Category Archives: Recent Articles

Child and Elder Care and the Duty of an Employer to Accommodate

With the ever increasing costs of child care and after school care, many families with a working mother are faced with the annual dilemma after calculating the “net “benefit, having taken these expenses into account, of justifying her continued employment.  In addition, (particularly, for the single “mom”) after making the decision to work, they are then presented with ever increasing family duties and expectations, logistical issues and unreasonable expectations or demands by the employer, when their “family” obligations interfere or conflict with their employment duties.

By now most employers should be aware that both federal and provincial human rights legislation prohibits discrimination in the workplace on grounds of race, religion, sex and age. Many employers are however unaware that the legislation also prohibits discrimination based upon a person’s family status, which includes childcare obligations.

The issue also arises occasionally with respect to elder care. As our parents’ age and as there is a tendency for them to live longer, their personal requirements and medical needs increase and it often falls on their adult children to address these concerns. Most often these issues are unscheduled and take the employee suddenly away from the workplace, which may create conflict with the employer.

READ ON

Testamentary Capacity: Take Some Positive Steps Before it is Too Late

The Story of Martha and Henry

In Alberta, the Wills and Succession Act R.S.A. came into effect on February 1st 2012 replacing the Wills Act, Intestate Succession Act, Survivorship Act and Section 47 of the Trustee Act. It is now the primary statute in Alberta that deals with wills, intestacy, survivorship, dependent support, beneficiary designations and other succession issues.

 

Section 13 of the Act states the following:

 

  • An individual who is 18 years of age or older may make, alter or revoke a will if the individual has the mental capacity to do so.

 

“Mental capacity” is not defined in the Act but has universally been accepted as the penultimate consideration in determining whether or not a person has the ability to make a will or whether or not a given will is indeed valid. This is referred to among legal circles as “testamentary capacity”.

 

There is no standardized test for determining testamentary capacity and although it is suggested that lawyers are trained to assess mental capacity for the purpose of taking will instructions and before having someone sign a new will, my own experience would suggest that such “training” is limited and more imaginary than real. Clearly, most lawyers understand the necessity to assess the client’s ability to give will instructions but putting this into practice can be tricky and is more of an art than a science. READ ON

 

“Over the Moon”: The Case of Edmund Joseph “Moon” Marcino vs The Estate of Victoria Kolewaski

 

Roy Kolewaski was born on December 9th, 1926 in Thornhild, AB, the son of John and Julie Kolewaski. He passed away on June 20th 1983 in Guernsey in the Channel Islands. At the time of his death, Roy resided at Alta Vista Rue des Mont Delancey, St. Sampson, Guernsey, Channel Islands and his will was probated in London, England on October 4th , 1983 (file no 84511153208).

He came from a large family of 5 brothers (Joe, Mike, Steve and Victor) and 3 sisters (Mary, Sophie and Helen). He married Victoria Vanderloh in Calgary, Alberta on April 20th, 1950.

 

Victoria Vanderloh was born on January 11th, 1930. She grew up on the family homestead near Munster, Saskatchewan and later lived on the family farm near Craven, Saskatchewan. The family later moved to Maple Creek, Saskatchewan where she finished high school.

The wedding picture of Roy and Victoria Kolewaski

She died tragically in a motor vehicle outside Calgary, Alberta on June 1, 1984 at the age 54. She was buried in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan.

How did a farm kid from Thornhild, AB, a small village or hamlet 90 kilometers north of Edmonton, end up as a self-made “millionaire” living in Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands off the coast of France?

What were the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Victoria Kolewaski and what was her life story? Why did someone with colorful name of Edmund Joseph “Moon” Marcino end up suing the Estate of Victoria Kolewaski for millions of dollars? How did two young lawyers starting out in their careers become involved in the case, one of whom later became a household name in Canadian politics? Who was Jenny Fairweather and what was her critical involvement in the case? What was the role of a prominent British politician by the name of Jon Kay-Mouat?

