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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Legislation’

SCJ Grants CCLA Public Interest Standing to Challenge the Mandatory Gas Pump Sticker

In 2019, the Ford Government announced it would require gas station operators to post stickers about the impact of the federal government’s fuel charge on the price of gasoline. The Ontario Government’s response to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s (CCLA) challenge to the legislation not only defended on the merits, but also argued the CCLA did not have standing to bring its claim. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice rejected both positions in The Corporation of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association v. The Attorney General of Ontario (CCLA v. AG Ont.). Here I focus on Justice Ed Morgan’s determination on . . . [more]

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

Sexagenarian Firefighter Forced to Hang Up Hose

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

In many cases, the choice of when to retire is based on a variety of factors, including lifestyle, priorities and other circumstances. Sometimes the decision to stop working is an easy one, while others prefer to continue working as long as possible. But what happens when an employee’s retirement is not a choice but is a requirement of his or her pension plan? Is it discriminatory? This issue came before the Human Rights Tribunal of Alberta in Aziz v Calgary Firefighters Association, 2020 AHRC 40 when a firefighter nearing the . . . [more]

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

The Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act Receives Royal Assent

The Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act (introduced as Bill 32 and referred to as the Act) passed its final reading on July 28, 2020, and received royal assent on July 29, 2020. Some sections of the Act still require proclamation to come into force, however, most provisions come into force on assent or August 15 or November 1, 2020. . . . [more]

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

Democracy, Emergency and the Reopening Ontario Act

Democracy has both what we might term formal or legal elements and philosophical components. While sometimes both are contemporaneous, at other times, only one accurately describes the state of play. The Ontario government’s Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (“Reopening Ontario Act” or “the Act”) illustrates this. Following several extensions of its emergency declaration under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (“EMCPA”), Premier Doug Ford’s government enacted the Reopening Ontario Act ending the declaration of emergency yet containing provisions with an impact similar to that of the EMCPA. It eliminated the apparently annoying requirement . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Balancing Transparency and Independence in the Judiciary

On July 28, 2020, the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs is expected to publish for the first time expenses of federally-appointed judges.

The changes come about from amendments to the Access to Information Act as a result of Bill C-58: An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, which was first tabled on June 19, 2017.

The Bill followed various political promises to prioritize federal access to information, to create a more open government, including providing greater powers to the Information Commissioner, ensuring . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Genetic Discrimination Measures Upheld

In Chapter 11 of the “Canadian Health Law Practice Manual,” Genetics and the Law, Amy Zarzeczny, Tracey M. Bailey and Timothy Caulfield state,

One concern that consistently emerges in relation to obtaining genetic information is the worry that an individual may be discriminated against on the basis of his or her genetic make-up and, specifically, on the basis of a predisposition to a certain condition or disease.

Discrimination can of course occur on a wide variety of fronts including, but not limited to, employment, education, housing and insurance…, not to mention on a social level.

Whether or

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

Alberta Tables Significant Proposed Employment Law Changes

On July 7, 2020, the Alberta government tabled Bill 32, The proposed Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act that will support economic recovery, restore balance in the workplace and get Albertans back to work. The Bill proposes changes to the Employment Standards Code and the Labour Relations Code. Labour and Immigration Minister Jason Copping stated to the media that the proposed legislation would support economic recovery by cutting “red tape” for businesses and would reverse some changes made by the NDP when they were in government. . . . [more]

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

The Toronto Mask by-Law: Velvet Law in a Velvet Glove?

Laws serve several purposes. In broad terms, they reflect government policy and prescribe the behaviour required to achieve it. More specifically, they tell us what we cannot do, unless we want to risk penalty, whether criminal, civil or regulatory; they identify (and these are not all laws) the moral attributes of a society; they serve to control, by framing the parameters of permissible activity; they have the goal of changing behaviour. Generally, laws are successful when they are enforced effectively and fairly, although neither may be the case for a particular law. And they tend to work when people think . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Employer’s Ultimatum to Accept Changes or Quit Backfires

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

In McLean v Dynacast Ltd., 2019 ONSC 7146 (CanLII), the employer drastically changed the plaintiff’s job and forced him to accept the new arrangement or quit. The plaintiff chose the latter option and successfully sued for constructive dismissal. In accepting the plaintiff’s claim, the court summarized recent case law on mitigation, and awarded significant aggravated or moral damages to the plaintiff. . . . [more]

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

Security of Sex Workers Paramount in Court Decision

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

The recent criminal case of R. v. Anwar, 2020 ONCJ 103 (CanLII) involved a constitutional challenge to various provisions of the Criminal Code dealing with prostitution. The challenge contained a distinct workplace safety consideration: it alleged that the interplay between the challenged sections created a legal regime which was intended to prevent sex workers from lawfully using third parties to protect them and to prevent them from associating with others for their mutual protection-aspects which are natural, expected and encouraged in all other sectors of the economy. Before eventually declaring . . . [more]

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

New ESA Termination and Severance Pandemic Regulation

On March 19, 2020, the Government of Ontario created a new regulation under the Employment Standards Act, which created a new emergency leave to protect workers who were sick from COVID-19. This was an important protection to ensure that workers were not dismissed as a result of being sick during the pandemic.

As the pandemic drags on, and social isolation and distancing rules create significant economic barriers for businesses, many lawyers have been considering whether there would be an enormous wave of employment litigation following the conclusion of the pandemic. Many employers have had to reduce wages, modify the . . . [more]

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

Provincial Insolvency Decision Hangs in Balance

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

On March 26, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal the decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal in Canada v. Canada North Group Inc., 2019 ABCA 314 (CanLII). The decision canvasses the priority that attaches to money that is borrowed in restructuring proceedings to preserve value in an insolvent company. The decision considered whether these charges rank ahead of other claims that are also granted priority under federal legislation. The issue, therefore, was the relative ranking of “super-priority” court-ordered charges in proceedings under the Companies’ Creditors . . . [more]

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