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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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2014

Top 10 most read Inside Internal Controls posts published in 2014 and Season’s Greetings

The holidays are upon us and it is time to take a well deserved break. We are signing off for 2014 with a list of the top 10 most read posts published in 2014. Although Canada’s anti-spam legislation dominated the list, accessibility, internal controls and charities were also very topical.

 

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Public holiday reminders for the 2014-15 holiday season

The holiday season is often the happiest time of the year, because of time spent with family, gifts and many other things. However, it can also be the most stressful time of the year, especially at work. Deadlines are often tight because of shifting schedules, customers and workloads can be more demanding, and there may be pressure to increase performance to meet end-of-year business goals. Family demands, travel and employment standards public holiday (statutory holiday/general holiday) requirements can also take a toll. Management should not forget what employees are entitled to, and their responsibilities, under the law regarding time off during the holidays. Here is a brief summary:

 

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CASL “take 2”: New provisions coming for January 2015

Author: Xavier Beauchamp-Tremblay, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP The entry into force of the first group of provisions of Canada’s anti-spam act [1] (CASL) on July 1, 2014, (the Spam Provisions) generated considerable attention. Now that businesses have (hopefully) determined and deployed their compliance strategy for the Spam Provisions, another set of articles from CASL is […]

 

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Sexual harassment: Managing the risk

On the heels of Jian Ghomeshi’s firing from the CBC and the suspension of two Liberal MPs from caucus, Canadians are talking about sexual harassment. Although not a topic that is typically associated with the philanthropic sector, charities and non-profits are not immune from dealing with these types of issues…

 

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Court confirms that religious charities must actively promote a religion

Earlier this month, the Federal Court of Appeal was asked to consider whether the Minister of National Revenue had erred in confirming the decision of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to deny the Humanics Institute’s application for charitable status. CRA denied the application on the basis that: 1) The Humanics Institute’s purposes were too broad; 2) the activities stated in support of its purposes were not charitable; and 3) it did not demonstrate that it would have direction and control over certain of its resources, as its proposed funding of a foreign scholarship could not be considered to be the organization’s “own activities” or the funding of a qualified donee.

 

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Eighteen-year tax battle with the CRA a win for taxpayers

Irvin Leroux fought the Canada Revenue Agency for 18 years over allegations of unpaid taxes and gross negligence. Despite losing some of Leroux’s original documents, the CRA eventually claimed he owed close to a million dollars in taxes, penalties and interest for three years when he was starting his RV park business in British Columbia.

 

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What charites & non-profits can learn from the Ministry of Labour blitz on unpaid internships

Volunteers and unpaid interns are not covered by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) and therefore are not subject to minimum wage and other requirements of the legislation. However, on September 30, 2014, the Ministry of Labour released the results of its recent blitz where it was determined that a number of unpaid interns in various sectors of the economy were actually employees covered by the ESA, and accordingly, entitled to minimum wages, vacation pay and other protections afforded to employees under the ESA. While the Ministry of Labour did not specifically target charities and non-profits in this blitz, there are many lessons to be learned due to the large number of volunteers and unpaid interns working in these sectors.

 

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Substantive patent and design amendments bring Canada in line with its treaty obligations

The Government of Canada introduced for first reading in Parliament numerous amendments to intellectual property and other statutes on October 23, 2014. Bill C-43, an omnibus budget bill, amends Canada’s Patent Act to conform to the Patent Law Treaty (“PLT”) and the Industrial Design Act to conform to the Geneva (1999) Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs.

 

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CRA puts federally-incorporated charities on notice

In September, we received a number of inquires from charities that received alarming letters from the Canada Revenue Agency’s Charities Directorate with regard to keeping their registered charity status under the Income Tax Act.

 

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Supreme Court recalls broad principles regarding the disclosure of evidence held by a third party in Quebec civil law

By Martin F. Sheehan and Nikolas Blanchette The civil law has recognized for some time that a party to a telephone conversation can record the conversation and use it in connection with civil litigation unless the use of such evidence would tend to bring the administration of justice into disrepute [1]. It is also recognized […]

 

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Government updates corporate social responsibility strategy for extractive industry abroad

A review of the federal government’s 2009 corporate social responsibility strategy (CSR) for the Canadian extractive industry operating in foreign countries found companies are recognizing “the need to consider CSR in planning and operations,” but are asking the government for more assistance…

 

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Canadian trade-mark owners: beware of recent frauds and scams

Owners of Canadian trade-marks are being targeted in a series of frauds and scams that, in various iterations, have been around for many years but which appear to have recently re-surfaced with a vengeance.

 

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CASL computer program provisions come into force January 2015

Effective January 15, 2015, new rules under the Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) will impose an express consent regime on the installation of a computer program on another person’s PC, smartphone or other computer-based device. The rules will apply to almost any computer program, not just malware/spyware/harmful programs.

 

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First international standard on cloud services and personal information protection

The International Standards Organization has released a standard for privacy aimed at cloud computing service providers.

 

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Lead from the front lines: The power of coaching in sales training engagements

What is the lifeblood of any organization? Innovation? Talent? Intellectual property, perhaps? But the answer in this case is sales.

 

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