The recent Ontario family law case Senos v Karcz, 2014 ONCA 459 answered this question. Well, almost! The Court of Appeal held that receipt of Ontario Disability Support Program payments (ODSP) can, and in this case did, make the presumptive table amount under the Child Support Guidelines inappropriate. However, it did not go further and make a determination regarding what amount would be appropriate.
Estate planning often goes hand in hand with making funeral arrangements. As a result, people often ask to include a provision in their Will directing how they would like their body to be laid to rest. An important and often misunderstood reality is that your estate trustee (also known as your executor or executrix) will have the authority to determine what is to be done with your body after your death. He or she is not legally required to follow the funeral or burial instructions found in your Will or the wishes of your family. (This is yet another reason why it is important to choose one or more individuals you trust as your estate trustee(s).)
When considering how you would like your body handled after your death, you may wish to include a specific direction that your body be donated to a teaching facility - generally, a medical school - upon your death, in hopes that it will be used to educate future medical professionals. Before doing so, there are a few things you should know.
When acting for a purchaser of a house, a lawyer must keep in mind the need for investigating title to properties adjacent to the property being purchased. There are two main reasons for this: 1) Planning Act (Ontario) compliance; and 2) easements.
With the abolition of a mandatory retirement age in Ontario, many practitioners have queried whether this would result in notice periods being lengthened in wrongful dismissal situations involving employees over the traditional retirement age of 65.
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice dealt with the question of the disclosure of marriage counselling records in the recent case Raso v Di Egidio.
The parties in this case were dealing with issues regarding custody, access, child support and property. The matter had been set down for a five-day trial. Three weeks prior to trial, the wife brought a motion before the courts to compel production of notes and records made by the couple's psychologist during their past marriage counselling sessions. The wife claimed that the husband had made comments and exhibited behavior during counselling sessions which suggested that the couple would not be able to share joint custody effectively. The husband opposed the disclosure of the notes.
In Webasto Product North America Inc. v. Shasta Equities Ltd. and Lorne Shandro, the court dealt with an issue of litigation privilege over disputed documents regarding a boat that was damaged by fire. The respondents, Shasta and Shandro, claimed litigation privilege over the disputed documents. The appellant, Webasto, filed a motion requesting production of all of the disputed documents.
As part of their claims in litigation parties may seek punitive damages for large amounts. In many cases, these damage claims represent a mere strategy of brinkmanship and are not seriously pursued.
In the estates context on present practice in Ontario, it is rare that punitive damages are even sought. I also cannot recall in recent memory a reported case in which they have been awarded. But I posit that things could change.
Deciding whether you need to have a properly drafted Will requires you to first understand what happens if you don't have one. An individual who dies without a valid Will dies intestate. The Succession Law Reform Act (the "SLRA") is the law in Ontario which dictates who is to receive the assets (including money, real estate and other property) of an individual who dies without a valid Will. Before such distributions are made, the deceased's debts must be paid from the assets of the estate.
A recent Federal Court of Appeal case, Canada (Attorney General) v Johnstone, sheds some light on an employer's duty to accommodate an employee's childcare needs.
Fiona Johnstone was employed by the Canada Border Services Agency ("CBSA") since 1998, where her husband was also employed. When Ms. Johnstone returned to work at Toronto's Pearson Airport following maternity leave she requested changes to her schedule, as she and her husband were on rotating work schedules and had trouble meeting their childcare needs.
The recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Boucher v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp. reinforces the need for employers to investigate workplace misconduct complaints seriously. Paying mere lip-service to harassment policies can result in awards of aggravated damages, punitive damages and/or damages for mental distress.