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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Nova Scotia’s Cyberbullying Law Struck Down

Nova Scotia’s Cyber-Safety Act has been struck down as unconstitutional, with immediate effect.

The law clearly intended to restrict expression. The way it did so was held so vague as not to constitute a restriction “prescribed by law” as required by section 1 of the Charter. It was also disproportionate to the harms it sought to remedy. The court declined to suspend application of the ruling, as the Crown had requested.

Further details are in the blog of the successful counsel, David Fraser of Halifax.

Tragic circumstances do not justify a hasty or overbroad legislative response. . . . [more]

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

A Tip for Employers? New Rules for Tip-Earners in Ontario

Tips in Ontario’s service industry are currently divided up in a variety of ways: they can be kept by the specific employee who receives them, pooled to share with other employees, or pooled to share with other employees and the employer. An act entitled Protecting Employees’ Tips Act, 2015 amends Ontario’s Employment Standards Act to prohibit employers from taking a share of tips.

Passed yesterday, the Act will take effect in six months. While there will be a few situations in which employers may be permitted to share in tips (such as when the employer regularly performs the same work . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

We Don’t Need Another Morgentaler in Canada on Assisted Suicide

The purpose of government, when it is functioning properly, is to pass laws. These laws should be carefully contemplated, debated, and revised before drafting.

But sometimes there’s a greater urgency in this function, which has arose in the aftermath of Carter v. Canada, where the Court ruled in February of this year:

 

Section 241 (b) and s. 14  of the Criminal Code  unjustifiably infringe s. 7  of the Charter  and are of no force or effect to the extent that they prohibit physician-assisted death for a competent adult person who (1) clearly consents to the termination

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

Manitoba Proposes Domestic Violence Leave

Governments have been steadily increasing statutory leaves of absence entitlements to help employees deal with various personal issues without fear of losing their jobs. The Manitoba government is raising the bar by introducing groundbreaking proposed changes to the Employment Standards Code that would give victims of domestic violence the right to time off work without fear of job loss, give employees a new leave for long-term illness and injury, and extend the length of leave for compassionate care. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Specific Performance: Court Finds Vacant Land “Unique”

When a commercial real estate transaction goes south, purchasers often ask their lawyers if they can advance a claim for specific performance of the contract. The answer is often “no”, due to the fact that specific performance is only granted in instances where the property is unique, such that damages would not be a satisfactory remedy for the aggrieved purchaser. “Uniqueness” may lend itself to residential property, but often not to commercial property given that commercial property is being acquired for profit and therefore there are other, similar, properties available to be acquired.

 

However, recent decisions, including one released . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Of CanLII Quirks and Hacks for Noting Up Supreme Court Family Rules in BC

Apologies to other Slaw readers in advance. This post is mostly for BC lawyers interested in using CanLII to note up specific Supreme Court Family Rules. I shared these tips recently in a paper for a CLE and thought the general principle or method might be helpful to a broader audience too.

I’ll preface this post to say that 95% of the time, CanLII is a simply phenomenal tool. Deeply customizable search operators and a clean interface/search template. It’s a killer app for lawyers and others seeking to know the law. It is, however, strangely ill-suited to note up specific . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet

Reasonable Notice: Poor Employer Finances No Excuse for Poor Notice

In a recent decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal clarified that when an individual’s employment is terminated without cause, the financial viability of the employer’s business is not a factor that affects the period of reasonable notice owed to that employee.

The case involved a private school’s termination of the employment of three of its teachers. In the wrongful dismissal proceedings, the judge concluded that twelve months was a reasonable notice period in the circumstances. However, the judge proceeded to reduce the teachers’ notice to six months, because of the volatility in the school’s enrolment and funding.

In allowing . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The New Bardal Factors May Just Be the Old Bardal Factors

Calculation of reasonable notice in employment law is one of those peculiarities where very little is definitive. Reasonable notice, and payment in lieu, is more of an art than a precise determination.

Employers are not obligated to hire indefinite term employees forever, but where employees are dismissed without cause the employer should provide employees enough time to find replacement work. This notice period, or payment provided instead of working notice, are intended to compensate employees for losses a period of reasonable notice.

The principle was clearly stated by the Supreme Court of Canada in Machtinger v. HOJ Industries Ltd. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Female Candidates Preferred? When Job Postings Time Travel…

A Toronto web design company recently published a job posting for a writing job indicating that “female candidates are preferred”, seemingly time-warping back to the Mad Men era… Specifically, the position was for a content writer and search-engine optimization specialist on LinkedIn. However, the posting also indicated that the successful candidate will need to fulfill the “responsibilities of a receptionist, so female candidates are preferred.”

Not surprisingly, the job posting has attracted negative attention on twitter and news outlets have picked up the story. The company responded on Twitter and LinkedIn by stating that they “did not mean to discriminate . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Even Pedophiles Have Charter Rights

The true test of a society is how we treat the most vulnerable, despicable, and heinous members of our society. The ability of the legal system to temper passions, quell inflammatory biases, and dispense justice to all individuals is the reason why the justice system is valued and respected by society at large.

R. v. Williamson, an interesting case awaiting a hearing before the Supreme Court, helps illustrate these tensions. The case was debated this year at the 2015 Paralegal Cup.

Kenneth Williamson was accused of multiple charges of sexual assault of a minor between 1979-1980. These allegations . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law

Proposed Ontario Changes to Accessibility Regulations

The Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure has proposed changes to the Customer Service Standard and Integrated Accessibility Standards regulations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If approved, the changes will be enacted on July 1, 2016, and take immediate effect.

This proposal includes incorporating the Customer Service Standard into the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation and making changes to requirements of the Customer Service Standard (see details below). . . . [more]

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

Criminal Justice From a Restorative Perspective

The preamble to Manitoba’s new Restorative Justice Act sets the foundation for the provisions of the Act, in force today:

…WHEREAS there are circumstances when the interests of justice are served by having an offender and the victim of the unlawful conduct or other community representatives find a resolution that promotes public safety by providing healing, reparation and re-integration into the community outside the traditional criminal prosecution process;

AND WHEREAS unlawful conduct by some offenders arises out of mental health conditions, addictions or other behavioural issues and there are instances when it is more appropriate to address these issues rather

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation