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News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Author Archive - Apolone Gentles, JD, CPA,CGA, FCCA, Bsc (Hons)

Apolone Gentles is a CPA,CGA and Ontario lawyer and editor with over 20 years of business experience. She has held senior leadership roles in non-profit organizations, leading finance, human resources, information technology and facilities teams. She has also held senior roles in audit and assurance services at a “Big Four” audit firm. Apolone has also lectured in Auditing, Economics and Business at post-secondary schools. Read more here

The Canadian real estate market: Affordability and money laundering

Although Canada has a robust anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regime, there is much room for improvement. Real estate may be an easy way for criminals to launder money. According to Transparency International, this is a major problem in several countries, including Canada. A recent report looks at the main problems related to real estate and money laundering in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States. It concludes that current rules and practices are inadequate to mitigate the risks and detect money laundering in the real estate sector.

 

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Anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing developments

New anti-money laundering and terrorist financing guidelines by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) are now in force. FINTRAC recently released new guidelines in respect of politically exposed persons and Heads of International Organizations. The Guidelines were effective June 17, 2017, and complement new regulatory provisions which came into force on June 17, 2017, under the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act.

 

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High heels or the highway: Does your dress code policy need a makeover?

Recent developments in British Columbia, Ontario, and the United Kingdom, have refocused attention on dress codes—particularly appropriate footwear requirements—and with it, concerns about occupational health and safety, gender–equality, and other human rights. Because this is 2017, not the 1800s, it may be difficult to process the frequency with which many workplaces still require women to wear high heels or dress in other sexualized or gender–specific ways.

 

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The sharing economy expands the tax base

The sharing economy has disrupted the traditional taxi, hospitality and other sectors, and is expanding the tax base available to governments and revenue agencies worldwide.

 

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Missing comma means millions in overtime pay

The case involved an ambiguity in a Maine statute dealing with overtime pay. Under the statute, employees involved in certain activities were exempt from the overtime provisions, so they were not entitled to overtime pay. A group of drivers in Oakhurst argued that they were entitled to overtime pay.

 

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Volunteer falls off ladder and sues church

If a volunteer falls off a ladder, and there is no one around to see how or why they fell, who is liable? The Court in the following matter addresses this.

 

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CRA’s Report on the Charities Program 2015-16

In January 2017, the CRA released its Report on the Charities Program 2015–2016, which provides interesting insights into Canada’s charitable sector. A common thread weaving through issues related to obtaining and maintaining charitable status is the need to create, maintain, and report/file information required by the Charities Directorate and the Income Tax Act.

 

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Not–for–profits and charities: 4 New Year’s resolutions

Many people feel that New Year’s resolutions are passé, particularly since so many resolutions go unachieved each year. But, a resolution is essentially a plan to tackle something of importance, and planning is often half the battle. The following are 4 resolutions that can help strengthen charities and other not–for–profits in 2017.

 

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New Ontario statutes in effect December 10, 2016

The new requirements may be particularly onerous for corporations like home–builders or condominium developers, or any other corporation which may have hundreds or thousands of ownership interests in land.

 

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Lobbying: Considerations for not-for-profits

There have been many recent changes in lobbying law. Some jurisdictions, like New Brunswick, have passed lobbying legislation, while other jurisdictions, like Ontario, have made significant changes to existing legislation. Here are four things not–for–profits must consider.

 

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When it’s just not fair: The oppression remedy

While organizations have broad discretion to conduct their affairs as they see fit, courts may intervene if an organization’s conduct is unfair or oppressive. A recent case involving a Saskatchewan non–profit is a brief primer on the statutory oppression remedy, and is reminder that this remedy may be available in both non–profit and for–profit corporate statutes.

 

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The pitfalls of unwritten contracts – Part 3

Getting your contracts in writing is half the battle. You must also ensure that your contract says what you want it to say, and says it clearly. The main issue in the following case was the interpretation of an employment agreement.

 

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Ministry of Finance accepting comments on new Employer Health Tax rules for charities

The Ontario Ministry of Finance is proposing a new regulation under the Employer Health Tax Act, to include special Employer Health Tax rules for registered charities. The new regulation could be effective as early as January 1, 2017.

 

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The pitfalls of unwritten contracts – Part 2

Many employers still do not enter into written contracts with their employees. A recent case from British Columbia illustrates why this is a bad idea. The parties ended up in Court, where a Judge had to piece together testimony and the facts at the time the contract was made, to determine the nature of contract.

 

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The pitfalls of unwritten contracts – Part 1

This is not to suggest that written contracts provide perfect inoculation against lawsuits—litigants often misunderstand the obvious; written information may be open to multiple interpretations; and people sue even when they have no case. Two important considerations when making an agreement that you wish to be legally binding and enforceable in a court of law, are:

 

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