News & Publications Results

Title Date
Craig Ferris named 2016 Employee Benefits Law Lawyer of the Year (Vancouver) by Best Lawyers

Craig Ferris has been named Best Lawyers Employee Benefits Law Lawyer of the Year in Vancouver for 2016

SCC clarifies that provincial superior courts can decide the lawfulness of federal legislation if doing so is a “necessary step” in resolving the claim before them

On July 9, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Strickland v Canada, 2015 SCC 37 (Strickland). At the heart of the case was whether the Federal Court was correct in refusing to exercise its discretion to hear a judicial review of the Federal Child Support Guidelines (the Guidelines) on the basis that the provincial superior courts were a more appropriate venue. While the decision dealt specifically with the Guidelines, the conclusions reached therein apply equally to all federal legislation.

Recently Enacted Regulations Impose New Health and Safety Requirements on Federally Regulated Businesses

On June 19, 2015, the Federal Government enacted the Policy Committees, Work Place Committees and Health and Safety Representatives Regulations. These Regulations impose new obligations on federally regulated businesses in respect of their health and safety committees or representative. The Regulations ensure that federally regulated workplaces are required to meet a similar standard to their provincial counterparts, which are subject to similar standards under provincial legislation. Some of the businesses affected by these regulations include those dealing in interprovincial trucking, railways, air transportation, marine shipping, telecommunications, banking, and First Nation businesses. 

Federal Private Sector Privacy Legislation Amendments

Long anticipated amendments to the federal private sector privacy legislation, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”), were made with the passing into law of the Digital Privacy Act in late June. 

 In the employment context, PIPEDA applies to federally regulated employers (including banks, telecommunication companies, airlines and other interprovincial businesses) and private sector employers operating in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Federal Government Passes Union Spending Bill, Bill C-377

The federal government has enacted a new tax law that requires unions to disclose financial information (Bill C-377, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act, passed on June 30, 2015). The bill had been slowly progressing for four years. It was the first private member’s bill to proceed to the Senate this session, and its passing was the final legislative act of the 41st Parliament.

"Canada's B.C. Court of Appeal Rules Facebook's Forum Selection Clause Overrides Certification of B.C.'s Privacy Act Claims 01.7.15
"Post-retirement Benefit Class Actions: Vivendi Canada Inc. v. Dell'Aniello', Pension Planning 25.6.15
The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Corporate Governance 2015 Edition

This article appeared in the 2015 edition of The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Corporate Governance; published by Global Legal Group Ltd, London.

Off-duty tracking offside, says legal experts 15.6.15
"BC CLE, Foreclosure Update, Costs & Disbursements & Civil Forfeiture 27.5.15
Amaan Gangji's article on the venture capital industry being strong as ever published on TechVibes

Amaan Gangji's article "Room for Optimism in Assessing the Future of Venture Capital in Canada"  appeared in TechVibes. In this article, Amaan highlights the rise of Canada's venture capital industry. However he notes that despite the growth, average venture capital financing deal sizes in Canada have remained relativelty small in comparison to the world's top ten nations.

Bill 24 - The New British Columbia Societies Act

The new Societies Act is intended to provide greater flexibility to the internal governance of not-for-profit organizations, while enhancing accountability measures among charities and publicly funded societies. Some of the many proposed changes include implementing new corporate governance procedures, as well as distinguishing between publicly funded societies and member-funded societies (being those societies funded primarily by its members to carry on activities for the benefit of its members).

New Employer Occupational Health and Safety Obligations Now in Force

On May 14, 2015, Bill 9, the Workers’ Compensation Amendment Act, 2015, was given Royal Assent. As we previously reported, the amendments significantly expand WorkSafeBC’s powers to deal with non-compliance and increase employers’ obligations in respect of workplace health and safety. Several sections of the statute are now in force. Of particular note is the new two stage incident investigation process. Employers must undertake a Preliminary Investigation and rectify any unsafe conditions, acts or procedures within 48 hours, followed by a Full Investigation of which a copy of the investigation report must be provided to WorkSafeBC within 30 days of the incident.

Clients are encouraged to review their internal incident investigation procedures to ensure that they meet the new standard. Employers failing to comply with the requirements of the Act could face financial penalties.

Pension Reform: Pension Benefits Standards Act in Force September 30, 2015

The new Pension Benefits Standards Act was passed by the BC Legislature in May of 2012 and amended once in 2014 (the “New Act”). On May 11, 2015 the Regulations to the New Act were released (the “New Regulations”), which provide further detail and rules that support the New Act. 

A comprehensive review of the New Regulations is beyond the scope of this announcement. The Pension and Employee Benefits Law Group at Lawson Lundell will be hosting one or more information sessions in the coming weeks to remind sponsors, administrators and advisors of the rules contained in the New Act and to discuss the effect of the New Regulations.  

Is it Time for a Limitations Audit

The new BC Limitation Act came into force on June 1, 2013. One of the significant changes was to reduce the basic limitation period for most claims to two years from the date the claim was discovered. As a result, claims discovered on or after June 1, 2013 will become statute-barred in the very immediate future.

While it is always a good idea to take inventory of potential claims and the limitation periods that will apply to them, the two-year anniversary of the new Limitations Act can be a springboard for an organization to conduct a limitations audit.

Heather Ferris quoted in The Globe and Mail on Target Canada returning leases 01.5.15
Amendments to Pension Investment Rules, Federal DC Accounts and Federal Disclosure Rules

On March 25, 2015, the Government of Canada published regulations amending the Pension Benefits Standards Regulations, 1985 (the “PBSR”). The amendments include changes to the federal investment rules set out in Schedule III of the PBSR (the “Investment Rules”). As the Investment Rules have been adopted by reference in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, the changes extend beyond the federal jurisdiction. The amendments are intended to modernize the Investment Rules.

The amendments to the Investment Rules come into force on July 1, 2016. 

Keith Bergner quoted in the Daily Oil Bulletin 21.4.15
Heather Ferris quoted in The New York Times 21.4.15
Keith Bergner quoted in the Calgary Herald discussing impact-benefit agreements between industry and Aboriginal groups.

Keith Bergner was quoted in the Calgary Herald article "Federal government blasted over land native claim inaction" discussing impact-benefit agreements between industry and Aboriginal groups.