News & Publications Results
|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.
|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.
|Securities Regulation and Insolvency Proceedings||20.4.15|
|“But I’m a lawyer…” Supreme Court of Canada clarifies mental element necessary for contempt
On April 16, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada released its Reasons for Judgment in the case of Carey v. Laiken, 2015 SCC 17, clarifying that a specific intention to breach a court order is not necessary for a finding of contempt, and clarifying when a Court can and cannot revisit a finding of contempt that it has previously made.
Read more here
|A Canadian Model of Corporate Governance||12.4.15|
|Heather Ferris quoted in The Globe and Mail on Target Corp. announcing plans to retreat from Canada||04.4.15|
|Heather Ferris quoted in Lexpert Magazine on the feature, "The Ripple Effect, A stressed economy means more restructuring and insolvency and more cost pressures for lawyers."
Heather Ferris was quoted in the April 2015 issue of Lexpert Magazine on the feature, "The Ripple Effect, A stressed economy means more restructuring and insolvency and more cost pressures for lawyers."
|Suspension held to Constitute Constructive Dismissal: Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission, 2015 SCC 10
Employers frequently ask us whether they are allowed to suspend an employee, and, if they do so, whether there is a risk that the employee may sue for constructive dismissal. In a Supreme Court of Canada judgment released on Friday, the main issue was, in what circumstances may a non-unionized employee who is suspended indefinitely with pay claim to have been constructively dismissed? This article will focus on the majority reasons of the Court.
|Apples, Patents and Trolls, Oh My!
EAST TEXAS – On February 25, 2015, Apple Inc. was found liable for patent infringement on three patents owned by Smartflash LLC and ordered, by an East Texas jury, to pay Smartflash LLC the princely sum of $532.9 million dollars in damages for the infringement.
Read more here.
|Court suspends implementation of Mackenzie Valley “Superboard”
The Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories has granted an injunction to the Tlicho Government suspending the implementation of the Mackenzie Valley “Superboard” legislation. Creation of the Mackenzie Valley “Superboard” is contemplated in amendments to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA) contained in the Northwest Territories Devolution Act, whose effect would be to collapse the functions of the Wek’eezhii Land and Water Board (WLWB), the Sahtu Land and Water Board, and the Gwich’in Land and Water Board into one single land and water board – or “Superboard”. The injunction means that the existing land and water boards will continue to exist until the underlying issues in this case are determined, including a determination of whether the Superboard legislation is unconstitutional because it is contrary to Tlicho Land Claims Agreement.
Read more here.
|Essential Tasks of Pension and Benefit Plan Trustees
This publication was designed to ensure trustees are aware of how essential it is that they understand their legal duties, what to watch out for, and how to limit their exposure to liability.
|Compliance with Confidentiality Orders: The Ethics of Confidentiality - Preventing Data Leaks and Dealing with Their Consequences||23.2.15|
|BC Budget Update - Hidden Treasure
The BC Budget (tabled on February 17, 2015) contained no major announcements and no general corporate or personal tax rate changes. Nonetheless, it provides opportunity for personal tax planning for high rate tax payers, and extends useful assistance to early stage businesses in BC.
|Proposed Changes to Enhance Compliance and Enforcement Powers for WorkSafeBC
On February 11, 2015, the B.C. Government tabled Bill 9, the Workers’ Compensation Amendment Act, 2015 which if passed, significantly expands WorkSafeBC’s powers to deal with non-compliance and increases employers’ obligations in respect of workplace health and safety.
The purpose of the legislation is to strengthen WorkSafeBC’s ability to promote and enforce occupational health and safety compliance, particularly in the area of inspections and investigations.