Blogs

  • Compensation in Question? Remember that Guidelines are Tools not Rules
    March 27, 2017

    As anyone working in the estate area knows, the task of the personal representative is often onerous. But how much is it worth? The Court discussed how to set compensation for personal representatives in Berry (Re), 2017 ABQB 77, the Court was asked to approve compensation for the personal representatives, two children of the testatrix.
  • You're Not the Boss of Me: Parents Don't Answer to Children
    March 27, 2017

    Should the Court consider why a donor is making or revoking a Power of Attorney? This was the question before the Court in Pirie v Pirie, 2017 ABQB 104.
  • Task Force Report: Branding and Packaging of Cannabis
    March 24, 2017

    In this edition of our series on the Task Force’s final report "A Framework for the Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis in Canada" we explore the Task Force’s recommendations in relation to advertising, packaging and labelling of cannabis.
  • Pension May be Collapsed in the Face of an Admitted Fraud
    March 22, 2017

    In the recent decision of Alberta Motor Association v. Gladden, 2017 ABQB 174, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench clarified the limits to which employer-sponsored pension benefits will be immunized from enforcement proceedings in fraud cases. In this case, the defendant, Mr. Gladden, had agreed to a consent judgment in favour of his former employer arising from a fraud that he had perpetuated during the course of his employment. One of Mr. Gladden’s assets was his employer-sponsored pension plan. Mr. Gladden agreed to transfer the commuted value of his pension benefits to his employer in partial satisfaction of the consent judgment.
  • TSX - Skirting the Rules No Longer
    March 21, 2017

    On March 9, 2017, the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) issued Staff Notice 2017-001 (the Staff Notice), which provides guidance on the TSX's majority voting requirement and the use of advance notice policies for director election requirements.  Significantly, for many issuers, the Staff Notice outlines the TSX's expectations for the use of an "exceptional circumstance" to reject the resignation of a director that is not elected by a majority of votes cast (a Subject Director).
  • CSA Reviews Use of Social Media by Reporting Issuers
    March 14, 2017

    On March 9th, 2017, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published Staff Notice 51-348 Staff’s Review of Social Media Used by Reporting Issuers (notice). The notice provides the results of the CSA’s review of social medial disclosure by 111 reporting issuers on websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram, as well as the issuer’s own websites (including message boards and blogs).
  • Know the Risks of a Cyberattack on Your Third-Party Service Providers
    March 14, 2017

    Names, emails, credit card numbers, and home addresses: chances are good that your business collects client data with information that is valuable to hackers on the black market. A hacker will at some point try to access those records. When they do, who bears responsibility for the attack? These are the questions that hundreds of companies, including Uber, OKCupid, Cisco, and Fitbit, are likely asking themselves after news of the “Cloudbleed” bug broke late last month.
  • Post-Midwest: Section 99(2) of the EPA Proves a Powerful Tool
    March 14, 2017

    The Ontario Superior Court awarded damages for migration of dry cleaning solvents spilled by the defendant corporation between 1960 and 1974 in Huang v Fraser Hillary's Limited, 2017 ONSC 1500 under section 99(2) of the Environmental Protection Act.
  • Possible New Clean Fuel Standard in Canada
    March 07, 2017

    Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is considering the development of a new clean fuels regulation under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. The purpose of this proposed new regulation is to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the adoption of lower carbon fuels and related technologies.

  • Task Force Report: International Trade Law Implications of Legalization
    March 07, 2017

    In this edition of our series on the Task Force’s final report "A Framework for the Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis in Canada" (the "Report") we explore the international trade law implications of the Task Force’s recommendations in the Report.
  • The Impact of Trump's Travel Ban on Canadian Fintechs
    March 07, 2017

    Trump’s January 27, 2017, Executive Order, entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” has created waves in the tech world. Canadian technology firms are viewing this as an opportunity to lure top tech talent as those individuals struggle with the impact of the travel ban on their business and mobility.
  • Blockchain and Secured Lending in Canada
    March 06, 2017

    Blockchain, the peer-to-peer distributed ledger technology introduced in 2008 to support Bitcoin, has lately attracted attention for its potential uses in areas unrelated to the virtual currency. A recent Harvard Business Review article predicted that blockchain has the potential to "slash the cost of transactions and reshape the economy," and to become "the system of record for all transactions".

