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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Effective Start Date of ORPP Delayed

In a previous Slaw blog post, we discussed the Ontario government’s establishment of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) by January 1, 2017 with enrollment starting in 2016. On February 16, 2016, the Ontario government announced that they have decided to delay the effective start date of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) after entering into an agreement with the federal government that would allow for time to find a solution to individual Canadian pension shortfalls and a possible enhancement to the CPP. This entails: . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

T.V. Show Prompts Plaintiff to Try to Re-Open Case: Pt II

About a year and a half ago I wrote a post about a plaintiff, Mr. Mehedi, who believed that he was scammed. The facts of the case are summarized in my prior post.

 

Mr. Mehedi lost at trial and then the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal. About a month after his appeal was dismissed, Mr. Mehedi saw a segment on CBC’s Marketplace which purportedly exposed the scam to which he had fallen victim.

 

Mr. Mehedi attempted to have his trial re-opened so that he could use the CBC Marketplace segment as fresh evidence. He was directed . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law

The High Cost of Public Interest Litigation

Despite all the bad publicity, many lawyers are the unsung heroes of society. We fight the good fight, often unrecognized by any of those around us, and receive no thanks from the recipients of our hard work.

The Federal Court of Appeal released a decision this month in Galati v. Harper, denying the appeal of a 2014 decision which had denied substantial indemnity costs in the constitutional litigation surrounding the Justice Nadon appointment to the Supreme Court. Justice Zinn fixed the costs at a mere $5,000, on a bill of costs for a total of $68,475.74.

The application had . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Paying the Price for Not Providing Reasonable Notice and the Manner of Termination

In the case of Armstrong v Lendon, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice concluded that the employer had to pay 21 months of reasonable notice plus aggravated damages for the manner of termination which caused humiliation, embarrassment and the loss of self-esteem. The court did not buy the employer’s argument that there was just cause for the termination, especially since the allegations for cause were made after the fact. . . . [more]

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

Ontario Retirement Pension Plan: It’s Coming!

With the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act, 2015 now in force, the Ontario government is moving ahead to establish the ORPP by January 1, 2017. The ORPP is a made-in-Ontario alternative to a Canada Pension Plan (CPP) enhancement.

The plan is needed according to the government because many Ontarians, including middle- and higher-income earners, may not be saving enough to ensure comparable standards of living in retirement.

The ORPP is mandatory for employers without a comparable workplace pension plan. Employers who already offer a comparable workplace pension plan will not be required to participate in the ORPP. All workers must . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Background Material on Québec’s New Code of Civil Procedure

Quebec’s new Code of Civil Procedure came into force on January 1, 2016. It involves an ambitious overhaul of the way cases are supposed to work their way through the courts and it is intended to increase access to justice.

CAIJ, the Centre d’accès à l’information juridique (the network of courthouse law libraries associated with the Québec Bar Association), recently added an annotated version of the province’s new Code of Civil Procedure to its website (in the lefthand column of the eLois page, click on “Code de procédure civile (nouveau)”). 

 The annotation includes the sections of the new Code, a . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Yet Another Privacy Tort Comes to Ontario

When the tort of intrusion upon seclusion was introduced in 2012, it was of significant importance. A civil remedy for the growing area of privacy rights was desperately needed, but it was uncertain how extensive this tort would be used.

I’ve spoken about this tort at law schools, to industry, and even published a journal article on it. But the area of privacy law is about to become even more exciting with the introduction of yet another privacy tort this week in Jane Doe 464533 v. ND [there is no CanLii link on this yet].

The parties . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Electronic Designation of Beneficiaries

From time to time the question of electronic wills is raised for discussion. This Uniform Law Conference has visited the topic a couple of times.

I have a related question today: should people be able to use electronic means to designate beneficiaries of savings plans (pension plans, RRSPs, TFSAs etc.) or insurance policies? If so, how? And if not, why not?

Usually such designations have be in writing and signed. The Uniform Electronic Commerce Act permits both e-documents and e-signatures. However, the UECA excludes wills and codicils. Most if not all provinces and territories have adopted this exclusion.

It is . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Invasion of Privacy Tort Continues to Develop

In Ontario, conventional wisdom was that invasion of privacy was not something you could sue for. But that is changing, as evidenced by a just released decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice called Jane Doe 464533. That decision awarded damages and costs totaling $141,000, plus an order for the defendant to destroy any video or images he may still have, never to share any intimate images of the plaintiff, and to not communicate with the plaintiff or her family. A pdf version of the decision is here: Doe – redacted

Until this decision, the first case of a . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Union Grievances and Discrimination Under the Human Rights Code

Can a unionized employee who received settlement money as a result of a union grievance also make an application under the Human Rights Code, alleging discrimination as a result of the same situation? Two recent cases of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal have addressed this issue with opposite outcomes. In Ma v University of Toronto, an employee’s application was allowed to continue, whereas in Sikorski v Vaughan (City), the employee’s application was dismissed.

The tribunal reached these decisions after interpreting Section 45.1 of the Code, which states that: “The Tribunal may dismiss an application, in whole or . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Twitter Hashtags Are Public Forums Under the Law

Brevity is the soul of wit, and also Twitter. In that brevity though, there is plenty of context which is left out, and ample room for interpretation.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice released a decision in R. v. Elliott this week, where two female complainants alleged Criminal Harassment under Section 264 of the Criminal Code based on exchanges over Twitter.

Justice Knazan dedicated the early portion of his decision to explaining the mechanics and culture of Twitter, for “One cannot understand this case without knowing about Twitter.” It includes various definitions and lingo, including, “A concern troll is someone . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

27 Months of Reasonable Notice After 40 Years of Service

In Markoulakis v SNC-Lavalin Inc., the Ontario Superior Court of Justice concluded after considering the Bardal factors that long-serving employee Eftihios (Ed) Markoulakis was entitled to 27 months of common law reasonable notice following his termination from a senior role at SNC-Lavalin. The court noted that notice beyond 24 months is within the court’s discretion in exceptional cases. Clearly, this was one of those cases. . . . [more]

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