Railway collective bargaining negotiations in context

by Nick Redekop

It is a distinct possibility that the new contracts will eventually have to be settled through binding arbitration. Photo Credit: iStock.  Canadian National Railway (CN) and Canadian Pacific Kansas City Limited (CPKC) are currently in the process of negotiating new collective bargaining agreements with their employees. While a stoppage has not yet commenced, the workers […]

CRA’s bare trust flip-flop cost nearly $1 billion

by Jay Goldberg

The CRA said it made the decision to delay these new rules because the change had “an unintended impact on Canadians.” Photo Credit: Adobe Stock Images.  The Canada Revenue Agency’s new rules for bare trust reporting cost Canadians more than $900 million, according to a survey of Canadian accounting firms. The irony is that these […]

After a major cold spell affected the capacity of Alberta’s power grid to provide electricity, experts weigh in on the need for multiple sources of energy. Photo Credit: Canadian Energy Centre.    The crucial need for Canada to have a flexible and diverse energy grid was given a practical demonstration this past weekend as frigid […]

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023.   The federal government is proceeding with its plans to cap emissions from the oil and gas industry in a move business leaders say will ultimately hurt Indigenous […]

Ontario – Not Open for Business

by Catherine Swift

Photo Credit: Pexels   When the Ford Conservatives first won government in Ontario in 2018, the mood in the business community was buoyant. After almost 15 years of anti-business Liberal government under Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne, change was desperately needed. Detrimental Liberal policies, including extreme “green energy” laws that greatly increased energy costs, intrusive […]

A Matter of Fact: IEA World Energy Outlook sees long future for oil and gas

by Deborah Jaremko

Oil sands project in northern Alberta. Photo supplied to Canadian Energy Centre The world needs more Canadian energy, not less The Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) has released its latest outlook for global energy supply and demand through 2050.  Oil and gas will continue to be central to energy markets even as the world moves more quickly […]

Oil and gas in our lives: farming

by Cody Ciona

Without oil and gas, Canada would not be the world’s fifth largest exporter of agricultural products. Photo credit: Pexels/Matt Jerome Connor   With fall in full swing, Canada’s farmers are hard at work harvesting the various grains and crops that help keep the country and the world fed.   Diesel and gasoline help power trucks, tractors […]

More Canadian crude than ever is heading overseas, but many of the tankers aren’t leaving from Canada’s shores. Photo credit: Pexels/Jeffry Surianto   Canada’s relationship with the United States as virtually its only customer for oil exports has finally begun to break, according to a leading energy analyst.   More volumes than ever of Canadian oil […]

Does bad luck truly come in threes?

by Josie Sabatino

Liberal government holds their breath as it waits to find out. Pictured: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau answers a question in the House of Commons on Wednesday, September 27, just days after his government honoured a veteran who fought for the Nazis. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick   It’s been a rough couple of weeks […]

International Energy Agency’s updated net zero scenario is still unrealistic

by Deborah Jaremko

Canada can lead the world with reliable, affordable energy supply and clean technology as countries work to reduce emissions. Photo credit: Cenovus    The International Energy Agency (IEA) has updated its net zero scenario, pushing for governments to implement more aggressive climate policies on the energy industry.   The IEA itself acknowledges the scenario is “a pathway, […]

Why Canadian banks should continue to invest in and finance the oil and gas sector

by Gina Pappano

Canadians live the way we do because we have one of the most productive, innovative, and responsible energy industries in the world. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons   “The Canadian banking system is well-known for its strength and stability and the sector is an essential contributor to the country’s economic growth and well-being. Canadians rely on […]

Energy literacy providers push for balanced, sustainable future

by Canadian Energy Centre

 ‘Energy forms and sources are a complex mix, and one doesn’t need to be at the expense of another’. Pictured: This summer Inside Education hosted 24 teachers from eight provinces and territories to explore energy development in Alberta as part of its Energy Futures program. Photo credit: Inside Education via Canadian Energy Centre   Alberta […]

Go woke, go broke

by Catherine Swift

From private companies to public pension funds, countless entities have adopted a woke, ideologically-driven agenda in recent years– with some starting to pay the price. Photo credit: Getty Images/Justin Sullivan   The slogan “Go Woke, Go Broke” has achieved popularity recently as it seems that so many of the companies which have opted to follow […]

