Movement of Soil Not Development

Posted by Johannes Schenk on May 31st, 2006 — Posted in Municipal Law

The BC Court of Apeal has affirmed a judgement finding that moving soil to a location behind a retaining wall was not a “development” for the purpose of s. 559 of the Vancouver Charter and Development By-law No. 3575 and thus does not require a building permit. See the case of R. v. Reid 2006 BCCA 251.

Workplace Gambling

Posted by Johannes Schenk on May 29th, 2006 — Posted in Employment Law, Human Rights Law, Labour Law

Substance abuse in the workplace is one of the obvious “frontline” workplace issues. The response to this problem has matured and continues to evolve. The judiciary, employers, EAP providers, unions and employees all have a high awareness of the treatment, costs and accomodations associated with substance abuse disorders.

What about other behavioral/mental health issues? How about gambling behaviors in the workplace? Take a look at this CNN article about the office gambling pool. Another one of those internet fuelled human resources issues.

It’s happenning. Question is are you aware that it’s happenning and do you have a plan to deal with it?

Municipal Limitation Periods

Posted by Johannes Schenk on May 25th, 2006 — Posted in Municipal Law

Most municipal legislative schemes give municipalities a break on limitation periods. Mostly for good reason. Municipalities are big creatures and undertake activity in a wide variety of areas. Actions hiding under the carpet for several years or more would make the municipality a sitting target and your tax dollars go up.

You should be aware that in British Columbia you must:

1. Notify a municipality of the incident that has caused you a problem within two months of the date that the incident occurred; and

2. Begin your law suit against a municipality within six months of the date of the incident that occurred.

There are some exception to these rules but the arguments are technical and a challenge even for skilled counsel. They also only apply to specific fact patterns.

Two months notice, six months action. Easy to remember and easy to apply.

Arbitration Board Impartiality

Posted by Johannes Schenk on May 23rd, 2006 — Posted in Labour Law

Labour arbitrations are frequently heard by a panel consiting of a neutral chair, and a nominee each for the employer and the union. So, just how partial does the nominee get to be? Or put another way, how impartial does the nominee have to be? This issue is examined in Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 408 v. Chinook Health Region, 2006 ABQB 316. The case gives a good summary of decisions on nominee impartiality and holds that under Alberta legislation nominee independence is no longer a key issue to be considered. The suitability of a nominee is now considered on the basis of the nominee being, “directly affected by the difference or having been involved in an attempt to negotiate or settle the difference.”

Significant Federal Cases

Posted by Johannes Schenk on May 21st, 2006 — Posted in Employment Law, Human Rights Law, Labour Law

This site speaks for itself. Interesting coverage of cases from the US Federal Office of Personnel Management.