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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Corporate Administration

NAFTA renegotiation and modernization consultations

The Government of Canada is requesting submissions from persons interested in the renegotiation and modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The purpose of these consultations is to identify “key interests and concerns” about NAFTA. Submissions are due by July 18, 2017.

 

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Risk management in review

PwC’s latest Risk In Review study makes some very interesting points. It carries the title of “Managing risk from the front line” and I recommend downloading and reading it.

 

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Ontario’s proposed changes to employment and labour laws could still impact franchising

The Ontario government has responded with surprising speed to the Final Report from the Changing Workplaces Review (the Final Report) by introducing Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 on June 1, only eight days after the release of the Final Report on May 23, 2017. Bill 148 is intended to implement certain recommendations made in the Final Report. In a positive development for franchisors and franchisees, Bill 148 does not include measures to adopt the more drastic recommendations in the Final Report that were specifically directed at franchise systems.

 

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Canadian government suspends CASL private right of action

The Canadian federal government has announced that it has suspended the coming into force of the private right of action under Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL), originally scheduled to come into force on July 1, 2017.

 

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Are your internal auditors present?

The audit plan should reflect reality, not ivory tower beliefs. How confident are you that your audit plan addresses the risks as they appear in the front lines? Is that acceptable? If not, what are you doing about it?

 

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BC will see big changes to small claims on June 1, 2017

On March 20, 2017, the Province of British Columbia announced significant changes to the jurisdiction of the Civil Resolution Tribunal and Provincial Court to address small claims court matters.

 

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CASL’s soon-to-be-enacted private right of action brings risk of class proceedings

On July 1, 2017, the private right of action under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will come into force.

 

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The state of the internal audit profession

I don’t believe internal audit is “losing prestige”. My belief is that internal audit can and should do more to deliver the value that our stakeholders need. Unfortunately, internal audit at many if not most organizations does not have a lot of prestige and the argument should be about increasing rather than losing it.

 

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Federal Court of Appeal provides much-needed clarity on the “obvious to try” test and meaning of “inventive concept”

The Federal Court of Appeal has now provided much-needed clarity and guidance on two critical points in Canadian patent law: the meaning of “inventive concept” and the use of the “obvious to try” test in the obviousness analysis.

 

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Don’t outsmart yourself: AI and compliance

I’m a big fan of artificial intelligence. The older I get, the more I appreciate that real intelligence needs all the help it can get. Corporate ethics and compliance officers, however, need to pause before betting big on AI as a solution to all our needs.

 

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Website operator jailed for distributing copyright infringing copies of musical works: R v Evans

Is operating a website that provides links to torrent websites which facilitates unauthorized downloading of musical works a criminal offence? If so, can the operator of such sites expect jail time as punishment for this crime? In a recent decision of the English and Wales Court of Appeal, the accused, Mr Evans, was convicted of two offences of distributing infringing copies of musical works and was sentenced to 12 months in prison for these crimes.

 

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Plan administrators cannot “undo” negligent representation

It is well established from the case law that a pension plan administrator may be susceptible to legal claims where inaccurate or unclear information has been communicated to plan beneficiaries.

 

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CASL’s private right of action for Competition Act reviewable conduct

While much has been written about the impending CASL private rights of action, less has been said about the new private right of action CASL will tack on to the Competition Act for misrepresentations in electronic messages.

 

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Ontario court decides ground-breaking online copyright case

Trader Corp v CarGurus Inc, a recent Ontario Superior Court decision, breaks a staggering amount of new ground in Canadian copyright law.

 

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The risk of material errors in the quarterly financial statements

Audit Analytics has released some interesting statistics on financial restatements and SOX. According to them, in 2015 about 5.3% of companies assessed their internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) as ineffective. This is down from 5.8% in 2014 but otherwise the highest level since 2008. This is the key section of their report.

 

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