Atlantic Employers’ Counsel – Summer 2014

The Editor’s Corner

Clarence Bennett

Summer is halfway over, but we know you will want to take this edition along with you while you enjoy more summer weather and time out of the office.

Employers are struggling to keep ahead of the curve with the recent rise of legislated and expanded common law rights to privacy. This edition focuses on understanding the privacy legal landscape in Atlantic Canada, discusses some very recent privacy and disciplinary decisions employers should be aware of, provides informative tips for ensuring that your workplace is as privacy proof as possible and points out the hazards of social media when it comes to workplace privacy.

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Privacy: what laws apply in Atlantic Canada?
Ian Wallace

With increasing digitalization and the potential harm resulting from violations of an individual’s privacy or unauthorized disclosure of one’s personal information, employers must remain diligent in efforts to collect, retain and disclose personal information and promote a culture of respect regarding the privacy of their employees.

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Preparing for the office snoop: protect employee privacy and limit your liability
Murray Murphy, QC, CHRP 

Advances in technology have brought privacy issues to the forefront of Canadian society, and the workplace is no exception. Employers need to consider privacy and confidentiality for not only their customers, but also their employees.

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Tips on what your confidential information policies must have
Grant Machum and Alison Strachan

Confidentiality at work has become increasingly important and the employee’s responsibility to keep private and confidential information is just that, private and confidential. Questions from employers about what must go into this type of policy have become routine, mainly due to the global nature of communications today and how easily information can be circulated and accessed.

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Employee privacy breaches – do they warrant discipline?
Richard Petrie

In 2012 the Ontario Court of Appeal first established the tort of intrusion upon seclusion to Canadian law in . Relying on Jones v Tsige Apart from the obvious impact of this case on those who are the victims of a privacy breach, the case has raised interesting questions in the field of labour and employment law. Namely, it places strong pressure on an employer to ensure prompt and sufficient discipline against employees who breach privacy rules in an effort to mitigate potential tort claims.

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The impact of social media on privacy: why you need a social media policy
Clarence Bennett and Alison F. Strachan 

One of the first social media confidentiality cases arose out of a health care employment relationship. In CAW-Canada, Local 127 (J.C.) v. Chatham-Kent (Municipality), [2007] OLAA No. 135 (QL), the grievor was a personal caregiver with eight years service and some history of discipline. She was discharged after making a number of blog entries and posting photos.

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The New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board affirms longstanding practice against piecemeal certification of bargaining units

July 8, 2019

Bryan Mills and John Morse On May 21, 2019, the New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board (”Board”) dismissed an application by the New Brunswick Union of Public and Private Employees (“Union”) seeking certification as bargaining…

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Carbon pricing: Ontario Court of Appeal delivers constitutional endorsement

July 5, 2019

Jonathan Coady and Justin Milne The Ontario Court of Appeal has found that the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act¹ is valid federal legislation.² The Act implements national minimum pricing standards to reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions.…

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A Charter right to testamentary freedom? The NSSC decision in Lawen Estate

July 2, 2019

Richard Niedermayer, TEP, Jennifer Taylor and Bhreagh Ross, summer student There is a right to testamentary freedom under section 7 of the Charter, according to a recent decision of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. In…

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Hydro-Quebec now subject to annual energy cap, but not a monthly cap, under much-disputed 1969 power contract: Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corp. v Hydro-Quebec, 2019 QCCA 1072

June 24, 2019

John Samms Introduction Much ink has been spilled on the controversial 1969 power contract between Hydro-Quebec and CFLCo (the contract) and last week the Quebec Court of Appeal added to the pile with its decision…

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Final cannabis edibles, topicals and extracts regulations released

June 17, 2019

Kevin Landry On June 14, 2019, Health Canada announced the release of the final version of amendments to the Cannabis Regulations, which will permit for the production and sale of edibles, extracts and topicals. The…

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Trademark changes

June 17, 2019

Daniela Bassan and Divya Subramanian The Canadian Trade-marks Act will be amended effective June 17, 2019. As a result, the Act will undergo a complete overhaul on various aspects of trademark prosecution, registration, and enforcement.…

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Discovery: Atlantic Education & the Law – issue 04

June 12, 2019

We are pleased to present the fourth issue of Discovery, our very own legal publication targeted to educational institutions in Atlantic Canada. While springtime for universities and colleges signal the culmination of classes, new graduates…

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How employers can protect themselves with respect to social media

May 29, 2019

Grant Machum and Richard Jordan   In an earlier article, we considered an employer’s options when an employee departs and takes with them the social media contacts they have obtained during the course of their…

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Canada’s Digital Charter – a principled foundation for a digital future?

May 28, 2019

Matthew Jacobs and Daniel Roth (summer student)   “… we cannot be a Blockbuster government serving a Netflix society.” – The Hon. Minister Navdeep Bains paraphrasing the Hon. Scott Brison (May 2019, at the Empire…

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New reporting requirements for beneficial ownership of federal corporations coming this June

May 24, 2019

Tauna Staniland, Andrea Shakespeare, Kimberly Bungay and Alycia Novacefski The federal government has introduced new record keeping requirements for private, federally formed corporations governed by the Canada Business Corporations Act (“CBCA”). The amendments to the…

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