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News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Government Budget, Throne Speech and Plans

Federal Budget 2017-18: Impact on businesses

federal budget 2017

On March 22, 2017, Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the Liberal Government’s Federal Budget 2017, Building a Strong Middle Class, which includes various measures affecting businesses. The federal budget 2017 is modest and is focused on skills training, innovation and how Canada will promote sustainable growth. The government is forecasting a deficit of $28.5-billion, […]

 

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Government legal and fiscal measures designed to keep businesses in Quebec

On February 21, 2017, the Quebec government announced a plan to strengthen the Quebec economy as an executive-driven economy. The plan includes the enhancement of existing measures and the development of a number of new fiscal and legal measures designed to keep businesses in Quebec and facilitate the transfer of family businesses, therefore limiting the risk of their sale to foreign interests. The key measures include:

 

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Cannabis legislation and regulation

The Liberal Party of Canada made the legalization of marijuana a priority during the 2015 federal election campaign and now the Liberal government has taken a step toward enacting that promise. On June 30, 2016, the Government of Canada launched a Task Force to advise it on the design of a legislative and regulatory framework for legal access to cannabis. The prescribed framework was the Government’s commitment in the 2015 Speech From the Throne to legalize, regulate, and restrict access to cannabis.

 

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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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Consulting with Canadians on accessibility legislation

Between July 2016 and February 2017, the federal government is consulting Canadians on planned accessibility legislation. The goal of the law would be to promote equality of opportunity and increase the inclusion and participation of Canadians who have disabilities or functional limitations in all areas of every day life.

 

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An expanded Canada Pension Plan (and a very questionable future for the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan)

The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) seemed like a sure thing—until it wasn’t. On June 20, 2016, Bill Morneau, the federal Minister of Finance, and eight of ten provincial finance ministers did what many to this point thought was impossible: reach an agreement in principle to expand the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

 

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Thirty percent rule update and tax policy review

The federal government is reviewing one of the investment rules that applies to registered pension plan investments. The review is considering both the pension and tax policy rationale for the rule. While the repeal or relaxation of this rule would not impact the majority of Canadian registered pension plans in terms of their actual investments, any changes to income tax rules relating to pension plan investments could have much broader application. If you wish to make submissions to the federal government, they must be submitted by Sept. 16, 2016.

 

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Prepare for harmonized sales tax (HST) rate changes

HST rates are set to increase in three provinces. Businesses based in, or doing business with these provinces should prepare for the changes.

 

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Provincial and territorial 2016 budget overview

Throughout the last few months a number of provinces and territories have released their Budgets for the year 2016. The following is a brief overview of each of those Budgets released to date.

 

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Federal Budget 2016 at a glance: A business perspective

On March 22, 2016, the new Liberal Government’s first federal budget, Growing the Middle Class (“Budget 2016”), was tabled. Budget 2016 focuses on growing the economy, creating jobs, and strengthening the middle class.

 

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Review panel recommends creation of new Ontario Financial Services Regulator

On November 4, 2015, a panel appointed by the Government of Ontario to review the mandate of provincial financial services regulators – the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, the Financial Services Tribunal and the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario – published its preliminary position paper “Review of the Mandates of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, Financial Services Tribunal, and the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario”. The panel recommended the creation of a new provincial financial services regulatory agency (“Financial Services Regulatory Authority” to exercise both prudential and market conduct regulation, essentially replacing FSCO and DICO. Comments on the paper are due by December 14, 2015.

 

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Ontario Ministry’s expert report recommends big changes to province’s corporate laws

On July 9, 2015, an expert panel convened by the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) released their final report (the Expert Report) containing many broad recommendations on how to modernize Ontario’s increasingly outdated business legislation. The Expert Report dealt with laws relating to corporations, partnerships, secured lending and other commercial activities. Taken […]

 

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Key developments in economic sanctions and export controls and what to watch for in 2015

In recent years, Canada has significantly expanded its multilateral and unilateral trade control measures. Broader scope and increased enforcement in the areas of economic sanctions, export and technology transfer controls, and defence trade controls have raised the stakes for Canadians engaged in cross-border activities. Enforcement and reputational risk is higher than ever and it is critical for any Canadian company doing business abroad to ensure it has internal controls in place to mitigate the growing risk exposure.

 

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OSC proposes large financial awards for whistleblowers

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is inviting comment on a proposed comprehensive whistleblowing program (Program) which would award eligible whistleblowers up to $1.5 million for reporting securities law misconduct that leads to significant enforcement or settlement orders.

 

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Cross-border price discrimination: Increased powers for the commissioner of competition

On December 9, 2014, new legislation, referred to as the Price Transparency Act, was tabled in Parliament to target “unjustified” cross-border price discrimination.

 

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