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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Legislation’

Ontario Publishes Advisory Panel Report on Anti-Activist Lawsuits

The Ontario government this week made public the final report of an advisory panel on SLAPP suits (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation).

SLAPP suits typically take the form of abusive defamation lawsuits aimed at shutting down criticism by non-governmental organizations or citizen lobby groups. Targets of SLAPPs in various parts of North America have been local residents, neighbourhood associations, municipal governments, and peaceful protesters, who have been sued for acts such as reporting bylaw violations, speaking at municipal meetings or even just picketing and circulating petitions.

The panel recommends that Ontario adopt anti-SLAPP legislation to protect the freedom of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

CSST Services and Website Available Only in French

The Office québécois de la langue française requires that all communications between the Commission de la Santé et de la Sécurité du Travail du Québec (CSST, Quebec’s workplace health and safety board) and employers, suppliers and partners take place in French only, to comply with the Charter of the French Language. However, if the head office of those parties is located outside Quebec, they may be served in English.
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

OAS Reform Passed

We have a new law in Canada, or we will when it received Royal Assent. Bill C-31, An Act to amend the Old Age Security Act, made it through the House of Commons and the Senate.

This enactment amends the Old Age Security Act to preclude incarcerated persons from receiving benefits under this Act while maintaining entitlement to benefits for, and avoiding a reduction in the amounts payable to, their spouse or common-law partner under this Act.

Thank heavens that our minority government could all agree that Canadians would feel better to know that if you make it . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Bill on Gender Identity Protection Goes to Third Reading

Bill C-389, a private member’s bill entitled An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code (gender identity and gender expression) was “concurred in at report stage” in Parliament yesterday, and now will move on to third reading. The bill would add the phrase “gender identity, gender expression” to the list of prohibited bases for discrimination found in the Canadian Human Rights Act and the relevant hate propaganda and sentencing sections of the Criminal Code (ss. 318(4) and 718.2(a)(i) respectively).

There is a wide range of people who would be potentially protected by . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Le Code Pénal – 200 Ans Aprés – en Fête

While of course legal scholars consult the current version of the text, both the Senate and the Cour de Cassation held parties and conferences recently to celebrate the fact that the legislature passed the original Code pénal on February 12, 1810, and it entered into force on 1 January 1811. This is of course six years later than the even more influential Code civil.

You can see the original text on Google Books.

Here is an audio discussion by Yves Mausen, Yves Jeanclos and Yves Mayaud of the background to the history of the Code.

The celebration . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Airport and Port Employees May Be Subject to Expanded Searches

According to a report from, Canadian Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart is investigating a government plan to give Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) officers expanded powers to search airport and port employees in new customs-controlled areas. The plan aims to curtail organized crime, drug trafficking and contraband items by cutting down on port employees’ involvement in the trades.
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

System for Conducting Criminal Background Checks Revamped but Employers Still Face Challenge

The RCMP has recently made changes to the national system for accessing information about individuals’ criminal records. This post describes the relevant background and the changes, with a focus on what is relevant to employers .

Background on CPIC and background checks

The Canadian Police Information Centre or “CPIC” is an information system through which Canadian law enforcement agencies obtain information on crimes and criminals from an RCMP administered national database. The national database contains a range of information useful to law enforcement, including records about hybrid and indictable offences. “CPIC agencies” (local police forces) voluntarily report information to the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Legislation

Are Common Law Couples Victim of Discrimination?

This year, Quebec’s highest court had to decide if common-law couples residing in Quebec were victims of discrimination based on section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom. Quebec’s Civil Code does not afford common-law partners access to alimony, the sharing of family property and the protection of the family residence, among other rights that married or civil union couples enjoy (see sections 585, 401–430, 432, 433, 448–484 of the Code).

The Quebec Civil Code, which governs relations between private persons, treats common-law spouses as two independent individuals, regardless of the length of their union. It . . . [more]

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

The Sound of Silence

Six Canadian provinces have legislative recognition of Remembrance Day, though only two mention Two Minutes Silence, Ontario and Alberta. Nova Scotia for example says:

Every employer carrying on or engaged in an industry to which Section 3 does not apply shall, subject to Section 8, relieve the employees in the industry from duty, and suspend the operations of the industry, for a period of three minutes, at one minute before eleven oclock in the forenoon.

This post is about silence, and the legal protection of silence.

You have the right to silence. And in Quebec, a judge cannot refuse . . . [more]

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