Canadians’ midsummer night’s nightmare: part one

by Chris George

Thanks in no small part to the polices of the current government, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, all is not well on Canada’s economic front. Photo credit: PMO/Adam Scotti   Now eight years into his tenure as Prime Minister, it has become abundantly clear that Justin Trudeau’s promise of […]

The ‘fair share’ debate

by Catherine Swift

We consistently hear about how the so-called rich don’t pay enough tax. But is that really true in Canada? And in any instance, does punishing the most productive people in a society really help the overall economy? Photo credit: Getty Images/Gerardo Mora   We’ve been hearing a lot about the mythical “fair share” lately, notably […]

Productivity problems worsen

by Catherine Swift

In the mid-80s, Canada was still quite competitive with most developed countries in terms of productivity, but it has been all downhill since then – with productivity declining significantly after 2015. Photo credit: Flickr/Arild   Canada has had challenges keeping up with other countries in terms of its productivity performance for decades, but recent indicators […]

Taxpayers get shafted with massive auto handouts

by Jay Goldberg

Now that Stellantis and Volkswagen have negotiated a collective $31-billion handout from the feds and Ontario, no doubt other automakers will follow. Photo credit: Bloomberg/Emily Elconin   Thirty-one billion dollars. That’s how much of your money Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford are handing over to two of the world’s largest and most […]

Small business recovery in peril

by Catherine Swift

All indicators point to more tough times ahead for the backbone of Canada’s economy. Photo credit: Pexels/Tim Douglas   Some recent data from various sources indicate that Canada’s small business community has yet to recover from the impact of the pandemic. As this sector represents about half of the economy, this is not a trivial […]

Cash is still king

by Catherine Swift

Though electronic transactions rule the modern marketplace, a recent survey from the Bank of Canada reveals four-in-five Canadians want to retain hard currency as a means of payment. Photo credit: Shutterstock/Stefan Malloch   In our modern technological world of debit cards, electronic financial transactions, and other means of moving money around the globe in split […]

Another sneaky waste of our tax dollars

by Catherine Swift

Granted charitable status and funnelled untold sums from government coffers, not-for-profit organizations promoting social and political causes, particularly the so-called ‘climate crisis’, continue to balloon in size, scope, and number across the country. Photo credit: Pexels/Cottonbro Studio   For some time now, there has been considerable growth in the number of not-for-profit organizations sucking up […]

Small business challenges continue

by Catherine Swift

Recent report indicates small businesses are borrowing more and more taxpayer-backed loans from the government. Photo credit: Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio   Despite some economic indicators that Canada’s economy is not doing too badly considering a general global slowdown, the state of small business does not seem to be very positive. A recent report from the federal […]

At the end of June, it will be a criminal offence for employers to agree with one another to: (a) fix, maintain, decrease, or control wages or other terms of employment; and (b) enter agreements to not solicit or hire each other’s employees. Photo credit: Pexels/Mart Production   On June 23, 2022 significant amendments were […]

Electrification or bust!

by Catherine Swift

Though the business of electrification appears to be booming across Canada, average taxpayers won’t get to share in the economic benefits – in fact, they’re the ones footing the bill. Pictured is Ontario’s Minister of Energy Todd Smith speaking at Electricity Canada’s recent Regulatory Forum. Photo credit: Twitter/Todd Smith   Recent days have seen announcements […]

Education and employment relationship changes

by Catherine Swift

A recent study from the federal government is shedding new light on the decades-long assumption that more education automatically means better job prospects and pay.    For decades, the relationship between a post-secondary degree and ultimate job prospects was very clear. Degree holders were consistently more likely to be employed and earn more than those […]

Thumbs down on ESG

by Catherine Swift

A new study from the Fraser Institute outlines some of the issues with the environment, social and governance (ESG) framework many businesses have adopted (or were forced to adopt) in recent years, including challenges related to standardization and reporting. Photo credit: Forbes/Getty Images   Just as the whole ESG (environment, social and governance) regime is […]

A summer of labour union discontent

by Catherine Swift

The widespread labour unrest is taking different forms around the world, with unions in France, the UK, US, and Canada all flexing their collective muscles at the same time. At home, the current federal government strike is the largest single public sector strike in around two decades. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick   In […]

What does a promotion really change?

