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Archive for March, 2019

CUSMA/USMCA Scorecard: More Poison Pills Revisited

This is the second half of our discussion and scorecard on the CUSMA/USMCA poison pills. For detailed discussion on dairy and dispute resolution, see our last column.

Autos: A Canadian Solution, a Qualified Win for both Canada and the U.S.

The opening U.S position on autos was that all NAFTA-qualifying vehicles must have at least 50% U.S. content, and 85% overall North American content. Both Canada and Mexico rejected this position. It was some lateral thinking by Canadian negotiators during the January 2018 round that led to a new approach. The Canadian concept entailed the use of a formula . . . [more]

Posted in: Administrative Law

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.


Outlook Mail – What Happens When I Click on the Question Mark?
Lesha Van Der Bij

You may or may not have noticed that there is a question mark on the top right-hand corner of your Outlook mail application. If you have noticed, chances are you have never clicked on it, assuming that it would bring up a list of unhelpful FAQs or, even worse, the old “Clippy” . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award­-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from more than 80 recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. Condo Adviser 2. Family LLB 3. Vancouver Immigration Law Blog 4. BC Injury Law Blog 5. First Reference

Condo Adviser
Must Condos Making Renovations Implement Accessibility Measures?

Staying on top of accessibility issues can be a challenging task. There are many factors to juggle and many important

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Using Artificial Intelligence for Demeanour Evidence

Demeanour evidence holds a controversial role in evidence law. Centuries of common law have allowed trial judges to assess the behaviour, conduct, and mannerisms to make findings of credibility. Often these findings can be useful to judges, especially when the only evidence available on crucial determinations of fact is viva voce testimony from each side.

In “Relying on Demeanour Evidence to Assess Credibility during Trial – A Critical Examination,” Amna Qureshi provides some background on the use of demeanour evidence,

The fact that trial judges can and do assess credibility based on demeanour during trial has also been

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology

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.

Envirocon Environmental Services, ULC v. Suen, 2019 BCCA 46

AREAS OF LAW: Human rights law; Adverse effect discrimination; Judicial review; Standard of review

~It is not adverse effect discrimination for an employer to require an employee to be away from his family for work, where the employee has not shown that being away would interfere with a substantial parental or other family duty or obligation.~

BACKGROUND . . . [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.

TRAVAIL : Le salarié ne peut poursuivre son syndicat en dommages-intérêts pour manquement au devoir de représentation devant le tribunal de droit commun; rien ne permet de s’écarter du principe selon lequel le Tribunal administratif du travail a compétence exclusive en cette matière.

Intitulé : Syndicat des professionnelles et professionnels . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Wrong Again: The PRISM Report’s Prediction of Too Many Practising Lawyers Again Collides With Reality

In this submission we will again demonstrate that the PRISM Report’s prediction of too many practising lawyers in Ontario badly missed the mark in the first few years that it studied and that it can be expected that it will continue to do so going forward. Indeed, new years of data confirm our view that not only was the PRISM Report incorrect, but it now appears more likely that the number of new practising positions will at least match the number of new lawyers than it is that there will be a surplus of lawyers during the forecasted period of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Friday Roundup: Slaw Jobs

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

Federal Budget 2019 Employment and Payroll Related Measures

On March 19, 2019, the federal government tabled its election budget, the 2019-20 budget. The budget expects a deficit of $14.9 billion for fiscal 2018-2019 and forecasts deficits of $19.8 billion for 2019-2020 and $19.7 billion for fiscal 2020-2021. The budget does not include any personal or corporate tax rate changes; however, the budget does include measures of interest to employers and payroll (some paraphrase included): . . . [more]

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

Thursday Thinkpiece: Canadian Legal Professionals’ Information Activities–What Do They Do, and How Do They Tweet?

Periodically on Thursdays, we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

Canadian Legal Professionals’ Information Activities: What Do They Do, and How Do They Tweet?
In Canadian Law Library Review 43:4

Hannah Steeves, Instruction & Reference Librarian at Sir James Dunn Law Library, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University

Excerpt: Two sections, Literature Review and Further Research, have been omitted, along with . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Ask an International Law Librarian

Have you ever had a difficult foreign, comparative, and international law (FCIL) question and didn’t know who to ask for help, where to begin to look, what resources to use? After consulting local resources first, including your nearest FCIL librarian, you can check GlobaLex legal research guides, contact FCIL specialists on the INT-LAW listserv, or consult with country/subject experts listed in the AALL FCIL-SIS Jumpstart directory and guide. And you can use “Ask a Librarian” services for reaching international legal information specialists such as Ask DAG, Ask a Law Librarian (of Congress) – and Chatbot?!, and Ask a (Peace Palace) . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

The Road to Automated & Connected Cars Is Not a Straight One

It seems that everyone is doing studies or adopting positions on automated/connected cars these days. That is understandable given the potential ramifications on subjects including safety, ability to function in adverse weather, infrastructure, traffic, public transit, cybersecurity, data volumes, privacy, liability, insurance, ethics, and jobs.

Level 5 (fully autonomous) self driving cars may not arrive for many years. Depending on who you ask, they are somewhere between a couple of years and a couple of decades away. Level 2 (cars with some driver assist tech like automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control) cars are common today.

Transport Canada has . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology