January 12, 2009

January 12, 2009


Jeffrey Sack Named Outstanding Practitioner of the Year

Jeffrey Sack, of the law firm Sack Goldblatt Mitchell, has been named Outstanding Practitioner of the Year by the Labour and Employment Relations Association. LERA is the major association in the U.S. of academics and practitioners in the field of labour and employment relations. The award, which was conferred for the first time on a Canadian, was presented on January 4, 2009 at LERA's Annual Conference in San Francisco. The program, which included numerous papers, as well as addresses by George Shultz, Secretary of State in the Reagan Administration, and Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, is available on the LERA website.

SGM in the News, December 16, 2008


2008 CLawBies - Canadian Law Blog Awards

This is the third year for the CLawbies, which recognize the best Canadian law blog content for the year. Doorey’s Workplace Law Blog has won two awards - Best New Law Blog Award and has tied with The Court for the Law Professor Blog Award – Congratulations to David Doorey! Here is a quote from the CLawbies website on just how valuable these sites are for students, academics and practitioners:

“Perhaps it’s a testament to the value of blogging at Osgoode Hall, but both Doorey’s Workplace Law Blog and The Courtwere big vote getters in our new nomination process. A number of law librarians also commented that these blogs offered content that was worthy of forwarding to practitioners. Case law reviews and commentary may not be glitzy, but if blogging is to hold any kind of stature within academia, these two entries look like they might lead the way.”

Doorey’s Workplace Law Blog

The Court


Access to Legal Research

The Cornell Law Library has set up a unique search engine that allows you to search individually for legal research guides, the legal internet or academic blawgs, or all three areas at once. This information comes from Stuart Basefsky, Director, IWS News Bureau, Institute for Workplace Studies, Cornell/ILR School in New York.

Cornell Law Library Legal Research Engine Home


Priorities for the 2009 Federal Budget

C.D. Howe has released an e-briefing titled, Lasting Bang for the Stimulus Buck: Priorities for the 2009 Federal Budget. According to the report Canada’s 2009 federal budget could accommodate $26 billion in initiatives, over four years, to promote recovery while keeping longer-term fiscal and economic goals in sight.

E-Briefing, January 8, 2009 (7 pages, PDF)


Low Income in Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has released the report, Low Income in Canada: 2000-2006 Using the Market Basket Measure. The Market Basket Measure is a low-income measure based on a specified basket of goods and services. The first report presenting statistics based on this measure was released in May 2003 using data collected since 2000. Section II of this report provides a brief discussion of low-income measures in Canada and internationally; Section IV provides an overview of the incidence, depth, and persistence of low income in Canada for the period 2000 to 2006. The remainder of the report focuses on working-age Canadians and their children.

Report, released January 2, 2009 (95 pages, PDF)

Report (html)


Get Real! – It’s the Economy

The Canadian Labour Congress is promoting a detailed plan to stimulate the economy, to create and protect jobs, pensions and public services. The plan is called, "Get Real! It's the Economy - make it work for us".

Get Real! It's the Economy - make it work for us webpage

Labour’s Plan to Deal with the Economic Crisis, January 2, 2009 (16 pages, PDF)


Labour Shortages in the Coming Decades

The Atlantic Institute for Market Studies has released a report titled, The Developing Workforce Problem: Confronting Canadian Labour Shortages in the Coming Decades. According to the authors the current economic downturn does not solve the problem of Canada’s pending labour shortage.

Report, January 2009 (29 pages, PDF)

Media Release


Labour Force Survey

A recent article in the Globe and Mail talks about the "margin of error" in Statistics Canada’s monthly Labour Force Survey. The latest release from the Labour Force Survey is also available.