by Sheryl Johnson

Over time, contracts entered into at the start of employment may not be worth the paper they are written on – whether due to changes in the law or fundamental expansions of an employee’s duties and responsibilities that trigger established legal doctrines. Photo credit: Pexels/Kampus Production   In response to the question posed by the […]

Photo credit: Bloomberg/Eddie Seal via Getty Images   Spending on oil and gas exploration and production needs to rise dramatically to avoid global supply shortages, says a new report published by commodity and energy market analysts.  Annual investment needs to rise 28 per cent to reach $640 billion by 2030, according to the report by the International […]

The balancing act of Generation Z

by Catherine Swift

Studies and surveys indicate Generation Z values work-life balance more than any other generation to date. Its members, the oldest of whom are now in their mid-20s, are resistant to working long days, do not want to respond to emails on weekends and evenings, and value mental health and time off more than the daily […]

Plastic – it’s fantastic!

by Catherine Swift

Despite certain government actors and activist groups trying to paint the material with a broad brush of all-bad-all-the-time, the benefits of plastic abound. Photo credit: AMAC Technologies   The federal government’s foolish and misinformation-driven war on plastics continues. After implementing a ban on the manufacture and importation of a handful of plastic products such as […]

Too many eggs in the EV basket?

by Catherine Swift

On Monday, the provincial and federal governments announced that Volkswagen picked southwestern Ontario to build its first electric vehicle battery plant in North America. The announcement was met with much fanfare. But is all this money being thrown at EVs a good use of our tax dollars and the focus from governments, or just the […]

Tax revolt time

by Catherine Swift

Canadians get the worst of both worlds – high taxes and poor public services. Perhaps it’s time for a change. Photo credit: Getty Images via Bloomberg   Get out the torches and pitchforks Canadians. A number of recent polls and studies have found that a strong majority of Canadians believe they are overtaxed and not […]

The sustainable jobs nothingburger

by Catherine Swift

For now, the only part of the Liberals’ Sustainable Jobs Plan that could actually be called a plan is the hiring of more government workers. Pictured is Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick   After three years of jabbering on about the so-called “Just Transition”, the federal Liberals recently came […]

The enduring appeal of socialism

by Catherine Swift

A recent multi-national study commissioned by the Fraser Institute revealed, among other findings, that many people – particularly young people – continue to view socialism as the ideal economic system.    Over the decades, different political directions and trends come and go, depending on the conditions at the time and the appeal of various politicians. […]

Uncertainty regarding employer liability for terminations during pandemic continues

by Sheryl Johnson

Photo credit: Getty Images/Runstudio    You may recall from my previous articles, the Ontario Court of Appeal (OCA) in Dawe v The Equitable Life Insurance Company of Canada, 2019 ONCA 512 reaffirmed the leading decision on the issue of notice of Lowndes v Summit Ford Sales Ltd. (2006), 206 O.A.C. 55 (Ont. C.A.) that the determination […]

Tory’s reckless record

by Jay Goldberg

Former mayor of Toronto John Tory’s time in office was marked by a level of financial imprudence that rivals that of even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo credit: CBC/Evan Mitsui   It’s time to dispel a yearslong myth: former mayor John Tory was no friend to Toronto taxpayers. He shouldn’t let the door hit him […]

Hey CEOs, stop ‘just transitioning’ yourselves out of business

by Catherine Swift

The corporate heads who don’t speak up against bad government policies might think they are being constructive by going with the flow, but they don’t do anyone any favours in the long run, including themselves.    The first time I saw a bunch of CEOs from large energy companies lined up behind politicians who were […]

Shameless public sector unions up the ante

by Catherine Swift

Already better compensated and more secure in their respective positions than their private sector counterparts, public sector employees – at least, the unions that represent them – are coming back to the taxpayer trough for yet more feed. Photo credit: PSAC   Recent weeks have seen a veritable frenzy of public sector unions demanding outrageous […]

Fairness needed for Canadian manufacturers

by Catherine Swift

The current federal government in particular does not seem overly concerned about defending Canadian businesses, and is too lenient when enforcing the law against foreign companies. Photo credit: Fiat Chrysler Automotives   Amid the massive increases in taxation and regulatory red tape that has been introduced in recent years by the Trudeau government in the […]

