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2018 Proxy Advisory Firm Voting Guidelines: Canadian Highlights

January 15, 2018

As an early step in preparing for the upcoming proxy season, issuers should familiarize themselves with the Canadian proxy voting guidelines recently published by Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) and Glass Lewis & Co. (Glass Lewis). This bulletin addresses certain of the updated topics covered by the ISS benchmark policy recommendations and Glass Lewis proxy guidelines and shareholder initiatives guidelines,…

New Year, New Employment Standards for Alberta: Job-Protected Leave for New Parents Extended Up to 1.5 Years

January 12, 2018

Alberta’s employment standards laws have changed significantly as of January 1, 2018. Among other things, periods of job-protected maternity and parental leave have been increased through the Employment Standards Amendment Regulation and amendments to Alberta’s Employment Standards Code. Pursuant to these changes, maternity leave has been extended from 15 to 16 weeks, and parental leave has been extended from 37 to…

Updated Procurement Thresholds for Canada’s Free Trade Agreements in Effect

January 12, 2018

In its December 21, 2017 Contract Policy Notice, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat published an updated set of procurement thresholds that have been indexed for inflation and came into effect on January 1, 2018. The notice provides the new thresholds applicable to covered federal government procuring entities under Canada’s international free trade agreements (FTAs), such as the North American Free Trade…

Duties on Transfers of Immovables in Quebec: Department of Finance Exempts Partnerships

January 11, 2018

On December 20, 2017, the Quebec Department of Finance published its end-of-year bulletin, Information Bulletin 2017-14 (Bulletin). Among the measures announced by the Department of Finance was the introduction of an exemption from the payment of duties on transfers of immovables for partnerships. As a result, transfers of immovables made after December 20, 2017 that involve a partnership may be…

Catucci v. Valeant: Implications for Quebec Financings

January 10, 2018

Quebec courts have reaffirmed how challenging it can be for underwriters, issuers and other defendants to resist securities class actions for statutory primary market liability at the authorization or “certification” stage. In 2017, the Superior Court of Québec and the Québec Court of Appeal gave the green light for a class action lawsuit involving Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (Valeant), a…

Ontario Pension Funding Reform and Administrator Discharge upon Annuity Purchase

January 9, 2018

On December 14, 2017, the Ontario government posted descriptions of two proposed regulations to the Ontario Pension Benefits Act (PBA) regarding the funding rules for defined benefit pension plans and the availability of an administrator’s discharge upon purchase of an annuity (together, the “Proposed Regulations”). The Proposed Regulations relate to some of the changes to the PBA announced by the…

B.C. Court Dismisses Regulatory Charges Against a Corporation Due to Unreasonable Delay

January 8, 2018

The British Columbia Provincial Court (Court) recently dismissed charges against a corporation brought under the Fisheries Act and the Environmental Management Act (EMA), based on a finding that there had been unreasonable delay by the Crown, in R. v. HMTQ et al. The Court applied the principles from the 2016 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) in R….

Amended SPPA Regulation Comes into Force, Filling a Gap in Quebec’s Supplemental Pension Plan Framework

January 8, 2018

On January 4, 2018, the Regulation to amend the Regulation respecting supplemental pension plans came into force, filling a regulatory void in Quebec’s supplemental pension plans framework that lasted just over two years. This amendment brings the Regulation respecting supplemental pension plans (SPPA Regulation) up to speed with its enabling statute — the Act respecting supplemental pension plans (SPPA) —…

Unanimous Supreme Court of Canada Denies Leave on Chronic Delay Case

January 5, 2018

The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) recently dismissed leave to appeal from the Alberta Court of Appeal decision in Humphreys v. Trebilcock (Humphreys), which is perhaps the most comprehensive consideration to date of whether delay in the prosecution of a plaintiff’s case warrants dismissal of an action. The decision by the Alberta Court of Appeal was subject to comment in…

Alert: U.S. Rescinds Cannabis Guidance Including Cole Memorandum

January 4, 2018

On January 4, 2018, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum to U.S. attorneys, which rescinded all previous nationwide guidance specific to cannabis enforcement, including the so-called “Cole Memorandum” that listed specific cannabis-related activities that the Department of Justice intended to focus on with respect to the Controlled Substances Act. In effect, the Cole Memorandum created room for recreational…

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