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Tuesday, December 19, 2017 @ 8:42 AM

Ontario’s Employment Standards Act: A practical guide to new changes employment_standards_sm

The very long debate about what changes should be made to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (ESA) ended when Bill 148 received royal assent on Nov. 27, 2017. Ontario employers need to review and update their existing employment practices and policies to ensure compliance with Bill 148 changes. ... [read more]

Monday, December 18, 2017 @ 9:03 AM

Privilege may apply to documents from which legal advice may be inferred

Deciding whether to claim privilege over documents is often a judgment call. This is certainly the case with documents that on their face appear to be innocuous but that allow opposing counsel to infer the substance of legal advice that has been sought or given. ... [read more]

Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 8:47 AM

The perils of taking tax advice from the CRA helpline_tax_sm

There was no income tax in Canada until the Income War Tax Act came into effect on Sept. 20, 1917. The purpose of the Act was to finance the addition of 100,000 men into the Canadian armed forces in support of Canada’s efforts in the First World War. The income tax rates of the United States were used as a model and the Act was thought to be a temporary measure. Of course, we all know how temporary that was, but based on the recent report by federal auditor general Michael Ferguson, taxpayers have a lot of concerns, not the least of which is the competence of the CRA’s “Help” line. ... [read more]

Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 8:38 AM

An interprovincial beer run to the Supreme Court of Canada beer_run_sm

The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments last week (Dec. 6 and 7) about the constitutionality of prohibitions on interprovincial shipping of wine, beer and spirits. The court’s decision has the potential to affect all barriers to trade between provinces, including provincial liquor corporations and dairy and poultry boards which carefully manage quotas and trade restrictions or have an outright monopoly on the sale of products within their jurisdiction. ... [read more]

Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 9:23 AM

Climate-related financial disclosure proposals receive tidal wave of support Climate change

The One Planet Summit in France on Dec. 12 marked the two-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement on climate change. It was announced that support has more than doubled in recent months for a new initiative designed to persuade companies around the globe to disclose their exposure to climate-change risks. ... [read more]

Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 8:32 AM

Employer liability for employees who drive while impaired by alcohol, cannabis

For many people, driving an automobile is a daily part of their work routine, either for getting to and returning from work, or for performing the duties of their employment. We do not propose here to examine an employer’s civil or criminal liability in situations where employees go about these activities in a normal way. Rather, we wish to examine a specific situation that unfortunately is fraught with serious risks for all concerned: an employer’s liability where an employee drives an automobile while intoxicated. ... [read more]

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 9:13 AM

A look back at threshold motions in 2017 finds judges are giving a balanced analysis

To lawyers practising personal injury and insurance litigation, a topic of perennial interest concerns decisions with respect to the statutory threshold under the Insurance Act. As the year draws to a close, we examine the threshold motions that have been reported and the common themes that can help parties on both sides assess their risk in cases where the threshold is likely to be in dispute. ... [read more]

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 8:54 AM

William Shatner and the tort of appropriation of personality william_shatner_sm

William Shatner has objected to the unauthorized use of his name and image to promote a condominium project in Hamilton in a case that if litigated, could shed light on a rarely addressed cause of action. ... [read more]

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 9:42 AM

Top court reaffirms mandatory unpaid standby shifts are unreasonable

In the recently rendered decision, Association of Justice Counsel v. Canada (Attorney General) 2017 SCC 55, the Supreme Court of Canada reaffirmed two important realities of labour law. First, labour arbitrators are owed deference when deciding on issues relating to the interpretation of collective agreements. Second, the balancing of interests approach is the proper framework to assess whether a policy implemented by the employer that affects employees is a reasonable exercise of management rights. ... [read more]

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 9:13 AM

Can mediation-arbitration reduce clogged courts and improve access to justice?

Collaborative practice has grown out of disenchantment with the adversarial legal system’s assumption that positional bargaining necessarily protects the interest of parents and their children. Family mediation has become the go-to solution for both the public, who are seeking to avoid having to pay lawyers, and the government, which wants to reduce the cost of providing family law justice. ... [read more]