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Issuers Cautiously Adopt Notice-and-Access This Proxy Season

August 7, 2014

The numbers are in and we’ve counted them. The notice-and-access system – under which public issuers may post proxy information circulars online rather than distribute them by mail – was adopted by a total of 319 companies this proxy season. This number, a small fraction of the approximately 3,500 companies currently listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and TSX…

Un-Appealing: Supreme Court of Canada Limits Appeals from Arbitrators

August 6, 2014

  In Sattva Capital Corp. v. Creston Moly Corp., the Supreme Court of Canada has reinforced the finality of domestic arbitration awards by limiting the types of issues that can be considered questions of law.    BACKGROUND   The case involved a dispute about a finder’s fee payable in connection with the acquisition of a mining property in Mexico. Creston,…

Alberta Finalizes First Nation Consultation Guidelines

August 5, 2014

On July 28, 2014, the Government of Alberta released the final version of its Guidelines on Consultation with First Nations on Land and Natural Resource Management (Guidelines). The Guidelines, and the Government of Alberta’s Policy on Consultation with First Nations on Land and Natural Resource Management, 2013 (Policy), replace its former 2005 policy and 2007 guidelines. For industry, the primary…

Alberta’s New Pension Legislation to Take Effect September 1, 2014

July 23, 2014

On July 22, 2014, the Alberta government approved the long-awaited regulations to its new Employment Pension Plans Act (New Act). The New Act was passed in late 2012, but has not yet come into force, pending release of the regulations. The government has indicated that both the New Act and its regulations will now take effect on September 1, 2014….

Is CEO Pay Ratio Disclosure Coming to Canada?

July 23, 2014

INTRODUCTION Last year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved a proposal that would require U.S. public companies to disclose the ratio of CEO annual compensation to median employee annual compensation. Similarly, the European Commission is proposing the adoption of rules requiring certain publicly traded companies to report CEO pay ratios.   Proposals to use and disclose vertical benchmarking…

Canada and U.K. Agree to Protocol to Amend Tax Treaty

July 22, 2014

On July 21, 2014, a protocol (Protocol) to amend the Canada-U.K. tax treaty (Treaty) was signed in London, England. Negotiations to update the Treaty had been ongoing since the fall of 2011. Key provisions of the Protocol include the following:   The Protocol will generally eliminate the ability of source states to impose withholding tax on interest paid to a…

Important Developments in Canadian Competition Law

July 21, 2014

COMMISSIONER EMPHASIZES IMPORTANCE OF COMPETITION LAW COMPLIANCE On July 3, 2014, Commissioner John Pecman participated in the Canadian Competition Law Compliance Workshop in Toronto, Canada. The workshop, hosted by Blakes and chaired by Brian Facey, Chair of the Blakes Competition, Antitrust & Foreign Investment group, was a collaborative effort of the International Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce,…

Alert: Ontario Reintroduces 2014 Budget with Provisions Affecting Pensions

July 15, 2014

On July 14, 2014, the Ontario government reintroduced its budget that it had originally tabled on May 1, 2014, which lists a number of key pensions-related matters, including the introduction of the Ontario Registered Pension Plan that supplements the Canada Pension Plan; a legislative framework for Pooled Registered Pension Plans; consultation on target benefit plans; reforms for defined benefit pension…

Horns Locked Between Investors and Issuers Over Proxy Advisory Firm Regulation

July 14, 2014

In our May 2014 Blakes Bulletin: CSA’s Light Touch Proxy Advisory Firm Proposal May Disappoint Issuers, we predicted that the Canadian Securities Administrators’ (CSA) proposed National Policy 25-201 – Guidance for Proxy Advisory Firms (Proposed Policy) might disappoint Canadian issuers. The proposed guidelines have provoked lively criticism from not only issuers, but also institutional investors and their associations, with both…

Ontario Can “Take Up” Lands Under Treaty 3 Without Seeking Federal Approval

July 11, 2014

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) released its decision in the Keewatin case, confirming that Ontario can “take up” lands in Treaty 3, in northwestern Ontario, without requiring preapproval from the federal government. This decision confirms that the provinces retain jurisdiction, as defined in the Constitution, over land ceded to the Crown by treaty with First Nations. The court…

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