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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

British Columbia Human Rights Commission Coming Back After 15 Years

On August 4, 2017, the newly elected NDP government announced that they will “re-establish a human rights commission to fight inequality and discrimination in all its forms.” . . . [more]

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

Company That Released Result of Employee’s Drug Test Contravened Privacy Law

Written by Cristina Lavecchia, Editor, First Reference Inc.

An employee working for a an international trucking company that is considered a federally regulated employer alleged that while his accident claim was active with a provincial workers’ compensation board (WCB), his employer informed the WCB, without his knowledge and consent, that he had tested positive in a drug test.

According to the employer, they were required to disclose this information by law. However, the WCB and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada both affirmed that the circumstances in this case did not require the employer to make such a . . . [more]

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

A Judicial Vision of Canada at 150 and Beyond

For most of us today, the Supreme Court of Canada is the arbiter of the most complex questions of law, and the definitive authority for morality in our democracy.

It wasn’t always that way. In 1867, Canada was still largely an extension of the British Empire, and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London (England, not Ontario), was still maintained for appeals until 1949. The King–Byng Affair and Balfour Declaration let to an amendment of the Supreme Court Act in 1949, and the final case being appealed to it in 1959.

It’s influence quickly accelerated. In 1968, . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Ontario AODA Compliance and Enforcement 2016 Report

On June 21, 2017, the Ontario Accessibility Directorate tabled the accessibility compliance and enforcement report for 2016. The report outlines the Directorate’s activities in 2016 to oversee compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and its accessibility standards. . . . [more]

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

Transport Canada Publishes Draft Drone Rules – Still Not Hobbyist Friendly

In March I wrote about Transport Canada’s overly restrictive drone rules. A few weeks ago they lightened those rules a bit.

Transport Canada just released draft permanent rules for comment. They propose a complex set of rules that vary among 5 different categories of drone. While the proposed rules will make commercial use a bit easier, they are not friendly to personal use.

MobileSyrup details the proposed rules and comments that: “The new rules, if approved, would dramatically reduce the paperwork burden on both Transport Canada and commercial drone operators, but they would also increase the costs for all . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Problems in Family Law Are More Than Just Gender

Lawyers agree on few things, but one of the issues that there appears to be consensus on is that the legal system is in crisis. The family law system is particularly strained, and complaints about family law go back decades.

I touched on this briefly in my recent column in National Magazine,

From 1997 to 1999, the Special Joint Committee on Child Custody and Access studied the impact of family law on children. The main complaint was that the process affected parents’ relationships with their children.

Litigants (sic) pointed to a presumed gender bias in the courts, unethical practices

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Public Hearings on Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act

The Ontario Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs met from July 10 to July 14, 2017 (we were informed that hearings are continuing to July 21, 2017, Hamilton is today and Toronto closes the tour tomorrow) to consider and hold public hearings on Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. The Bill amends the Employment Standards Act, 2000, the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and makes related amendments to other Acts. The government wanted to be sure that there are no unintended consequences because the changes in the Bill contain complex policies. . . . [more]

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

UNCITRAL Adopts Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records

UNCITRAL has now adopted a model law on electronic transferable records. See the press release below. The full text will be available online shortly at the URL shown at the end of the document.

Canadians showed little interest in this project while it was being developed, so Canada’s attendance at the working group meetings was intermittent.

Does it sound more interesting now that it is final? Would your clients benefit from an internationally accepted law on the topic? This UNCITRAL text is the best that will be available in the foreseeable future.

Should steps be taken to implement it here? . . . [more]

Posted in: International law, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

Ontario’s Cannabis Consultation

Following the introduction of the Canada’s Cannabis Act earlier this year, provincial governments have been scrambling to determine the effect on legislation at their level of government. Alberta had already introduced proposed legislation on the subject last year, but the approach across the country has thus far varied considerably.

Ontario has finally announced a public consultation on the subject, which includes an online survey option or sending comments directly to the Ministry.

A consultation paper has also been released with this announcement. The 5 key areas the province is examining include:

  1. Setting a minimum age for having, using and buying
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Employer Dodges Penalty After Failing to Adhere to Re-Employment Obligations

The Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) recently addressed if and when a penalty should be imposed on an employer who failed to adhere to their re-employment obligations when it comes to employees who get hurt on the job. In this particular case, the Panel decided that a re-employment penalty would not be imposed on the employer, in part because the worker’s conduct played a substantial role in the termination of his employment. . . . [more]

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

Minorities Given Preferential Access to Cannabis Business Licenses Under D.C. Law

The Council of the District of Columbia has passed a law which gives minority-owned companies preferential access to cannabis business licenses.

The emergency legislation modifies a section of the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1999 to provide that that

“a certified business enterprise (as defined in the Small, Local, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Development and Assistance Act of 2005) shall be awarded a preference equal to 20 points or 7.5 percent of the available points, whichever is more.”

The law was sponsored by council member Robert White who said the law is necessary in order to . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Disability Changes Coming to the Family Law Act

In 2006, the Supreme Court of Canada held in S (DB) v G (SR) stated,

60 No child support analysis should ever lose sight of the fact that support is the right of the child…

While this is trite law, the concept still comes up in unique circumstances such as with a disabled adult child who may have an entitlement to support under the Divorce Act, but would not under Ontario’s Family Law Act.

This distinction was explained in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision in Jason Vivian v. Nicole Courtney et al. in 2011,

[25] When

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