Browsing All Posts filed under »Law«

Ghomeshi v CBC – Can the Courts Hear His Claim?

October 27, 2014


Aside from the social media buzz that the public dispute between Jian Ghomeshi and the CBC has generated, Ghomeshi’s announcement that he will sue his former employer for $50 million, claiming “among other things, breach of confidence and bad faith” raises an interesting legal question: Do the courts have the jurisdiction to hear Ghomeshi’s claim? […]

“Fair” Elections Act – Government Backing Down on Disenfranchising Canadians?

April 2, 2014


I was legal counsel in a challenge to the introduction of mandatory Voter ID in Canadian federal elections.  We argued that the government needed to provide a fail-safe mechanism to protect people’s right to vote.  We said that people without the necessary ID should be able to swear a declaration confirming their identity and residence.  […]

Supreme Court confirms union’s right to employee contact information

February 22, 2014


A few days ago, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down a decision confirming a union’s right to personal contact information about the people it represents, in Bernard v. AG of Canada and PIPSC Under federal legislation, Elizabeth Bernard was able to opt out of membership in the union representing her government service bargaining unit, […]

Disclipline Investigation – when the police are also involved

February 9, 2014


Some of the trickiest situations unions face when representing members facing disciplinary investigations by their employers arise where the same activity has attracted the attention of the police.  That is because the rules surrounding police investigations and workplace investigations are incompatible. One of our most fundamental democratic rights, enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights […]

Utility Regulation Demystified – Part 1, Origins and Basic Principles

January 25, 2014


Despite a wave of deregulation which came into vogue in the early 1980’s, many important services and systems we all rely upon are overseen by regulatory agencies and tribunals who set the prices for services, determine minimum service standards, and approve major contracts, projects and capital investments.  Here in British Columbia, for example, our electricity […]

Essential Services and The FortisBC Inc. Lockout of IBEW 213

January 12, 2014


British Columbia deals with essential service labour disputes differently from most jurisdictions.  Rather than the familiar game of industrial “chicken” (where unions press their strike actions as far as they can before government intervenes with back-to-work orders and lopsided arbitration) we have a “controlled strike” mechanism.  The Labour Relations Board designates specified levels of services […]

The BC Polygamy Case: Be Careful What you Criminalize

February 11, 2011


Progressive groups are lined up on either side of the ongoing court hearing in BC about the constitutionality of Canada’s anti-polygamy law. That is not surprising, as the issues are complex and the best outcome is not at all obvious. What is Criminalized The crime of polygamy may invoke the image of coerced marriages of […]

Law, Order and Retreat

December 2, 2010


In Canada today there are two entirely different concepts of the criminal law and its function. These concepts reflect fundamentally divergent views of the nature and role of the state and of authority within society. The adherents of each of these concepts are incapable of comprehending the other: there is no space for meaningful debate […]