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News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Records Management and Retention

Department of Finance releases consultation paper on new retail payments oversight framework

On July 7, 2017, the Department of Finance issued the consultation paper “A New Retail Payments Oversight Framework” (the “Consultation Paper”) proposing a federal oversight framework for retail payments. Comments on the Consultation Paper are due October 6, 2017.

 

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The future of securities regulation of distributed ledger technologies

The following discussion provides a general description of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and the current state of the regulatory landscape in Ontario. To date, the Ontario Securities Commission has not explicitly categorized a blockchain token or coin (which are further discussed below) as an investment contract or other type of security under section […]

 

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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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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 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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Lawful access: The Privacy Commissioner reiterates its position

Patricia Kosseim, Senior General Counsel and Director General, Legal Services, Policy, Research and Technology Analysis for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, was asked, at the request of Commission’s counsel, to provide an overview of the legislation for protecting privacy in Canada and to answer questions about lawful access issues from a federal perspective.

 

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Document discovery and native documents: Document production must be “usable”

The recent Alberta case of Bard v. Canadian Natural Resources provides a road map for compelling the production of native electronic documents in “usable” form.

 

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Protecting trade secrets using non-disclosure agreements

In Canada, the issue of whether an NDA may be an unenforceable restraint of trade has been explored in the employment law context, however, there has been very little discussion as to whether an NDA could be considered a restraint of trade in transactions between two or more businesses. There has also been little discussion in Canada as to the distinction between trade secrets and ordinary confidential information. As such, US case law may provide some guidance.

 

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New record-keeping requirements for Ontario corporations

While the new record-keeping requirements are relatively straightforward for corporations with just a few “ownership interests” in real property, corporations with significant interests, such as those involved in property development, face a much more onerous task. It is therefore recommended that Ontario corporations begin preparing the register as soon as possible to gather the required information and to establish a common practice.

 

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Trump at work, week one

The first week of Trump’s administration has revealed a highly activist White House, hewing with surprising fidelity to campaign promises. The pace of change is materially faster than anticipated and the implications may be felt sooner rather than later.

 

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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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Views on the future of risk management

James Lam has an impressive resume: Chief Risk Officer for major financial institutions, author of a respected book on ERM, consultant, and board member. Recently, he wrote a white paper that is available through RIMS or Workiva, Next Frontier: Performance-Based Continuous ERM. I think it is fair to say that James and I agree on many points but disagree on others.

 

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Anti-money laundering update: Politically exposed persons

On December 20, 2016, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada released new guidelines in respect of politically exposed persons and heads of international organizations. A separate guideline was released for each of financial entities, securities dealers, life insurance companies, agents and brokers and money services businesses. The Guidelines will be effective June 17, 2017.

 

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Tax voluntary disclosures for Canadian residents

As anticipated, the Canada Revenue Agency has been put on notice to restrict its Voluntary Disclosures Program.

 

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Adequacy of Canadian privacy law

Potential amendments could mean Canadian businesses receiving personal information from Europe will have more exposure to the differences in the data protection laws and enforcement regimes in the EU member states.

 

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