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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Legislation’

The Surveillance Society Is Already Here

Canadians often look at intrusive, anti-privacy surveillance in other countries, and at things like the NSA and Patriot Act in the United States and think we are above that. But it is becoming apparent that Canada is just as bad. We need to do better than this and move the pendulum back towards individual rights and freedoms, and away from a surveillance society that does very little if anything to actually protect us.

For example, it recently came to light that the Communications Security Establishment, or CSE, Canada’s equivalent of the NSA, monitors and stores emails sent to Canadian government . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Supreme Court Confirms Right to Strike Constitutionally Protected

For some, this decision took a long time to arrive.

The Supreme Court of Canada in Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v Saskatchewan confirmed once and for all that the right to strike is protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This landmark decision strikes down Saskatchewan’s essential services legislation, which prevented a wide range of public sector employees from striking. This decision does not conclude that all essential services legislation that imposes limits on strike action will be unconstitutional; however, it will have an impact on the future of labour relations across Canada. . . . [more]

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

Do We Need to Legislate Against Revenge Porn?

The UK has just passed a law to criminalize revenge porn (see ss 33 – 35). A fair amount of discussion clearly went into the drafting, considering the qualifications and the language. The law prohibits the publication or distribution of a ‘private sexual photograph or film’ without the consent of the subject and with the intention to cause the subject distress. There are fairly subtle definitions of the images, a broad definition of distribution (online or offline), and a requirement that the intention be specific, not just inferred as a reasonable consequence of publication or distribution.

This article describes the . . . [more]

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

Report on the Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act Review

Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure released the 79-page report on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act review to the public on February 13, 2015. Overall, the report indicates that although the government and public and private sectors have shown strong support and commitment to accessibility, the slow implementation of the AODA has resulted in rather modest improvements for persons with disabilities in the areas of jobs and access to goods or services.
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Age Limit for Loss of Earnings Benefits Doesn’t Violate Charter

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act’s age cut-off for loss of earnings benefits does not violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Ontario’s Divisional Court decided in Gouthro v. Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal et al.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Can Better Data Security Be Encouraged by Civil Liability?

Some people – notably information security expert Bruce Schneier – believe that if IT suppliers, notably software providers, were civilly liable for the harm caused by buggy products, they would have an incentive to be more careful. The market currently encourages the industry to put products on sale as early as possible, and with the most hype possible, whether testing has been adequate or security threats thoroughly checked.

Here is an overview of Schneier’s position. A classic statement of the issues with software is here.

Would they be more careful – and would we then all be better . . . [more]

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

Of Digital Authoritativeness and the Age of Steam

Late last week fellow Slaw contributor John Gregory brought up some idiosyncrasies in his post about how web-sourced versions of laws stack up against more official looking books with laws printed in them. You know, the ones that only the law library has?

This brings up a pet peeve of mine—something that Ontario has solved, but which BC practitioners are technically still exposed to. The fact is that if you’re not producing photocopies of the official books with BC laws in them, you’re technically not doing your job for the court in BC. That’s ridiculous, right? Well, yeah. It is. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet

Evidence of Official Documents Online: A Problem?

Governments increasingly are putting official documents online without any paper ‘original’ or equivalent. Does that present challenges in practice for proving those documents?

What is your experience producing in court or generally under the evidence statutes official government documents that appear only online?

There is good statutory support for producing documents ‘printed’ by government, sometimes by class of document but sometimes as broad as ‘other public document’.

Will courts accept a printout of a web page (or, I suppose, a live in-court online presentation of a web page) showing a government URL as being ‘published by the Queen’s Printer’, at . . . [more]

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

Non-Disparagement Clauses

California has just enacted a law that prohibits ‘non-disparagement clauses’. These are clauses in consumer contracts that prohibit the consumer from criticising the product or services provided under the contract.

Specifically, the statute says this: “a contract or proposed contract for the sale or lease of consumer goods or services may not include a provision waiving the consumer’s right to make any statement regarding the seller or lessor or its employees or agents, or concerning the goods or services.”

Is there any need for such a provision in Canadian law (federal or provincial)? Are non-disparagement clauses ever seen here? Would . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, ulc_ecomm_list

Ontario’s Proposed Provincial Retirement Plan and PRPP Legislation

Fewer than 35 percent of workers in Ontario currently have a workplace pension plan. Coverage for workers in the private sector is even lower—only 28 percent are members of a plan. Several studies have shown that, due to the limited benefits provided by the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS), significant numbers of Ontarians will not have sufficient savings to maintain similar living standards throughout their retirement years. As a result, the Ontario government has decided to establish a made-in-Ontario pension plan and to implement the federal government's Pooled Registered Pension Plan.
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, 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