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. Wood v. Fred Deeley Imports Ltd., 2017 ONCA 158

[79] The termination clause in Wood’s employment agreement contravenes the Employment Standards Act, 2000 for two reasons. First, it excludes Deeley’s statutory obligation to contribute to Wood’s benefit plans during the notice period. Second, it does not satisfy Deeley’s statutory obligation to pay severance pay. On either ground the clause is unenforceable. Wood is entitled to reasonable notice of termination or the equivalent in damages. The motion judge’s award of nine months’ notice was within a reasonable range, and I would defer to it.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

2. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce v McDougald, 2017 ABQB 124

[2] That is the routine component of this debt collection action. There is another, less savory aspect. Mr. McDougald has unfortunately adopted several pseudolegal schemes sold by UK scam artists who operate a website with a name that does not exactly inspire much confidence: “Get Out Of Debt Free” ( Mr. McDougald sent the Bank and its lawyers documents obtained from that website and attempted to “get out of debt free” by what is commonly known as the “Three/Five Letters” scheme, and a spurious promissory note. He has also counterattacked, billing for over $276 million on the basis of “Common Law Copyright” in his name.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

3. R. v. Pan, 1999 CanLII 3720 (ON CA)

In the end result, Hansard does not serve as a particularly useful interpretative or historical tool. No sense is given of the policy goals or political pressures that led to the enactment. At best, the minister’s remarks may be taken as suggesting that the intention is to somehow protect the reputation of the administration of justice by ensuring the secrecy of jurors’ deliberations. In addition, the minister’s remarks before the Standing Committee suggest that preventing the publishing of jurors’ deliberations is a goal of the legislation, despite the fact that the amendment does not apply to persons other than jurors and does not in fact prevent publication. Nothing in the minister’s remarks or responses suggests that the rule is a codification of the common law rule, or that the goal is to foster the finality of jury verdicts or the protection of jurors, as is often contended. No mention at all is made of the possibility that such an absolute rule might prevent the rectification of a miscarria ge of justice. Outside of the brief and unhelpful reference by the Solicitor General to disclosures in other jurisdictions, there is no attempt to justify the new offence on the basis of present need. Finally, there is no acknowledgement of the more political origins suggested by the Law Reform Commission, infra.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

The most-consulted French-language decision was Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys c. Singh Multani, 2004 CanLII 31405 (QC CA)

[6] Les appelants se pourvoient contre une décision de la Cour supérieure qui a accueilli une requête en jugement déclaratoire des intimés et permis à Gurbaj Singh de porter son kirpan à l’école en respectant certaines conditions.

(Check for commentary on CanLII Connects)

* As of January 2014 we measure the total amount of time spent on the pages rather than simply the number of hits; as well, a case once mentioned won’t appear again for three months.

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