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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Business and Legal Issues

The utility of recent force majeure amendments to Canadian trademark law

The words “force majeure” do not appear in the Canadian Trademarks Act. However, at least three provisions now afford trademark owners and the Registrar of Trademarks some flexibility in addressing the effects of so-called “acts of God” under Canadian law—events beyond a party’s control which make performance of their obligations impossible. The relevant provisions:

 

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Canadian tax – The new 75% wage subsidy

On April 11, 2020, the legislation implementing the Federal Government’s new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”) was enacted. The CEWS is a $73 billion subsidy intended to support the well-being of workers, maintain employment relationships and reduce claims on the employment insurance regime.

 

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Competition compliance during the COVID-19 crisis: Price-gouging, deceptive marketing and collusion

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian businesses are facing unprecedented challenges in obtaining access to financing, maintaining their supply chains, serving their customers and keeping their employees healthy and safe. But as businesses struggle to maintain their normal business operations, they need to remain vigilant to ensure compliance with Canada’s competition and consumer protection laws.

 

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Impact of digitized environments & modern workplaces on internal investigations

One of the hallmarks of a successful investigation is rooted in the expression “knowing what you don’t know.” An experienced investigator knows a lot about a lot of things – different types of fraud, corruption, theft, misconduct, and the psychology underlying what motivates people to violate the trust that has been placed in them.

 

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Blumbergs’ COVID-19 FAQs for registered charities and non-profits

This COVID-19 FAQ, provided by Blumbergs, deals with common issues affecting Canadian registered charities and non-profit corporations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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Keeping up with environmental obligations in the time of COVID-19

COVID-19 has brought upheaval across all industries and sectors of society. While this is no less true with respect to environmental matters, many environmental legal requirements remain in place and require continued compliance, despite challenges faced by companies in Canada. On the other hand, many court proceedings and municipal processes have been suspended. This article sets out some practical guidance on how to navigate both ends of this spectrum.

 

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Time to wake up to risk reality

For 11 years, the ERM Initiative at North Carolina University has surveyed executives (this year they were again all financial executives) about what they call “the current state of risk oversight processes in organizations of all types and sizes to obtain an understanding of the relative maturity of underlying activities executives and boards use to monitor the rapidly changing risk landscape”.

 

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COVID-19 impact: Business interruption insurance issues

It is clear that COVID-19 is creating an entirely new set of health, economic and social problems for everyone. Insurers must be responsible partners in the fight against COVID-19. It is important that their service levels to the public, particularly with respect to claims, remain as uninterrupted as possible.

 

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Consuming and creating digital media in the era of COVID-19: Copyright rules to remember

The recent increased activity in the consumption and creation of digital media because of social distancing makes it a prime time for a copyright law refresher.

 

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Website cookies in Canada: is consent required?

Website cookies are small files sent by websites to users’ computers, usually without knowledge or specific consent. Cookies can be used to personalize a website, remember users’ preferences, and retain products in electronic shopping carts. A bigger concern for regulators is that cookies can also be used to track online behaviour, activities and interests, and can be accessible by third parties.

 

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Considerations for directors during the COVID-19 pandemic

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The COVID-19 pandemic has affected, and continues to affect, Canadian businesses in a significant manner. As this situation continues to evolve, directors should remain cognizant of their duties and responsibilities as corporations face a range of challenges, including liquidity issues.

 

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COVID-19 market impacts and the risk of opportunism

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a sledgehammer to stock markets, with the S&P/TSX 60 and S&P 500 each plunging approximately 20% during the first quarter of 2020. While boards and management must contend with a long list of pressing and unprecedented issues affecting business operations, they should also consider that the current drop in stock prices may fuel a wave of activism and opportunistic M&A activity once the immediate crisis subsides, and prepare accordingly.

 

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Protecting Canadian public companies from the potential class action fallout of COVID-19

One of the key metrics to determining how attractive a target a company is for class action lawyers is the length of the anticipated “class period” – i.e. the period between the date of the first misrepresentation and the date of the corrective disclosure.

 

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COVID 19 impact: Ontario issues emergency order prohibiting price gouging of necessary goods

On March 28, 2020, the Government of Ontario issued an emergency order prohibiting retailers and individuals from charging unfair prices for necessary goods that Ontarians need to protect themselves from COVID-19. The necessary goods on the list include:

 

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