  • Highlights From the Annual Canadian Securities Administrators' Enforcement Report
    February 28, 2017

    The Canadian Securities Administrators released its 2016 Enforcement Report this week. The ninth annual report highlights efforts taken across the country to deter and sanction wrongdoing in capital markets.
  • On Strict Terms: Wording of Termination Provision Not What the Employer Does Determines Enforceability
    February 28, 2017

    Highlighting the importance of using precise language in termination provisions of employment contracts, the Ontario Court of Appeal in Wood v Fred Deeley Imports Ltd., 2017 ONCA 158 recently held that a termination provision that failed to expressly provide for benefit continuation during the notice period and statutory severance pay was unenforceable. The Court of Appeal’s decision affirms that termination provisions must be interpreted by their strict language alone, and implementing a termination in accordance with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 cannot save an otherwise unenforceable provision.
  • Supreme Court of Canada Denies Jury Trials for Securities Act Offences
    February 28, 2017

    In two recent decisions, R v Peers, 2017 SCC 13 and R v Aitkens, 2017 SCC 14, the Supreme Court of Canada held that those accused of securities law offences do not have the right to a trial by jury.
  • Doing Business in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus
    February 24, 2017

    On February 16, 2017, Bennett Jones hosted a networking lunch with the Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association to discuss recent Canadian project experience in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus.

  • Report a Canadian Tax Evader and Make Money?
    February 24, 2017

    Yes, it's possible. Canada has had a tax whistleblower program for four years, the Offshore Tax Informant Program (OTIP). The OTIP pays individuals who qualify for the program and provide information to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regarding international non-compliance by Canadian taxpayers. The program began as part of the Economic Action Plan 2013, through which the Government of Canada committed to investing C$30 million over five years to combat international tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.

  • Federal Trade Commission Delivers Cross-Device Tracking Report Recommendations
    February 23, 2017

    The U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) office recently published the Cross-Device Tracking: An FTC Staff Report. It provides an interesting look behind the curtains of the current operations in cross-device data tracking and matching, and the troubling extent of consumer profiling.

  • A Deceased Can't Always Will What They Want
    February 22, 2017

    There is a common misconception that the testator is free to leave their estate to anyone they choose. While this is largely true, certain family members who were left out or feel they were inadequately provided for under a will do have options under Alberta's Wills and Succession Act (WSA).
  • Cybersecurity: Regulatory Risks for Canadian Issuers
    February 22, 2017

    In the United States, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken an active role in regulating cybersecurity issues. Canadian issuers should be aware that the risk of regulatory enforcement may be coming to Canada.

  • Toronto Municipal Land Transfer Tax Increase
    February 22, 2017

    The City of Toronto has increased its municipal land transfer tax rates to match the recent changes to provincial land transfer taxes, effective March 1, 2017.
  • Cybersecurity Obligations of Directors
    February 16, 2017

    Your organization will in all likelihood suffer a cyberattack. According to a recent study by Accenture, the average Canadian organization faces about 96 cyberattacks per year, nearly one third of which result in a security breach. The aftermath of cyberattacks often leaves a wake of victims whose personal information has been breached, and correspondingly massive exposure for the companies that have been attacked.

  • Master Service Agreements in the Oilfield Services Industry
    February 15, 2017

    Master Service Agreements are commonly used as a means of negotiating and entering into commercial agreements for the provision of services and goods. Even within this simplified framework, most parties recognize that the negotiation of these agreements will usually come down to a few key clauses.

  • Proxy Season 2017: Improving the Accuracy, Reliability and Accountability of Proxy Vote Reconciliation
    February 13, 2017

    On January 26, 2017, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) released CSA Staff Notice 54-305 Meeting Vote Reconciliation Protocols (the Protocols) concerning the improvement of the procedures used for counting proxy votes for shares held by intermediaries and the accuracy, reliability and accountability of proxy vote reconciliation. The Protocols specifically target the key entities that implement shareholder-meeting vote reconciliation: the Canadian Depository for Securities Limited (CDS), intermediaries, Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions Canada (Broadridge), and transfer agents that act as tabulators (collectively, the Key Entities).

  • The Appeal in Teal: Challenging Commercial Arbitration Awards in Canada
    February 13, 2017

    How final is a final award in a commercial arbitration? The scope of appeal rights against commercial arbitration awards is again before the Supreme Court of Canada. Will this be the last word on the subject?

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