s Ultimatum to Accept Changes or Quit Backfires

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

In McLean v Dynacast Ltd., 2019 ONSC 7146 (CanLII), the employer drastically changed the plaintiff’s job and forced him to accept the new arrangement or quit. The plaintiff chose the latter option and successfully sued for constructive dismissal. In accepting the plaintiff’s claim, the court summarized recent case law on mitigation, and awarded significant aggravated or moral damages to the plaintiff. . . . [more]

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

Security of Sex Workers Paramount in Court Decision

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

The recent criminal case of R. v. Anwar, 2020 ONCJ 103 (CanLII) involved a constitutional challenge to various provisions of the Criminal Code dealing with prostitution. The challenge contained a distinct workplace safety consideration: it alleged that the interplay between the challenged sections created a legal regime which was intended to prevent sex workers from lawfully using third parties to protect them and to prevent them from associating with others for their mutual protection-aspects which are natural, expected and encouraged in all other sectors of the economy. Before eventually declaring . . . [more]

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

New ESA Termination and Severance Pandemic Regulation

On March 19, 2020, the Government of Ontario created a new regulation under the Employment Standards Act, which created a new emergency leave to protect workers who were sick from COVID-19. This was an important protection to ensure that workers were not dismissed as a result of being sick during the pandemic.

As the pandemic drags on, and social isolation and distancing rules create significant economic barriers for businesses, many lawyers have been considering whether there would be an enormous wave of employment litigation following the conclusion of the pandemic. Many employers have had to reduce wages, modify the . . . [more]

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

Provincial Insolvency Decision Hangs in Balance

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

On March 26, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal the decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal in Canada v. Canada North Group Inc., 2019 ABCA 314 (CanLII). The decision canvasses the priority that attaches to money that is borrowed in restructuring proceedings to preserve value in an insolvent company. The decision considered whether these charges rank ahead of other claims that are also granted priority under federal legislation. The issue, therefore, was the relative ranking of “super-priority” court-ordered charges in proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors . . . [more]

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

Open Question of Jurisdictional Boundaries of Labour Arbitrators and Human Rights Tribunals Makes Its Way to the Supreme Court of Canada

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

Effects of unionization on the employment relationship

Unions have a variety of significant effects on the employment relationship and greatly affect the rights and obligations of employers and employees. The repercussions of unionization are so significant that the law surrounding unionized workplaces is considered to be an entirely distinct area of law from law surrounding non-unionized workplaces.

One such difference related to unionization is the legal path workers are allowed to take when confronted with a human rights issue in the workplace. In such a case, a non-unionized worker could . . . [more]

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

COVID-19 & Employment Standards: Cross-Canada Review

To say COVID-19 has sped up the pace of change in employment law is an understatement. Usually it takes months (or even years!) to make changes to Canadian employment legislation, but now we are seeing significant amendments announced and in force on the same day.

In particular, the federal government and most of the provinces have responded to COVID-19 by quickly amending employment standards legislation. Key areas where we have seen changes are: leaves of absence, hours of work and termination of employment. Below is a cross-Canada review of the amendments we have seen since the COVID-19 crisis began.

Leaves

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

No Right to Bear Arms in Canada

On May 1, 2020, the Prime Minister of Canada announced that semi-automatic, assault-style weapons, would be banned,

These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada.

Effective immediately, it is no longer permitted to buy, sell, transport, import or use military-grade assault weapons in this country.

The full list of the over 1,500 weapons was published in the Canada Gazette, as a regulation to the Criminal Code provisions regarding the terms “non . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Employers Must Ensure All Overtime Work Complies With Employment Standards

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

In the federally regulated employment sector, working overtime hours is subject to a number of requirements under the Canada Labour Code. Although such legislation requires that any and all overtime work be compensated adequately, even providing such compensation does not ensure that employers in the federally regulated sectors are in compliance with their obligations. In a recent decision, an Ontario court decided an employer’s policy and labour practices regarding overtime hours failed to comply with the Canada Labour Code in a dramatic and broad class-action lawsuit brought by a . . . [more]

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