Category: Corporate & Commercial

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Happy New Year? AODA Requirements Coming into Force on January 1, 2015

November 17, 2014

  As described in previous Blakes Bulletins, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) requires public and private organizations in Ontario to take proactive steps to eliminate barriers to the participation of individuals with disabilities in Ontario society. The Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) enacted under AODA creates obligations in various areas, including information and communications, employment, transportation…

Shoppers Surprisingly Willing To Give Up Privacy For Deals

October 3, 2014

Retailers are in a hurry to beam messages to shoppers in stores using new technology. There has been some debate as to whether shoppers will welcome this messaging or simply find it creepy. Now there’s new research to indicate it’s the former. Close to half of all smartphone owners are open to receiving location-based messages, if it means receiving more…

Selected International Measures from August 2014 Legislative Proposals

September 8, 2014

On August 29, 2014, the Minister of Finance released for consultation draft legislative proposals (August 29 Proposals) to amend the Income Tax Act (Canada) (Act) which would implement certain measures from the 2014 federal budget as well as certain other measures. The government has invited comments by September 28, 2014. It is expected that the government will then introduce these…

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…

As Coming into Force Looms, CRTC Publishes Anti-Spam Corporate Compliance Guidance

June 20, 2014

With less than two weeks to go before the coming into force date for the main provisions of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) published a number of infographics and a Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletin CRTC 2014-326: Guidelines to help businesses develop corporate compliance programs (Compliance Bulletin).     BRIEF BACKGROUND   Designed as one of…

Handle with Care: Ontario Court Finds Boilerplate Arbitration Clause Doesn’t Apply

June 16, 2014

A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice highlights the importance of drafting arbitration clauses with care. In2156775 Ontario Inc. v. Just Energy, the court dismissed a motion to stay an action in favour of arbitration, finding that the dispute was not captured by the arbitration clause.     FACTS   The plaintiff customer allegedly entered into contracts…

Government of Québec 2014-15 Budget – Public Financial Discipline Imposed: Impact on Businesses

June 12, 2014

  The goal of the newly elected majority government (Government) is to create both wealth and employment in Quebec. To achieve this goal, the Government needs to end the structural imbalance of public finances. There are two pillars underlying this goal: a growing economy and sound, balanced public finances. The Government has identified five measures for achieving economic prosperity: support…

Public Procurement in Quebec: New Authorization Regime under Judicial Scrutiny

June 12, 2014

On December 7, 2012, in the wake of the corruption and collusion scandals, the newly elected Quebec government (Government) adopted its first piece of legislation, the Integrity in Public Contracts Act (Integrity Act), which introduced the requirement for business enterprises wishing to contract with the Government to obtain a prior authorization from the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), Quebec’s financial markets regulator….

Sign Language: Quebec Court Rules on English-only Trade-mark Use in Public Signs

April 15, 2014

  On April 9, 2014 the Superior Court of Québec issued a long-awaited decision sought by various retailers who challenged the interpretation of Quebec’s language legislation by the Office Québécois de la langue française (OQLF) in relation to the use of trade-marks in a language other than French on storefront signs. In Magasins Best Buy ltée c. Québec (Procureur général), the…

Good News for Canadian Businesses: International and Internal Trade a Priority in 2014 Budget

February 13, 2014

  On February 11, 2014, Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty tabled Economic Action Plan 2014 (Budget 2014) in the House of Commons. In Budget 2014, the federal government outlined a number of significant trade developments that have occurred over the past year, confirmed tariff relief for offshore oil and gas exploration companies, and introduced several new initiatives to ensure that consumers and…

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