Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Update on the Case of the Quebec Bar Association Suspended Bencher

This is an update regarding the Quebec Bar Association’s controversial suspension of its recently elected bencher, Me Lu Chan Khuong (see our past blog posts here and here). To summarize, the bar association’s board of directors suspended Khuong after it went public that in 2014 she had been arrested on suspicion of shoplifting two pairs of jeans at a Simons store in Laval. Khuong sued the bar for $95,000 in damages and filed a safeguard order to be reinstated to her position as president of the bar.

Additional allegations surface

Now, the bar has countered with its own lawsuit . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Balancing Act – Freedom of Association vs. Freedom of Religion

The various rights and freedoms protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms are sometimes at odds. Where does my religious right end yours begin? When two protected rights are at odds, who wins? According to recent news reports, a dispute of this nature has recently arisen in northern Ontario between a furniture company and its employees, after the employees attempted to organize.

Following a union certification vote, 69% of the employees at the company voted in favour of unionization. In response, the owner of the company closed shop. The business-owner cited his religion as justification for shutting . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Broad Arm of Environmental Responsibility

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Chevron Corp. v. Yaiguaje concluded that a real and substantial connection to the Canadian court is not necessary to enforce a foreign judgement. This decision may be significant in signalling that Canadian courts will more willingly enforce the judgments of foreign courts.

The respondent plaintiffs in this case characterized the facts as follows:

This case is not about preventing potential damage. It is about paying for the remediation of massive environmental contamination.

The contamination in question involved the oil-rich Lago Agrio region of Ecuador. The plaintiffs, representing 30,000 indigenous Eduadorian villagers, filed suit in . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

AODA, the Customer Service Standard, and Service Animals: Part 2- What Is Required?

This is Part 2 in a series looking at the requirements related to “service animals” under the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07 (the “Standards”) of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (the “Act”). Please click here for Part 1.

Section 4 of the Standards requires organizations providing “goods and services to the public or other third parties at premises owned and operated by the provider of the goods or services” (“Providers”) to ensure that a person with a disability accompanied by a service animal “is permitted to enter the premises with the animal and to . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Fighting Hate Speech

The Quebec government tabled Bill 59, An Act to enact the Act to prevent and combat hate speech and speech inciting violence and to amend various legislative provisions to better protect individuals on June 10, 2015. The Bill prohibits publicly broadcasting hate speech or speech inciting violence aimed at a group of people protected from discrimination in Section 10 of the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Enabling or counseling such acts would also be prohibited. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Does Copyright Apply to Chicken Sandwiches or Cheerleading Uniforms?

Lately the news has been too full of weighty stuff like elections, the Ashley Madison hack, stock markets, and the Chinese economy.

So today’s post is a bit lighter.

Courts in the United States have recently decided whether copyright applies to chicken sandwiches and to cheerleading uniforms. They decided that it applies to one – but not to the other.

If you guessed it doesn’t apply to the chicken sandwich, you got it right. In the US Court of Appeals the parties were fighting over rights to a sandwich consisting of a fried chicken breast topped with lettuce, tomato, cheese . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Minimum Wage on the Rise – Changes in Alberta and Ontario Could Be Just the Beginning

Just over one month ago, under the leadership of Premier Rachel Notley, the Albertan government announced that, effective October 1, 2015, minimum wage would increase in the province from $10.20 to $11.20 per hour. The increase is the first step for Premier Notley’s NDP in their quest to increase minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2018, a promise that was made repeatedly during the NDP’s 2015 provincial campaign. The changes will end Alberta’s reign as the jurisdiction with the lowest minimum wage in the country.

Interestingly, on the same day that Alberta’s minimum wage will increase, Ontario’s minimum . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Ontario Lawyers: Rule 48 Transition Toolkit Helps You Avoid Administrative Dismissal Claims

Effective January 1, 2015, a new Rule 48.14 brought significant changes to the administrative dismissal regime in Ontario. After several hundred claims and almost $10 million in claims costs in three and a half years, LAWPRO is happy to see old Rules 48.14 and 48.15 revoked.

While the new rule may help stem the tide of claims, the changed deadlines, processes and transition provisions introduce new claims risks that may trap the unwary lawyer. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Due Diligence Required When Using Exemptions to Disclose Personal Information Without Consent

Organizations may only disclose a person’s confidential information without the person’s knowledge or consent in very specific circumstances, set out in paragraph 7(3)(h.2) of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Now, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada recently found that in order to properly rely on the s.7(3)(h.2) exemption it is essential that an organization document the purpose for which personal information is disclosed and exercise due diligence to ensure that the disclosure is reasonable under the circumstances. . . . [more]

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

WestJet Pilots Vote Against Unionization Under New Canada Labour Code Provisions

WestJet’s pilots have voted against unionization following a narrow result released by the WestJet Professional Pilots Association (the “Association”) last week. Out of the nearly 1,300 pilots, 55% percent of those who voted were not in favour of forming a union. These results come following an extensive campaign by the Association, who vocalized their disappointment with the result through the release on their Facebook page.
The Association in the release stated that “[w]e hope that the open discussions that have taken place as part of this process will set the stage for constructive dialogue between our pilots and . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Ontario Civic Holiday a “Stat Holiday”: Think Twice…

The upcoming Civic Holiday is celebrated on Monday, August 3 in Ontario. The holiday, which was created in honour of John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, often raises questions for employees and employers alike. Contrary to popular belief, the Civic Holiday is not a statutory holiday in Ontario; it is not listed as a public holiday in the province’s Employment Standards Act. This means that while many employers choose to give their employees a holiday, they are not required to do so by law.

A number of other provinces also have a public holiday, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation