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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Of Unicorns and Leprechauns: Applying the Threatened Species Taxonomy to Administrative Law

A colleague & I were recently discussing the ever-shrinking categories of questions in administrative law that might attract a correctness standard (see paras. 58-61 of Dunsmuir and paras. 25-26 of McLean). I suggested that true questions of jurisdiction could be likened to unicorns and general questions of law of central importance to the legal system as a whole might be more in the nature of leprechauns. She suggested a better parallel might be found in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s threatened species taxonomy. In her view, true questions of jurisdiction are “extinct in the wild” . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Interesting Take on the Duty to Accommodate

An employer can do nothing and still meet its duty to accommodate, so long as it turns out that the employer could not have accommodated the complainant without undue hardship. This was the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal in the recent case, Canada (Human Rights Commission) v. Canada (Attorney General).
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

“Sympathies” Alone Insufficient to Form Terrorist Plot

An Ontario pathologist who was arrested on terrorism charges was acquitted today in R. v. Sher.

Dr. Khurrum Sher, a graduate of McGill University who was working at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital in St. Thomas, Ont., visited the home of his co-accused on July 20, 2010. During this visit, his host and another guest engaged in a protracted discussion about violent terrorist activity.

The accused was present throughout the discussion, did not appear to vigorously object to their plans, and at its conclusion appears to pledge his allegiance to them. He was friends with the host of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Right to Be Forgotten – the EU Justice Commissioner Chimes In

Martine Reicherts, the Justice Commissioner for the EU, has little patience with those who express concern about the ‘right to be forgotten’ as imposed by the EU Court of Justice in May of this year (without actually using the expression itself). Here is her speech and a short but very direct summary at the outset.

As you probably know, the UK House of Lords recently issued a report describing the right as ‘misguided in principle and unworkable in practice’:

Who’s right? Will the EU hurt itself by insisting on putting internet intermediaries, especially those that do not organize content, to . . . [more]

Posted in: International issues, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet, ulc_ecomm_list

The Tragedy of Medical Negligence

Current and “wannabe” litigators practising (or hoping to practise) in the medical negligence area would do well to read, and consider, what happened, and why, in the just released Briante v. Vancouver Island Health Authority, 2014 BCSC 1511. Regardless of one’s position on the legal validity of the result, the result is a reminder (for those old enough to remember, or otherwise be aware of) of these statements and calls for reform (outside of the tort system) in cases such as Ferguson v Hamilton Civic Hospitals (1983), 40 OR (2d) 577, 1983 CanLII 1724 (ON SC) aff’d (1985) . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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