Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Feds Crack Down on Use of Word “banking” by Non-Banks

OSFI just issued an advisory threatening to bring criminal sanctions against non-banks that use the words “bank”, “banker”, or “banking”. Their cover note gives specific dates by which use must stop. This derives from section 983 of the Bank Act, which says in part that a non-bank can’t use: “… the word “bank”, “banker” or “banking” to indicate or describe a business in Canada or any part of a business in Canada…”. Examples given of improper use include: “Come do your banking with us”, “Automated Banking Machine”, “Bank Accounts”, “Better Banking”, and “Mobile Banking”. It also says they can’t advertise . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Putting Probationary Periods on Probation

In Malcom Gladwell’s “Outliers,” he proposes that an individual’s success is as much based on their context as their personal attributes. Most of us concede that “nurture” is still almost always necessary, even when any “nature” in talent is latently found. Gladwell takes this one step further though, and proposes that true success or mastery of a skill requires 10,000 hours of dedication.

Of course Gladwell focuses extensively on lawyers in this premise, dedicating at least Chapter 5 to the elusive Wall Street lawyers,

No one rises to the top of the New York legal profession unless he

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

Supreme Court Rules on Drug-Related Dismissal

On June 15, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an appeal in a case involving an Alberta worker who was fired by a mining company after testing positive for drug use. In an 8–1 ruling, the court said the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal was right to conclude that the man was fired for breaching the company’s drug policy, not because of his addiction. Moreover, the Supreme Court of Canada found the employer didn’t fire the employee for the addiction to drugs, but for breaching the employer’s drug policy to self‐report his drug use. . . . [more]

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

Supreme Court of Canada Overrides Forum Clause in Facebook Agreement

The Supreme Court of Canada has decided that a British Columbia privacy class action may proceed against Facebook in the courts of BC, despite the contract naming California as the forum for legal actions.

My personal view is that in business to consumer contracts, if a court decides that a local law is important enough, or if the actions of the business offends local sensibilities, it will find a way to apply local laws and hear the case. This Douez v Facebook decision will be relevant for any future actions in Canada that question the applicability of portions of online . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Shocking the Criminal Justice System Into Action

We meant what we said, when we described in R. v. Jordan last year, a culture of complacency towards delay in the criminal justice system.”  This could encapsulate what the Supreme Court of Canada signaled in its recent decision in R. v. Cody, where they rejected submissions by interveners by provincial governments to provide greater flexibility in applying unreasonable delay.

Section 11(b) of the Charter was always expected to be interpreted judicially as to what a reasonable delay in our justice system meant. The highly subjective nature of prejudice under the previous 1992 Morin framework was also unpredictable, as . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Coast to Coast Provincial Cannabis Legislation Update

While it is still early days with the Cannabis Act having only been tabled about two months ago, things have begun buzzing at the provincial and municipal level where issues such as sale, distribution and consumption will be legislated. Below is a coast to coast summary of what is transpiring at the provincial (and in some instances municipal) level.

British Columbia

Out on the West Coast, British Columbia is known around the world for its cannabis but getting a sense for how liberal the law might be in B.C. is challenging at the moment.

After a highly publicized Provincial General . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Citizenship Act Amendments Passed

One of the most contentious aspects of the last Federal election was the platform of the incumbent government, which included powers that allowed the government to strip Canadians of their citizenship based on national security. With their defeat, the majority government in place has had the ability to attempt reforms in the area of citizenship that were mentioned during the campaign (but not the official platforms).

After several amendments were proposed by the Senate to the Citizenship Act and agreed to by the House, The Senate voted to send Bill C-6 for Royal Assent on June 15, 2017. Until . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Primer to Legislative Research Across the Provinces and Territories

Alan Kilpatrick, a law librarian with the Law Society of Saskatchewan (LSS), wrote earlier this month on the Legal Sourcery blog about a new Primer to Legislative Research Across the Provinces and Territories published by the Vancouver Association of Law Libraries (the linked version is a reprint by the LSS).

From the text of the Primer:

“This primer to legislative research is arranged by province/territory, with each table providing answers to seven questions.

  1. Do you have a centralized resource for Court Rules (either print or online)?
  2. Do you have any resources that help you with Provincial Point-In-Time Research?
  3. What is
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Legislation

Alberta Employment and Labour Law Reforms Passed

On June 7, 2017, outside of House sitting, Bill 17, Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act received royal assent. This means effective January 1, 2018, most of the new rules updating employment and labour law in union and non-union Alberta workplaces will come into force. Other provisions will come into effect when the Act receives Royal Assent. However, the youth employment provisions which will only come into effect on proclamation and will probably be at a later date to allow consultations on the regulations defining hazardous and light work. The essential services changes come into force effective May 25, 2017. The . . . [more]

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

CASL Private Right of Action Suspended – but CASL Is Still Here

The Canadian government has suspended the CASL private right of action that was to have come into force on July 1. The private right of action (most likely in the form of class actions) would have allowed people to sue anyone for sending spam. Or more accurately for those who violated the technical provisions of CASL.

This is a welcome move. But while we can breathe a sigh of relief that this remedy is gone, CASL still remains in force and must be complied with.

The government’s press release said:

Canadians deserve an effective law that protects them from spam . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Ontario Court of Appeal Clarifies Requirements for Releasing Unknown Claims

The Ontario Court of Appeal has clarified that “exceptionally comprehensive” language may not be required to release claims that were unknown at the time the release was signed.

A release of a category of claims arising prior to a certain date, does not need to say unknown claims in that category are being released. There is no need to further specify the types of claims. All claims are included – even unanticipated claims – unless specifically excluded.

So says the Court of Appeal in its reasons for decision in Biancaniello v. DMCT LLP, handed down 15 May 2017, reversing . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Québec National Assembly Guide on History of the Civil Code

The website of the Québec National Assembly has created a thematic guide to the history of the Civil Code of the province from its origins in France’s Napoleonic Code of 1804 t0 today.

The guide outlines the major amendments and repeals up to and including those affecting the new Civil Code of Quebec that came into force in 1994.

For each change, the guide provides a detailed historical description with associated documents (bills, parliamentary debates, briefs or “mémoires” submitted by stakeholders in front of parliamentary committees etc.)

All the documents mentioned are available from the legislative library of the National . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Legislation