The impact of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act 2017 (known as 'Bill 148') has been overshadowed, to some extent, by the controversy surrounding the sweeping changes to the Employment Standards Act 2000, including the changes to the minimum wage. However, the bill has also made significant changes to the Labour Relations Act 1995.
The Federal Court of Appeal recently issued public reasons for its decision dismissing Teva's appeal relating to the damages and costs that the Federal Court had awarded against it for its infringement of Janssen's patent for levofloxacin (Levaquin). The Federal Court had awarded close to C$19 million in damages and pre-judgment interest to the plaintiffs and subsequently granted C$1 million in costs.
The court in a recent wrongful dismissal case dismissed the plaintiff's allegation that he had been dismissed after making suggestions about improvements to the employer's safety systems. The court found that the plaintiff's theories were unsupported by the evidence and insufficient to justify an award of aggravated or punitive damages. It therefore held that the employer's conduct was not malicious and high handed so as to warrant additional damages and dismissed that aspect of the plaintiff's claim.
The federal government is moving quickly towards legalising the possession and consumption of cannabis for recreational purposes. However, Canada's cannabis industry is already 'overgrown' with both licensed and unlicensed producers, all vying for consumers' attention. Brand owners, start-ups and so-called 'ganjapreneurs' in Canada's cannabis industry face a number of unique challenges and should strategise accordingly – ideally before launching a cannabis brand in Canada.
Although the new trademark law was finalised in 2014, it has yet to come into force. Before it can be implemented, the government must finalise new trademarks regulations and the Trademarks Office's IT system must be modified to accommodate the changes to the law. Once implemented, the changes will be the most significant in 50 years – both procedurally and substantively.
The British Columbia Property Transfer Tax Act applies only to registered transfers of real property. However, significant real property-related tax changes are rumoured to be proposed in the upcoming provincial budget. Any amendment to the act that would tax transfers of beneficial ownership should not be made haphazardly. Such an amendment must be joined by, among other things, a mechanism to relieve the tax where the beneficial ownership is transferred to an affiliate.
Health Canada previously announced January 1 2018 as the proposed date for mandatory filing of specified regulatory activity. As such, all new drug submission, supplementary new drug submission, abbreviated new drug submission and supplemental abbreviated new drug submission regulatory activities for human drugs – as well as additional information and subsequent regulatory activities and transactions – must be filed in Electronic Common Technical Document format as of this date.
One of the government's primary goals when enacting the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act 2017 (known as 'Bill 148') was to provide additional protections for vulnerable employees, including individuals employed by temporary help agencies. As such, the changes will have a significant effect on both temporary help agencies and the companies that use their services.
Health Canada and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada recently opened their consultation on different approaches to the naming of biologic drugs, including biosimilars. The consultation aims to gain insight into stakeholder views on the practical impacts of different approaches to the naming of biologic drugs and biosimilars throughout the medication use process, including prescribing, dispensing and adverse drug reaction reporting.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal has upheld the firing of a unionised millwright who was caught with a small amount of marijuana in his pocket before boarding a helicopter that would transport him to an offshore platform. The labour arbitrator found that the employee likely knew that he possessed the marijuana, but had forgotten about it and not checked his pockets carefully. Although the Newfoundland Supreme Court set the arbitrator's decision aside, the appeals court restored it.
At a basic level, cryptocurrencies constitute property under the Income Tax Act. As such, dispositions of cryptocurrencies ordinarily lead to income tax consequences. Although cryptocurrencies are an exciting development, along with the rewards come a variety of risks, not least of which is tax. Failure to comply with all applicable tax obligations can result in severe penalties and hefty arrears interest.
The Ontario Court of Appeal recently overturned a Superior Court decision and ruled that a purchaser's employment offer, in and of itself, constitutes sufficient consideration to establish a valid employment contract. Further, asset purchasers are neither bound by the terms of the seller's employment agreements nor required to offer the seller's employees contracts on terms identical to their original agreements.
Health Canada recently announced a guidance document clarifying the requirements for drug submissions and applications to be processed under the administrative pathway. The administrative pathway will be available, with some restrictions, for manufacturer and product name change applications, additional product name applications and licensing agreements between two manufacturers. The guidance will be effective from March 1 2018.
Health Canada recently published a notice soliciting comments and recommendations from stakeholders regarding potential changes to its guidance document on the use of a foreign-sourced reference product as a Canadian reference product. Stakeholder feedback should be submitted to Health Canada by March 18 2018, preferably in electronic form.
Most employers have a procedure for investigating accidents in the workplace. However, less likely to be investigated are near misses that may have gone unreported because of the workplace culture or because they were not viewed as important. While it may seem that investigating a near miss is not worth the time and energy, in the long run, it is likely to uncover unknown hazards or conditions which may result in a serious injury or fatality.
The Federal Court recently dismissed a Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations application concerning Apotex's generic aripiprazole product on a summary basis under Section 6(5)(b) of the regulations. An appeal was subsequently filed. On December 15 2017 the Federal Court of Appeal granted a motion by the appellants to stay the dismissal order until the appeal could be heard. The appeal was recently allowed on the parties' consent.
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently held that Apotex was entitled to damages for losses resulting from delays in the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of two of its products, which had been caused by contractual breaches and negligence on the part of MDS Pharma Services. Due to MDS's failure to comply with the US regulatory framework for conducting bioequivalence studies, Apotex had been unable to rely on the MDS studies and was forced to repeat them, thus delaying US market entry.
The Ontario Court of Appeal recently upheld the criminal negligence conviction and jail term imposed on a project manager for Metron Construction. The charges arose from an incident in which four workers fell to their death and a fifth sustained permanent injuries after a swing stage collapsed. This case has sent a message to employers and supervisors that criminal negligence charges – in addition to Occupational Health and Safety Act charges – are a real possibility after serious workplace accidents.
The latest chapter in the story of the 'half-loaf' plan was recently penned by the Federal Court of Appeal. The case concerned a plan by which the taxpayer intended to split the capital gains on a share sale to an arm's-length purchaser between him and his wife and thus benefit from both of their lifetime capital gains exemptions. On appeal, the taxpayer argued that none of the conditions of the general anti-avoidance rule had been met; however, the Federal Court of Appeal disagreed.
Due to an unexpected thunderstorm, some passengers on two Air Transat flights were stranded on the tarmac in the aircraft that they had boarded in Europe for almost five and six hours, respectively. The Canadian Transportation Agency decided to investigate, which is noteworthy as there is little or no precedent for this sort of situation being the subject of an investigation or order by the agency.