Canada’s online legal magazine.

Unofficial Consolidated Divorce Act Available

There is, as yet, no official consolidation of the current Divorce Act and Bill C-78 as passed by Parliament, and I understand that one isn’t likely to be coming soon. This isn’t a problem for many, but it is a problem for me and for anyone else who produces public and professional legal education materials.

Since the changes are coming into effect on 1 July 2020, just five short months from the date of writing, I’m taking the opportunity the amendments suggest and rewriting the Clicklaw wikibook JP Boyd on Family Law from stem to stern, and, well, a consolidation . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Legislation

Unexpected Events, International Trade, and Contractual Obligations

In a globalized economy, unexpected events on the other side of the world can easily have direct economic impacts on the Canadian economy. Complex supply chains and strategic imports can be quickly disrupted by political, social, or medical issues.

One contemporary example would be with the coronavirus emerging in China. The China Council for The Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), which was founded in 1952, and is responsible for developing business cooperation and exchange with other countries, announced this week, announced they will provide force majeure certificates for companies impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. CCPIT is the agency most famously . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Summaries Sunday: OnPoint Legal Research

One Sunday each month OnPoint Legal Research provides Slaw with an extended summary of, and counsel’s commentary on, an important case from the British Columbia, Alberta, or Ontario court of appeal.

Colwill v. Workers’ Compensation Board, 2019 BCCA 453

AREAS OF LAW:   Workers’ Compensation Act; Reviewing Workers’ Compensation Board Policies; Minimum Compensation under s. 22(2) of the Act

~WCB Policies #37.21 and #39.30, which restrict when the minimum compensation payable under s. 22(2) of the Workers’ Compensation Act is payable, are reasonable and valid. ~


The petitioner had been injured at work in 2009. The Workers’ Compensation board . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a Québec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the Québec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : La requête en arrêt des procédures pour délais déraisonnables est rejetée, le délai total de 7 mois et 13 jours entre l’ordonnance d’un nouveau procès et la fin anticipée de celui-ci étant présumé raisonnable en application de R. c. Jordan (C.S. Can., 2016-07-08), 2016 CSC 27, SOQUIJ . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Bridging the Gap: Providing Children With Limited Standing in Family Law Proceedings

The recent decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal in A.B. v C.D. v E.F. offers a couple of troubling conclusions with respect to the rights of children and whether determining the presence of family violence requires proof of intent not prescribed by statute. I’ll leave it to others, and hopefully the outcome of a successful leave application, to address the family violence issue; this note concerns a gap in the province’s Family Law Act, revealed by the decision, that leaves mature minors without the ability to apply to court for a declaration as to what is or is . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues

Friday Jobs Roundup

Each Friday, we share the latest job listings from Slaw Jobs, which features employment opportunities from across the country. Find out more about these positions by following the links below, or learn how you can use Slaw Jobs to gain valuable exposure for your job ads, while supporting the great Canadian legal commentary at

Current postings on Slaw Jobs (newest first):

. . . [more]
Posted in: Friday Jobs Roundup

Lack of Employee Status Disentitles Worker to Damages

By Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

In Farren v Elite Service Group Inc. 2020 BCSC 23 (CanLII), Justice Iyer of the Supreme Court of British Columbia refined various factors to determine the true nature of the working relationship, concluding that the plaintiff was an independent contractor. As such, the law of wrongful dismissal did not govern the termination of his services, leaving the plaintiff disentitled to reasonable notice of termination or damages in lieu of such notice. . . . [more]

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

The Intersection of Ethics and Well-Being


The ABA House of Delegates adopted Resolution 105 at the 2018 ABA Midyear Meeting. The resolution supports the goal of reducing mental health and substance use disorders and improving the well-being of lawyers, judges and law students. It urges stakeholders within the legal profession to consider the recommendations set out in The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change. The pursuit of lawyer wellness has spread rapidly through law firms, bar associations, state bars and state supreme courts.

The National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, assembled in August 2016 to “create a movement toward . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics, Legal Technology, Practice of Law

A Proposal to Replace Ontario’s Evidence Act With an Evidence Code

In September, 2019, I responded to the Law Commission of Ontario’s request for law reform project suggestions, with the following Evidence Code proposal. It contains reasons why you should send your written support to the LCO. The LCO will respond to such submissions early in 2020. Every Canadian common law jurisdiction’s Evidence Act should now be replaced with a true Evidence Code.

The work to replace Ontario’s Evidence Act with a true Evidence Code is much more than half completed, because in December, 1975, the Law Reform Commission of Canada (the LRCC)[1] published its Report on Evidence; . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. R. v. Petrolo, 2020 ONCJ 36 (CanLII)

[41] With respect to mens rea, this is a specific intent offence. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused did in fact intend to act in a way tending to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice. A simple error of judgment will not be enough. An accused who . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

R. v. Chouhan: The Reasonable Person Test and Application of the Amendments

After a jury found Gerald Stanley not guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Colten Boushie, the federal government amended the Criminal Code to eliminate peremptory challenges in the selection of juries, as well as a change in the trier of challenges for cause. Judges took different views about whether this change was prospective or retrospective. As the Ontario Court of Appeal has now ruled on this matter in Chouhan, many cases, decided on the wrong side of the issue, are likely to be appealed. Indeed at least one, an individual convicted for sexual assault, already . . . [more]

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

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on practice, research, writing and technology.


My Favourite Apps – Part V
Lesha Van Der Bij

Passwords. The bane of most people’s existence. So many to remember! I know a few people who swear they have figured it all out – using some kind of mnemonic to remember all of their passwords. Apparently, I am not that clever. So I recently turned to LastPass. You remember one password and LastPass stores the rest. … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday