News & Publications Results
|Suspension held to Constitute Constructive Dismissal: Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission, 2015 SCC 10
Employers frequently ask us whether they are allowed to suspend an employee, and, if they do so, whether there is a risk that the employee may sue for constructive dismissal. In a Supreme Court of Canada judgment released on Friday, the main issue was, in what circumstances may a non-unionized employee who is suspended indefinitely with pay claim to have been constructively dismissed? This article will focus on the majority reasons of the Court.
|Apples, Patents and Trolls, Oh My!
EAST TEXAS – On February 25, 2015, Apple Inc. was found liable for patent infringement on three patents owned by Smartflash LLC and ordered, by an East Texas jury, to pay Smartflash LLC the princely sum of $532.9 million dollars in damages for the infringement.
Read more here.
|Essential Tasks of Pension and Benefit Plan Trustees
This publication was designed to ensure trustees are aware of how essential it is that they understand their legal duties, what to watch out for, and how to limit their exposure to liability.
|Compliance with Confidentiality Orders: The Ethics of Confidentiality - Preventing Data Leaks and Dealing with Their Consequences||23.2.15|
|BC Budget Update - Hidden Treasure
The BC Budget (tabled on February 17, 2015) contained no major announcements and no general corporate or personal tax rate changes. Nonetheless, it provides opportunity for personal tax planning for high rate tax payers, and extends useful assistance to early stage businesses in BC.
|Proposed Changes to Enhance Compliance and Enforcement Powers for WorkSafeBC
On February 11, 2015, the B.C. Government tabled Bill 9, the Workers’ Compensation Amendment Act, 2015 which if passed, significantly expands WorkSafeBC’s powers to deal with non-compliance and increases employers’ obligations in respect of workplace health and safety.
The purpose of the legislation is to strengthen WorkSafeBC’s ability to promote and enforce occupational health and safety compliance, particularly in the area of inspections and investigations.
|Rob Sider quoted in Publications across the Country||11.2.15|
|Water Use in British Columbia||10.2.15|
|Lawson Lundell named Firm of the Year in Energy/Resource Litigation by Benchmark Canada
Lawson Lundell LLP is pleased to announce that it took home the award for Firm of the Year for Energy/Resource Litigation and was a finalist in four other categories at Benchmark Canada’s third annual awards ceremony, held last Thursday night at the InterContinental Hotel in Toronto.
|Marko Vesely quoted discussing SLAPP lawsuits in the Vancouver Sun||10.2.15|
|“Much Ado About Parking”: Contempt and the power to punish
On January 27, the British Columbia Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal in Bea v. The Owners Strata Plan, LMS 2138, 2015 BCCA 31, upholding the lower court’s decision finding the Plaintiff and her husband in contempt of Court and granting the extraordinary relief that the Plaintiff’s strata unit (the “Unit”) be seized and sold by the respondent (the “Owners”). In doing so, the Court made a bold statement about the scope of its inherent jurisdiction to fashion its own remedies for findings of contempt. The decision was not however unanimous, and the dissent reveals a stark philosophical divide over the question of whether or not the Legislature can direct that the Court’s inherent power to punish for contempt be exercised in specific ways.
Read more here.
|Canada Labour Code Does Not Prohibit Without Cause Terminations
The Federal Court of Appeal in Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., 2015 FCA 17 (“Atomic Energy”) confirmed that federally regulated employers can dismiss non-union employees without cause.
The Canada Labour Code (the “Code”), which applies to federally regulated employers, provides that non-union employees with 12 months or more service can bring complaints alleging that the termination of their employment was “unjust.” An adjudicator, appointed under the Code, can award a range of remedies, if they find the termination was unjust, including reinstatement of the employee.
|Lawson Lundell Continues to Attract Top Corporate Finance and Securities Talent
Lawson Lundell LLP is pleased to welcome Angela Austman, an experienced corporate finance and securities lawyer, as a partner based in the Vancouver office.
|Federal Government Approves Meliadine Gold Mine
On January 27, 2015, the federal government accepted the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB)’s recommendation — submitted in October 2014 and supported by 127 terms and conditions — to approve Agnico Eagle’s Meliadine planned gold mine in the territory’s Kivalliq region. “It is evident that the board met its primary objectives … to protect and promote the existing and future well-being of the residents and communities of Nunavut, to protect the eco-systemic integrity of the Nunavut settlement area and to take into account the well-being of residents of Canada outside of the Nunavut settlement area,” Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, said in a Jan. 27, 2015 letter to the NIRB.
The Meliadine project, about 24 kilometers north of Rankin Inlet, will consist of one underground mine and five open pits, with a network of access roads, including, eventually, a two-lane all-weather road to the nearby Kivalliq community. During its construction phase, the project would employ about 1,000 people, and about 750 people after mining operations start up. Following issuance of the NIRB Project Certificate, Meliadine will proceed to the operational permitting phase.
Lawson Lundell was counsel to Agnico Eagle during the environmental assessment process, including the public hearings held before the NIRB in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut during August 2014, with a team which included Brad Armstrong, Q.C., Christine Kowbel, Toby Kruger, Jennifer Nyland and Mia Chung.
|Supreme Court of Canada Releases Right to Strike Decision: Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v. Saskatchewan, 2015 SCC 4
Less than two weeks after handing down one landmark case on the freedom of association, the Court released another such case last Friday, Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v. Saskatchewan, 2015 SCC 4. The significance of this decision is that the Court has ruled that the right to strike is a guaranteed right of freedom of association protected by Section 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This is the first time the Court has declared that the right to strike is a constitutionally protected right.
|Tervita v. Canada (Commissioner of Competition): Supreme Court of Canada Merger Analysis Case
It has been quite some time since the Supreme Court of Canada considered the merger provisions contained in the Competition Act. On January 22, 2015, the SCC issued its decision in Tervita v. Canada (Commissioner of Competition), overturning the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal that had required Tervita to divest its interest in Babkirk Landfill Services Inc., a company it had acquired in 2011. The Court agreed with the Commissioner of Competition’s position that the merger was likely to prevent competition substantially. However, the Court concluded that the efficiencies defence in s. 96 of the Act had been made out, in large part because the Commissioner had not met her burden of proving quantitative anti-competitive effects to offset the efficiency gains established by the merging parties.
|Peter Roberts discusses potential defamation liabilities associated with commenting on posted videos with CTV BC||20.1.15|
|Landmark Case on the Freedom of Association from the Supreme Court of Canada: Mounted Police Association of Ontario v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 1
The Supreme Court of Canada released a judgment last Friday that strengthens and expands the protection of freedom of association under s. 2(d) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The main issue in this case was the constitutionality of the employee association scheme for members of the RCMP, who are excluded from public sector federal labour relations legislation. Instead, members of the RCMP typically advance their workplace issues through the Staff Relations Representative Program (“SSRP”).
The majority of the Court struck down the impugned legislation as violating s. 2(d) of the Charter. Although the specific result of this decision has little direct impact on most employers, as most employers' employees have access to collective bargaining, many comments from the Court exemplify a broadening perspective on freedom of association, thereby strengthening employees’ rights to collective bargaining.
|New Anti-Spam Legislation Impacting the Installation of Computer Programs Now in Force
Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is most widely known as the legislation which, as of July 1, 2014, prohibits the distribution of unsolicited commercial electronic messages. However, the legislation also contains provisions (as outlined in section 8 of CASL) which aim to curtail malicious software such as malware and spyware by requiring express consent for the installation of computer programs on another person's computer system and mandating enhanced disclosure if the software performs certain prescribed functions. These provisions came into force today, January 15, 2015, and because they do not clearly distinguish between malicious software and software used for legitimate business purposes have been a topic of frequent discussion among those in the legal community and technology sector looking for additional guidance on how to comply.
|Marko Vesely appears on CBC's the Almanac and Global BC News discussing parental liability for children's actions||09.1.15|