Focus On



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]

Thursday, November 19, 2020 @ 8:38 AM

Residents of Hong Kong receive new immigration pathways hong_kong_immigration

Canada’s ongoing need for immigrants, together with sympathy for the abrogation of rule of law in Hong Kong, has prompted the creation of exceptional new temporary and immigration programs in Canada which will directly and indirectly facilitate immigration of Hong Kong residents, students and youths to Canada. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 @ 2:16 PM

SCC decision roadmap to damages in tort for pure economic loss: Part two economic_loss_sm

As we discussed in the first article in this series, while both the majority and dissenting opinions in 1688782 Ontario Inc. v. Maple Leaf Foods Inc. 2020 SCC 35 agreed that the Mr. Sub franchisors’ claim did not fall within the ambit of an established duty of care, the court was split over whether the franchisees stood in a sufficiently proximate relationship to Maple Leaf such that a novel duty of care and responsibility for the franchisees’ pure economic interests should be found to rest with Maple Leaf. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 @ 12:04 PM

Rare finding of fraudulent conveyance in family law proceeding Person give another money

In Iacobelli v. Iacobelli 2020 ONSC 3625, Justice John McDermot ordered the husband’s equity in the $1-million matrimonial home to be vested in his former wife’s name, to satisfy part of the equalization and spousal support lump sum payments owing to her, after finding that payments of hundreds of thousands of dollars were fraudulent conveyances of matrimonial funds to his mother.  ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 @ 2:28 PM

Employers beware: Constructive dismissal, crystallization of benefits Dividingsectionsofacircle

In Matthews v. Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd. 2020 SCC 26, a unanimous Supreme Court of Canada held that an employee, a victim of a brutal constructive dismissal without any notice, was entitled to the extensive remedies sought. Based on the fact that the employment contract is deemed to continue in all of its effects beyond the time of dismissal, during the reasonable notice period, except for certain exceptions, the employee may claim all of the benefits accruing during this period. ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 @ 1:31 PM

The FinCEN files: Rethinking our banking compliance system canadian_cash_briefcase_sm

Last September, an investigation by BuzzFeed and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) exposed significant flaws in corporate compliance. Reporters obtained thousands of government documents, including over 2,100 suspicious activity reports (SARs) filed by major international banks such as HSBC, Deutsche Bank, American Express, JPMorgan Chase, with the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the American financial intelligence unit. ... [read more]