Category: Government & Public Sector

Legal Trends 2016: Renewable Energy

April 1, 2016

ONE | GROWTH IN PRIVATE INVESTMENT A recent Clean Energy Canada study concluded that investment in renewable energy in Canada increased at a dramatic rate of 88 per cent from 2013 to 2014, representing an aggregate investment of more than C$10.7-billion in 2014. This sharp increase catapulted Canada to sixth in the world for investments in new domestic clean-energy-generation projects….

Doing Business with the Canadian Public Sector

March 15, 2016

Canada’s public sector entities include federal, provincial, municipal and territorial governments, Crown corporations, government agencies, boards and commissions, public utilities, and a wide variety of public institutions, including hospitals and educational institutions. When engaging with the public sector, additional legal requirements and practical matters need to be considered, above and beyond the usual legal and commercial issues encountered in private…

Legal Trends 2016: Financial Services Regulatory

February 26, 2016

ONE | FINTECH AND E-COMMERCE Fintech is the single hottest topic for 2016 and the foreseeable future. From mobile payments to paperless processes to block-chain technology, the increased use of emerging and innovative technologies to pay for or obtain financial services has the regulators’ attention. Regulators have taken steps to address a few of the various challenges and risks that…

New Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct Has Broad Implications

December 9, 2015

On December 1, 2015, the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct (2015) (Code) came into force, replacing the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct (1997) (1997 Code). The new Code imposes additional restrictions on lobbyists, including restricting lobbying of close friends and others with a sense of obligation to the lobbyist. The process of updating the Code began in May 2014, when the commissioner…

​Government Fraud and Corruption: Ex-Mayor and Engineer Convicted in Major Municipal Corruption Case in Quebec

September 23, 2015

On September 15, 2015, the Court of Québec rendered a judgment in which it found a former mayor and a vice-president of an engineering firm guilty of several criminal offences relating to municipal corruption. These convictions are a significant achievement for UPAC, the Quebec government anti-corruption unit, created in 2011. After judgment was rendered, the Quebec prosecutor announced that there…

Federal Election 2015: New Contribution Limits and Identification Requirements

July 27, 2015

  With a federal election scheduled for October 19, 2015, recent amendments to the Canada Elections Act will soon be put into practice. The Fair Elections Act (FEA) passed on June 12, 2014, has increased individual contribution limits and changed elector identification requirements.    CONTRIBUTION LIMITS   Contributions to political parties, associations or candidates by persons or entities other than…

​There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch: Conflict of Interest and Ethics Tips

June 17, 2015

  Recent developments suggest that businesses looking to fill tables to charitable or other functions should take caution when inviting public office holders.   This month, Ontario’s Office of the Integrity Commissioner released its 2014–15 annual report, which responds to inquiries regarding the acceptance of gifts by members of provincial parliament (MPPs).    FEDERAL DEVELOPMENTS   On February 26, 2015,…

Lobbying Legislation Changes for Communicating with Ontario and Alberta Governments

January 6, 2015

  Recent amendments to Ontario and Alberta’s lobbying regimes will mean changes for persons who communicate with governments in those jurisdictions. The effective date of Ontario’s legislation has yet to be announced while Alberta’s amendments have already taken effect.     AMENDMENTS TO ONTARIO’S LOBBYISTS REGISTRATION ACT   In August, the Ontario government introduced Bill 8, Public Sector and MPP…

Commissioner of Lobbying Releases Draft Revised Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct

November 5, 2014

  In October, the federal Commissioner of Lobbying released a revised draft of the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct (Draft Code) for consultation. The existing Code provides a set of principles and rules outlining the behaviour expected of lobbyists in Canada. The Draft Code proposes several key amendments. Public affairs professionals and other lobbyists should take advantage of the consultation process…

Bill Proposes Changes to Ontario’s Lobbying Legislation

August 13, 2014

On July 8, 2014, Ontario’s Deputy Premier Deb Matthews introduced Bill 8, the Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014 (Bill). An identical bill had previously been introduced in March, but died on the order paper when a provincial election was called. The Bill introduces proposed amendments to theLobbyists Registration Act of 1998 (Act), which are outlined in…