Year in review: top five Canadian privacy law developments

by Sheryl Johnson

In an increasingly data-driven world, it’s more important than ever that Canadian employers stay up-to-date on any and all developments on the privacy law front. Photo credit: Pexels/Ingo Joseph   This past year saw many developments in the area of privacy law that underscored the need of organizations to keep up with a data-driven world. […]

A taxing year ahead

by Catherine Swift

Courtesy of your federal Liberal government. Photo credit: Reuters/Blare Gable   As if all the talk about a looming recession wasn’t enough, we also know that Canadians will be facing a number of tax increases in 2023, courtesy of the federal Liberal government. For starters, both Employment Insurance premiums and Canada Pension Plan premiums will […]

Canada’s trillion-dollar rock

by James Snell

Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) contains some of the world’s largest oil and gas reserves. Two geological formations in the WCSB are driving oil and gas development in Canada today: the McMurray and the Montney. Pictured is the Ante Creek development, located on the Montney. Photo credit: ARC Resources   The Western Canada Sedimentary Basin […]

Ontario leaning on natural gas to keep electricity reliable and affordable

by James Snell

There is no ‘like-for-like’ replacement. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons   Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is recommending the province step-up natural gas use to help avoid an energy shortage.  Ontario will require an additional 4,000 MW of electricity between 2025 and 2027 – the equivalent of adding a city the size of Toronto to […]

Recession for who? Not government employees

by Franco Terrazzano

Bureaucrats didn’t financially suffer during the pandemic. They benefited. Now they want more. And if taxpayers don’t pony up, bureaucrats won’t show up for work.     Different people experience things differently. The pandemic exposed a specific divide. Private-sector workers missed paycheques. Small business owners worried their savings wouldn’t keep the lights on. Meanwhile, federal bureaucrats […]

To grieve or not to grieve?

by Sheryl Johnson

 In choosing arbitration over an OHRT hearing, an employer must consider speed and expense. Photo credit: Pexels/Sora Shimazaki   The standard process in Ontario for well over a decade is for the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (OHRT) to defer human rights applications pending the completion of a labour arbitration for unionized employees. If the substance […]

More imbalanced labour laws are bad news for Canada

by Catherine Swift

The whole notion of collective bargaining is predicated on there being a reasonable balance between the union and the employer. Prohibiting the employer from bringing in other workers to carry on operating severely upsets this balance, leaving far too much power in union hands. Photo credit: CityNews   The federal Liberals just announced they are […]

Holiday parties: making your lists and checking them twice

by Sheryl Johnson

Are you an employer looking to throw a company party this holiday season? Read on. Photo credit: Pexels/Kampus Production   With the opening up of COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings, many workplaces are looking forward to celebrating together the upcoming holiday season and the ability to socially gather like it was 1999. Putting aside caution […]

Employers beware: how a termination is conducted just as important as why

by Sheryl Johnson

Breaching the ESA’s post-termination payment schedule can now lead to moral and punitive damage awards in wrongful dismissal cases, as the recent Pohl v. Hudson’s Bay Company case described below demonstrates.     There are specific rules for the payment of termination and/or severance pay under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 and its regulations (collectively […]

Trudeau’s luxury tax will harm blue-collar workers

by Franco Terrazzano

With its preoccupation with going after the rich, Ottawa is forgetting about the Canadian workers who will get caught in the crossfire.   Hundreds of people who pull wrenches for a living have a unique point of view on Ottawa’s new luxury tax. Most of us might not be too bothered by a tax on […]

The kids aren’t alright

by Catherine Swift

A recent study showed that Canada’s under-30 crowd is generally pessimistic about the future, especially in regard to employment, income, and the possibility of home ownership. Photo credit: Pexels/Liza Summer   Some very interesting research was published by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute (MLI) recently regarding the state of mind of young Canadians and their expectations regarding […]

Volunteer or employee? Employers beware of volunteer misclassifications

by Sheryl Johnson

The Ontario Superior Court recently ordered Toronto-based student travel firm S-Trip to pay a group of former staff $450,000 after misclassifying the workers as ‘volunteers’, when in reality they should have been categorized and compensated as ‘employees’. Photo credit: Twitter/S-Trip   Are you part of an organization that relies on volunteers? Many not-for-profit corporations such […]

The state of the unions

by Catherine Swift

At right around 31 per cent, Canada has one of the world’s highest unionization rates. However, not all Canadian sectors are created equal, with a stark contrast in rates between the private versus public sectors. Photo credit: Toronto Star/Bernard Weil   In honour of Labour Day, it’s worth having a look at what Canadian labour […]

