Tort LawUpdated for 2010 Changes to the Professional Engineers ActThese web pages have been updated to include both enacted and pending changes due to the Open for Business Act, 2010. Note that some changes will not be in force until proclaimed by the Lieutenant Governor; for example, the putting into force the end of the industrial exemption has been delayed numerous times.DisclaimerAll information on this website is provided without any warranty to its correctness. The material on these pages reflects Douglas Wilhelm Harder's best judgment in light of the information available to him at the time of its preparation. Any use which a third party makes of these pages, on any reliance on or decision to be made based on it, are the responsibility of such third parties. Douglas W. Harder accepts no responsibility for damages, if any, suffered by any third party as a result of decisions made or actions based on these pages.A set of PowerPoint slides are available at Tort.pptx, but the reader is advised that the discussion related to the presentation is just as important as the slides themselves.To explain the concept of tort, we must first understand the place of the Criminal Code of Canada and other statutes.CrimeWhen an individual or organization contravenes an article of the Criminal Code, it is the responsibility of the government to try that party in a court of law. A breach of the Criminal Codeis said to be a crimeand the trying of such an offence at a criminal trial may end in a verdict of guiltyand a conviction at which point the court must decide upon an appropriate sentence. When the verdict in a criminal trial is not guilty, the defendant is said to be acquitted. When an innocentperson is wrongly convicted, it is said to be a miscarriage of justice.OffencesStatutes such as the Professional Engineers Act, on the other hand, govern the relationship between individuals and the states. A contravention of a breach of a section or clause of a statute is guilty of an offence(as opposed to a crime). For example, Section 40(1) of the Professional Engineers Act reads:Penalties40.(1)Every person who contravenes section 12 is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable for the first offence to a fine of not more than $25,000 and for each subsequent offence to afine of not more than $50,000.The penalty for an offence is usually a fine. The balance of section 40 lists other offences relevant to the Professional Engineers Act.
Breaches in Contract and in TortFinally, laws which govern the relationship between individuals within the state cover contracts (legally enforceable agreements) between individuals and a duty of care between individuals. Contract law is discussed elsewhere; however, it is possible for one party to injure another outside of a contract and such an injury is said to be a tort. The party causing the injury is said to be the tortfeasor.