Legal Woes for the Easter Bunny

Several years ago, our young daughter asked a very direct question: “Is Santa Clause real?” Despite my attempts to fend them off, the questions continued. As did the lack of clear responses. A few months later, she had another direct question: “Mom, is the Easter Bunny real?” These questions have caused many a parent to pause. What is a parent to do, a parent who believes both in the wonder of childhood, and in honesty within families? It had not
Read More

What Is Administrative Law?

I am quite frequently asked this question. Administrative law is the body of law that governs administrative agencies. Administrative agencies are involved in virtually every aspect of our lives.  Examples include agencies that regulate food and drug products, securities commissions, local building and development and zoning agencies, liquor control boards, self-governing professional bodies, privacy commissioners, employment insurance, human rights tribunals and workers’ compensation boards. Administrative agencies relieve the burden on our courts.  At least in theory, they may also provide
Read More

Is It Legal to Surreptitiously Record a Phone Call?

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Trudeau removed Ms. Wilson-Raybould and Dr. Jane Philpott from the Liberal party. The reason offered was that recording “conversations without consent” was unacceptable, and that an Attorney General recording a conversation with the Clerk of the Privy Council was “unconscionable.” Ms. Wilson-Raybould, the former Attorney General of Canada, had recorded a December, 2018 telephone call between herself and the Clerk of the Privy Council, Michael Wernick. After being submitted to the Standing Committee on Justice
Read More

What’s age got to do with it?

Is age relevant in dismissals? Under Canadian common law, an employer is able to dismiss a non-unionized employee in only one of two ways. One is with just cause. This is generally difficult, though not impossible, for an employer to establish. The second is without just cause, as long as the employee is given “reasonable notice” of the dismissal. The concept behind the reasonable notice period is that employees ought to be given advance notice of their job ending, to
Read More

Family Status Discrimination in Employment in BC

In a recent decision in Envirocon Environmental Services, ULC v. Suen, the BC Court of Appeal confirmed that in order to establish discrimination in employment on the basis of family status, a human rights complainant must show: (1)    a change in a term or condition of employment imposed by the employer; and (2)    the change resulted in a serious interference with a substantial parental or other family duty or obligation of the employee. This confirms the approach previously set out
Read More

Solicitor Client Privilege & DPAs: Mum’s the Word

On September 19, 2018, amendments to the Criminal Code came into force establishing Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs), for the first time in Canada. They had at that time escaped the radar, slipped into an omnibus bill, labeled “remediation agreements.” DPAs have been described as a type of plea bargain for corporations facing potential criminal prosecution, though admittedly on a much larger scale than exists for individuals. Others point out that a DPA is not a plea bargain at all, but
Read More