Osler Updates

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OECD Releases Discussion Drafts on Hybrid Mismatch Arrangements

On March 19, 2014, the OECD released two draft discussion papers aimed at neutralizing the effects of hybrid mismatch arrangements, as part of its work on base erosion and profit shifting. The first makes recommendations for domestic law changes. The second addresses OECD model treaty considerations. If implemented, these proposals could have a significant impact on common cross-border arrangements that use hybrid instruments or entities. 

Mar 20, 2014

OECD Proposes Revisions to Tax Treaties to Prevent “Treaty Abuse”

On March 14, 2014, the OECD released a discussion drat for public consultation on countering tax treaty abuse, pursuant to action item 6 of the G20 and OECD Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. The Discussion Draft addresses similar issues to those referred to in the 2014 Canadian Federal Budget on treaty shopping. 

Mar 17, 2014

Proposed IIROC Guidance on Underwriting Due Diligence Will Focus Dealers on Policies, Procedures and Record-Keeping

IIROC has issued for comment its long-awaited guidance to underwriters carrying out due diligence in connection with public offerings of securities. This initiative was one of several items recommended by the OSC as an area for further work following its emerging markets issuer review, although IIROC’s proposed guidance is not limited to emerging markets issuers and would apply to an investment dealer’s involvement in a public offering of securities by any issuer.

Mar 13, 2014

Canada's Ambitious Free Trade Agenda: The Recently Concluded Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement

On March 11, 2014, the Canadian government announced that it had concluded a new free trade agreement with South Korea following negotiations that have lasted for over nine years. This agreement is stated to be part of the government's “most ambitious trade plan in Canadian history.”

Mar 13, 2014

Canadian Sanctions Target Former Ukrainian Government Officials

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions has issued a notice dated March 5, 2014, directing banks, trust companies, insurers and other federally regulated financial institutions to immediately freeze assets of the former Ukranian president, Viktor Yanukovych, and his close associates and to refrain from having any dealings with these individuals. Although these institutions bear the highest compliance burden, these regulations will apply to all persons within Canada, as well to Canadians located outside the country. 

Mar 11, 2014

The Government of Québec Unveils Proposals to Preserve Head Office Jobs in the Province

On February 20, 2014, the government of Québec tabled its 2014-2015 budget in which it stated that it may enact amendments to Québec’s Business Corporations Act intended to protect Québec incorporated businesses from unsolicited take-over bids, as well as tax incentives intended to encourage businesses to establish and maintain head offices in the province of Québec.

Mar 5, 2014

Court Orders Rogers to Pay $500,000 Competition Act Penalty and Provides Guidance on Remedies

On February 24, 2014, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released its decision regarding remedies in Canada (Commissioner of Competition) v. Chatr Wireless Inc. The Court’s decision provides important judicial guidance on the determination of appropriate remedies under the reviewable conduct provisions of the Competition Act. In particular, the Court held that an administrative monetary penalty must be imposed for the purpose of promoting compliance with the Act and must be proportional to the nature of the person whose conduct one seeks to change.

Feb 28, 2014

Divisional Court Overturns Environmental Review Tribunal Decision and Allows Wind Project to Proceed

In an important decision for stakeholders in the Ontario renewable energy industry, the Divisional Court of Ontario overturned a significant July 2013 decision by the Environmental Review Tribunal which had, for the first time, revoked a Renewable Energy Approval issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment authorizing the construction and operation of a wind farm. The Divisional Court reversed the ERT’s decision, allowing the REA to stand and the wind farm project to proceed, and providing some guidance for determining when “serious and irreversible harm” would occur. 

Feb 25, 2014

Draft Regulations Released for Deposits of Deleterious Substances under the Fisheries Act

One of the most significant provisions in the federal Fisheries Act is the prohibition in section 36(3) against releasing deleterious substances into waters frequented by fish. On February 15, 2014, Fisheries and Oceans Canada released draft regulations to provide a framework for future Ministerial Regulations to permit deposits of deleterious substances in three circumstances. 

Feb 20, 2014