LSO, Employment Insurance Commission and MPAC

Law Society of Ontario v. Bogue, 2019 ONLSTA 19

This is an appeal from an interlocutory suspension and five related interlocutory orders. The LSO suspended the lawyer’s license after the LSO held, “That there is evidence … to suggest that Mr. Bogue is using litigation techniques that could harm the administration of justice and cause cost and delay to his clients and others.” (Source.) Mr. Bogue requested relief from the transcript requirements and several orders requesting the LSO pay for certain transcripts from other related hearings and an order that someone other than the chair select the appeal panel, among other things. Mr. Bogue made other arguments relating to jurisdiction and in sum, argued that the LSO has no jurisdiction to “regulate his conduct as an Indigenous lawyer.” The tribunal who determined Mr. Bogue’s interlocutory suspension held that the evidence “raised very serious concerns that he lacks competence and/or the capacity to practice law.” Relying on these holdings, Mr. Bogue requested that the LSO pay for the transcripts, which was denied. Motion dismissed.

L. N. v Canada Employment Insurance Commission, 2018 SST 1066

This is an appeal from the Employment Insurance Commission. The appellant stopped working for medical reasons in July 2017. The appellant claimed she was covered by a sickness indemnity plan with her employer. The appellant received $350 under her collective agreement for the first seven days to compensate for the EI’s benefit program one-week waiting period under this plan. The Commission determined that the amount paid to the appellant was earnings as defined in the Employment Insurance Act. The appellant argues the $350 constituted an advance from the employer which she repaid and that it must be considered a loan. The appellant repaid the employer because the employer paid the appellant directly as opposed to the insurer. If the employer sent money to the insurer, the appellant would effectively receive double-payment and hence, the appellant repaid the employer. The advance the employer paid was replaced by the insurer’s coverage, which constituted earnings. The tribunal held that employment insurance regulations clearly state that group wage-loss indemnity plans are earnings and confirmed short-term benefits under group insurance are considered income. The commission allocated the earnings correctly.

Morellato v Municipal Property Assessment Corporation, Region No. 32, 2019 CanLII 89274 (ON ARB)

Appellants seek to obtain costs in respect of the original decision, an appeal from an annual assessment in land owned by the appellants. The appellants argue that MPAC engaged in frivolous, vexatious and unreasonable conduct, and also acted in bad faith in its dealings with the appellants. MPAC disagrees and says all actions were carried out in good faith. The appellant grounds include disagreement with characterization of their land as residential and the length of the appeal. The original decision held that such was a result of the appellant’s behaviour and was a difference of opinion. The original decision held that a difference of opinion “is not the same as unacceptable behaviours as set out in the Board’s Rules and the SPPA” (which states that costs are awarded in conduct that are alleged “to be unreasonable, frivolous, vexatious or in bad faith”). The tribunal agreed and the motion was denied, with no costs.

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