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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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What’s in a slogan? Federal Court issues interlocutory injunction in trademark infringement case

The Federal Court granted an interlocutory injunction restraining Sears from using the slogan “There is no reason to buy a mattress anywhere else”. Sleep Country owns two Canadian trademark registrations for the slogan “Why buy a mattress anywhere else?”. The slogan, and its accompanying musical jingle, have been used by Sleep Country in television, print, radio, and online advertising and promotional campaigns since 1994.

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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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$8 million awarded for employer retaliation claim following Whistleblower Report

While massive awards paid out by regulators to whistleblowers continue to dominate headlines, a U.S. jury recently awarded a significant damages award to a former employee who alleged that his employer retaliated against him after he reported misconduct.

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New guidance on operational risk

When an organization is focused on avoiding failure, it is very hard to be successful. Operational risk is basically about the things that can go wrong in day–to–day processes that can trip you up. It is impossible to eliminate such risk. The best you can hope for is to take a level of risk that is appropriate given the business and what it takes to be successful.

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Guidelines on the National Security Review of Investments

With the highly anticipated release of its Guidelines on the National Security Review of Investments, the Canadian government has finally shed some light on circumstances which may draw investors and parties involved in the investment into the realm of a national security review.

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Expanded Employer Health Tax exemption for charities with multiple locations

As of January 1, 2017, the Employer Health Tax rules specific to charities have undergone a significant change that will benefit certain charities with multiple locations: If a registered charity has more than one “qualifying campus”, it can claim an Employer Health Tax exemption amount for each one of them separately.

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Rectification requires prior agreement to succeed: Intention alone insufficient

In two recent decisions, the Supreme Court of Canada held (by a 7–2 majority) that rectification of a written instrument requires the existence of a prior agreement amongst the parties, with definite and ascertainable terms. Courts may rectify an instrument if it fails to accurately record the agreement and the rectification of the instrument would record the parties’ prior agreement.

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How much cyber risk should an organization take?

I did a video with Joe McCafferty of MISTI last month. I am interested in whether you share my views. I also have some questions for you—after you watch the video.

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Where does a cause of action for patent infringement arise?

In Apotex Inc. v Astrazeneca Canada Inc., 2017 FCA 9, the Court of Appeal had to interpret section 39 of the Federal Courts Act in order to determine the appropriate limitation period for those patents that issued before a six–year limitation period was established by section 55.01 of the Patent Act in 1993.

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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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Biometric data: What if you “lost” your fingerprint?

Biometric authentication is becoming increasingly common. Smartphones and computers use it, banks have started to use it, and recently MasterCard began rolling out “selfie pay” allowing users to authenticate online payments by using their face at the point of sale. Biometric authentication refers to the validation of a user’s identity by measuring physical or behavioral characteristics. Biometric samples may include fingerprints, retinal scans, palm scans, face and voice recognition.

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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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Significant changes to the Canadian patent system

Changes are coming swiftly, as the federal government moves to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement just days after it was signed by Prime Minister Trudeau in Brussels at the end of October 2016. These changes will significantly impact biologic/pharma patents in two major ways.

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Blockchain and privacy: Transparency and innovation pose challenges for data protection

A blockchain is a peer network of nodes that use a distributed ledger that can be used to track transactions involving value including money, votes, property, etc. The most well-known application of blockchain technology is bitcoin. Transactions on a blockchain are not regulated by any central counterparty: the individuals involved in a given transaction provide their information (including personal information), a record is created that can be verified by nodes in the network. In this sense, the users forming the community act as their own regulators.

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Why do so many practitioners misunderstand risk?

My apologies in advance to all those who talk about third–party risk, IT risk, cyber risk, and so on. We don’t, or shouldn’t, address risk for its own sake. That’s what we are doing when we talk about these risk silos. We should address risk because of its potential effect on the achievement of enterprise objectives.

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