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Charter of Rights and Freedoms

SCC constitutionalizes the right to strike for unionized employees

In a surprising move, the Supreme Court of Canada overturned its own precedent and found that the right to strike was protected under the Charter.


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SCC orders parliament to reconsider RCMP labour relations

Until last Friday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was Canada’s only police force that was legislatively prohibited from unionizing. On January 16, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled…


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Human Rights principles and accessibility

This is a great post on this International Human Rights Day. The principles that guide accessibility can be found in a few human rights mechanisms that structure the responsibility to make adjustments of law and policy to allow for equal participation of persons with disabilities.


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Supreme Court of Canada gives quick win to BCTF on parental benefits

The Supreme Court of Canada recently made a rare oral ruling from the bench, giving the B.C. Teachers’ Federation a quick win in their appeal of a decision by the B.C. Court of Appeal regarding discrimination and unequal treatment under the Human Rights Code and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


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WSIB claims for mental distress

For years, those of us that practice in the area of Employment Law have taken it as a given: if you suffer from mental distress caused by circumstances in the workplace, you cannot bring a WSIB claim except in very limited circumstances. Unlike physical injuries, WSIB would not cover psychological or emotional damage, even if it could be shown to be a workplace injury. That has now been called into question, as a Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal found that the statutory provision limiting the entitlement to benefits for mental distress is inconsistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and, therefore, unconstitutional.


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Learn the latest! — Dealing effectively with OHS inspectors

The saga of Ontario (Ministry of Labour) v. JR Contracting Property Services, Lootawan and Haniff case has finally come to its conclusion (at least on the merits). Employers would be well-advised to learn from the case how not to engage with Ministry of Labour inspectors in the aftermath of a workplace accident.


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Slaw: Amending the Charter of the French Language and other laws

The preamble of the Charter of the French language makes it clear that everyone has the right to live and work using the French language, and that it is the official language of Quebec in government, law, work, education, commerce and business. This preamble is now elaborated to acknowledge that,


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Arbitrators appointed for Air Canada pilots and machinists

I wrote recently about the Air Canada back-to-work legislation and the unions’ challenge to this legislation that it violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Well, now the arbitrators have been appointed for the labour disputes, notwithstanding the recent constitutional challenge. It has been decided that Douglas Stanley will be dealing with the pilots’ dispute, and Michel […]


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Appeal Court recognizes health and safety risks associated with sex-trade laws

Rule of law

On March 26, 2012, the Ontario Court of Appeal acknowledged that, “prostitution is a controversial topic, one that provokes heated and heartfelt debate about morality, equality, personal autonomy and public safety,” and overturned two of the three sections of the Criminal Code‘s prostitution law on the grounds that they are unconstitutional.


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More news on Air Canada: pilots challenge the back-to-work legislation

The Air Canada pre-emptive back-to-work legislation saga continues. Now the pilots have challenged the pre-emptive back-to-work legislation in court arguing that it prevents strikes or lockouts, forces the pilots to keep flying, and coerces the pilots to accept a contract imposed by arbitration in a process that is completely skewed given it was designed to favour the airline’s position…


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How to decide if a religious belief should be accommodated

Under human rights legislation in all jurisdictions in Canada, employers cannot ignore the religious needs or observances of employees but must work with employees to try to accommodate them. In addition, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects freedom of religion and expression…


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Slaw: Canadian Human Rights Commission’s controversial ‘anti-hate’ policy

The Canadian Human Rights Commission recently posted a policy on its website concerning how it interprets and applies section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) when it receives an inquiry or complaint. The purpose of section 13 of the Act is to balance Canadians’ rights to equality and freedom of expression with respect to hate messages, as protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The parliamentary record indicates that section 13 was initially included in the legislation to address activities of individuals and groups who used the telephone system to disseminate hate messages. In December 2001, parliament amended the CHRA by adding section 13(2), which makes it clear that Internet hate messages come under the jurisdiction of the commission.

Read the whole article on


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