Canadian Business Law: An Alberta Perspective
Canadian Business Law: An Alberta Perspective

Canadian Business Law: An Alberta Perspective

Lead Author(s): McKay White, Tamara Alexander, Pat Papadeas

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Canadian Business Law provides a comprehensive overview of business law through a legal risk management perspective.

Table of Contents

About the Authors

1. Foundations of Business Law in Canada 

Business and the Law
       Managing Legal Risk
       Preparing to Learn About Canadian Business Law

The Canadian Legal System: A Framework for an Orderly Society
       Canada’s Two Legal Systems

The Canadian Constitution and Other Sources of Law in Canada
       The Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly the British North America Act, 1867)
       The Constitution Act, 1982 and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms 

Categories of Law  
       Substantive Law Versus Procedural Law  
       Public Law Versus Private Law

Legal Aspects of Business Activity

The Answer to Every Legal Question

Business Law and Business Ethics

2. Resolving Disputes and Navigating Canada’s Court System

Understanding When Legal Assistance Is Required
Providers of Legal Services:
       Lawyers and Paralegals
       Paralegals in Ontario
       Customizing Legal Services
       Retaining a Lawyer’s Services

How Are Business Disputes Resolved?

Canada’s Court System
       The Hierarchy of Courts in Ontario
       Reducing Cost and Delay

The Role of Canadian Courts
       Dispute Resolution  
       Interpretation of Legislation  
       Constitutional Interpretation and Protection of Rights and Freedoms
       Review of Government Agencies 

       The Pre-Litigation Process  
       The Litigation Process in Superior Court (Trial Division)
       The Litigation Process in the Small Claims Court
       Civil Court Remedies: Damages
       Mitigation of Damages
       Other Remedies  
       Legal Costs
       Post-Trial Enforcement

Alternatives to Litigation
       Interests and Rights
       Facilitative Mediation
       Rights-Based Mediation
       Transformative Mediation  


3. Tort Law

What Is a Tort?

The Importance of Tort Law for Business People  

Vicarious Liability 

Negligence Act 

Elements of a Tort 

Categories of Torts
Intentional Torts  
       Intentional Torts Involving Verbal or Physical Aggression
       Intentional Business Torts
Unintentional Torts  
       Definition and Scope of Negligence
       Elements of Negligence  
       Negligence Torts Common in Business
       Strict Liability Torts and the Rule in Rylands v Fletcher

Intentional or Unintentional Torts  
       Common Business Torts Involving Property

Defending Against Tort Actions  
       Failure to Prove the Tort  
       Contributory Negligence
       Voluntary Assumption of Risk
       Statutory Compensation Schemes

Remedies for Torts 

4. Understanding Contracts

What Is a Contract?

Contracts in the Business Context

The Importance of Contract Law for Business Success

The Importance of Written Contracts
       Writing a Contract
       Rules of Construction 

What Is in a Contract?
       Standard Form Contracts  
       Missing and Implied Terms

Reading the Fine Print: Typical Terms in Business Contracts
       Identification of Parties
       Description of Product or Service
       Liquidated Damages
       Automatic Renewal
       Condition Precedent
       Condition Subsequent
       Disclaimer (or Limitation of Liability)
       Entire Agreement
       Force Majeure
       Governing Law  

5. Working with Contracts  

Formation of a Contract
       Intention to Create a Legal Relationship  
       Offer and Acceptance  

Consequences of a Breach of Contract  
       What Constitutes a Breach of Contract?
       Breach of Condition or Breach of Warranty?  
       Liability of Directors, Officers, and Employees for a Breach of Contract

       Duty to Mitigate Damages
       Punitive Damages
       Alternative Methods for Performance 

Unenforceable Agreements
       Misrepresentation of Material Fact  
       Economic Duress, Undue Influence, and the Unconscionable Agreement

What Can You Do About a Breach of Contract?
       Ignore the Breach
       Negotiate a Compromise
       Use Alternative Dispute Resolution  

6. Facilitating Business, Protecting Consumers, and Safeguarding theMarketplace

Moving Beyond the Common Law: The Need to Protect Important Societal Interests

Why Is Knowledge of These Laws Important to Your Business?

