Ontario Employment Standards Could Invalidate Broad Arbitration Clauses

In a 2023 decision that could have consequences beyond the immediate dispute, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice held that an arbitration clause (the “Arbitration Agreement”) in a contract of employment which attempted to contract out of minimum standards in the Employment Standards Act, 2001, SO 2000, c. 41 (the “ESA”) is invalid. Key Facts In Nohdomi v. Callidus Capital Corporation, 2023 ONSC 4469 (“Nohdomi”), the defendants, Callidus Capital Corporation…

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Take Care When You Forbear – mortgage forbearance agreements do not automatically rank in the same priority as the mortgage being forborne.

It is well-known that the Bank of Canada’s interest rate increases over the past two years have caused financial strain on many Canadian households. In March 2024, Equifax Canada released a report raising alarm bells that credit delinquencies are rising, with the key indicator of missed mortgage payments being highest in Ontario and British Columbia. Mortgage lenders, aware of the impact higher rates have had on their borrowers, may be…

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The Challenge of Fresh Consideration in Amended Employment Agreements

All contracts require the legal elements of offer, acceptance, and a passing of ‘consideration’ between the contracting parties. Without these elements, the contract is neither binding nor enforceable. These same principles apply when an employer varies a pre-existing employment agreement. Without fresh consideration, unilateral changes to an employment agreement may render the contract unenforceable. Except for the rare case where an employment agreement explicitly provides otherwise, an employer cannot unilaterally…

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A Caution Before Expanding an Employee’s Job Duties: Risks of the Changed Substratum Doctrine

A change in job duties occurs when the terms of an employee’s role are materially changed over time, such as: a decrease/ increase in work hours, or a decrease/ increase in responsibility. In demoting an employee, through unilateral changes to the employment agreement, an employer runs the well-known risk of triggering a constructive dismissal claim. But what is the risk when duties are expanded? When an employer substantively expands an…

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Three-Months’ Mortgage Interest – To Charge or Not to Charge

Almost all mortgage agreements provide that if a mortgage goes into default, the borrower will be responsible for paying various fees and charges above the principal and interest.  Common among these is a fee equal to three months’ interest on the amount in arrears, which often appears on discharge statements when a mortgage is in default. However, apart from fees and charges that are genuine pre-estimates of reasonable administrative costs…

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The Trump New York Summary Judgment: Protecting the Marketplace

As much attention as legal proceedings involving Donald Trump receive, so much of the focus is on Mr. Trump’s in- and out-of-court antics that the legal underpinning of different matters is often easy to lose sight of. For instance, in coverage of the recently completed trial in New York regarding civil fraud allegations against Mr. Trump and a variety of related individuals and organizations, it is only occasionally adverted to…

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When a Request for Mental Health Leave Strains the Business

The modern workplace has seen a rise in requests for stress and mental health leave. In a labour market that is still recovering from the aftermath of the Pandemic, how can employers best manage these requests and keep business operating smoothly? While poor mental health is certainly a recognized legitimate health concern, accommodating a leave of absence can place tremendous strain on a business’ operations. Failure to manage these requests…

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The Psychedelics Sector and Capital Markets

An emerging market sector that has recently been subject to increased investor attention has been psychedelics.  Generally speaking, this refers to businesses focused on the potential medical, therapeutic and recreational uses of psilocybin, which is the naturally occurring hallucinogen that is found in certain mushrooms, and ketamine, a synthetic compound primarily used as an anesthetic. Both psilocybin and ketamine are designated as controlled substances under Canada’s Controlled Substances and Drugs…

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TSX Venture Exchange

Introduction The TSX Venture Exchange recently announced significant changes to Capital Pool Company (“CPC”) program, which changes will be effective January 1, 2021. The changes to the CPC program are intended to: Increase flexibility – new jurisdictions added, residency restrictions eased, spending restrictions simplified Reduce regulatory burden – relaxed requirements on shareholder distribution and shareholder approval, fewer restrictions on PRO subscriptions Improve economics – increased seed investment, finders fees, shorter…

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