Decision of the Week – Employer Charged With Workplace Fatality

This week’s decision comes from Nova Scotia. I found there were two very interesting facets to it that warranted bringing to the attention of members in Manitoba.

R. v. Hoyeck, 2019 NSSC 7 concerns an employer who was charged with failing to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to an employee. The trial began before a judge and jury, but after two days, the jury was dismissed. After jury selection, one of the jurors sent a note to the judge about investigation into his LinkedIn account by the Crown (para. 3). As noted in this article by Norm Keith at Fasken:

The jury was discharged after one of the prosecutors, Mr. Keaveny was the subject of controversy about his use of social media to investigate prospective jurors. 

Nova Scotia Employer Acquitted in Westray Bill Prosecution

The benefit of this development is there is now additional case law on the subject of the responsibility of an employer in the death of an employee. There is a very high standard of proof required to convict an employer of Occupational Health and Safety criminal negligence. In this instance, the employee was a licensed Red Seal Mechanic and more qualified in his work than the owner. Although Chipman, J. was critical of the employer in his workplace practices:


Based on all of the evidence it is impossible for me to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Hoyeck did anything or omitted to do anything (that was his duty to do or not do) such that he is guilty of criminal negligence causing death.  …

R. v. Hoyeck, para. 94

New Column – Decision of the Week

We read a lot of decisions, and starting next week, we’re going to share with you the one decision that most affected us that week, whether because of its precedential value, unusual fact situation, or some other unique feature. Since we’re in Manitoba, we’d like to highlight Manitoba decisions, but we’ll also consider other jurisdictions when they publish noteworthy decisions we think you should know about.

Feel free to nominate your own “decision of the week”, and we’ll take it into consideration.

Supreme Court of Canada on Impaired Driving

Keeping to yesterday’s theme on Criminal Law and Impaired Driving resources, the SCC recently released a couple of decisions on driving under the influence. 

From Supreme Advocacy Issue #61’s “Supreme One-Liners”: 

R. v. Gubbins2018 SCC 44 (37395) (37403)

Maintenance records of breathalyzers subject to third party disclosure regime.

R. v. Awashish2018 SCC 45 (37207)

Certiorari an extraordinary remedy, available only in narrow circumstances.

The full summary from Supreme Advocacy is available here. You can sign up for a free subscription to Supreme Advocacy here














ICLR Weekly Case Law Update

The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales 

Here’s the Weekly Case Law Update for September 2, 2018.

If you are a member of the Law Society of Manitoba, and would like a copy of any of the decisions from the digest please contact the library and we will be  happy to provide those for you.

New Service – Current Awareness

In library jargon, current awareness is the process of keeping clients up to date on new issues in their area of interest. In the legal profession, that function is served by publishers of newsletters, bulletins, and newspapers.

Through our subscriptions, we can provide you with topical commentary in many areas of law. Rather than list them all, I’ll start off with a general one: LawSource Case Notes.  This issue’s contents include digests on Civil Practice and Procedure, Construction Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Evidence, Family Law, Immigration and Citizenship, Insurance, Pensions, Public Law, Real Property, Remedies, and Tax.

If you would like to receive LawSource Case Notes, please email us at library@lawsociety.mb.ca so we can set up a distribution list.

Here’s your first issue for review: LawSource Case Notes 2018-22