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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Legislation’

Of Senate Vacancies and Canada’s Constitutional Galahads

On Parliament Hill there stands a statue depicting one of King Arthur’s knights, Sir Galahad. It was erected in honour of a heroic young civil servant who perished in the Ottawa River while trying to save a cabinet minister’s daughter who had fallen through weak ice. The tragic hero was Henry Albert Harper, and the statue of Sir Galahad, King Arthur’s most virtuous knight, was meant as a testament to Harper’s selfless heroism.

Speaking of Harper and paladins of another kind, 2014 might well go down as a banner year. The recent batch of Galahads on Parliament Hill kind of . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Legislation

CASL Software Provisions Explained – Sort Of…

I’ve had some time to reflect on the CASL software provisions as interpreted by the CRTC . As I’ve said before, the CASL software consent provisions are tortuous and unclear, and if taken literally could cause huge problems for the software industry. The CRTC has tried to interpret them in a way that aligns with the intent of stopping people from installing malware on computers. While the CRTC interpretation may not line up with the act, we basically have to work within it for the time being. (Lawyers advising clients would be well served to include caveats that we . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

The Tone of Legislation

I am horribly embarrassed for my neighbours (in the broad sense) in the federal Yellowhead riding. CBC News reported:

Voter turnout in the federal by-election could near a historic low, with CBC estimating that fewer than one in five eligible voters making the trip to the polls.

A sad tone for democracy when less than one in five people feels engaged enough to vote in a federal by-election. This phenomenon isn’t new; the June 30, 2014 by-election for Macleod saw ~18% voter turnout. On the plus side, there were no lines at the polling station.

The tone for Provincial politics . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Ontario Consults on a Potential E-Signature Regulation for Real Estate

The Ontario government is consulting on whether to make a regulation under the Electronic Commerce Act to govern electronic signatures to be used on agreements of purchase and sale of real estate.

Draft Regulation

1. For the purpose of subsection 11(4) of the Act, the following class of documents is prescribed: agreements of purchase and sale of land in Ontario.

2. A legal requirement that a document of the prescribed class be signed is satisfied by an electronic signature only if the method of signature used:

a. Is reliable for the purpose of identifying the person who signs;

b. Ensures . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

CRTC Provides Guidance on CASL Software Provisions

The CRTC has just published their thoughts on the interpretation of section 8 of CASL that requires consents for certain types of software installations.

They also discussed them in an IT.Can webinar. Their interpretation is helpful, and addresses some of the uncertainty around the provisions. But some aspects are still unclear, and some of their interpretations may not be entirely supported by the wording of the act. That may be fine so long as the CRTC is enforcing it, but a court does not have to defer to CRTC interpretation. I suspect there will be further clarification coming at some . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Ontario May Review Municipal Conflict of Interest Act

Ontario’s Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA) has played a central role in some of the legal disputes around some of our mayors.

The 2013 appeal of the conflict of interest case for Rob Ford illustrated some of the shortcomings of the MCIA. Prior to that, Justice Cunningham made recommendations over the MCIA in context of a judicial inquiry into Mississauga’s Hazel McCallion.

The Toronto Star reported this week that some much needed changes may be coming to the Act,

The ministry is reviewing the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, and is considering Justice Cunningham’s recommendations as well as stakeholder

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

Premier Wynne Calls for Review of Sexual Harassment Rules in Ontario

In the wake of the allegations regarding Mr. Ghomeshi, Premier Wynne has called for a review of sexual harassment rules in Ontario. While employees of broadcasters like the CBC generally fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Canada Labour Code (and therefore Premier Wynne has limited power over the CBC), the situation has served as “lightning rod” for discussion – and probably one that is much needed. Before we discuss whether an overhaul is required, what’s the current state of the law? Currently, sexual harassment can be a criminal offence under the Criminal Code, an offence under . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Public Consultations

The law library team at my firm spends a good chunk of time monitoring legislation. It is our role to alert our colleagues, and in some cases our firm clients directly, with information about new legislation and changes to existing legislation. We like to be proactive so we also do our best to chase down “what is coming down the pipe”.

Rumours, innuendo, a couple of very good Alberta political watch newsletters and, increasingly, public consultations.

Public consultations are a way for government to ask before creating complex legislation that might be difficult to implement or enforce without significant voluntary . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Net Neutrality Zone Trap

The dead puck era in the National Hockey began roughly in 1995 and lasted through the lockout of 2004. The dead puck era was marked by stifling defense and low scoring games as teams employed a defensive strategy known as the “neutral zone trap” (sub nom the trap). The basics of the neutral zone trap was that a team would dump the puck into the offensive zone and then mount little or no forecheck in the offensive zone in favour of placing all of their players in the neutral zone in order to impede the other team from advancing through . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet

CASL Software Provisions & CRTC Interpretation

In addition to the anti spam provisions of CASL, it contains provisions against malware starting in January 2015. It imposes disclosure and consent requirements for software providers in certain situations.

Unfortunately, those provisions are perhaps more ill-advised and unclear than the anti-spam provisions. They have the potential to make life difficult for software companies, create additional record keeping responsibilities where none are needed, and could even hurt Canadian consumers if foreign software developers simply don’t sell their products in Canada to avoid compliance.

The IT law bar is collectively scratching their heads trying to understand what the provisions mean in . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

UofT Professor Kent Roach on Canadian Counter-Terrorism Law

Well-known University of Toronto law professor Kent Roach has reacted to this week’s two terrorist attacks in St-Jean and Ottawa with a post about The Canadian Terrorist Attacks and Canadian Counter-Terrorism Law on the US-based Just Security website.

Roach’s text examines some of the existing powers in the Criminal Code that can be used against suspected terrorists, and discusses the issues surrounding proposed amendments that would expand powers of Canadian intelligence services.

Roach is the author of The 9/11 Effect: Comparative Counter Terrorism Law (Cambridge University Press, 2011).

He served as research director for the commission of inquiry into the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation