Criminal Code Westray Provisions: R. v. Metron (Part 2 of 2)

Last week, we looked at the 1992 Westray mine disaster, and the subsequent amendments to the Criminal Code regarding workplace safety. The intent underlying the Westray provisions was to facilitate prosecuting corporate criminal negligence for workplace disasters. One tragic case in which a conviction occurred under the Westray provisions is  R. v. Metron Construction Corporation. The Facts On Christmas Eve, 2009, a group of construction workers were repairing a 14th floor balcony. Late that afternoon as they completed their shift,
Read More

Criminal Code Westray Provisions (Part 1 of 2)

It was one of the worst mining disasters in Canadian history, and it resulted in important changes to the Criminal Code relating to workplace safety. In happened in 1992. An explosion at Westray Mine’s underground coal mine in Nova Scotia killed 26 underground workers. The Aftermath A public inquiry followed. The 1998 report harshly criticized Westray mine management. It found “a complex mosaic of actions, omissions, mistakes, incompetence, apathy, cynicism, stupidity, and neglect.” Despite the inquiry, a litany of charges
Read More

WCB Standard of Proof

WCB cases involve a unique standard of proof: the “as likely as not” standard. Under the Workers’ Compensation Act (B.C.), if the evidence supporting different findings on an issue is evenly weighted, the WCB must resolve that issue in a manner that favours the worker. There once was a man who worked for a city.  We don’t know his real name. Let’s call him Peter. His Job Peter’s job involved operating an excavator to move dirt around the employer’s yard
Read More

Medical Marijuana & Work – Know Your Rights

Do you use medicinal cannabis, to manage a medical condition? Are you an employer with an employee that uses medicinal cannabis? Do you wonder what your rights are? It is not as simple as an employee providing a doctor’s note, and then expecting the employer to accommodate marijuana use, even though it is for medical purposes. Cases in this rapidly evolving area are very fact specific and must be analyzed individually. Some commonalities are emerging, though. Drug and Alcohol Policies,
Read More

Sexual Harassment at Work

Sexual harassment. It’s an issue that can change lives, and threaten decade long careers. Perhaps it has happened to you.  Maybe your voice contributed to the #MeToo or TimesUp movements. Perhaps you fear being accused. What Is Sexual Harassment? In one of Canada’s leading cases on sexual harassment, Janzen v. Platy Enterprises Ltd., the Supreme Court of Canada identified three key elements of workplace sexual harassment: Conduct of a sexual nature, which is gender based, Conduct that is unwelcome, and
Read More

Drug Impaired Driving in Canada: Who ‘Ya Gonna Call?

Justice Canada states that “impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death and injury in Canada. In 2016, there were more than 70,000 impaired driving incidents reported by the police, including almost 3,000 drug-impaired driving incidents.” Getting behind the wheel while impaired by drugs of any type is dangerous. It is also against the law. Our federal government is amending the Criminal Code to better address impaired driving. Amendments to Criminal Code Drug Impaired Driving Provisions Part one, the
Read More