‘Quiet quitting’ – it’s a thing

by Catherine Swift

Though hardly a new concept, the pandemic has revitalized and made more acceptable the notion of putting in the bare minimum while on the clock.     There has been quite a bit of discussion in the media and workplaces of late about a supposedly new trend that is being called “quiet quitting”. This refers to […]

Small business pandemic carnage

by Catherine Swift

The true extent of the economic damage inflicted by the pandemic and its associated government policies on Canada’s mom-and-pop shops will take years to be fully realized and revealed. However, for preliminary illustration, a recent survey found that 17 per cent of small businesses across the country were preparing to close permanently because of inordinately […]

Employers must not solely rely on the self-interested decision making of their insurance companies when making very important employment decisions. One such decision is when the employment contract is “frustrated”.    After a five-week trial in the Ontario Superior Court case of Baker v. Blue Cross, on Jun. 24, 2022 a Toronto jury granted the […]

Will the detonator be set?

by Sheryl Johnson

 If and when the deemed IDEL ends it will be a game changer for employers, employees, and the courts in Ontario, as the detonator will be set for both parties to assess the viability of their ongoing employment relationship. Photo credit: Pexels/Sora Shimazaki   As you may recall from my earlier articles, there is paid […]

Five reasons President Biden should ask Canada, not Saudi Arabia, for more oil

by Deborah Jaremko

 The U.S. and Canada should work together to build new oil pipelines to strengthen North American energy security. Photo credit: Reuters via BBC   There’s an important message for U.S. President Joe Biden as he heads to Saudi Arabia this week to ask for OPEC to increase oil production: he should be asking Canada instead.   […]

A sign of the times?

by Sheryl Johnson

Two recent divergent decisions regarding Alectra Utilities’ and FCA Canada’s ability to uphold mandatory vaccination policies in the workplace underscore the need for organizations in Ontario to re-examine and, if necessary, update their respective policies. Photo credit: Twitter/Alectra Utilities    Labour arbitrators remain the frontline decision-makers regarding workplaces and how they balance the needs of […]

Brace yourself for more inflation

by Catherine Swift

As a new round of union negotiations gets underway, expect any resultant public sector pay raises to increase everyday costs for the 80 per cent of Canadians who do not work for the government. Pictured: Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) members rally for “fair wages” in Ottawa, June 8, 2022. Photo credit: Facebook/PSAC   […]

High and hidden taxes driving up the pump price

by Franco Terrazzano

Photo credit: Pexels/Engin Akyurt   As far as Canadian politicians are concerned, the soaring cost of living is like winter slush, summer mosquitos and other unfortunate forces of nature. They would love to help, but what can they do? Here’s an idea: our politicians just need to follow the lead of other countries and cut […]

To be or not to be a case of constructive dismissal: that remains the question

by Sheryl Johnson

A recent Court of Appeal case involving a laid off Tim Hortons assistant manager failed to shed new light on whether pandemic-related layoffs or IDEL constitute constructive dismissal at common law.    In Ontario employers and their counsel have been waiting for a decision from the Courts to provide guidance and some certainty on whether […]

Establishing a framework for similar scenarios in the future, the Ontario Superior Court recently dismissed a judicial review application challenging the implementation of McMaster University’s mandatory vaccination policy. Photo credit: McMaster University    Recently in Michalski v. McMaster University the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed a challenge to the Hamilton university’s mandatory vaccination policy by […]

Turning the other cheek

by Sheryl Johnson

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal workplace misconduct case involving a tap/slap on the buttocks of a female employee by a male manager yields interesting result, sets new precedent.    Render v. ThyssenKrupp Elevator (Canada) Limited (2022 ONCA 310) is a recent Ontario Court of Appeal (“OCA”) that has set a new and surprising precedent. […]

Important legislative updates for employers

by Sheryl Johnson

 The recent passing of the Working for Workers Act, 2022 and Pandemic and Emergency Preparedness Act, 2022 means certain Ontario employers will have to add and implement various changes in the coming months. Photo credit: Pexels/Cottonbro   Working for Workers Act, 2022 First and further to my previous article last month, on April 7, 2022 […]

