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Wednesday, April 19, 2017 @ 10:09 AM

Court decisions that will greatly affect future cost of care awards

The intention of this article is to explain three categories of damages claimed and awarded in cost of care claims and to substantiate these by a review of relevant jurisprudence. The three categories of damages are: past housekeeping costs, applicable discount rates and allowance for financial management and administration costs. These have become common subject areas for discussion. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 @ 8:33 AM

OHSA offences aren’t necessarily strict liability

Since R. v. Sault Ste. Marie, OHSA and other regulatory offences have been presumed to be strict liability. On proof of the wrongful act, the defendant must disprove its negligence by establishing it exercised reasonable care. In OHSA prosecutions, this approach has functioned well when the alleged wrongful act is the failure to meet a specific requirement, such as guarding a pinch point. But, what about the situation when the gravamen of the offence is the defendant’s failure to undertake reasonable steps to provide a safe workplace for its workers? Should not the Crown be required to prove negligence as the wrongful act? ... [read more]

Monday, April 17, 2017 @ 11:07 AM

Law on conception via reproductive technology after death raising questions

Ontario has recently made legislative changes to include unborn children of a deceased conceived posthumously in the definition of “child” in several pieces of legislation including the provisions of the Succession Law Reform Act  (SLRA) that deal with applications for dependant’s relief. ... [read more]

Monday, April 17, 2017 @ 10:34 AM

Weed in the workplace: Accommodate without getting burned

With medical recognition of marijuana as medication, growing social acceptance of the recreational use of marijuana in the same manner as alcohol and our federal government’s stated intention to legalize recreational usage, there is no doubt that we will be seeing more issues relating to marijuana in the workplace. In that regard, employers should never react based on stereotypes of marijuana users. Rather, employers (and employees) must recognize that there are different types of users, and each one raises its own set of issues. Some will be entitled to accommodation, and others will not. ... [read more]

Thursday, April 13, 2017 @ 10:25 AM

With parental waivers, due diligence is key

Parental waiver forms are intended to protect risky businesses from lawsuits when kids get injured. When accidents happen and tragedy strikes, however, the effectiveness of the waiver is often questioned. In Canada, there does not seem to be a consistent answer. Now a decision from the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick simultaneously suggests parental waivers are enforceable — and potentially not worth the paper they are written on. ... [read more]

Thursday, April 13, 2017 @ 10:09 AM

CETA is coming, and here’s what it means to importers

It is expected that the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement (Canada-EU CETA) will come into provisional effect soon — the exact date is not yet known. The Canada-EU CETA covers virtually all sectors and aspects of Canada-EU trade. Most Canadian customs duty rates will reduce to “free” or zero per cent at the time of provisional implementation. Canadian importers should start to consider what goods may enter Canada duty free when the CETA green light is turned on. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 9:07 AM

Being a director in the age of disruption

Increasing technological disruption, shareholder demands and industry regulation are facts of life for the contemporary board of directors. In this ever-evolving environment, the pressure to perform and to be seen to perform is greater than ever before. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 8:57 AM

Revamping law of prior consistent statements: R. v. Khan

An evidence revolution has been afoot for some years with the gradual ascendancy of a principled approach to admissibility in favour of the traditional rules-and-exceptions approach. Marking the latest milestone in the revolution is the new analytical framework for admitting prior consistent statements articulated by Justice Doherty in R. v. Khan, 2017 ONCA 114. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 @ 8:20 AM

The problem with a 'right to disconnect' law

France greeted 2017 by ushering in a new law that could see workplace e-mails banned after the office shuts down for the day. Under the requirements of what is commonly called the right to disconnect, companies with more than 50 employees must create a charter of good conduct that spells out when staff should and should not respond to e-mails. The intent of France’s law is to bring more life back to the work/life balance in a digital age. It may be a legislative approach that catches on. At the very least, it may send organizations scrambling to review their employment practices. ... [read more]

Monday, April 10, 2017 @ 8:43 AM

The family pet: property or person?

A court case in Argentina made legal headlines and legal history recently. For the first time in the annals of law, a writ of habeas corpus was issued to protect a person caged without companionship for years. The person in this case was Cecilia, a chimpanzee at the Mendoza Zoological Park. ... [read more]