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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Court of Appeal Confirms Canada Is a Constitutional Monarchy

While the headline to this post shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, it has made headlines. In a recent decision, the Court of Appeal of Ontario rejected claims that requiring potential Canadian citizens to swear an oath to Her Majesty was unconstitutional and reaffirmed that because Canada is a constitutional monarchy, it is acceptable to be required to verbally ascribe to what the Monarch represents. For those of us who are history geeks (me) and monarchists (also me), the decision is a fascinating read. It discusses our history, our Queen (she is the Queen of Canada) and . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Ontario Personal Income Tax Rate Structure Changes, but Creates Complexities for Payroll

Usually, income tax table updates occur January 1 and July 1 of each year. However, because the Ontario budget was passed on July 24, 2014, the income tax table changes and resulting processes have been delayed to September 1, by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). So how do these changes impact employers’ withholding and remitting obligations?
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Appellate Lawyers Take Heed

Sattva Capital Corp. v. Creston Moly Corp, 2014 SCC 53

will change existing practice (necessarily outside of Quebec civil law cases: I leave the effect on civil law to others) where the central appellate issue is the meaning of the contract.

From the headnote:

The historical approach according to which determining the legal rights and obligations of the parties under a written contract was considered a question of law should be abandoned. Contractual interpretation involves issues of mixed fact and law as it is an exercise in which the principles of contractual interpretation are applied to the words of the

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

Use of CRA Audits for Political Means

 A special political-activities audit of charities by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has been under scrutiny recently. The special CRA probe, backed by $13 million and created in 2012, looks at whether charities are following laws which limit their political involvement. But critics claim not all charities are being treated equally, and the majority of the 60 charities under investigation have had a tumultuous relationship with the federal government.

The Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (NFP Act) came into effect on Oct. 17, 2011, however, corporations incorporated under Part II of the Canada Corporations Act (“CCA”) continue to be governed . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Quebec Employer’s Right to Waive Resignation Notice Decided by Supreme Court of Canada

On July 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Quebec (Commission des normes du travail) v. Asphalte Desjardins inc., on the issue of whether an employer who receives a notice of termination from an employee can terminate the contract of employment before the notice period expires without in turn having to give notice of termination or pay in lieu of such notice.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

The Walk to Freedom

The World’s Columbian Exposition was an influential social and cultural event (“The Devil in the White City” from Erik Larson brilliantly communicates the vibrancy of the preparation of the Exposition). On October 9, 1893, the day designated as Chicago Day, the fair set a world record for outdoor event attendance, drawing 716,881 people to the fair. Electricity occupied a very special place in the White City. An entire building was devoted to electrical exhibits. Electricity powered everything: fountains, a moveable sidewalk, elevators, automatic door openers, and even electric cigar lighters. GE, Westinghouse, Thomas Edison, Brush, Western Electric were showcasing various . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Important Notice on Notice: Supreme Court of Canada Reverses Quebec Court of Appeal

In a surprising decision, the Supreme Court of Canada reversed the Quebec Court of Appeal (QCA) last week in a decision regarding the provision and payment of “reasonable notice” on resignation. In the original QCA decision, the Court held that when an employee resigns and provides notice, the employer is free to forgo the notice period and let the employee leave immediately, without payment. This is different than in any of the common law provinces which would require the employer to pay out the common law “reasonable notice” or previously agreed upon contractual notice. While acknowledging that this may . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

European Court of Human Rights Factsheets

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg decides thousands of cases every year on an unimaginably vast range of topics. And it has often heard cases on controversial subjects years before Canadian courts have tackled them.

The ECHR has been publishing a series of Factsheets that describe key jurisprudence of the institution broken down by subject.

The ECHR recently added new Factsheets on:

The ECHR hears complaints from individuals living in any of the member states of the Council of Europe about violations of the European Convention of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Accessing Personal Information in Legal Opinions

A recent decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union found that the Dutch immigration authorities were not required to give a person access to a legal opinion about the person’s immigration status, though the opinion contained personal information about the person. Here is a story about the decision. Giving a summary of the personal information contained in the opinion was sufficient to comply with the obligation under the EU Privacy Directive to let people see the personal information about themselves.

Would such a request have a similar outcome in Canada, or would PIPEDA provide a separate . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list

Vexatious Employees Turned Vexatious Litigants

We’ve all had experience with vexatious employees (not to mention vexatious colleagues) but we employment and labour lawyers often deal with vexatious litigants who happen to be former or current employees. I’ve personally had experience with employees filing similar claims for similar incidents before the Human Rights Tribunal, Superior Court, the Workers’ Compensation Board and the Employment Standards Office. These claims can often by filed for free or minimal charge to the employee but generate huge cost for employers. Additonally, employees (particularly those who are self-represented) often file multiple pointless motions with each of those forums.

Thankfully, as chronicled here . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions