Amendments to the Pension Benefits Standards Regulations, 1985 (PBSR), first announced by the Minister of Finance in October 2009 and released in draft form on September 19, 2014, were released in final form on March 25, 2015. The amendments to the PBSR involve changes to the pension investment rules, changes affecting the regulatory framework for federally regulated defined contribution (DC) plans, as well as other changes affecting member disclosure, electronic communications and improving protection for plan members and beneficiaries under federally regulated plans. The amendments are scheduled to come into force on April 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016. (more…)
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On March 20, 2015, Justice Belobaba released his reasons in Dine v Biomet, a motion concerning the production of medical records prior to a certification motion.
The case is a proposed product liability class action concerning several models of the defendants’ metal-on-metal hip implants. The plaintiff has alleged that the hip implants are defectively manufactured, defectively designed and that the defendant has failed to adequately warn of the dangers associated with its products. (more…)
By Talia Bregman and Carl Cunningham
The Ontario Ministry of Labour recently released version 6.0 of the Employment Standards Poster, which outlines employees’ minimum rights and employers’ minimum obligations. With the release of this new poster, almost every employer in Ontario is required by law to immediately post a hardcopy of version 6.0 in English in a conspicuous place in the workplace such as a communal kitchen. (more…)
A recent decision from the British Columbia Court of Appeal provides an important reminder when communicating by email regarding the negotiation of the terms of an agreement: Just because you haven’t signed a contract, doesn’t mean you haven’t entered into a legally-binding agreement.
In Vancouver Canucks Limited Partnership v Canon Canada Inc, 2015 BCCA 144, the BC Court of Appeal was asked to review a decision from the Supreme Court of British Columbia which had held that through a series of emails, the parties had entered into a multi-year sponsorship agreement. At trial, the Canucks had successfully argued that Canon had entered into a five-year sponsorship agreement with them, despite the fact that the parties had not reached agreement on a key term, both parties had made it clear that any agreement was subject to review by their respective legal teams, and neither party had actually signed anything. (more…)
The Supreme Court of Canada issued a decision today which furthers existing law requiring experts in court proceedings to give fair, objective and non-partisan opinion evidence. A number of cases stood for the proposition that, if there was some doubt about the objectivity of the expert, that was a matter that would go to “weight”, but the evidence would still be admissible. Not so, declared the Supreme Court today. In White Burgess Langille Inman v Abbott and Haliburton Co, the Supreme Court held that the expert’s duty to the court creates a threshold requirement for the admissibility of the expert’s evidence. (more…)
Justice Healy’s January 2015 decision in Patridge v Botony Dental Corporation is likely to be on many lists of top human rights law decisions already decided this year. Besides awarding damages under the Human Rights Code, Justice Healy’s decision discusses the test for family status discrimination (the first time an Ontario court has done so).
Lee Partridge worked as an office manager at Botony Dental Corporation. During a maternity leave, Botony advised Patridge she would return to work as a dental hygienist, beginning most days at 9am. Partridge insisted that she be reinstated as office manager. Partridge also alleged that Botony knew that Patridge could not begin work at 9am due to childcare arrangements. Botony eventually fired Partridge. (more…)
A gas facility operator was recently awarded summary judgment for its unpaid invoices, even though the non-paying producer disputed the amounts owing and claimed various set-offs. In SemCAMS ULC v Blaze Energy Ltd, 2015 ABQB 218 [SemCAMS], the Court accepted that the various contracts between the operator, SemCAMS ULC, and the producer, Blaze Energy Ltd., entitled SemCAMS to payment, albeit subject to Blaze’s right to seek a future adjustment of amounts owing. The decision confirms the “pay first, dispute later” structure of many oil and gas industry agreements, and is likely to impact other Alberta natural gas producers and facility operators to the extent they are subject to similar contracts. (more…)
In the first three months of 2015, importers have witnessed major Canadian customs valuation law and policy changes. On January 19, 2015, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) issued Customs Notice 15-001, “Treatment of Downward Price Adjustments in Value for Duty Calculations”. The Notice embodies the new CBSA policy pursuant to which importers may obtain customs duty refunds in connection with downward transfer pricing adjustments that reduce invoice prices on which customs values of imported goods were based. On March 2, 2015, the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) upheld the judgment of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) disallowing an appeal from a decision of the President of the CBSA in which the President found that certain payments for research, development and design expenses, the subject of a cost-sharing arrangement, were dutiable. (more…)
On November 17, 2014, the governments of Australia and the People’s Republic of China signed a declaration of intent on the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), bringing to a close 24 rounds of negotiations conducted over 10 years. While text of the ChAFTA is not public pending legal review and translation, official announcements make clear that China has granted Australia surprisingly broad access to both its goods and its developing services markets. There are important lessons for Canada as a result.
Canada, like Australia, has a developed economy with an abundance of natural resources (The service sectors of both countries are around 70 percent of GDP. Sources: The World Bank and Statistics Canada). While there are important differences between Canada and Australia (e.g., proximity to China) the ChAFTA contains important lessons for Canada as it pursues deepened trading relationships in Asia and China in particular. The message for Canada in the ChAFTA is clear: Canada is falling behind in securing market access for goods, services, and investment in China. (more…)