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Alberta Court of Appeal Encourages Use of Summary Judgment Rules
Lawson Lundell LLP, January 2021

  This post discusses the Alberta Court of Appeal's recent decision in Hannam v. Medicine Hat School District No. 76,[1] which stands as an emphatic reminder that the Supreme Court of Canada has directed courts to grant summary judgment when a fair and just determination can be made without a trial...

Can B.C. Businesses Force Employees and Customers to Wear Masks?
Lawson Lundell LLP, December 2020

On November 24, 2020, British Columbia issued a Public Health Order requiring the use of masks in all public indoor spaces in the province (the “Order”). In this blog post, we answer some frequently asked questions posed by business owners and employers about the Order. Mandatory Masking in Public Indoor Spaces Masks are now mandatory in all “indoor public spaces” in B.C...

Government of Canada Introduces Bill to Implement United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People
Lawson Lundell LLP, December 2020

Today, the federal government introduced in Parliament Bill C-15, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. This blog provides some background on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the new federal bill. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples UNDRIP was passed by the UN General Assembly in 2007...

Terminating Employees – 15 Planning Questions an Employer Should Ask Itself
Lawson Lundell LLP, November 2020

Terminating the employment of an employee is never easy. There are many things to consider from both a practical and legal perspective. The more prepared you can be the better. While not exhaustive, set out below are some questions every employer should be asking themselves before they terminate the employment of any non-union employee on a “without cause” basis...

Coming January 1, 2021 New Federal Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations
Lawson Lundell LLP, November 2020

The new Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations, SOR/2020-130 (the “Regulation”) and corresponding changes to the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”) come into force on January 1, 2021. The amendments introduce significant changes to how federally regulated organizations are required to prevent and address workplace harassment and violence, and set out specific requirements for workplace harassment and violence policies...

New Employment Standards Leaves for COVID-19 & Their Impact on Pension & Benefit Plans
Lawson Lundell LLP, November 2020

In response to COVID-19, the federal government and the provinces have introduced various measures to mitigate the financial impact across the country. One of these measures is the introduction of a new type of type of unpaid, job-protected leave related to COVID-19. As of the date of this bulletin, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and the federal government have introduced these new leaves...

Further Extension of Temporary Layoff Period for Federally Regulated Employers
Lawson Lundell LLP, November 2020

On November 9, 2020, the federal government announced a further temporary extension to permitted layoff periods for federally regulated private-sector employees. Background In June of 2020, the federal government extended the time periods for layoffs under the Canada Labour Standards Regulations to allow federally regulated private-sector employers more time to recall laid-off employees...

Is Facial Recognition Dead in Canada?
Lawson Lundell LLP, November 2020

The Privacy Commissioners of Canada, Alberta and British Columbia issued a joint investigation report, finding that Cadillac Fairview did not obtain adequate consent for the collection of digital images of faces through facial recognition technology (Anonymous Video Analytics) installed in wayfinding directories in some of their Canadian shopping malls...

Private Landowners Lose Ability to Apply for ALR Exclusion
Lawson Lundell LLP, October 2020

On September 30, 2020 important changes to the Agricultural Land Commission Act, [SBC 2002] Chapter 36 and the associated regulations came into force that may significantly affect the prospects for removal of private land from the Agricultural Land Reserve (“ALR”). These changes are of particular note to private owners of ALR lands slated for future development...

Equitable Remuneration for Performers and Producers: Has the CJEU Hit the Right Note?
Lawson Lundell LLP, October 2020

In a judgment of 8 September 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) ruled that Member States are not allowed to exclude performers who are nationals of States outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”) from perceiving the equitable remuneration provided by Article 8(2) of the Rental and Lending Rights Directive...

B.C.'s Economic Recovery Plan: New Employer Tax Credit
Lawson Lundell LLP, October 2020

On September 17, 2020, the British Columbia government released its economic recovery plan for the province, Stronger BC for Everyone: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan. The plan details various new support measures for B.C. businesses, including a new refundable tax credit for employers. The B.C...

Does COVID-19 Signal the End of the Civil Jury Trial?
Lawson Lundell LLP, September 2020

As courts cautiously resume in-person hearings across the country, there is looming uncertainty about when—or if—civil jury trials will ever resume. For instance, B.C. and some regions in Ontario have announced that civil jury trials are suspended until at least 2021—and Ontario is considering whether to abolish them altogether...

New Employment Standards Leaves for COVID-19 & Their Impact on Pension & Benefit Plans
Lawson Lundell LLP, September 2020

In response to COVID-19, the federal government and the provinces have introduced various measures to mitigate the financial impact across the country. One of these measures is the introduction of a new type of type of unpaid, job-protected leave related to COVID-19. As of the date of this bulletin, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and the federal government have introduced these new leaves...

Unprecedented: Guiding Organizations Through COVID-19
Lawson Lundell LLP, July 2020

Unprecedented. Have you heard that word a lot in the past 4-5 months? Not surprisingly, the word ‘unprecedented’ is the default word to describe society’s reaction to COVID-19, its effects on our healthcare systems, our behaviours, our compliance (or not) with government directives and guidelines, and the impact to our economy and economic well-being. This is, in our lifetimes, the most rapid response to a threat on a global level...

Addressing the Privacy Challenges with Workplace COVID-19 Screening
Lawson Lundell LLP, July 2020

As we have outlined in Part 1 and Part 2 of our blog series, ‘Returning the Workplace to Safe Operation’, employers have a duty to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace as much as reasonably practical. Consequently, employers may determine it is appropriate to conduct certain active screening, such as questionnaires, temperature screening, and testing...

Protection for Commercial Tenants in Alberta Now Available in the Wake of COVID-19
Lawson Lundell LLP, June 2020

Protection for commercial tenants, similar to what was previously announced in British Columbia, is now potentially coming to Alberta. See the Alberta government’s news release, dated June 16, 2020. On June 16, 2020, the Alberta government introduced Bill 23: the Commercial Tenancies Protection Act, which is intended to protect commercial tenants from evictions and lease terminations during the COVID-19 pandemic...

Managing Employees’ Return to the Workplace
Lawson Lundell LLP, June 2020

In our earlier two blog posts, Returning the Workplace to Safe Operation: Part 1, Part 2, we addressed the occupational health and safety issues surrounding returning the workplace to safe operation. This blog post addresses the employment issues related to managing the return of employees to the workplace from temporary layoff or working from home...

Addressing Racism in the Workplace
Lawson Lundell LLP, June 2020

It is astonishing that in the same week that we’ve read about astronauts going into space in a reusable rocket, we have also experienced the horrors of humanity reading about the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor...

Managing Employees’ Return to the Workplace
Lawson Lundell LLP, June 2020

In our earlier two blog posts, Returning the Workplace to Safe Operation: Part 1, Part 2, we addressed the occupational health and safety issues surrounding returning the workplace to safe operation. This blog post addresses the employment issues related to managing the return of employees to the workplace from temporary layoff or working from home...

Additional Measures for Entrepreneurs and Businesses Disproportionately Affected by COVID-19
Lawson Lundell LLP, June 2020

Since the start of the spread of COVID-19 in Canada, the federal and provincial governments have announced various programs and subsidies to help Canadian businesses survive in light of the challenges posed by necessary social distancing measures, as discussed in our previous blog post here...

Do You Have a Cough? What Can I Ask Customers and How Do I Protect Their Privacy?
Lawson Lundell LLP, May 2020

As businesses begin to reopen, many organizations will examine ways to protect their workers and attract returning customers. Various mechanisms to screen customers for COVID-19 risks will become more common. Examples include providing customers with questionnaires regarding their travel history, exposure to others, and symptoms, or temperature scanning before entry. Organizations will be permitted to screen individuals in a reasonable manner, depending on the circumstances...

Foreign Investment Review - A Warning in the Time of COVID-19
Lawson Lundell LLP, May 2020

The Canadian government, concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on corporate valuations, has issued guidance that it will pay particular attention to foreign direct investments of any value (meaning, even investments that are not subject to review under the Investment Canada Act (the “ICA”)).  The government’s announcement does not amend the ICA, nor any thresholds for review...

Sustainability, Resilience and Public Disclosure in Canada - EFF Grows From a Larger Trend
Lawson Lundell LLP, May 2020

The 50th Earth Day has passed this year under the shadow of a global pandemic, where the immediacy of human health has eclipsed, for now, the focus on the long-term health of the planet and humanity’s place within it that had begun to preoccupy businesses and investors. From a corporate governance perspective, that is reasonable, as risks to short-term survival take precedence over the long-term planning and risk mitigation demanded by more epochal trends like climate change...

Returning the Workplace to Safe Operation
Lawson Lundell LLP, May 2020

This is the first in a two part series on 'Returning the Workplace to Safe Operation. Part two will be posted on Tuesday, May 19.  Part 1: New occupational health and safety requirements to ensure your workplace is safe from the spread or introduction of COVID-19 Canadian provinces and territories are now beginning the gradual process of reopening the economy in the wake of COVID-19. In B.C., on May 6, 2020, the Provincial Government announced its four phase Restart Plan...

British Columbia Employers Announces Temporary Ability to Extend COVID-19 Related Layoffs
Lawson Lundell LLP, May 2020

On May 4, 2020, the B.C. government passed an Order in Council to add a new provision to the BC Employment Standards Regulation (the “Regulation”) during the current provincial state of emergency. Temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 can now last up to 16 weeks in a 20 consecutive week period without triggering termination of employment. This is the second change to B.C. employment standards legislation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic...

 

 

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