Globe and Mail, January 9, 2008: Extremely influential, notoriously unreliable [re Statistics Canada's monthly Labour Force Survey]

Labour Force Survey, Statistics Canada (December 2008) released January 9, 2009 (7 pages, PDF) OR (HTML)


Involuntary Part-time Work on the Rise in the United States

The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics publication, Issues in Labor Statistics, has found that the recent rise in involuntary part-time employment was due to increase in the number of workers whose hours have been reduced because of slack work. Reductions occurred mostly among workers aged 25 years and older. The downturn in the housing market, food services, and retail trade also contributed to the increase in involuntary part-time employment.

Issues in Labor Statistics, December 8, 2008


Advancing Sexual Orientation Equality Rights in Canada

The Canadian Human rights Commission has released a research paper titled, Human Rights Commissions and Public Policy: The Role of the Canadian Human Rights Commission in Advancing Sexual Orientation Equality Rights in Canada. The paper focuses on the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s role in stimulating and facilitating policy change in the area of equality rights and provides an overview of the evolution of sexual orientation equality rights in Canada.

Research Paper, January 7, 2009 (41 pages, PDF) or in (HTML)


Online Social Networking, Privacy and the World of Work

A study from Ryerson University titled, The Next Digital Divide: Online Social Network Privacy, looks at potential and actual privacy problems in the workplace because most “organizations do not have policies, practices or guidelines in place that explicitly govern the use of online social networks by their employees, or by the organizations themselves for marketing and for human resources purposes.”

Report, March 2008 (94 pages, PDF)


Best Employers in Canada, 2009

“This is the 10th anniversary of the Best Employers in Canada study. This year the list of the Best Employers in Canada includes 25 organizations from Ontario, eight from British Columbia, eight from Quebec, five from Alberta, three from Saskatchewan, and one from Manitoba. Ten organizations have never appeared on the Best Employers in Canada list before.” The Report on Business magazine article profiles five companies that have been on the list for at least five years in a row.

Best Employers Study Canada website (with list of winners)

Report on Business Magazine 50 Best Employers in Canada, December 16, 2008


Legislative Changes proposed for Canadian Private Pension Plans

The Department of Finance Canada has released a consultation paper titled, Strengthening the Legislative and Regulatory Framework for Private Pension Plans Subject to the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985. The objective of the paper is to seek views on the most appropriate means of enhancing the legislative and regulatory framework for registered pension plans subject to the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985. It covers defined benefit and defined contribution plans, multi-employer pension plans and other elements of the pension framework. The paper is also seeking the views of Canadians on the investment regulations applying to pension plans governed by the Act.

Consultation Paper, January 9, 2009 (23 pages, PDF)

Consultation Documents website (html)


Wal-Mart Case Reaches the Supreme Court of Canada

“Wal-Mart’s international battle against unions has reached the SCC. In these two hearings, (scheduled for January 21, 2009) the complainants are former employees of the Wal-Mart in Jonquière, Québec. After a union was certified for the store in September 2004, the Minister of Labour referred a dispute between Wal-Mart and the union’s collective agreement to arbitration on February 9, 2005. That day Wal-Mart decided to close the store and later terminated the employment of all 190 employees.

The complainants argue they lost their employment due to their involvement in a union, which is prohibited under s. 15 of the Labour Code. Wal-Mart claims the employees were terminated due to the permanent closure of the store a “good and sufficient reason.”” [Above text quoted from The Court website - see link below]

“Johanne Desbiens, Ingrid Ratté and Claudine Beaumont v. Wal‑Mart Canada Corporation (Qc) (Civile) (Autorisation) (32527) 2009‑01‑21; Gaétan Plourde v. Wal‑Mart Canada Corporation (Qc) (Civile) (Autorisation) (32342) 2009‑01‑21”

The Court, Megacities, Wal-Mart and the GST - A Sample of the SCC’s January Dozen


Book of the Week will return next week!


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Editor: Vicki Skelton
Designer: Nick Strupat

Copyright © 2008 Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, University of Toronto. All rights reserved.

Date posted: 
Monday, January 12, 2009