On Mar. 22, 2022, an Ontario arbitrator upheld the Toronto District School Board’s mandatory vaccination policy, maintaining it did not infringe section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn   The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and CUPE, Local 4400 case is the first arbitration award in Ontario […]

The Now Hiring Hamilton project commenced research in June 2021 as a collaboration between the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Mohawk College, Workforce Planning Hamilton, and the city’s economic development department. Photo credit: Tourism Hamilton   Canada is facing a significant labour shortage across several sectors.  Per data collected by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business […]

One change involves disclosure requirements around electronic monitoring of employees. Photo credit: Pexels/Thirdman As I have previously noted, the pandemic has had a significant impact on how and where we work.   Prior to the pandemic remote work was the exception, not the rule.   Following employers and employees needing to pivot to remote work during the […]

Inflation hits 31-year high, as gas and grocery prices continue rapid ascent

by Nicholas Tibollo

February marked the second month in a row in which headline inflation topped 5 per cent. Gas was up 32.3 per cent year over year, while groceries were up 7.4 per cent. Photo credit: Pexels/Artem Beliaikin   On Wednesday, Statistics Canada confirmed what many struggling Canadians already knew: everyday life is getting more and more […]

Amongst several other changes, Bill 88 would guarantee “gig workers” – such as Uber drivers and DoorDash delivery people – a minimum wage, tip protection, and dispute resolution rights. Photo credit: Pexels/Norma Mortensen On the heels of the passage of the Working for Workers Act, 2021, Ontario introduced Bill 88, Working for Workers Act, 2022 on February 28, 2022, […]

Canadians experience ‘historic year’ of financial losses due to fraud

by Nicholas Tibollo

Based on reports to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, $379 million was lost to scams and fraud in 2021. Photo credit: Poike/iStock   For nearly two decades now, relevant industry partners, government agencies, and law enforcement in Canada have observed March as ‘Fraud Prevention Month’. This year’s campaign to help individuals and businesses recognize and avoid fraud in all […]

Photo credit: Radio-Canada/Ivanoh Demers   Though the Ontario government ended patron volume restrictions for all remaining indoor public settings on Monday, some establishments will continue to operate at reduced capacity for the foreseeable future.  For many businesses, however, the choice to continue limiting operations is not necessarily out of an abundance of caution. Rather, it’s […]

Ford’s removal of licence fees earns praise from taxpayer advocacy group

by Nicholas Tibollo

Photo credit: Global News    On Tuesday, the provincial government announced that effective Mar. 13, 2022, Ontario would be eliminating licence plate renewal fees and the requirement to have a licence plate sticker for passenger vehicles, light-duty trucks, motorcycles, and mopeds.  Premier Doug Ford said elimination of the fees “is a concrete way we can […]

What employers can expect when most of Ontario’s restrictions are lifted next week

by Sheryl Johnson

Photo credit: Government of Ontario What has changed? On Valentine’s Day 2022 many retailers, restauranteurs, and employers in the hospitality and tourism sectors hearts fluttered when the government of Ontario shared the decision to lift the following two public health measures if public health and health system indicators continue to improve effective March 1, 2022: […]

The changing business of the Olympics

by Karin Schnarr

Declining viewership – and tricky politics – means less value for sponsors. Photo credit: Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins   So full disclosure: I haven’t actually watched a single minute of coverage of the current 2022 Olympic winter games that are currently taking place right now in Beijing, China – half a world away for most of […]

Industry leaders join forces to help make nuclear fusion a reality in Ontario

by Nicholas Tibollo

Photo credit: General Fusion/Bruce Power   Last week, Bruce Power, General Fusion, and the Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) announced that the trio have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on accelerating the delivery of fusion power in Canada.  Together, the organizations will evaluate potential deployment of a fusion power plant in Ontario, […]

When it comes to non-competes, in with the new does not mean out with the old

by Sheryl Johnson

Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton. Minister McNaughton introduced the Working for Workers Act, 2021 at the end of last year. The act, amongst other legislative changes, banned the use of non-compete agreements. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn   With the passing of Ontario’s Working for Workers Act, 2021 (“WWA”) on Dec. […]

One year later, Keystone XL cancellation represents a massive missed opportunity

by Deborah Jaremko

The U.S. needs reliable energy partners. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Alex Panetta   It’s been one year since President Joe Biden cancelled approval for the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, and the United States’ thirst for oil is as strong as ever and rising.  U.S. oil imports from Saudi Arabia and Russia have increased, and gasoline prices are higher than they have been […]

