Focus On



Tuesday, November 24, 2020 @ 11:58 AM

Feds urged to establish law commission on sentencing reform headspinning.jpg

Using his cane, Peter Brooks bludgeoned a paralyzed care home resident to death as she slept in bed. He was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 10 years (R. v. Brooks 2017 ONSC 439). ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 24, 2020 @ 8:49 AM

Canada’s proposed Modern Slavery Act and Nevsun: Implications, opportunities slave_labour_sm

On Feb. 28, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Nevsun Resources Ltd. v. Araya 2020 SCC 5. Subject to significant legal commentary in the months since its release, Nevsun has been heralded as a step forward to recognize the liability of Canadian corporations for human and labour rights violations under their watch abroad. ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 24, 2020 @ 8:48 AM

Detraumatizing court emptycourtroom.jpg

The legal industry lacks diversity. The Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion has indicated that since 2014, the number of women and racialized lawyers becomes greatly reduced in partner and senior leader roles in our industry. Yet in many instances it is senior members of the legal profession who act as advocates and ultimate decision makers for the lives of a very diverse populace. The legal profession may thus be incapable of accounting for post-colonial trauma that emerges for many individuals by virtue of merely being in a courtroom. ... [read more]

Monday, November 23, 2020 @ 11:38 AM

Tax savings from Personal Real Estate Corporations Woman showing house of money

The Ontario government has enacted legislation to permit real estate agents to incorporate professional corporations. This allows real estate agents to follow strategies similar to those of most other professional groups, which have been allowed to incorporate for quite a few years. ... [read more]

Friday, November 20, 2020 @ 1:22 PM

Tackling tort claims in family law cases Judge between angry parents

It’s no secret that family law disputes involve emotionally charged issues. While these are typically addressed within family law’s specialized statutory frameworks, they can also give rise to claims in tort more familiar to civil litigators. There are reasons that introducing torts may be helpful in certain family law disputes. ... [read more]

Friday, November 20, 2020 @ 10:54 AM

The cruel and the unusual: Supreme Court on corporate suffering legal_interpretation_sm

It’s official. Corporations cannot experience pain. The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in Quebec (Attorney General) v. 9147-0732 Quebec Inc. 2020 SCC 32, that the prohibition against “cruel and unusual punishment” in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not protect corporations because the term “cruel” applies only to human pain and suffering. Accordingly, the $30,843 corporate fine in question was deemed constitutional. ... [read more]

Friday, November 20, 2020 @ 9:54 AM

Politicizing workplace investigations businesspeoplearguing

Workplace investigations have always been important — but since the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movement, more employees are demanding their employer investigate a wide array of allegations. This includes sexual harassment claims, bullying and harassment, allegations of racism, among other human rights violations. Workplace investigations are beneficial right off the bat — not only must justice be done, but it must be seen to be done. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 19, 2020 @ 2:02 PM

Going low-carbon mining may satisfy investors but have little measurable impact mining pollution

Whilst more and more mining companies announce their commitment to go “carbon-neutral,” electrify their fleets and install renewable energy power sources at their mine sites, their lack of action on fundamental environmental, social and goverment (ESG) impacts is striking in contrast. The results of the Responsible Mining Index (RMI) Report 2020 reveal that 63 per cent of assessed large-scale mining companies have not identified and reported on the potential implications of climate-exacerbated impacts of mining on communities, workers and the environment. (See chart.)  ... [read more]

Thursday, November 19, 2020 @ 2:01 PM

Decentralized autonomous organizations: A Canadian legal perspective Blockchain concept

Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are a relatively new organizational form that is being adopted by the blockchain community in the pursuit of building out “web3” (a reinvented Internet based on decentralized protocols). DAOs are built on programmed algorithms with governance structures designed to resemble corporations but adapted to facilitate “trustless” operations. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 19, 2020 @ 9:49 AM

Million-dollar question: Bonus entitlements during reasonable notice period businessmenacrossdesk.jpg

SJO Legal PC was involved in the case of Matthews v. Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd. [2020] S.C.J. No. 26, in which the Supreme Court of Canada handed down a significant judgment in October. The highest court in the country took the opportunity to clarify fundamental legal principles underlying an employer’s duty to act in good faith and the obligation to provide employees with reasonable notice of dismissal. ... [read more]