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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Ontario Bill 148 Updating Employment and Labour Legislation Passed

Blog post updated on November 23, 2017 after publication

On November 22, 2017, an amended version of Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 received third reading and passed. It is now waiting for royal assent to become law. Once it receives assent, the Bill will become law and amend significantly the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“LRA”). . . . [more]

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

Protection From Age Discrimination in Alberta

Last week the Alberta Human Rights Amendment Act, 2017 passed 3rd reading. On Royal Assent it will change the law so that as of January 1, 2018, age is a protected ground of discrimination relating to goods, services, accommodation or facilities and tenancy. Exceptions remain and I encourage you to read the Alberta Human Rights Commission bulletin for interesting details and a summary of the amendments.

CBC covered the story that led to the amendments – a Queen’s Bench application by the Elder Advocates of Alberta Society that was granted by Belzil, J. on January 6, 2017.

It is interesting . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Strengthening the Prevention of Workplace Violence and Harassment

Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, introduced on November 7, 2017, by the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Patty Hajdu, seeks to amend both the Canada Labour Code and the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act to, according to the federal government, replace the patchwork of laws and policies that address violence and harassment within the federal jurisdiction, putting into place one comprehensive approach that takes the full spectrum of harassment and violence into consideration. . . . [more]

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

CRTC Compufinder Decision Lowers CASL Spam Penalty

The CRTC recently released 2 CASL decisions on Compufinder. If this sounds familiar, it is because this is an appeal from an initial finding in 2015 that levied a $1.1 million penalty.

Compufinder took the position that CASL is unconstitutional. Many legal experts have questioned the ability of the Federal Government to pass this legislation. The CRTC decided that CASL is constitutional. But this is not the last word. Inevitably this will be argued in court. This decision is required reading for anyone who finds themselves in a position to challenge the act in the courts. Ironically, the delay . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law

Ontario’s Cannabis Legislation Tabled in Legislature

On November 1, 2017, the Ontario government tabled Bill 174, Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017, which would, if enacted, create the Cannabis Act, 2017 to provide the provincial framework for the upcoming federal Bill C-45, Cannabis Act that will legalize cannabis in Canada in July 1, 2018. . . . [more]

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

Who Dunnit? Artificial Intelligence and Unauthorized Practice

OK, I’m going to talk about AI and unauthorized practice in just a second, but first…

Who can resist those stories with the teen genius? The wunderkind trope. That Dutch teen with the Boomy McBoomface contraption setting out to heal our polluted oceans. That Mark Zuckerberg fella circa 2004, with the other face thingy.

Who is not in awe of an uncalloused mind lit by bedazzling precociousness and disarmingly naive ambition?

Take Joshua Browder, for instance. He’s surely that kid—our teen wonder—for legal automation. He taught himself to code at age 12 and first came to glory two years . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet

Charter Protects Freedom of Belief, Not Objects of Belief

Canada has not had an entirely disassociated relationship with religion, from its inception.

The British monarch, who is the symbolic head of Canada, also holds the title of Supreme Governor of the Church of England, the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. The 2011 census estimates over 1.5 million Canadians, or 5% of the population, are Anglican today, making this relationship with the church not entirely insignificant.

The monarch’s Oath of Accession includes a promise to “maintain and preserve the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government,” meaning that religious plurality is also built into this symbolic role given his . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

A Rhetorical Question for Canadian Appellate Counsel

If you were appearing before your jurisdiction’s Court of Appeal and:

  1.  you didn’t mention one of the Court’s own decisions decided within the year, deciding one of the central issues in the case you were on; or
  2.  mentioned that case but on another point without mentioning that it had decided the issue in your case; or
  3. relied on a decision of your Court of Appeal for a proposition which had been rejected by the Supreme Court in at least 3 decisions after that Court of Appeal decision and (you did so) without mentioning the SCC decisions on point; or
  4. argued
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Employers Can Be Found Liable for Negative Employment References

Two recent cases out of Ontario’s Superior Court, Papp v Stokes Economic Consulting Inc., (Papp) and Kanak v Riggin, (Kanak), provide guidance to employers on avoiding liability when giving employment references. Although in both Papp and Kanak the employers were cleared of any liability, both cases confirm that employers can be found liable for defamation when providing a negative reference. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Ontario Seeking Input on Certain Upcoming Employment and Labour Law Rules

Ontario Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 received second reading on October 18 and was sent to Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs for further review and possible additional amendments.

Before the Bill received second reading, three draft regulations for public consultation were tabled at the Ontario Regulatory Registry to support the implementation of the Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act amendments under Bill 148. In addition, as part of the employment and labour standards review that brought about the changes found in Bill 148, the Ontario government is seeking public input to help make workplaces . . . [more]

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

Judging and the Depletion Effect

“Justice is what the judge ate for breakfast”. – Judge Jerome Frank

In Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman Nobel Prize winner explains this phenomenon. In a study of parole judges, the researchers plotted the proportion of approved requests for parole against the time since the last food break. It was found that the prospect of someone being granted parole changed during the elapsed time between food breaks.

The cases before the parole judges were presented in random order. Each case took around 6 minutes to hear. After each meal, the proportion of people granted parole increased.

Kahneman explained . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions