News & Publications Results
|“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|
|Amendments to Alberta’s Employment Pension Plans Regulation: Deadline Extensions and CBMEP Solvency Moratorium||30.12.14|
|A Cross Country Update – case summaries||29.12.14|
|Tell Me No Lies – The New Duty of Honesty in Contractual Performance
There has been a flood of commentary and discussion since the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC” or the “Court”) decision in Bhasin v. Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71 (“Bhasin”) was issued on November 13th.
|Canadian mining companies face lawsuits over foreign activities||10.12.14|
|Alberta’s new Employment Pension Plans Act encourages innovation in plan design||01.12.14|
|Benefit changes inspire class action and other lawsuits
Craig Ferris was interviewed by the National Post about the growing area of pensions and benefits class actions and the elements that make pension rights ideal for class actions.
|User Fee Design by Canadian Municipalities: Considerations Arising from the Case Law
This article provides a detailed review of the existing Canadian case law to highlight key legal, technical, and administrative issues facing municipalities in designing and implementing user fees. The discussion focuses in particular on the principal legal tests for user fees and the application of those tests in specific cases.
|Streaming transactions are filling the financing gap and raising confidence in rough mining sector
In this article, Stuart Breen comments on how the use of stream financing is expanding as an innovative financing vehicle for mining companies.
|Discussion of sexual harassment in the workplace and what employers can do to ensure proper polices are in place to address allegations||06.11.14|
|Lawson Lundell Launches Real Estate Law Blog
Lawson Lundell is pleased to announce the launch of the Real Estate Law Blog.
Our Real Estate Law Blog provides brief commentary on current legal trends and developments affecting the real estate industry. The topics addressed in our Real Estate Law Blog are of interest to commercial real estate developers, real estate and strata agents, investors, landlords and tenants, as well as a variety of industry groups.