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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Moonlighting Created a Serious Conflict of Interest

A Canada Revenue Agency employee’s moonlighting activities constituted a serious conflict of interest and, along with his subsequent insubordination, gave the employer sufficient cause to terminate the employee, the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board recently confirmed in Cavanagh v Canada Revenue Agency. . . . [more]

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

Terminating for Cause? Prove It!

In January 2015, the Ontario Superior Court provided another example of how, as an employer, if you’re going to terminate an employee for cause, you better have a good case backed by solid evidence. The case, Partridge v. Botony Dental Corporation, 2015 ONSC 343 (CanLII), is a relatively simple one. The employee, a dental hygenist, Ms. Lee Partridge, was terminated for cause by her employer, Botony Dental Corporation, after 7 years of employment. On her record of employment and in defence, the Employer alleged versions of the following grounds for termination:

[35] […]

  1. Partridge chose to reject her

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

National Security Still Doesn’t Trump Personal Privacy

How far does the legitimate scope of governmental power reach, in a time of technology and enhanced concerns of personal privacy?

Following the attacks on Canadian Parliament on October 22, 2014, the proper balance between national security concerns and personal privacy and liberties is of foremost concern for many citizens. The Federal government has responded, in part, by the introduction of Bill C-51, which has itself spurned considerable controversy.

National security and law enforcement concerns are not exclusive to our jurisdiction. At the Fourth Annual UCLA Cyber Crimes Moot this weekend, competitors from across the country considered the constitutional implications . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

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

Of Living Wills, Margot Bentley and Upcoming Webinars From Nidus

We’re about five years away from a demographic tsunami—that forecast point in time when 25% of Canadians will be 65 or older. Standing in the shallows, you can already feel the sucking silence. Every institution senses the water being drawn out from around its feet. They are all bracing for the shuddering power of change when that wave hits.

Much hand-wringing is occurring over how our economic apparatus will handle this surging demographic threat, but there is also a broader social component emerging. I’m referring to the emerging awareness and everyday discussions around significant “end-of-life” issues, such as the ones . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Employer Harassed, Stalked and Threatened Employee Because of Sexual Orientation

In Graham v Shear Logic Hairstyling, an employee was awarded $11,400 representing general damages for denigration of her dignity and self-respect, and for psychological and emotional harm she experienced due to discrimination in employment on the grounds of sex and sexual orientation, in addition to sexual harassment. . . . [more]

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

Is a Typed Name on an Email a Valid Signature?

Both Canadian law and American law, through their uniform e-transactions statutes, give a wide definition to ‘electronic signature’ – being essentially any information in electronic form in or associated with a document with an intention to sign the document.

The ‘intention to sign’ requirement aimed to ensure that the same mental element was required for an e-signature as for a handwritten signature.

A recent California Court of Appeal case, J.B.B. Investment Partners v Fair, held that a person who typed his name at the bottom of an email saying ‘ I agree’ to settlement agreement sent to him by . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Breath Samples at Prom an Unreasonable Search

High school administrators have a challenging burden of ensuring the health and safety of children in their schools. High school students often get into trouble, including using alcohol before they are of the age of majority.

Although the high school prom is supposed to be a memorable occasion, many high school students only recall a haze due to drinking around and surrounding this event. One high school principal sought to use mandatory breathalyzers at his prom, but an Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruling by Justice Himel in Simon Gillies et al v. Toronto District School Board found that this . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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

Remedial Costs for Unreasonable Settlements by Insurers

In the threshold motion in Maxwell v. Luck, previously discussed here, Justice Howell pushed back against what is increasingly becoming a routine attempt by insurers to dismiss chronic pain on the basis of the lack of objective symptoms in personal injury claims.

The cost award, released shortly thereafter, may have significant effects on how insurers in Ontario approach threshold motions in the future.

Justice Howden awarded fixed costs of $150,400, and disbursements of $ 56,332, taking into account that the plaintiff was under a statutory obligation to pursue accident benefits as well. This approach was upheld in Moodie . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Does Including a Forwarding Feature to Defamation Amount to Republication?

The Supreme Court of Canada in Crookes v Newton held that the mere linking to a web site that contained defamatory material did not make the linker liable for defamation. Adding content to the link might change that result.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia has recently held, however, that offering a link to an email program (e.g. ‘mailto:’) on a web page that contains defamatory material constitutes republication of that material, apparently whether or not anyone used it.

Weaver v Corcoran 2015 BCSC 165 (CanLII)

Here is the main passage on that point:

[261] The invitation to email the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list