News & Publications Results
|BC Human Rights Code Amended to Include "Gender Identity and Expression"
The BC Government has passed a bill (Bill 27 – 2016: Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2016) to add "gender identity and expression" as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Human Rights Code. The amendment adds a prohibition against discrimination on the basis of "gender identity and expression" in addition to the existing grounds of “sex” and “sexual orientation”.
|New Property Tax for Foreign Buyers
The provincial government announced earlier today, July 25, 2016, that foreign buyers of residential real estate in the Greater Vancouver Regional District (excluding Tsawwassen First Nation lands) will be subject to an additional property transfer tax (The “Additional PTT”) of 15% of the fair market value of a foreign entity's proportionate share of property. For a more detailed overview of this new tax, please refer to the Ministry of Finance Tax Information Sheet.
In summary, the Additional PTT:
1. Is effective on August 2, 2016, regardless of when the applicable contract of purchase and sale was entered into.
2. Is in addition to the general property transfer tax payable on applicable real estate transfers registered with the Land Title Office.
3. Applies to "residential property" which includes, but is not limited to, single family residences, duplexes, multifamily residences, apartments, condominiums and nursing homes.
4. Applies to "foreign entities", being:
a) foreign nationals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents; b) foreign corporations that were either not incorporated in Canada or incorporated in Canada but controlled in whole or in part by a foreign national or other foreign corporation (unless the shares of the corporation are listed on a Canadian stock exchange); and c) taxable trusts, being foreign national or foreign corporations or a beneficiary of a trust that is a foreign national or foreign corporation.
5. Applies to any applicable residential property transfer, even if the transaction would normally be exempt from property transfer tax, for example a transaction between related individuals or a transfer resulting from an amalgamation.
6. Does not apply to non-residential property.
7. Requires that foreign entities registering a transfer arrange to have an Additional Property Transfer Tax Return form filed at the time the property transfer is filed with the Land Title Office.
The Additional PTT is being introduced through Bill 28-2016 Miscellaneous Statutes (Housing Priority Initiatives) Amendment Act, 2016 [add link], which passed first reading at the provincial legislature today. This legislation is aimed at creating new measures to help make home ownership in the Lower Mainland more affordable. In addition to amendments to the Property Transfer Tax Act, Bill 28-2016 also includes proposed changes to the Real Estate Services Act to end self-regulation of the real estate industry and to the Vancouver Charter to grant the City of Vancouver the power to implement and administer a tax on vacant houses.
|Lawson Lundell Lawyers Recognized for Their Outstanding Contributions to CLEBC
We are pleased to announce that three lawyers and one alumnus from Lawson Lundell LLP have been recognized by the Continuing Legal Education Society for British Columbia (“CLEBC”) for their outstanding contributions. Partners Edward Wilson, David Allard, James Fraser and former partner Paul Bradley were recognized among CLEBC’s list of the most prolific volunteers from 1996-2016. According to CLEBC, this list “counts each time a volunteer has chaired or co-chaired a course, presented at a course, authored or updated a book chapter or course paper, reviewed a book as a member of an editorial board, or contributed to CLEBC in other specific ways, between 1996 and 2016.” The work that the volunteers have undertaken has included contributions to legal education and analysis as well as refining professional ethics and fostering diverse perspectives in the profession. CLEBC volunteers include lawyers, judges, academics, paralegals, legal support staff and other experts from across BC, Canada and the US. Please join us in congratulating Ed, David, Jim and Paul on this tremendous achievement.
|Supreme Court of Canada Rules that Federal Employees are Protected from Arbitrary Dismissal||14.7.16|
|How to build a successful diversity and inclusiveness program
Partner and our Chief Inclusiveness Officer, Karen MacMillan, has written an article in Business in Vancouver on how to build a successful diversity and inclusiveness program in your organization.
|Insolvency, RedWater and AER LMR 2.0, CAPL Breakfast Meeting||22.6.16|
|“Supreme Court of Canada to hear appeal on Yukon Peel watershed decision”
Toby Kruger, Keith Bergner and John Olynyk provide the following update: On June 9, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada agreed to hear an appeal from Yukon Court of Appeal’s Peel watershed decision. Click here to read our earlier blog post on the Court of Appeal’s decision handed down November 4, 2015.
Read more here.
|"New Restrictions on Assignments of Contracts of Purchase and Sale"
Senior Partner Ed Wilson discusses today's announcement by the Province of British Columbia regarding the new restrictions on Assignments of Contracts of Purchase and Sale and how it could affect you. The article has been featured on The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) website.
|Penalty/Relief - Two Sides of the Same Mortgage Interest Coin When it Comes to Offending S.8 of the Interest Act
The Supreme Court of Canada issued its reasons today in Krayzel Corp. v. Equitable Trust Co., 2016 SCC 18 , adding some clarification to a mortgage lender’s right to protect itself from the increased commercial risk associated with a defaulting mortgagor through the use of interest rates, given s. 8 of the Interest Act.
|Two New Partners Join Lawson Lundell LLP
Lawson Lundell LLP is pleased to welcome Jeff Scobie and Crispin Arthur to its growing Calgary office.
Jeff, a lawyer who is highly regarded by clients involved in oil and gas activities, is now a partner in the firm’s Commercial Law and Oil and Gas Groups. He brings extensive experience advising domestic and international companies in corporate and commercial matters. Jeff previously spent six years in the Middle East and is a former general counsel of Qatar Petroleum. He advises on domestic and international projects and has experience advising in relation to LNG matters.
Crispin, a leading corporate finance and securities lawyer, has now joined the firm’s Business Law, Corporate Finance & Securities Law, Energy Law and Mergers & Acquisitions Groups. His practice includes an emphasis on oil and gas, power, securities and corporate reorganizations.
|Corporate Governance and Directors' Duties in Canada: Overview
Rita Andreone, QC and Michael Lee prepared a Q&A guide to corporate governance law in Canada. The Q&A gives a high level overview of board composition, the comply or explain approach, management rules and authority, directors’ duties and liabilities, transactions with directors and conflicts, company meetings, internal controls, accounts and audit, institutional investors and reform proposals.
For full guide please see the above pdf.
|Recent Developments in Ontario in Employment and Human Rights Law
There were two interesting developments in Ontario this month in employment and human rights law.
1. Changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act
Bill 132 clarifies that reasonable action taken by an employer in managing or directing the workplace and workers is not workplace harassment.
2. Miscarriage is a Disability under Human Rights Law
In another Ontario development, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has found that a miscarriage may be a disability.
Read more about these developments in the above pdf.
|Manitoba Employment Standards Legislation to Include Leave
On March 15, 2016, Manitoba gave royal assent to legislation that will provide employees who are victims of domestic violence with both paid and unpaid leave from work. Titled The Employment Standards Code Amendment Act (Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence, Leave for Serious Injury or Illness and Extension of Compassionate Care Leave) (the “Act”), the law is the first of its kind in Canada.
|William Everett, QC Joins BC Utilities Commission and Property Assessment Appeal Board
After over 44 years at Lawson Lundell LLP, William Everett, QC will be leaving the firm to take up appointments as a Commissioner of the BC Utilities Commission and a member of the Property Assessment Appeal Board. He will also be joining Vancouver Arbitration Chambers as a Resident Neutral providing arbitration and mediation services.
|B.C. Introduces a New Law to Govern Non-profit Societies
Jag Shergill, Nate Todd-Jones and Tom Boyd prepared an article titled, "B.C. Introduces a New Law to Govern Non-profit Societies", that was featured in the April - May 2016 edition of the Surrey Business News. The article discusses the driving force behind the passing of the new Societies Act (British Columbia), which will come into force on November 28, 2016, replacing the existing British Columbia Society Act.
|Do We Really Need Stricter Regulation on A&D Activity in This Market?||04.4.16|
|2016 Federal Budget: Key Tax Changes
The 2016 Federal Budget was released March 22nd. The overarching theme is to provide increased benefits and relief to middle-class individuals and to close or restrict cross-border tax planning. This article prepared by Max Walker, discusses highlights of the new budget.
|Government of Canada Proposes Methodology for Estimating Upstream GHG Emissions in Major Project Review
Late last week, the Government of Canada released a proposed methodology for estimating upstream GHG emissions from proposed oil and gas projects undergoing federal environmental assessment. This comes on the heels of the Government’s announcement in late January of its new guiding principles for project review, one of which included assessment of “direct and upstream greenhouse gas emissions linked to the projects under review” (see our previous blog post here). Interested parties have until April 18 to provide comment to the Oil, Gas and Alternate Energy Division of Environment and Climate Change Canada, following which a final methodology will be developed.
Read more here.
|AER LLR Program - Introduction and Issues||15.3.16|
|The little search engine that could, but would prefer not to: Google’s appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada against a new kind of worldwide injunction||26.2.16|