This all seems like a script for a Hollywood movie, but in reality it’s one of the most fascinating and interesting cases that I was involved in, over the course of my 35 year career, as a lawyer in Medicine Hat, Alberta and a story that I feel compelled to share. But let’s start at the beginning….READ ON by clicking this link https://drive.google.com/file/d/1L1pva4xLxSCy6VASF7dVoWePJXIM502p/view?usp=sharing

 

A Turkish Delight

A Turkish Delight

I have always enjoyed writing and story telling, as many of my friends will attest. I have written a number of articles lately, having completely retired and have posted some on my personal homepage William J Anhorn QC. My venture into genealogy has resulted in some interesting results, not the least of which is establishing a family connection to royalty, all of which I have documented on the website.

My own life experience has also resulted in some interesting and at times amusing stories and antidotes, which for no other specific reason or purpose, I have decided to document for posterity. The first article along this line is entitled, “Find the Time and Have the Courage to Change and Develop a Plan for the Future”. It is in retrospect, an amusing story regarding my own “life-altering event”, but with a not so subtle message.

Now I know what you are thinking, “since golf season is over he has far too much time on his hands”. But I considerate it therapeutic, a form of occupational therapy!

Here is another story, which you will hopefully find of interest. Read on

Find The Time and The Courage to Change and Develop A Plan for the Future

Many motivational speakers often recite an life altering event or a personal circumstance or tragedy which defined their life and which motivated them to do what they do, which is to spread what they believe is an important message to others. Although I am not inclined to become a motivational speaker and travel the world to enrich people’s lives with my thoughts, my own “life-altering event”, I think is worth sharing and hopefully it can be an inspiration to others to find the time and have the courage to change and to develop a plan for the future, as I did.READ ON

Effective Board Governance and the Role Of Committees

Effective Board Governance and the Role of Committees

 

The structure of a Board and the planning of the Board’s work are key elements to effective governance. Establishing committees is perceived to be one way of better managing the work of the Board, thereby strengthening and enhancing the Board’s governance role.

Historically, it has been common practice for Boards, using a traditional governance model, to strike various standing committees to deal with major functional areas of the organization.  Each Board committee would work closely with the management team or staff member responsible for this functional area. They would work together in addressing issues, solving problems, developing internal policies and establishing plans to monitor performance and compliance within each functional area.

For example, it was commonplace for a Board to establish a human resource or staffing committee, who would work with the HR manager to develop HR policies including hiring, conduct, discipline, compensation and performance. It was expected that the work of the committee would “filter” up to the Board and from time to time the Board would be asked to approve some high level policies. For the most part, however, the establishment of work related policies was left to the committee to approve and for management to implement and the work of the committee was largely unseen by the board, except for approving perfunctory minutes from the committee meetings and receiving a brief verbal report from the chair of the committee at the Board meeting.READ ON

 

 

A Further “Debunking” of the Snowbird 30-Day Rule

A Canadian entering the United States of America as a visitor/tourist by air must present a valid Canadian passport or Nexus card when departing from a designated Canadian airport in order to gain legal entry into the country. Canadian citizens travelling to the U.S. by land or sea through a port of entry are required to present either a valid Canadian passport, Enhanced Driver’s License/Enhanced Identification card, NEXUS, FAST/EXPRES or SENTRI enrollment card. Most Canadians travelling frequently to the U.S. present their passport. The passport is typically scanned by the CPB agent and the usual perfunctory questions asked, “Where are you from?  How long will you be in the U.S.?  What is the purpose of your visit? Do you have any fruits or vegetables? Any cash or negotiable instruments in excess of $10,000?” Occasionally, the unsuspecting Canadian may be asked a surprise question, which happened to me on my last visit.  “Have you ever been arrested or fingerprinted for any reason?”  GULP…NO… I REPLIED! Satisfied with my responses to her questions, I was handed back my passport and pleasantly welcomed to the United States of America.

Read more.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,
css.php