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How “Justice For All” Has Become Tribunals For Most

Justice For All Is Becoming Tribunal For Most

Most of us believe that justice means - if we are involved in some sort of legal dispute that we are entitled to our “day in court”.  Historically, a trial by a jury of one’s peers has been a cornerstone of justice within the democratic tradition in common law countries such as Canada, the United States and Britain. Over the past several decades, however, the right to one’s day in court has been continually eroded resulting in a serious access to justice issue. Lack of adequate government funding has led to backlogs and delays creating significant frustration for litigants and giving...

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Under Construction: Major Reforms Coming To Construction Lien Act

Under Construction: Major Reforms To Construction Lien Act

The Ontario government has tabled Bill 142, which if passed will result in fundamental changes to the Construction Lien Act (the Act) and will have a significant impact on payment and dispute resolution practices within the construction industry. The most significant of the proposed amendments to the Act is the introduction of a mandatory prompt payment regime. Prompt payment regimes have been in place for decades in some other jurisdictions including the U.K., and there have long since been calls for Canada and Ontario to adopt a similar model. The impetus in adopting a prompt payment regime within this unique sector is to...

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Do You Have To Take Any Job To Curb Your Losses From A Wrongful Dismissal? No Says Ontario’s Top Court

Wrongful Dismissal Employment Law Blog

Ontario's top court has recently affirmed that an employee is not required to take a substantially inferior position in order to mitigate damages for wrongful dismissal. In this case the Plaintiff was a manager working for a particular McDonalds franchise for 13 years, she obtained a 7 year credit for service as a result of having worked a number of years previously for another McDonalds franchise. After several years of exceptional employment reviews, in 2011 after receiving her first negative performance review she was offered a demotion to assistant manager. Although the rate of pay was the same the demotion meant a...

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Supreme Court of Canada Weighs In On Proving A Mental Injury

Mental Injury Saadati v. Moorhead

Just this week the Supreme Court of Canada released a landmark decision on the issue of mental harm and mental injury caused by negligence.   The Honourable Supreme Court Justice Brown, for a unanimous court, delivered the decision. The appeal arose from a motor vehicle accident claim in British Columbia. At trial the Plaintiff was awarded damages for mental injury based exclusively on the testimony of lay witnesses. In other words, no medical professional was called to support the Plaintiff’s claim for damages arising from mental injury.   The British Columbia Court of Appeal reversed the ruling, holding that in order to recover damages...

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Chronic Stress From Workplace Bullying Now Recognised By The WSIB

WSIB Workplace Bullying

1)  Bullying Is No Joke - It Can Have Serious Detrimental Health Effects It has become clear from the flood of media reports in recent times that harassment and bullying is not just a grade school problem, but something that can infect workplaces everywhere.  This kind of conduct can inflict serious mental stress and psychological problems upon victims of workplace abuse. 2) WSIB Could Not Be Claimed For Chronic Mental Stress Caused By Workplace Bullying - In Fact The WSIB Specifically Excluded It For years Ontario’s workplace compensation would not allow such individuals to make claims for compensation, even though it was a...

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Car Insurance System Failing According To Former Head Of WSIB

Car Insurance

Recently, the Ontario government quietly released a report called "Fair Benefits Fairly Delivered: A Review of the Auto Insurance System in Ontario". It’s the latest inquiry into Ontario’s car insurance regime.  As lawyers practicing personal injury law for many years, we’ve become intimately familiar with the complicated mess successive governments have created in their pursuit of balancing compensation for those who are injured, with keeping premiums affordable in a mandatory car insurance system. Some of the statistics in the report, authored by the former CEO of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), Mr. David Marshall, are staggering. Ontario insurance companies...

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The “Gig Economy” And The Perils Of Being An “Independent Contractor”

Gig Economy

With the rise of the new gig economy, and companies that use a digital platform to link people to services, a growing class of "independent contractors" is emerging in Ontario's labour market. These positions boast of self-employed like advantages, chose your own hours, refuse jobs as you like, however the greater advantage is had by the platform. By identifying their workforce as "independent contractors" companies can avoid the legislative protections afforded by the Employment Standards Act. Calling someone an independent contractor is a way some companies try to get around all of those obligations. These obligations include deducting income tax, CPP and Employment...

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Big Changes Coming for Condo Living In The GTA

Condo Law Blog

With the current detached housing market crunch, it’s perhaps no surprise that according to data collected by City News there are currently over 3200 more condo projects either under review, being appealed or actively under construction. That’s an estimated 272,000 new units for the Toronto area. Life in downtown Toronto, Mississauga, or Hamilton will most likely mean living in a condominium for many urban residents.  Condominium legislation is developing at a rapid pace to keep up with the increasingly complex and unique legal issues faced by condo dwellers. In 2015, two major pieces of legislation were enacted, the Protecting Condominium Owners Act,...

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Is Your Car Insurance Company Violating Your Privacy Rights?

Auto Insurance Privacy Rights

If you are seriously injured in a car accident, there are two types of claims that can be made. One is the no fault claim from your own insurance company for accident benefits, and the other is a lawsuit or court claim, against the at fault driver. In Ontario, there are a number of very large insurance companies that sell car insurance, because of this sometimes your car insurance company may also be the same company that insures the person at fault for your injuries. Even though you can make two separate claims, it is the same insurance company behind the...

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What You Need To Know About the New Duty of Good Faith In Contracts

contracts

Contractual relationships often lead to lawsuits when parties to the contract disagree over their contractual obligations and rights.  Traditionally, courts have held parties to the strict written terms of their contract, even in cases where the terms seemed unfair.  In 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada released a ground-breaking decision that imposed a mutual obligation of good faith and honest performance on the parties to a contract.  This case has broad implications for businesses as they negotiate contracts with consumers, suppliers, and vendors, as lawsuits involving contract disputes will now be viewed by the courts in this context. Here’s what...

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