The Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal in two
decisions this week of interest to Canadian businesses and
Attorney General of Canada v. Federation of Law Societies of
Canada is an appeal from the BC Court of Appeal's decision upholding the trial
court's decision which declared provisions of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist
Financing Act, S.C. 2000, c. 17 and accompanying Regulation SOR/202-184 unconstitutional
and of no force and effect to the extent that the impugned phrase
"persons and entities" includes legal counsel and law
firms. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether it is
constitutionally permissible to impose obligations of the Act and
Regulations on Canadian lawyers, notaries and law firms and whether
independence of the Bar is a principle of fundamental justice under
s. 7 of the Charter (and if so, the scope of the
The Supreme Court also granted leave to appeal in David M.
Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission, a complex
employment law matter. The Applicant was appointed as the Executive
Director of New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission by the
Lieutenant-Governor in Council of New Brunswick. He was ultimately
suspended with pay for an indefinite period by the Board of the
Commission. The Applicant sued, claiming
constructive dismissal; the Commission took the position that
by commencing the claim, the Applicant had effectively resigned his
position and therefore stopped his salary and benefits.
The trial judge held that the suspension did not constitute
constructive dismissal and that the commencement of litigation in
the absence of constructive dismissal constituted repudiation of
the employment contract. The New Brunswick Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. The Supreme Court will
hear arguments with respect to both these issues, and
whether the power to suspend a statutory public office holder
granted to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council can be
exercised by another statutory body.
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In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
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