Federal Employment Law Changes

Federal employment law changes are pending for later in 2019. Well, at least possibly. This of course assumes that the writ for the next federal election is not dropped before the changes become effective. The changes are part of federal Bill C-86, which received royal assent on December 13, 2018.  This Bill contains a number of changes, including far-reaching changes to the Canada Labour Code, the Employment Insurance Act, and federal pay equity legislation. The changes will apply to federally
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Action, Following Broncos’ Deaths

Many Canadians, myself included, have friends or family members who have died, or been seriously injured, in highway collisions with semis. Yesterday morning, in a provincial court in my home province of Saskatchewan, the driver of the semi that collided with the Humboldt Broncos’ team bus pled guilty to 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. It was reported that the driver had no alcohol in his system and was not
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Mandatory Victim Surcharges Unconstitutional

In December, 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in R. v. Boudreault that the mandatory surcharge under the Criminal Code is “of no force and effect immediately.” The surcharge was provided for in section 737 of the Criminal Code. It was levied in addition to the sentence already imposed. A non-mandatory surcharge has been around since the 1980s. It was introduced in an attempt to increase offenders’ accountability and assist in funding victims’ programs. Until 2013, judges could waive
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A Lawyer’s Christmas Wish

Do you remember me? I sat upon your knee I wrote to you with childhood fantasies   A grown-up lawyer now, I still have hope somehow, I’m not a child but my heart still can dream   So here’s my lifelong wish, My lawyer’s Christmas list, Not for myself, but for a world in need   No more lives torn apart, Compassion from the start, and time would heal the heart,   No more need for courts or jail, Tribunals
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Ringing in the New Year, with Random Drug and Alcohol Testing

Random drug and alcohol testing. The union fought it, vigorously, for years. The squabble had Suncor and the union in and out of court a number of times, over the course of several years. Then, late last month, an important agreement was announced. Suncor and the union (Unifor local 707A) at its oil sands operations have agreed that Suncor will implement random drug and alcohol testing for all safety-sensitive positions in the municipality of Wood Buffalo, Alberta, beginning in the
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‘Tis the Season (to Not be Liable)

It’s that time of year again.  The holiday season is upon us.  ‘Tis the season for host liability. Workplace holiday party season is in full swing. Employers, ensure your guests know that you will provide a safe way home. Those attending, know your limits. Avoid taking the wheel if there is any chance you may be impaired. The area of host liability has been a developing area of law for decades, and is still not yet fully settled. This much
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