eLaw Labour and Employment Law Update

Lots to unpack in the latest Labour and Employment eLaw update:

  • Supreme Court of Canada upheld a BC appeal tribunal’s ruling that the owner of a forest property on which an independent contractor’s employee was killed while felling trees was an employer within the meaning of the Workers Compensation Act and could be fined for failure to meet its safety obligations.
  • SCC scrutinized Quebec’s pay equity regime in two decisions: 2018 SCC 17 and 2018 SCC 18
  • SCC confirmed that employers have a duty to accommodate workers who have suffered work place injuries: 2018 SCC 3
  • MBCA: Unsuccessful appeal of bad faith claim: 2018 MBCA 22

And much more.

SCC to Release Appeals re Trinity Western University-Updated

This Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada will release its decision on Trinity Western University et al v. Law Society of Upper Canada and Law Society of British Columbia v. Trinity Western University et al. These appeals, heard at the same time, concern the denial of accreditation by the law societies of a proposed new law school at Trinity Western. At issue is a community covenant students would be required to sign, based on Evangelical Christian principles of Biblical teachings and morality.

Each appeal was allowed numerous interveners to join (TWU v. LSUC, LSBC v. TWU).

Much has been written about the arguments so far, and there will be more analysis to come. This post will be updated on Friday with a link to the decision.

CanLII Connects re TWU v. LSUC, LSBC v. TWU

theCourt.ca re TWU

Decisions:

Trinity Western University v. Law Society of Upper Canada, 2018 SCC 33

Law Society of British Columbia v. Trinity Western University, 2018 SCC 32

 

“Modernizing Our Family Law System” – Report

The Manitoba government has just released a report titled Modernizing Our Family Law System, by Manitoba’s Family Law Reform Committee. The 10 page report, followed by 4 pages of appendices, is written in plain English, befitting the audience it is intended for. The Committee suggests a three year pilot project.

Our model would by legislation, require all matters proceeding
under the Family Maintenance Act to be commenced by
an application form which would be simple enough that an
individual could complete it with or without the assistance
of a lawyer.

...

While restricting this pilot project to Family Maintenance Act
matters will significantly limit the scope of this initiative, we
believe there will be a large volume of matters, sufficient to
test the effectiveness of this approach during the pilot phase.

The Committee was formed in the fall of 2017, and completed their report in record time, as mandated by Justice Minister Stefanson.

As many studies have noted, the adversarial court system does not work well for family law matters. Families must continue to work together after divorce and custody issues are taken care of. We will be watching for the government to introduce legislation to enable this project, and keep you informed when it has been released.

News Release: Family Law Modernization Report Recommends Innovative Pilot Project to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families

Both ‘opportunity’ and loss for lawyers in revamp of Manitoba family law

Supreme Court of Canada on Civility in the Courtroom

The Court just released its decision on Groia v. The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2018 SCC 27, clarifying the test for when a lawyer’s conduct in the courtroom becomes professional misconduct.

In a 6-3 decision authored by Justice  Moldaver, the Court laid out the framework under which lawyers can provide a vigorous defence of their clients. While the Court agreed the law society’s appeal panel adopted the correct test for a finding of professional misconduct, they disagreed with the application.

Since this decision was just released on June 1st, there will be more commentary to come. Keep checking CanLII Connects for more news.

Additional Commentary: 

The Lawyers Daily: SCC rules Groia not guilty, sets test for when lawyers’ incivility in court becomes professional misconduct

Supreme Advocacy

Slaw: “A Trial is not a Tea Party,” is What They will Say by Omar Ha-Redeye

 

Ottawa Proposes Changes to the Divorce Act-Updated

The Minister of Justice, Jody Wilson Raybould, recently introduced Bill C-78, An Act to amend the Divorce Act, the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act and the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act. This is the first major overhaul to the Divorce Act since the child support guidelines were enacted in 1997.

Some of the reforms included in the Bill include:

  • Establishing a framework for relocating a child;
  • Fleshing out the term “best interest of the child”;
  • Provide for orders requiring contact with a child for another person, e.g. a grandparent.

The federal government has been consulting with members of the family bar and other stakeholders for the past two years in preparation for this bill.

Commentary from The Lawyers Daily: Bar Gives Good Initial Reviews

A Brief Overview of Bill C-78, Part 2, by John-Paul Boyd

A Brief Overview of Bill C-78, Part 1, by John-Paul Boyd