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2017 Federal Budget – Selected Tax Measures

March 23, 2017

On March 22, 2017 the Minister of Finance introduced Canada’s 2017 Federal Budget (2017 Budget). Despite persistent rumours, no change was proposed to the capital gains inclusion rate. The 2017 Budget does include a mix of targeted anti-avoidance rules, legislative responses to recent jurisprudence, and other narrow changes to address perceived problems in the existing provisions of the Income Tax…

Infrastructure Spending, Blueprints Pending: 2017 Federal Budget

March 23, 2017

Catherine Doyle, Christine Ferguson and Mike Maodus (Student-at-Law) On March 22, 2017, Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the 2017 federal budget, titled “Building a Strong Middle Class” (Budget 2017). While Budget 2017 did not introduce significant new infrastructure spending measures, it does provide limited additional details on a number of previously announced infrastructure initiatives and clearly reaffirms the government’s commitment…

Alberta to Restrict Compliance Options for Large Industrial Emitters: Smart Policy or Government Windfall?

March 21, 2017

On March 3, 2017, Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) released a policy decision (Decision) affecting industrial facilities (Facilities) that emit more than 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) per year. The Decision follows the Alberta government’s Climate Leadership Plan (Plan), which was released in November 2015 (see our November 2015 Blakes Bulletin: Just Like Any Good Recipe, Alberta’s Climate Leadership…

New Medium, Same Expectations: CSA Cautions Canadian Public Issuers on Use of Social Media

March 14, 2017

On March 9, 2017, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published Staff Notice 51-348 Staff’s Review of Social Media Used by Reporting Issuers (Staff Notice), which reported on the social media disclosure (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and GooglePlus postings, amongst others, as well as disclosure on issuers’ own websites, including any message boards or blogs hosted on such sites) of…

Alberta Court Provides Clarity on Oppression Claims in CCAA Context

March 13, 2017

The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench (Court) has provided clarity on how oppression claims will be adjudicated in the context of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). In the recent decision in Lightstream Resources Ltd. (Re), the Court confirmed that it has jurisdiction to hear oppression claims, but held that the exercise of this discretion is limited to appropriate circumstances….

Superior Court of Québec Confirms Validity of Percentage Royalties Paid by Pharmacist-Owners to Franchisor

March 8, 2017

The Superior Court of Québec (Court), presided by Justice M. Monast, recently ruled on an important point of contention for franchise pharmacies, by confirming the validity of a percentage royalty clause contained in a contract between a pharmacist-owner and his franchisor. The decision confirms the validity of the business model recommended by a number of franchisors, for both pharmacists and…

Canadian Regulators Finalize Customer Protection Rules for Cleared OTC Derivatives

March 3, 2017

 The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) recently published National Instrument 94-102 – Derivatives: Customer Clearing and Protection of Customer Collateral and Positions and the related Companion Policy (collectively, the Rule). The CSA released the Rule in conjunction with its release of National Instrument 94-101 – Mandatory Central Counterparty Clearing of Derivatives (see our January 2017 Blakes Bulletin: Canadian Regulators Finalize Mandatory…

2017 B.C. Budget: Infrastructure Spending to Get 19 Per Cent Boost Year-Over-Year

February 22, 2017

The Province of British Columbia released its 2017 budget (Budget) on February 21, 2017. Although the Budget mainly focuses on the reduction of Medical Services Plan premiums and increased investment in education and social supports, it also projects steady growth for B.C.’s economy as a whole and contains significant implications for the infrastructure industry in the province over the coming…

B.C. Court of Appeal Denies Class Certification of Environmental Nuisance Claim

February 21, 2017

On February 15, 2017, the B.C. Court of Appeal issued its decision in Baker v. Rendle (Baker) denying class action certification in a case about nuisance claims against industrial operations. Baker lends further weight to the view that private claims by landowners for environmental nuisance are ill suited for resolution by class action. BACKGROUND The defendants obtained a composting facility…

Alert: What’s Mine is Legally Yours – New Definition of “Spouse” in the Pension Benefits Act

February 14, 2017

Without any pomp and circumstance, the definition of “spouse” under the Pension Benefits Act (Ontario) (PBA) was amended effective January 1, 2017. Under the revised definition, a spouse continues to include someone who is married to a person or who lives with a person in a ‘common-law’ relationship for at least three years. The definition also continues to include persons who…

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