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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

The Law and Democracy: The Example of Mandate Letters

INTRODUCTION

The Supreme Court of Canada recently decided in Ontario (Attorney General) v. Ontario (Information and Privacy Commissioner) that the public is not entitled to see the mandate letters that the Premier of Ontario issued to his cabinet ministers in 2018. The SCC disagreed with the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC), the unanimous Ontario Divisional Court and the majority of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, all of whom concluded that the cabinet records exemption under the Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) did not apply to the letters.

In this post, I do . . . [more]

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

Cost(s) of Slow Processing

Legal procedures are often slow. “The slow wheels of justice,” as the saying goes. Within the immigration context, backlogs, delays, and lengthy processing take this saying to another level. Applications may take years. Families suffer from lengthy periods of separation while Visa Offices (some more than others) provide scant insight into their workflow. During the recent “modernization”, IRCC has added many online tools to address this perennial issue, including status bars, portals, and various means of communication. In certain situations, Officers are supposed to adhere to standard processing times.

For clients (or counsel) who reach a high level of frustration, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Successor Employer Estopped From Firing Workers

Written by Daniel Standing, LL.B., Content Editor, First Reference Inc.

In 2023 CanLII 111663 (BC LA), a British Columbia successive employer learned that it couldn’t take over with a totally clean slate. It ran into a roadblock when it tried to implement its plan to fire some incapacitated workers who were unlikely to ever return. While legal, perhaps, it ran up against the principle of estoppel, making it unfair to proceed as it wished. The case is a cautionary tale to unionized employers looking to change course on important issues. . . . [more]

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

AWOL Court Clerk Justly Suspended

Written by Daniel Standing, LL.B., Content Editor, First Reference Inc.

A decision of the Ontario Grievance Settlement Board, 2023 CanLII 115148 (ON GSB), confirms that dishonesty, attempts to shift blame and a lack of remorse are not a winning combination of factors for an employee seeking to overturn a disciplinary measure. In this case, the employee went AWOL for personal reasons, giving the employer a clear path to just cause for imposing discipline. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Employee Was Sexually Harassed but No Tie to Termination

Written by Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, PhD, Content Editor, First Reference Inc.

In September, 2023, the Chair of the Prince Edward Island Human Rights Commission decided that a female employee was indeed sexually harassed while she was employed with the employer. Therefore, she was awarded $15,000 in general damages for mental anguish, humiliation, affront to dignity and/or emotional injury. Additionally, the Panel ordered the employer to create an anti-harassment policy (accepting direction from the Panel), and to pay for sexual harassment training for all staff members in a form that was satisfactory to the Human Rights Commission. . . . [more]

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

One Swing at Bat

Written by Daniel Standing, LL.B., content editor, First Reference Inc.

You only get one shot. One chance. A single try. No matter how you say it, in 2023 HRTO 1610 (CanLII), the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario delivered this message to a would-be complainant, dismissing his claim. . . . [more]

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

Two WSIA Actions Dismissed With Many Lessons Learned

Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, PhD, Content Editor, First Reference Inc.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice just dismissed two actions regarding claims under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. The Court confirmed the decision of the Vice-Chair of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal, and similarly concluded that D lost her right of action under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. Additionally, D’s family member also lost her right of action under the Family Law Act, as this claim was derivative in nature and dependent on D’s claim. The Court made a strong comment about . . . [more]

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

Business Justifications Shield Employer in Reprisal Complaint

Written by Daniel Standing, LL.B., Content Editor, First Reference Inc.

Under Ontario’s occupational health and safety legislation’s reprisal provisions, the employer in 2023 CanLII 73671 was able to show that its actions weren’t motivated by any ill-will toward the employee for filing a harassment complaint against her manager. The case offers a reminder to employers of the value of maintaining evidence that can show a chronology of key events. What on its face may appear to be nefarious retaliation may actually be the outcome of a planned organizational decision that was made for a valid business reason. . . . [more]

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

Google Search Engine Service Is Subject to PIPEDA

Written by Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, PhD, Content Editor, First Reference Inc.

On September 29, 2023, the Federal Court of Appeal decided that Google’s search engine service is subject to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Both Laskin J.A. and Gleason J.A. rejected all of Google’s arguments and swiftly dismissed Google’s appeal. However, there was a dissent in this case-Webb J.A. would have allowed the appeal. . . . [more]

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

Employee Claim for Constructive Dismissal Was Dismissed Since It Was Without Merit

Written by Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, PhD, Content Editor, First Reference Inc.

In August 2023, the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta dismissed an employee’s claim of constructive dismissal because it turned out that, on the evidence presented, the claim would not succeed at trial and was without merit. More specifically, the employee could not show that his employment contract was unilaterally changed to his detriment, or that the employer’s conduct demonstrated that it no longer intended to be bound by the terms of the employment contract (including the company Code of Conduct). Rather, the employee’s accusations of mistreatment . . . [more]

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

Medical Evidence Ignored in Appeal Tribunal Decision

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Content Editor, First Reference Inc.

The recent Supreme Court of British Columbia case 2023 BCSC 1513 (CanLII) concerns the appropriate decision-making process of the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal when it must make a compensation decision in the face of multiple medical reports. . . . [more]

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

Employer Pays the Price for an Unclear Termination Clause

Written by Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, PhD, Content Editor, First Reference Inc.

In September 2023, the Alberta Court of Justice decided that the employer’s termination clause in the employment contract was unclear and ambiguous. As a result, the court found that after the employee was terminated without notice, the unclear clause did not extinguish the employee’s common law entitlement and “oust” the implied term in his employment contract. The employee was indeed entitled to common law reasonable notice, and he did not fail to mitigate his damages. . . . [more]

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