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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Standing to Bring a Class Action for Data Breach

It appears as if there is a major difference between Canadian and US law on standing to sue, at least in class actions.

Most US class actions by people whose personal information has been compromised in some way by a data breach have been stopped by a motion to dismiss. The essence of the argument is that the prospective plaintiffs have not suffered any demonstrable damage, and the US Constitution that authorizes the court system requires that there be a real dispute, which requires real damages.

On the other hand, the Federal Court of Appeal has just decided, in Condon . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list

SCC to Rule on Dismissal Without Cause Regime Under the Canada Labour Code.

Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. was thought to put to rest the long-standing debate among adjudicators of whether federally regulated employers can dismiss an employee without just cause if they meet certain criteria (Part III of the the Canada Labour Code (“the Code”) provides protection in the form of reinstatement for employees dismissed “without just cause”).

In January of this year, the Court of Appeal upheld the Federal Court’s decision to allow an application for judicial review concluding that the adjudicator unreasonably found that the law permits only dismissals for cause.

The Federal Court criticized the adjudicator’s reliance . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

When “use” Is Not Trademark “use”

Law sometimes hinges on subtle distinctions that are not obvious, and can lead to surprising results. The meaning of the word “use” for trademark purposes, for example.

A key principle of trademark law is that a business must actually “use” its trademark to keep its trademark registration alive, or to enforce its trademark rights against others.

But the legal concept of “use” for trademark purposes is narrower than most would suspect, and can result in a surprising loss of trademark rights for a business.

For example, a trademark on the side of a building, or on a business card, or . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Bill C-377 Is Back: Unions to Be Required to Make Financial Disclosures in Canada

A controversial Private Members Bill that will have a direct impact on unions across Canada is currently working its way through Parliament. Bill C-377, which was passed by the Senate last week, will require unions to essentially open their financial books to the public.

Included in the Bill is a requirement for unions to disclose: a yearly balance sheet indicating their assets, liabilities, income and expenditures; the details of all transactions over $5,000, including the name and address of each party, a statement regarding the purpose of the transaction, and a description of each transaction; a statement indicating the total . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

On the Eve of the Referendum – a New Dispatch From Our Greek Correspondent

It’s early Sunday morning in Greece, but Peter Carayiannis of ConduitLaw in Toronto is up late writing a dispatch from the front lines

Postcard from Greece – A Nation Holds Its Breath

As I write this, it is late Saturday night. Tomorrow is the day of Greece’s referendum. After a tumultuous week that started last Sunday when PM Tsipras & Co. abruptly ended negotiations with European counterparts we are now on the eve of the most important vote in modern times for Greece.

Ultimately, this is a referendum not just on the ongoing chronic economic catastrophe that has been the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

From Our Own Correspondent – a Canadian Lawyer in Greece

An unusual post today. Peter Carayiannis, whose Toronto firm Mitch Kowalski and Doug Jasinski have blogged about, is currently in Northern Greece, where he is a first hand observer at a momentous stage in modern Greek history.

He has been sending selected friends his notes on what he is seeing – and how it feels to be on Greek streets, as the population faces Sunday’s referendum on whether to accept the conditions of further economic aid, or go it alone, and exit the Euro.

Here is what he’s been seeing:

Greece – With Its Toes Over a Cliff . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Be Heard: The Ontario Ministry of Labour Wants to Hear From You!

Public consultations commenced in Toronto on June 16th as part of the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s (“MOL”) implementation of the Changing Workplaces Review, and are expected to continue throughout the summer until mid-September.

The Changing Workplaces Review was announced earlier this year as part of MOL’s mandate to increase protection for workers and create a support environment for businesses to thrive. The review will consist of public consultations in regions across Ontario to address the changing nature of the modern workplace. The consultations will focus on potential amendments to the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“LRA”) and the Employment . . . [more]

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

Novel Approaches to Sentencing in Occupational Health and Safety Convictions

The Nova Scotia Provincial Court is taking new approaches to dealing with occupational health and safety violations. Recently, it sentenced a company found guilty of breaching Occupational Health and Safety laws to complete community service hours.

The sentence was delivered pursuant to Section 75 of Nova Scotia’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, which allows the court to order any number of creative conditions which serve the purpose of “securing the offender’s good conduct and…preventing the offender from repeating the same offence”.

The company’s conviction came after an experienced employee was fatally electrocuted. In determining culpability, the Court found that . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Uber Drivers Found to Be Employees in California: Canadian Provinces to Follow?

A recent decision from the California Labour Commission (the Commission) has held that drivers from the popular Uber service are employees and not independent contractors. This decision has sparked public interest as its implications could bring trouble for the successful mobile-based start-up.

In coming down on the side of the drivers, the Commission concluded that the employer was involved in “every aspect of the operation” of the ride hauling service. Uber, however, has appealed the decision emphasizing the significant degree of driver autonomy as the basis for their operations and stating that “the number one reason drivers choose to use . . . [more]

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

Accessibility Action Plan Outlines Incentives, Tools

On June 3, 2015—the 10th anniversary of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)—Ontario’s government introduced an accessibility action plan, which establishes measures to meet the goal of an “accessible Ontario” by 2025. The action plan also responds to the Report on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act review released in February 2015. . . . [more]

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

Digital Privacy Act Amends PIPEDA

Several amendments were made last week to PIPEDA, the federal private sector privacy legislation. This has been sitting around in draft for a long time. Except for sections creating a new mandatory breach notification scheme, the amendments are now in force. The breach notification scheme requires some regulations before it comes into effect. More on that at the end of this post.

Several of these changes were long overdue, and bring PIPEDA more in line with some of the Provincial Acts that were drafted after PIPEDA.

Here are some of the highlights that are in force now:

  • The business contact
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Sexual Harassment in Toronto’s Restaurants

Recently, allegations of sexual harassment in the kitchen of a trendy Toronto restaurant have ignited a dialogue about workplace harassment. While this doesn’t excuse it, industry veterans aren’t surprised by the complaint, saying that many of Canada’s restaurants have a workplace culture that is overwhelming male, close-knit, and full of sexualized banter.

The employee at the heart of the controversy says she was aware of the industry’s reputation when she accepted the job. “I just thought this came with the job and it was something I just had to overcome,” she reports.

In Ontario, sexual harassment in the workplace . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions