Canada in Focus

Legal insights for doing business in Canada

On December 6, 2018 the Ontario Conservative Government introduced the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018 (“Bill 66”). If passed, Bill 66 would: repeal sections of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) that require an employer to apply to the Director for an approval allowing some or all of its employees to work more than 48 hours in a week; repeal sections of the ESA that require an employer to apply to the Director for an…
On December 6, 2018 the Ontario Legislative Assembly passed the Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act, 2018 (“Bill 57”), an omnibus bill that, among other things, postpones the coming into force of the Pay Transparency Act, 2018 (the “Pay Transparency Act”). For details about the Pay Transparency Act, see this article by Titus Totan and Michael S. Richards. Subject to certain exceptions, the Pay Transparency Act was to come into force January 1, 2019. Bill…
Further to our previous article, “Gambling on the unionization of managerial employees”, in which we alerted our clients to a decision declaring inoperative the provision of Quebec’s Labour Code which prevents managerial employees from unionizing1, a recent decision2 has since overturned that ruling. On November 5, 2018, the Quebec Superior Court concluded that the prohibition on managerial employees seeking union representation under the Labour Code does not substantially impact rights…
On November 21, 2018 the Making Ontario Open For Business Act, 2018 (“Bill 47”) received Royal Assent and became law in Ontario. Bill 47 repeals many of the changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“LRA”) introduced last year by the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (“Bill 148”), including: sections of the ESA prohibiting employers from paying part-time and temporary employees lower rates than full-time, non-temporary employees;…
A recent decision by the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) found that an employer, while seeking to reduce its workforce, dismissed an employee on the grounds of family status and physical disability, rather than job performance. In Smylie v Sani-Tech Mechanical Ltd., 2018 AHRC 6 (CanLII), the Tribunal awarded the employee damages for lost wages, in addition to $20,000 for injury to the employee’s dignity and self-respect. This decision highlights the need for…
On November 1, 2018, the B.C. Government introduced the Human Rights Code Amendment Act 2018, Bill 50. The Bill largely adopts the recommendations of the December 2017 report of Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary of Sport and Multiculturalism, which can be found here. The Bill proposes the creation of a human rights commission and advisory board and the extension of the time period for filing complaints. A copy of Bill 50 may be found here
“Advancing gender equality is not just good for women, it’s good for all Canadians. When Canadian women can count on equal pay for work of equal value, our economy grows stronger, families prosper and communities thrive.”1 On October 29, 2018 Canada’s Federal government introduced legislation designed to equalize the earning potential of men and woman, Act to Establish a Proactive Pay Equity Regime within the Federal Public and Private Sectors (Pay Equity Act). Applicable…
While schools are generally the ones handing out the homework, the Quebec government has issued an important assignment for higher education institutions in the province, requiring them to adopt, by January 1, 2019, a policy to prevent sexual violence on campus. By the time students return to class for the winter semester, universities, colleges and institutions holding a permit for college-level educational services, in addition to several other educational institutions, must have adopted a policy…
On October 25, 2018, B.C.’s Minister of Labour released the report of the Labour Relations Code Review Panel. The report contains sweeping recommendations with respect to amending the B.C. Labour Relations Code ( the “Code”). A copy of the Panel’s report can be found here. Generally, the recommendations can be characterized as moving the Code to the left; protections for Unions are strengthened, and rights of employers weakened. That said, the Panel does not…
On Tuesday, October 16, 2018 the British Columbia government introduced legislation – Bill 44, Budget Measures Implementation (Employer Health Tax) Act, 2018 – with respect to the anticipated Employer Health Tax (“EHT”) announced in the British Columbia Budget 2018. The EHT is an annual tax on remuneration paid to British Columbia employees and former employees in a calendar year. The EHT will eventually replace Medical Services Plan premiums in British Columbia, which have traditionally been borne…