Facilitating Business  
       Sale of Goods Act  
       Electronic Commerce Act, 2000

Protecting Consumers  
       Consumer Protection Act, 2002
       Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act  
       Consumer Safety
       Consumer Information

Safeguarding the Marketplace
       Application of the Competition Act
       Criminal Offences under the Competition Act  
       Reviewable Practices Under the Competition Act (Part VIII)
       Competition Act Enforcement Options  
       Whistle-Blower Protections and Immunity from Prosecution 

7. Forms of Carrying On Business 

What Are Forms of Carrying On Business?  

The Importance of Choosing a Business Form

Sole Proprietorships
       Legal Characteristics
       Conducting Business  
       Advantages and Disadvantages

Introduction to Partnerships

General Partnership
       Legal Characteristics
       Conducting Business  
       Advantages and Disadvantages

Limited Partnership
       Legal Characteristics
       Conducting Business  
       Advantages and Disadvantages 

Limited Liability Partnership
       Legal Characteristics
       Conducting Business
       Advantages and Disadvantages

Partnership Agreements

       The Players
       Legal Characteristics and Liability Issues
       Application of Charter Protections and Criminal Law to Corporations
       Directors’ and Officers’ Liability
       Remedies for Shareholders and Others
       Sale of a Corporation  
       Conducting Business  
       Tax Implications  
       Shareholders’ Agreements

Private Versus Public Corporations
       Advantages and Disadvantages


       Characteristics of Agency
       Creating an Agency Relationship  
       Agency and Soon-To-Be-Incorporated Businesses
       Agency and the Employment Relationship  
       Agency and Partnership 

Relationships Among Businesses
       Agency as a Business Relationship
       Joint Ventures

8. Banking, Financing, and Debtor-Creditor Law

What Is Banking, Financing, and Debtor-Creditor Law? 

The Importance of Banking, Financing, and Debtor-Creditor Law for Business People

       Negotiable Instruments  
       Credit Cards
       Electronic Banking  
       Account Agreements  
       Resolving Problems with Your Business’s Bank

Financing a Business
       Debt Financing
       Equity Financing
       The Pros and Cons of Equity Versus Debt Financing

Debt Collection and Insolvency
       Creditor Protection
       Creditors’ Remedies  
       Bankruptcy and Insolvency

9. Workplace Law

What Is Workplace Law?

The Importance of Workplace Law for Businesses
       Threshold Issue: Independent Contractor or Employee?

The Common Law
       Ending the Employment Relationship 

Statute Law

Human Rights in the Workplace
       Prohibited Grounds of Discrimination

Employment Standards
       General Standards
       Specific Standards

Health and Safety
       Occupational Health and safety Act
       Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 

Equity in the Workplace
       Equal Pay for Equal Work
       Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value
       Employment Equity: Fair and Representative Employment Practices 

Privacy in the Workplace
       PIPEDA and the Protection of Personal Information

The Unionized Workplace
       Union Organizing
       Negotiating a Collective Agreement
       Administration of the Collective Agreement
       Responsible Business Strategies to Avoid Unionization of Your Workforce


10. Property Law

What Is Property Law?
       Types of Property

The Importance of Property Law for Business People

Distinguishing Ownership from Possession  

Personal Property  

Real Property
       Interests in Land
       Agreements of Purchase and Sale   
       Transfer of Ownership  
       Commercial Leases  

       Types of Insurance  
       Insurable Interests

11. Intellectual Property and Business Law in the Digital Age

Intellectual Property
       Assignment and Licences 

Copyright Law
       Scope of Copyright Protection  
       Ownership and Assignment of Copyright
       Moral Rights

Patent Law  
       Scope of Patent Protection
       Application for a Patent
       Ownership of Patent Rights
       Infringement of Patent Rights 

Trademark Law
       Types of Trademarks
       Scope of Trademark Protection
       Common Law Trademarks
       Registered Trademarks: Trade-marks Act
       Trademark Infringement: Causing Confusion
       Loss of Protection: Trademarks that Become Generic
       Trademark Versus Trade Name  
       Trademarks and Domain Names 

Industrial Design Law
       Scope of Industrial Design Protection  

Trade Secrets and Confidential Business Information
       Scope of Protection
       Duty of Confidentiality
       Breach of Confidence

Privacy: Safeguarding Personal Information  
       PIPEDA and the Collection, Use, and Disclosure of Personal Information 

Electronic Communications: Complying with the Law
       Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation