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Alert: Canada Introduces Additional Sanctions Against Russia

February 20, 2015

  On February 17, 2015, the Government of Canada announced that new entities and individuals in Russia and Ukraine have been designated under Canada’s sanctions laws. These new measures are introduced in coordination with the United States and the European Union, and are in response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.   The list of new entities and individuals designated…

Court Interprets Quebec French Language Sign Requirements, Trade-mark Exception

February 17, 2015

  A recent, lengthy decision gives interesting guidance on Quebec language legislation as to the rules applicable to the predominance of French, the use of trade-marks on signs and in particular the protection for unregistered trade-marks. It also addresses new constitutional challenges to this legislation.   In Quebec v. 156158 Canada Inc., 24 anglophone merchants in the Montréal area challenged…

Procedures Introduced to Administer and Coordinate First Nation Consultation

February 10, 2015

  On February 4, 2015, the Aboriginal Consultation Office (ACO) and the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) released the Joint Operating Procedures for First Nations Consultation on Energy Resource Activities (Procedures). The Procedures were released in accordance with Energy Ministerial Order 105/2014 and Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Ministerial Order 53/2014 (Orders).   The Procedures expand upon The Government of Alberta’s…

OSC Expects REIT Distributions Disclosure to Yield More Information

February 5, 2015

  In the current low interest rate environment, yield-hungry investors have been particularly attracted to real estate investment trusts (REITs), which, as tax-efficient, flow-through investment vehicles, aim to pay regular cash distributions to their unitholders. The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) recently reviewed the disclosure provided by 30 REITs to assess the quality and sufficiency of disclosure provided concerning the sustainability…

Termination of Contracts in Challenging Economic Times

February 5, 2015

  Given the current state of the economy, businesses are scrutinizing existing and potential transactions very closely. Existing or potential contracts, which seemed economic even a few short months ago, may not seem as valuable now and there is a reasonable expectation that there will be increased litigation dealing with termination of contracts especially in the oil and gas sector….

B.C. Court Finds Methodology to Prove Causation is Required to Certify Pharmaceutical Class Actions

February 4, 2015

  INTRODUCTION   On January 22, 2015, the British Columbia Court of Appeal set aside certification of a class action against Apotex Inc. and Abbott Laboratories Ltd. in Charlton v. Abbott Laboratories Ltd. (Charlton), in which the plaintiffs allege that the medicine sibutramine (sold under the brand name Meridia by Abbott), an antidepressant that is also used for weight loss,…

Ontario Court of Appeal Clarifies Parameters of Communications with Expert Witnesses

February 2, 2015

  The Court of Appeal for Ontario’s January 29, 2015 decision in Moore v. Getahun (Moore) has confirmed that there is nothing improper in counsel reviewing a draft report with an expert witness, and that draft expert reports and related material are protected from production unless there is a reasonable basis to suspect that counsel improperly influenced the expert.  …

Merger Notification and Foreign Investment Review Thresholds Revised Upward for 2015

February 2, 2015

On February 2, 2015, the Competition Bureau announced an increase in the notifiable transaction-size threshold to C$86-million, a modest increase from the 2014 C$82-million threshold. The pre-merger notification transaction-size threshold is reviewed annually in accordance with the indexing mechanism set out in the CanadianCompetition Act to reflect changes in Canada’s gross domestic product. This new threshold for 2015 will come…

2015 Proxy Advisory Voting Guidelines: Proxy Season Highlights

January 30, 2015

  In preparing for the upcoming proxy season, it is important for issuers to be familiar with the current Canadian proxy voting guidelines prepared by Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) and Glass Lewis & Co. (Glass Lewis). This bulletin briefly addresses a few of the key corporate governance matters covered by the ISS voting policies and Glass Lewis proxy guidelines…

New Challenges for Old Laws: B.C. Court Considers Employee Misuse of Social Media

January 29, 2015

The Supreme Court of British Columbia’s ruling in Kim v. International Triathlon Union (International Triathlon Union) is the first reported court decision to consider termination of a non-union employee for postings made on a social media platform. By contrast, labour arbitration decisions addressing the discharge of unionized employees for misuse of social media have become common over the past several…