Justice system failed the victims of Radiohead stage collapse

October 08, 2017 - by: Norm Keith 1 COMMENTS

by Norm Keith

On September 5, 2017, Justice Nelson of the Ontario Court of Justice stayed all charges against the accused in the deadly stage collapse at the Radiohead concert in Downsview Park on June 16, 2012. These charges under the Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA) are the latest in a series of serious regulatory and criminal charges across Canada that have been stayed for unreasonable delay as a result of the Jordan decision of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Radiohead, a British band, was scheduled to perform at a concert in Toronto at Downsview Park. A number of hours before the start of the concert, the stage superstructure collapsed. Scott Johnson, a drum technician was fatally injured. Others were seriously injured.

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Quebec City shootings: What can we learn from this tragedy?

February 02, 2017 - by: Brian Smeenk 1 COMMENTS

By Brian Smeenk

Six innocent men were shot in the back while praying in a Quebec City mosque on January 29. The apparently racially motivated act of violence makes us all pause to reflect. How could this happen? In a peaceful city like that? In a peaceful country like Canada? What is happening in our society that would give rise to such hateful violence?  Flag of Quebec

Perhaps we can all learn something from such a tragedyincluding HR professionals, business managers, and even lawyers. Canadians and Americans alike.

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Workplace health through a new lens: steps to promote psychological well-being

February 14, 2016 - by: Cathy Chandler 0 COMMENTS

by Cathy Chandler

The workplace can play an essential role in helping individuals maintain positive mental health. However, it also can be a stressful environment that may contribute to mental health issues and illness. In a 2009 study three out of 10 Canadian employees reported that their work environments were not psychologically safe or healthy. Mental health is an important occupational health and safety issue, but many organizations have no system or process in place to address workplace psychological risks and stressors.

Employers’ legal obligations

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Canada’s temporary foreign worker program set to change

May 19, 2013 - by: Thora Sigurdson 1 COMMENTS

By Thora A. Sigurdson

Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) has been under fire of late. Temporary foreign workers sued Denny’s. Latin American tunnel diggers brought a human rights complaint against SELI. A British Columbia union complained that miners from China were taking jobs in northern B.C. And the Royal Bank’s decision to contract out received a lot of media attention. The Canadian government has responded by making seven changes to the TFWP.

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Canadian citizenship applications under closer scrutiny

October 07, 2012 - by: Gilda Villaran 0 COMMENTS

by Gilda Villaran

Fraud in Canadian citizenship applications has been a concern. Following an investigation by police and the Canadian border agency, the Immigration Minister announced on September 10 that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is proceeding to revoke the citizenship of 3,100 people who obtained it by fraud.

The discovery of this amount of fraud has resulted in a dramatic increase in the level of scrutiny of current applications. This also will no doubt affect future applications. There will be an impact not only on fraudulent applicants but also on honest ones. read more…

Categories: Commentary / Immigration


More mysteries of mitigation

September 02, 2012 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

by Karen Sargeant and Clayton Jones

Last week, we reported on the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision in Bowes v. Goss Power Products Ltd., which found that an employee does not have a duty to mitigate where an employment contract contains a fixed severance entitlement but no express requirement to mitigate.

The Court of Appeal relied on a number of factors in coming to this conclusion, which should provide a clear warning to employers across the country. This article sets out those factors and suggests ways in which employers can make their employment agreements or offer letters more bullet-proof. read more…

New Year’s Resolutions for Canadian Employers

January 01, 2012 - by: Brian Smeenk 0 COMMENTS

By Brian P. Smeenk

As we all contemplate our personal goals for next year (have you, too, promised yourself to work out more?), what resolutions should you make for your business in Canada?

Your CFO might urge the normal resolutions of cutting back on consumption or reducing your size. But maybe there are some more refined goals we can think about, gleaned from recent employment law developments such as those discussed in Northern Exposure. Here are some ideas: read more…

Categories: Commentary

Ontario’s Workplace Violence and Harassment Law Overreaches

May 19, 2009 - by: Brian Smeenk 0 COMMENTS

ACME Insurance Company employs 500 employees and managers at its Toronto head office. They work in a pleasant, some might even say tranquil, office environment. In the 50-year history of the company, there has never been any hint of violent behavior in the workplace. To the contrary, some people find it too quiet there.

Bawring, Bawring & Yawn is an old accounting firm in Ottawa, serving its faithful, established business clients. It has 30 employees and a dozen partners, many of whom have quietly worked together for decades.

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Response to last week’s article

April 21, 2008 - by: Brian Smeenk 1 COMMENTS

by Brian Smeenk
Editor – Northern Exposure

Like the hockey gag line about going to a fight only to have a hockey game break out, last week Northern Exposure was the site of shock and awe, and a good legal debate broke out.

There was a lot of interest in our post last week about a discrimination case against McDonalds by a British Columbia employee who wasn’t able to wash her hands frequently. We were surprised by all the attention it got. Some people might think employment law is dull, but sometimes it can really touch a nerve with people. It certainly inspired a heated debate online.

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Categories: Commentary

Welcome to Northern Exposure

October 06, 2007 - by: Brian Smeenk 0 COMMENTS

Welcome to the introductory issue of Northern Exposure. This new e-zine and blog highlights important developments in Canadian labor and employment law and will be of special interest to companies with operations in Canada.

In addition to news articles, the blog and e-zine will include practical Employer’s Tips and Q&As to help you better understand Canadian employment law.

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Categories: Commentary