Pandemic pay hikes show a tale of two Ontarios

by Jay Goldberg

Bureaucrats are getting raises, while average Ontarians are undergoing endless pay cuts and closures. Photo credit: Associated Press/Wilfredo Lee   Ontario has been experiencing a tale of two pandemics. One is a fairy tale for bureaucrats and the other is a grim story for the rest of us. Bureaucrats working for the province and its […]

Practically speaking: COVID-19 mandatory vaccination policies

by Sheryl Johnson

Port of Hamilton, where vegetable oil refiner Bunge manufactures and ships its product. An arbitrator recently upheld the company’s workplace vaccination policy that does not allow alternatives to inoculation, such as frequent testing. Photo credit: HOPA Ports   As we get reset to re-open under the Ontario government’s three-phased reopening plan commencing Jan. 31, 2022, […]

 Premier Doug Ford and Minister Steve Clark met with municipal leaders from across Ontario on Wednesday to address the housing crisis and discuss ways in which the province can increase supply.     Housing supply in Canada is at an all-time low. Per the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), prospective buyers across the country are facing […]

Caution: employers need to avoid COVID-19 fatigue too

by Sheryl Johnson

Photo credit: Calm for Business   Given that we are in the fourth wave of the pandemic, greater expectations will be placed on employers to get their responses to the pandemic right.   Meaning, employers are expected to be more than well familiar with and used to the occupational health and safety, and as applicable, public […]

At Toyota, be prepared to pay to start your car

by Karin Schnarr

Photo credit: Bloomberg/George Frey   There has been a lot of attention in the press about the current and future increases to consumer prices across the globe. A recent survey by Ipsos of 20,000 people in 30 countries found that two-thirds of respondents were feeling the pressure of rising inflation and almost half also noted […]

Ontario readies for first new nuclear build in nearly three decades

by Nicholas Tibollo

Artist rendering of the planned Darlington small modular nuclear reactor. Construction on the project could begin later this year and be completed by as early as 2028. Photo credit: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy   If you’re an Ontario resident, there is a two in three chance that the electricity used to charge the phone or […]

One of the measures includes the closure of schools. Photo credit: CTV News Toronto   So far in 2022 there are a number of COVID-19 response measures employers, businesses, and organizations alike in Ontario need to be aware of as we move forward.   Current Phase of Our Roadmap to Reopening Effective Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022 […]

Business community rips into Ford government for latest round of restrictions

by Nicholas Tibollo

Ontario residents are no longer permitted to dine inside restaurants. Photo credit: Getty Images/CourtneyK   On Monday, the provincial government announced a return to a modified ‘Step Two’ of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopening.  The shift includes limiting retail capacity to 50 per cent, closing gyms, banning indoor dining at restaurants, and shutting down a variety […]

Report by taxpayers’ advocacy group reviews tax changes for 2022

by The Hamilton Independent

Photo credit: Pexels/Mikhail Nilov   The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) released its annual New Year’s Tax Changes report on Monday. The report highlights the major tax changes set to come into force in 2022. “If you’re making more than $40,000, you’ll see your federal income tax bill go up thanks to rising payroll taxes,” said Franco Terrazzano, […]

Major discussions and developments in Ontario employment law in 2021: year in review

by Sheryl Johnson

The institution of mandatory vaccination policies in the workplace was perhaps the most talked about development in Ontario employment law this year. Photo credit: Canadian Lawyer Magazine   The first three areas of employment law examined below have been much discussed throughout 2021; the last two areas involve new developments – the first on a […]

The mythical construction industry ‘open period’

by Sheryl Johnson

Just longer than the cycle for a lunar eclipse, the construction industry’s “open period” occurs under the Ontario Labour Relations Act (the “Act”) every three years for two months. Given that the majority of collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”) in the construction industry expire on April 30, 2022, the upcoming “open period” will be from March […]

Don’t be deceived about the extreme elements of Canada’s ‘Just Transition’

by Lennie Kaplan and Ven Venkatachalam

Oil and gas supports jobs and economic growth across many industries and in all provinces and territories. Photo credit: Imperial Oil   There has been lots of talk about Canada’s so-called “Just Transition,” but so far little comprehensive analysis of its impact on the national economy and workforce. One of the most controversial elements of […]


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