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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Legislation’

New Proposed Cannabis Regulations

This week, Health Canada announced the new amendments to the Cannabis Regulations, which set rules governing for the legal production and sale of edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals. The amended regulations will come into force on October 17, 2019, but will not be available to Canadians until mid-December 2019, due to the 60-day notice requirement for all federal license holders.

An overview of the amended regulations are available here, with a pdf summary here. The full regulations will be published in the Canada Gazette on June 26, 2019.

Some of the main features include placing . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

British Columbia Employment Standards and Labour Relations Reforms Passed

On May 30, 2019, the British Columbia government gave royal assent to an amended version of Bill 8, Employment Standards Amendment Act, 2019 to significantly update the Employment Standards Act, and royal assent to an amended version of Bill 30, Labour Relations Code Amendment Act, 2019 to provide greater protections for unionized workers. According to the government, the changes will better protect workers, bring greater stability for employers and more durable labour relations. . . . [more]

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

Using Law to Restrict Freedom of Religion and Conscience: The Vaccination Issue

Generally speaking, those of us above “a certain age” grew up suffering from dangerous childhood diseases, such as chicken pox, measles and mumps, among others. Most of us survived, but not every child did and even among the survivors, children lost their hearing or there were other negative consequences (increased risk of miscarriage for women contracting measles during pregnancy, for example). Measles can result in swelling of the brain, ear infections, pneumonia, among other serious conditions.

What a blessing the vaccines to end these diseases were. The measles vaccine was introduced in 1963, the mumps vaccine was approved . . . [more]

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

Alberta Rolling Back Certain Employment Standards and Labour Relations Reforms

On May 27, 2019, the Alberta government tabled Bill 2, An Act to Make Alberta Open for Business to make amendments to the Employment Standards Code and the Labour Relations Code. This involves rolling back certain measures that were implemented by the previous government and adding in new rules. According to the government, the proposed Open for Business Act would reduce unfair burdens on businesses and give workers more rights in unionized workplaces.

Employment Standards Code changes

1. Introducing a $13 per hour minimum wage rate for students under 18:

This change is not part of Bill 2, but . . . [more]

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

How Law Affects the Relationship Between the People and Government

Law is a significant factor in how the individual is able or is forced to interact with the state. It may be a force of oppression, it may protect people from each other and indeed, from the state itself. It may enable people to attain rights and benefits. Our nexus with law helps to define us as a society. When the opportunity to employ law to attain rights is diminished or when law is used as a threat to force particular conduct based on improper motives, the nature of that nexus changes. Cuts to legal aid and the expected repeal . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information, Substantive Law: Legislation

Canada Introduces a Digital Charter to Better Protect Privacy

Misinformation and privacy have threatened the very foundations of Western democracy, and Canada has proposed a response – a Digital Charter.

An announcement this past week builds on the commitment made to join the Christchurch Call, to “bring together countries and tech companies in an attempt to bring to an end the ability to use social media to organise and promote terrorism and violent extremism.” The 10 Principles of the proposed Digital Charter are as follows:

1. Universal Access: All Canadians will have equal opportunity to participate in the digital world and the necessary tools to do so, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

British Columbia Upcoming Changes to the Labour Relations Act

On April 30, 2019, the British Columbia government tabled Bill 30, Labour Relations Code Amendment Act, 2019 to provide greater protection for unionized workers. According to the government, the changes will also bring greater stability for employers and more durable labour relations.

The labour changes are based on a report by a three-member, independent panel appointed last year that made 29 recommendations. The panel included labour and business representatives.

Harry Bains, Minister of Labour said that “for many years, B.C.’s workers have seen employment rights and job security seriously threatened. And yet the Labour Relations Code hasn’t had a substantive . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Manitoba Accessible Employment Standard Enacted

On May 1, 2019, the Manitoba’s Accessibility Standard for Employment became the second standard enacted by Regulation (70/2019) under The Accessibility for Manitobans Act which aims to remove and prevent barriers in employment practices to meet the needs of employees and job applicants with disabilities.

The Accessibility Standard for Employment requires larger organizations and businesses with 50 or more employees to implement and document accessible employment policies, measures and practices (i.e., recruiting, performance review, career development etc.). They must also make these available to the public upon request in an accessible format, and provide reasonable accommodation to employees . . . [more]

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

British Columbia Employment Standards Changes

On April 29, 2019, the British Columbia government tabled Bill 8, Employment Standards Amendment Act, 2019 to significantly update the Employment Standards Act and incorporate some recommendations from the BC Law Institute, as well as from the BC Employment Standards Coalition, the BC Federation of Labour and feedback from workers, employers and the public. Further recommendations from these reports will be considered at a later date and proposed legislation tabled.

The ESA has not been significantly updated for 15 years and there are several areas where changes are needed and overdue. However, the government will be implementing the updates in . . . [more]

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

When Are Government-Mandated Messages Constitutional? (Preliminary Thoughts)

In 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada held that the health-related warnings mandated by the federal government to cover about 50% of a cigarette package were constitutional. But are all mandated messages constitutional? The current provincial government is mandating that gas stations place on the pumps an anti-carbon tax message. Failure to do so could result in hefty fines. But is this requirement constitutional? The province is also changing the slogan on licence plates to “A Place to Grow” from “Yours to Discover”, perhaps both of them equally anodyne, but otherwise not particularly objectionable; however, the government will be using . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Amendments to the Juries Act in Ontario

The current jury system has long been criticized in Ontario, in particular in regards to its diversity and representation. Hints in Ontario’s recent budget suggest some changes are forthcoming.

A big part of the reason for Ontario’s problems is that it is jury rolls remain an anomaly in Canada, and are based on specific provisions under the Juries Act. Although the Director of Assessments prepares jury questionnaires based on the provisions in s. 6, based on the inhabitants of the county under s. 15 of the Assessment Act who are Canadian citizens and who will be 18 at . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Ontario Budget 2019-20 Summary of Interest to Employers and Other Measures

On April 11, 2019, the Ontario government tabled its 2019-20 fiscal budget, “Protecting What Matters Most” that sets out a five-year path to a balanced budget. The budget anticipates deficits of $11.7 billion for 2018-19 and $10.3 billion for 2019-20, and projects a modest surplus in 2023-24.

According to budget documents, the government has already reduced the deficit by $3.3 billion, going from $15 billion to a projected $11.7 billion for the 2018-19 fiscal year. The government is planning to further reduce the deficit by $1.4 billion in the 2019-20 fiscal years, lowering it to $10.3 billion. The . . . [more]

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