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The Friday Brief

Friday, July 14, 2017 @ 3:03 PM | By Matthew Grace

Matthew Grace %>
Matthew Grace
Cristin Schmitz reports on a groundbreaking 9-0 corporate law judgment in which the Supreme Court of Canada has delineated, for the first time, when company directors and officers may be found personally liable for corporate oppression. On July 13, the top court dismissed the appeal of Andrus Wilson from Quebec judgments below holding him and another corporate director personally liable to respondent Ramzi Alharayeri, pursuant to the oppression remedy in s. 241(3) Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA): Wilson v. Alharayeri, 2017 SCC 39. The judgment will have national impact, as a similar remedy features in the corporate law statutes of all the other provinces and territories except P.E.I.

Alberta’s top court says judges deny women equality in sexual assault cases by wrongly: adhering to flawed pattern jury charges that are “frozen in time”; bypassing the rape shield provisions; and relying on rape myths, and other discredited stereotypes when they interpret and apply the law of sexual assault. Those are just some of the hard-hitting observations in a densely packed, 91-page (single-spaced) sexual assault law blockbuster the Alberta Court of Appeal quietly released June 30 (after 10 months under reserve) on the Friday before the Canada Day long weekend: R. v. Barton 2017 ABCA 216.

The Federal Court has ruled that an interim tariff issued by the Copyright Board of Canada that is directed at post-secondary institutions is mandatory and applies to York University. The decision means that the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency — a collective of creators and publishers, set up under the Copyright Act, that licenses the reproduction of its copyrighted holdings to users, collects license fees and distributes royalties — can enforce the tariff against the Toronto university.  

Amanda Jerome reports that Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) officials are meeting with the federal government in a bid to boost funding for immigration and refugee services, which are in danger of being suspended. “We are continuing our discussions with both the federal and provincial governments,” said Vicki Moretti, vice-president of the GTA sector of LAO. “The sad fact is, that without additional funding we are driving ourselves into a deeper deficit. This is a program that we can no longer afford. The short answer is yes, we are contemplating service cuts if further funding isn’t received.”  

Richard Pound’s column looks at AstraZeneca Canada Inc. v. Apotex Inc. 2017 SCC 36, and says the unanimous Supreme Court decision "drove a stake through the heart of the so-called 'promise doctrine.'"

Matthew Grace is the Managing Editor of The Lawyer's Daily.